BCHA celebrates colleagues who go above and beyond at the annual Bchangemakers Awards
BCHA celebrates colleagues who go above and beyond at the annual Bchangemakers Awards

Champions of change who make BCHA an inspiring place to work and go above and beyond the call of duty to deliver excellence to customers were celebrated at the Bchangemakers Awards ceremony in Bournemouth on 19 October.

Returning to the Citygate Centre, the uplifting awards ceremony brought the BCHA family of colleagues together for the first time since 2019, celebrating the achievements of outstanding team members who have delivered excellence and inspired others, despite the challenges of the last 12 months.

Hosted by BCHA Director of Change, Transformation and Growth, Laura Jump, and HR Advisor Rob Marsden, the 2022 awards were hotly contested, with a total of 523 nominations pouring in across 10 categories for this year’s event.

Here, we reveal the Bchangemakers champions who excelled at exhibiting BCHA’s values and behaviours, driving the development of an innovative, compassionate and collaborative culture where customers’ needs are at the forefront of everything we do.

And the 2022 winners are…

I Moved A Mountain Award

Winners: Jamie Furer (Recruitment, HR) and Poppy Blundell (The Liberty Project)

Kicking off our line-up of gongs for BCHA superstars is an award that recognises someone who has overcome a specific obstacle at a particular point during the year. With a huge 56 nominations in this category, two colleagues shone out for exemplary performance.

Nominations heaped praise on our two worthy winners: “These individuals’ spirits have remained buoyant and even when the odds were stacked against them, they didn’t give up and found a solution. These two individuals overcame extremely challenging and volatile external circumstances.”

Winner Jamie Furer said: “Winning means a lot to me. I’ve worked at BCHA now for coming up to five years. I’m really proud of what the organisation does and proud to be a part of BCHA, so it’s lovely to receive recognition.”

Jamie Furer winns the I Moved A Mountain Award
Jamie Furer winns the I Moved A Mountain Award

Shining Star Award

Winner: Martine Law-we (Relief Bank)

BCHA behaviours – including being reliable, responsive, creative, recognising good work and always saying thank-you – are at the heart of everything we do. A huge 66 nominations poured in for the Shining Star Award but there can only be one winner: an individual who consistently exhibits BCHA behaviours and acts as a role model.

Winner Martine Law-we from the Relief Bank was described as “the shiniest person I’ve ever met” – someone who embraces everything with a smile and is “always so positive and enthusiastic, no matter what she is faced with”.

Colleagues said in their nominations: “Martine shows great passion in all that she does. She has influenced change in the service and is focused on what will make improvements for customers.”


Inspiring Change Award

Winner: Alison Fewins (Gabriel House, Exeter)

Our winner in the Inspiring Change category – which received a total of 54 nominations overall – is a master of driving change, motivating colleagues, finding creative solutions and inspiring all who surround her.

Colleagues talked of how Alison Fewins, of Gabriel House in Exeter, shows “great passion in everything that she does”. One said: “She has transformed inactive residents into motivated, creative and inspiring customers.”

Alison has been at the forefront of groups that involve physical activities, educational and housing-related drop-ins, co-production, volunteering and training. Her hard work has been “driven by a pride and ambition to make Gabriel House a better place,” said colleagues, who praised her can-do attitude.

Alison Fewins wins the Inspiring Change Award
Alison Fewins wins the Inspiring Change Award

Compassion Award

Winner: Isabel Squillaci (Schedulers, BCHA Home)

Showing compassion to others underpins BCHA’s culture and our champion was praised for adopting a caring approach in all aspects of their work. With 48 nominations overall in this category, commitment to compassion must be evident in every aspect of the winner’s work, and not for a one-off act or incident.

Winner Isabel Squillaci was praised for her caring approach: “She thinks of the wellbeing of others and acts with compassion and kindness.” Another nomination read: “Isabel is someone who is committed to the ideas of PIE in their daily work.”

Winner Isabel, who joined BCHA around a year-and-a-half ago, said: “Previously, I had a couple of jobs that didn’t feel like the right fit, but when I started work at BCHA, I knew it was definitely for me. To receive a compassionate award means a lot and I feel very proud!”

Isabel Squillaci wins the Compassion Award
Isabel Squillaci wins the Compassion Award

Champion of Inclusion Award

Winners: Debbie Matthews (Executive Assistant to CEO and Director of Finance and Corporate Resources) and Larry Oladipupo (Dorset Young People’s Service)

BCHA is committed to greater equality and inclusion – a journey that has seen colleagues embrace the learning and change that’s needed. With a total of 39 nominations rolling in, commitment to ED&I was evident across the organisation, but two colleagues stood out for their dedication to helping BCHA make strides.

Debbie Matthews won applause for “all her work on the ED&I Forum, always being kind and considerate to others” while “almost single-handedly holding BCHA to account for our attributes on ED&I”.

Speaking of her award, Debbie said: “I’m really touched. I think that the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Forum has been amazing. Sometimes you join it having a particular interest in one area that you’re really passionate about and suddenly discover that it’s a much broader picture. I’ve learnt so much from the forum and I hope that we continue to learn as an organisation.”

Colleagues said of joint winner Larry Oladipupo: “He has helped me in many ways to understand the importance of ED&I, demonstrating that vulnerability is not a barrier.”


Motivational Leader Award

Vicky Jennings (Senior Practitioner, Plymouth)

Competition was tough in the fiercely contested Motivational Leader category, with 68 nominations submitted for managers who inspire their teams, so the judges had their work cut out when it came to reaching a decision on who should win.

