Derwent Living's chair shortlisted for regional award

Chair of Derwent Living, Suzy Brain England OBE, has been shortlisted in the equality and diversity category of the central region’s Tenant Participation Advisory Service (TPAS) awards.

Suzy, 54, was recently named equality and diversity champion by her peers for her hard work in integrating those values into the heart of Derwent Living’s policies and procedures. As champion, Suzy is responsible for ensuring the Derby-based housing provider pays sufficient attention to equality and diversity within the organisation and the industry it works within.

With Suzy at the helm, the organisation is actively seeking to recruit younger people, women and those from a range of ethnic backgrounds, as well as people with disabilities and those of different sexual orientations to its Board. Suzy has been instrumental in helping to break down barriers to ensure ease of application for people from diverse backgrounds and both she and her colleagues are delighted that her efforts have now been recognised by TPAS.

She says: “As chair of the board it was important for me to be named equality and diversity champion and I’m delighted to have been recognised by others in the industry.

“My role is to ensure that Derwent Living’s services are relevant and accessible to all. We recognise that people with different backgrounds, cultures, skills and experiences bring fresh ideas and perceptions to an organisation. Also, by raising awareness of equality and diversity issues through our ‘Removing Barriers’ initiative, we are achieving demonstrable improvements for all the communities we serve.”

Derwent Living’s chief executive, Peter McCormack, said: “I’m extremely pleased that Suzy has been recognised by TPAS. Her leadership is making a real difference to residents and employees alike. We know that everyone has their own personal values, beliefs and needs and we strongly believe that all residents should have easy access to the same high levels of service.

“We also aim to ensure that residents receive the right level of support and advice to meet their needs and Suzy is the ideal person to drive this forward.”

TPAS chief executive, Michelle Reid, said: “Our awards applaud the inspiring work being carried out to improve people’s lives and communities. As well as recognising the efforts of tenants and housing providers, the awards play a vital role for us in identifying and sharing excellence with our members across England. The TPAS awards are about the people behind those successes.” Suzy will find out if she’s been successful when she joins other candidates shortlisted for a total of nine award categories at a ceremony in Birmingham on Friday 1 April.