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BCHA Awards thank staff for their ceaseless commitment and passion

BCHA Awards thank staff for their ceaseless commitment and passion

As well as providing a chance to meet up, discuss the past year and plan for the year ahead, the Building the Future Together event included the presentation of Bchangemakers Awards to deserving staff members and service users who had been nominated by their peers.

Providing well-earned recognition and much applause for some of the exceptional work being carried out across the organisation, the awards were also a chance to remember the very people whom inspire the work of BCHA.


Employee of the Year was Lisa Hudson 

Lisa was awarded this honour for actively demonstrating BCHA’s values and behaviours in motivating and leading her team, along with her willingness to step in to take additional responsibilities when asked. She was also recognised for her calm, responsive approach to the needs of the customer, for her organisation and for leading a team that is willing to support and help across other services.

Derek Clarke – Backroom Wonder

Derek received a plethora of nominations and no shortage of thanks for the huge support he gives to staff, including those who work remotely. Common words used to describe Derek include ‘knowledgeable’, ‘generous’ and ‘welcoming’

One nominator said: “Working remotely can sometimes be a little isolating - but not when you’ve had 20 minutes fix, chatting to Derek. He’s a gem.”

Anna Garrett – Champion Educator

Anna has stepped up over the last 12 months to develop management skills and deliver the NCS programme.

A nominator said: “Anna has had to learn new skills when required and has been the glue to the service.  I'm so proud to see how she has grown and believe this will continue.”

Joanne Baker – Housing Halo

Joanne was recognised for her outstanding service to customers and for being a key player in streamlining legal processes to ensure compliance with the law and equality amongst all tenants.

A nominator said: “With Jo’s help we have avoided court challenges and her dedication to her work, colleagues and team work is commendable.  Without Jo’s input we would not have successfully reduced general needs arrears from 220K in August 2018 to 188K in March 2019. I can’t think of a better person to receive this award.”

Lloyd Coates – Inspiring Change

Lloyd has gone from Support Worker to Project Leader and always goes above and beyond the required standards - staying longer, coming in earlier, being with his staff and supporting them and creating a well organised and co-operative team. Then, of course, there was the skydive!

A nominator said: “I’d like to nominate Lloyd for supporting colleagues unconditionally from other services and of course jumping out of a plane from 1500ft to raise cash for BCHA.” 

Jon Gulliver – Bold Bricks

Jon was applauded for recognising the importance of working together to improve the repairs service for our customers.

A nominator said: “Jon delivers what he promises for both colleagues and customers. He cares about quality, he has a heart for our customer groups and he doesn’t ever take the credit but he encourages a team effort.” 

Mark Rowlands - New Leaf Repairs & Maintenance Services

Mark was recognised for achieving the highest percentage of ‘first-time fixes’ - an important measure to ensure we deliver a ‘right first time’ service to our customers, providing efficiencies and value for money for the business. 

Dorset Young People - Tremendous Team

Said by the SLT to “collectively epitomise exactly what BCHA stands for”, each Dorset Young People team member has their own strengths and, when combined, the skills and knowledge to produce fantastic outcomes for some very vulnerable clients.

In order to provide continuity for the young people they also support, all staff members are willing to cover team annual leave themselves. At Bournemouth Refuge, Dorset Young People staff are willing to cover staff shortages at incredibly short notice, throwing themselves into a completely different working environment.

Motivational Leader - Daryl Gibbins

This season the Bournemouth Churches Housing Association team – known as BCHA FC - scored more than 100 goals and won every single game in the SWEA Churches League, taking them all the way to the title match at the County Ground in Poole.

The team includes players who have experienced homelessness or battled with addictions to alcohol or drugs.

Team coach and founder Daryl Gibbins is also a full time Senior Practitioner at BCHA’s Young People’s Accommodation Services and it was his work with homeless young people which prompted him to start the team in 2008.

Daryl said: “The team was established to provide a lifeline to homeless and vulnerable people and uses football as a tool to get people back into positive activities and help build their self-esteem and confidence.

“Many of the lads who have been involved with BCHA FC over the years have come along having faced difficulties and struggles most of us cannot imagine. But when they step out onto a football field they become part of a team and their whole focus becomes that team.

“The sense of belonging, the comradeship and utter joy these guys get from football is unmistakable and it’s been a great pleasure to me and to see how this has helped so many of them in their own personal journeys.”

“I’m so proud of these guys and I’m looking forward to even more success with them in the years to come.”

Motivational Leader - Beverley Munden

Beverley received this award for her calm, dedicated, professional leadership and for guiding and supporting her Housing Intervention, Signposting and Support Service team in Plymouth to deliver a high-quality, integrated service. 

Inspiring Customer - Melissa

In 2014 Melissa fled a violent relationship with her two children and was sheltered by a BCHA women’s refuge.

She said: “All my life I had been told how to feel, behave, speak and live – but thanks to the refuge I found the courage to decide how the rest of my life would go.”

Melissa started counselling and settled her children into school. She was also put forward for a course called Pattern Changing, highlighting the impact of abusive relationships.

She said: “I wanted my kids to be proud of their mum, and I wanted to teach them to never give up. 

“Today, I am a self-employed nail technician. I run my own company and have built up a strong clientele.

“The BCHA refuge saved me and I have never looked back.” 

Stuart Milburn – Valiant Volunteer 

Stuart currently works as a Teaching Assistant, mainly on the two Ignite IT courses (Digital Life Skills & the accredited Level One Award), but also on the Ignite Personal Development Skills workshops. He is always reliable with excellent feedback from learners.

A nominator said: “Stuart has been involved with Ignite for several years now and his help and input has been invaluable to myself and students.  He is extremely accommodating and flexible, always happy to assist in any way he can. He really has gone the extra mile in terms of everything he does with us.”

Darren Johns – Noble Newcomer

 Darren joined BCHA on 16 April 2018 and since that time has clearly demonstrated his commitment and dedication to our customers by regularly going the extra mile outside of working hours.

A nominator said: “Darren worked until 11pm on Friday 22 March as there was an issue with a gas leak and he ensured this was resolved and worked late to reconnect the system so that customers had heating and hot water.” 

Assertive Outreach B&B Service – Innovative Project

The team works in Plymouth, often with the most complex, chaotic and entrenched people in the city, many of whom have been banned or evicted from many other services. Its role is to support customers to find longer term accommodation. But it also explores customer skills around budgeting/maximising income/reducing debt/improving and maintaining good health and wellbeing/keeping self/others safe and learning new transferrable employability skills. Its person-centred support is offered Monday to Friday 9am-5pm (except Bank Holidays), by highly-qualified professionals with a wealth of skills and experience, delivered within a solution-focused approach.

RECOOP – Special Recognition Award for Liz Ropschitz

In 2008 Liz started developing an informal peer support service in the Devon prisons to address the health and mobility vulnerabilities for the growing, older prison population. The informal Buddy support service took off and now comprises 14 modules and exercises to equip new prisoner Buddies with the skills to support their vulnerable peers. This has grown from strength to strength and started to generate national interest.

To date nearly 200 Buddies have been trained, while 10 Buddies have been additionally trained as Dementia Friends at HMP Dartmoor and over 80 vulnerable prisoners are receiving support every single day throughout the year across three Devon prison sites.

One nominator said: “Developing anything in a prison in the current climate is some feat! This innovative service, driven by the tenacity, passion and tireless passion of Liz Ropschitz deserves recognition.”

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