Ensuring that colleagues feel valued and listening to the needs of customers put Vicky Jennings in pole position, with a stream of commendations for being an inspirational and motivational leader.

Described as always being inclusive and fair, one colleague said: “Vicky has made working at Primrose an enjoyable experience. She encourages and motivates the team to improve conditions and experiences for customers and colleagues, enabling learning and development for the team so they can do their jobs better.”

While Vicky couldn’t be at the ceremony to collect her award, she said: “I feel truly blessed. I’m grateful for the teams I manage and they motivate me to do better every day.”


Valiant Volunteer Award

Winner: Stuart Milburn (BCHA Learn)
The hard work and dedication of volunteers enriches the lives of customers. Volunteers offer their time, energy, expertise and knowledge, driving BCHA’s services and helping to deliver excellence in everything that we do.

With 18 nominations received in this category, volunteer Stuart Milburn championed for his commitment to services provided by BCHA Learn. Stuart said: “The award means a lot, but it should be for all the volunteers. Winning has been absolutely amazing as it shows there is recognition from BCHA, and I know the support is there. It comes from people who really care and appreciate what volunteers offer and do on a regular basis. It means so much, and the thanks I get in the office from the learners and customers is incredibly important. I relish that feedback. It’s so positive and it drives me and makes me want to do more.”

Stuart Milburn wins the Valiant Volunteer Award
Stuart Milburn wins the Valiant Volunteer Award

Nobel Newcomer Award

Winner: Kyla Cunningham (Pathways, Yeovil)

New talent is the lifeblood of BCHA and as an organisation, we are committed to recruiting individuals with potential to develop exemplary dedication to our values and behaviours.

The Nobel Newcomer Award celebrates the remarkable achievements of a colleague who has joined the organisation within the last 12 months – in this case, Kyla Cunningham from Pathways in Yeovil, who triumphed out of 66 nominations received in this hotly-contested category.

Colleagues praised Kyla’s dedication for always making a positive impact on the development of customers at Pathways, praising her “breath-taking” commitment to the service.

Kyla said: “The whole team deserves an award, because we’re all really passionate about what we do. I’m absolutely gobsmacked, but it’s important to point out that we’re all driven by our residents.”

Kyla Cunningham wins the Noble Newcomer Award
Kyla Cunningham wins the Noble Newcomer Award

Community Connections Award

Winner: Eleanor Mason (Primrose Project, Plymouth)
Brand new for 2022, the Community Connections Award set out to find a colleague who demonstrates BCHA’s commitment to providing better homes and thriving communities. With 30 nominations received overall, judges had no shortage of talent to examine!

Winner Eleanor Mason championed for her dedication to forming and developing new partnerships with organisations, with one clear goal in mind – to improve the lives of customers at Primrose in Plymouth.

Colleagues heaped praise on Eleanor for her commitment to forging links with private and public sector organisations, leading to flourishing partnerships with businesses and agencies.

Her proactive and collaborative approach, said colleagues who nominated Eleanor, had resulted in thriving partnerships with organisations including Aldi, Lidl and Lush. Resulting donations have helped to ensure that BCHA customers’ needs have been met, and even provided treats that would have otherwise been out of their reach. Donations also prevented food from going to waste, benefitting the environment, too.


Tremendous Team Award

Winner: Customer Services

With a total of 78 nominations received overall, the judging team had a tough task when it came to reaching a consensus on the winner.

Our champion – Customer Services – is at the leading edge of driving BCHA’s commitment to providing consistent excellence for customers, but also won outstanding praise from colleagues for rising to the challenge of driving change.

The Customer Services team was instrumental in ensuring a smooth move from St Swithun’s House to new office locations, ensuring that customers’ enquiries were responded to swiftly while the relocation took place – and also rallied to ensure that BCHA’s Festival of Wellbeing in August was a resounding success.

Colleagues praised the Customer Services team for their ability to multi-task and handle high volumes of enquiries with a positive attitude, from taking calls regarding repairs and logging enquiries with schedulers, to helping the Income and Tenancy Team with enquires and handling food bank vouchers.


A round of applause for our Highly Commended colleagues…

The award ceremony wouldn’t have been complete without throwing the spotlight on outstanding colleagues who received nominations for multiple awards.

Our Highly Commended hall of fame included Donna Cronshey (Service Lead at Pathways, Yeovil) who was nominated for six awards; Emma Williams (Temporary accommodation in Yeovil) who received nominations for five awards and Bev Munden (Senior Practitioner at George House in Plymouth) who was nominated for five awards.

BCHA Director of Change, Transformation and Growth, Laura Jump, said: “These individuals displayed consistent excellence, demonstrating commitment to BCHA values and purpose.”


And finally, thank-you to BCHA’s CEO Martin Hancock

CEO Martin Hancock, who has dedicated 22 years’ service to BCHA, was praised for his commitment to driving change as the Bchangemakers Awards ceremony drew to a close.

Martin, who has spent the last 16 years leading BCHA as CEO, announced earlier this year that he would retire in November.

Taking to the stage, Martin said: “It has been a privilege to be trusted to be the CEO of BCHA for what is approaching 16 years; to see the work that everyone does on a daily basis and to be reminded of it today. I’m sure that Lorraine Mealings [BCHA’s new CEO] will value that when she joins.”

Martin offered a few wise words of advice to colleagues: “Concentrate on doing what we do well, and remember that everyone adds value. We want to help everybody in this room and all our customers to realise their potential. Thank you very much, and I wish everyone well for the future.”

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