We are delighted to announce that West Kent has won the prestigious Tpas ‘Excellence in Tenant Communication Award’ for a co-creation project that saw residents shaping a new domestic abuse policy.
The Tpas awards celebrate the remarkable volunteers, housing staff and contractors who bring lasting change to communities across England. They are the only awards dedicated to recognising engagement excellence and best practice in the housing sector.
The virtual award ceremony, held on Friday 8 October, brought together 85 nominees, volunteers and housing professionals from across the country.
West Kent’s domestic abuse policy review started in early 2020 and was the first step on the journey to DAHA (Domestic Abuse Housing Alliance) accreditation - the benchmark for how housing providers should respond to domestic abuse in the UK. Julie Terry, Head of Housing Services, worked closely with West Kent’s communications and engagement team to ensure residents were put at the heart of the review.
Residents attended carefully planned virtual workshops and used their own experiences to shape the policy and design campaign material to raise awareness about the help and support West Kent can offer. The workshops included contributions and support from DAVSS, a Kent based domestic abuse charity West Kent works closely with and a representative from DAHA.
Cathy McCarthy, West Kent’s Director of Housing tells us why this award is so meaningful;
“Domestic abuse is still a largely hidden crime, but as a housing provider we are well placed to recognise the signs of domestic abuse and to work proactively to offer support. We feel very privileged that our residents felt able to share their experiences with us to help us achieve a policy and campaign that is effective, sensitive and shaped by survivors. Winning this award recognises the significance of their involvement - we can’t thank them enough.”
The Tpas award judging panel consisted of a team of sector experts, including residents, they commented;
“We were delighted to award West Kent Housing Association for their work on revising their Domestic Abuse Policy. The judges were impressed with how the residents were sensitively involved in this challenging issue with impressive outcomes for all. Congratulations to all those involved.”
West Kent would like to congratulate all the winners and nominees, it was fantastic to see a showcase of outstanding resident involvement work.
To find out more about the support West Kent can offer, visit the domestic abuse area of our website.