English | Cymraeg Tel: 029 2076 5760 Connect: Twitter

CIH Cymru sponsorship feature

New Horizons for Housing

The CIH Cymru Annual Student Conference is different to any other event in the housing calendar. Victoria Graham explains why.

The first thing that strikes you about this event is the incredible energy in the room. Whether part time and full time, new to housing or taking chances to learn further down their career road, from North or South Wales or across the border – Housing students who attend are an enthusiastic bunch.

The CIH Cymru Student Conference continues to grow in both size and stature and has firmly earned its place in CIH Cymru’s annual series of popular, high-profile events. This year’s event saw a greater attendance than ever and welcomed students studying for a range of qualifications, everything from Level 2 to Level 7.

The conference theme was “New Horizons for Housing” as we at CIH Cymru recognise that the sector has many challenges to face in the future but that our next generation of housing professionals come equipped with a wealth of new ideas, skills and energy which will help the sector meet these challenges and go from strength to strength in the coming years.

The programme included useful and inspiring sessions on gaining employment and moving up the career ladder and housing professionals giving examples of their own experiences and varied routes into the profession – highlighted by a colourful, humorous and motivational presentation by keynote speaker, John Keegan of Monmouthshire Housing Association. The afternoon saw a series of up-to-the-minute workshops including Housing and Worklessness (timed to coincide with Iain Duncan Smith’s speech the same day), Partnerships and Regeneration, Youth Participation and the realities of Anti-Social Behaviour (provided by Jamie Saunders, Head of Anti-Social Behaviour Unit at Hugh James Solicitors.

The conference incorporates CIH Cymru’s Annual Student Awards, expanded this year to include two new awards to recognise the commitment and achievements of learners on CIH Education programmes at Level 2 and Level 3. This year’s winners were:

Deborah Dodd – Glyndwr University – Commitment to Learning

Pauline Thomas – University of Wales Institute Cardiff – Outstanding Academic Progress

Esther Kuti Duporte – University of Wales Institute Cardiff – Outstanding Academic Achievement

Scott Bryant – Cardiff University – Outstanding Academic Achievement

Alison Gunnion – CIH Education – Outstanding Academic Achievement

Stacey Evans – CIH Education – Outstanding Academic Progress

We value our student members as they represent the future of the housing profession – and an ever changing, dynamic one at that. As well as the annual free conference, we have a range of other services exclusive to our students including:

  • Free membership
  • Copy of Welsh Housing Quarterly – the best housing magazine in Britain and packed full of essential and up to date information
  • Free tickets for TAI 2011 – Wales’ premier housing event
  • Copies of all CIH Cymru policy briefings and publications
  • Telephone / email advice and links to useful publications for projects and assignments

CIH Cymru, our speakers and all the housing professionals and organisations present were extremely gratified to see the levels of enthusiasm and commitment from housing students from across Wales, both those already working in housing and those who are new to sector. We look forward to working with you all in the future and wish you all the very best for your studies and your future career.

A Big Thank You!

CIH Cymru would not be able to put on this free event for students without the support and sponsorship of the housing sector, particularly our headline sponsor Wales and West Housing Association.

Our thanks also go to:

Melin Homes, Newport City Homes, Cartrefi Cymunedol Gwynedd, Newydd Housing Association, Monmouthshire Housing Association, Cardiff Community Housing Association, Coastal Housing Group, United Welsh Housing Association and Constructing Excellence in Wales.

Tenant leaders take top awards

Over 400 people from the housing and regeneration worlds attended the Annual Welsh Housing Awards in Cardiff in December. Organised by CIH Cymru, the awards are firmly established as one of the highlights of the year.

Pride of place this year went to two pioneers for tenants rights who have had a major and lasting impact not just within the tenants’ movement but across the housing sector as a whole.

Ashley Williams was presented with the Outstanding Contribution to Housing in Wales Award sponsored by Cymorth Cymru. Ashley was accompanied by wife Jean herself a long standing community activist and leader in her own right. A founding member and early Chair of Glyntaff Tenants and Residents Association in Rhydyfelin, he has campaigned tirelessly since the 1970s to the 1990s for improved conditions and better rights for tenants. He led the negotiations for his community in Wales’s first major stock transfer – still recognised as one of the best examples of a tenant led transfer anywhere in the UK.

Ashley also worked as Assistant Director of the Tenant Participation Advisory Service and spent time with many residents groups across Wales providing advice on how best to challenge and work with their landlord to secure improvements. Ashley’s dedication to social housing has not only helped other tenants in Rhydyfelin but tenants from across Wales.

This year’s Housing Hero Award sponsored by Wates Living Space went to Mary Hayes. Mary was born in Treherbert, and moved with her parents to London when she was a child during the war. She returned to Wales when she got married and into Ethel St in Victoria Park where the housing conditions were very poor. Her home was owned by a private landlord and her first rent was the equivalent of £3.50 per week.

She joined a number of local activists, including John Brooks and Richard Essex who were determined to do something about the city’s housing conditions, but were against large scale demolition. Instead they wanted to keep communities like Ethel Street together so they started talking to local residents about setting up a Housing Association. Since then Mary’s name has been synonymous with Taff Housing Association and in 1998 the then ‘new’ offices where named Hayes Place in her honour.

New for 2010 was the People’s Choice Award, sponsored by Lovell. Voted for by the audience on the night, the award was won by Newport City Homes (NCH) for their ‘Communicating the Investment Programme’, a project which saw NCH communicating how it was going to deliver is five year £20 million investment programme to residents staff, stakeholders and partners.

The awards were hosted by TV and radio presenter Jason Mohammad who praised all the shortlisted entries for the positive contribution they are making as organisations and individuals. Other winners on the evening were:

Bron Afon Community Housing – working with young people – Empowering and Involving Communities (sponsored by PSS Consulting)

Wates Living Space – changing lives in communities with the SYNIAD Framework – Most Community Focused Contractor (sponsored by PSS Procurement)

Newport City Homes – Communicating the investment programme – Delivering Customer Driven Services (sponsored by Apollo Group)

Cardiff Community Housing Association in partnership with Cardiff Council – Trowbridge shops regeneration project – Developing and Regenerating Communities (sponsored by SitexOrbis)

Grow Enterprise Wales – Recycle and grow – Increasing Environmental Sustainability (sponsored by EnviroVent)

Construction Youth Trust in partnership with RCT Homes and Newport City Homes – The Real Apprentice – Developing Skills and Capacity (sponsored by Cardiff Community Housing Association)

Denbighshire County Council and partners – Denbighshire’s affordable housing policy – Outstanding Leadership by a Local Authority (sponsored by Mi-Space)

Amy Bryant, Aberystwyth University – Outstanding Academic Progress (sponsored by Enterprise plc)

Councillor Jefferson Tildesley, Bridgend County Borough Council – Community Leader (sponsored by British Gas)

This year all of the entries shortlisted for a Welsh Housing Award have been brought together in one good practice publication. Sponsored by HouseMark Cymru and launched at the event, the compendium ensures that the fantastic innovation and good practice demonstrated in the wide range of nominated projects and partnerships are captured and disseminated, so that the whole housing sector and beyond can learn from and celebrate some of the great work that is being undertaken. For further information or to receive a free copy of this publication please email [email protected]

Sign up to our email newsletter

Every two months we'll email you a summary of the latest news & articles on the WHQ website. Better still, if you're a fully paid up magazine subscriber, you'll get access to the latest members-only articles as well.

Sign up for the email newsletter »

Looking to advertise in our magazine?

Advertising and sponsored features are a great way to raise your profile with our readership of housing and regeneration decision makers in Wales.

Find out more »