Shortlisted in UK Housing Awards

Posted 27/10/2021

Higgins Partnerships’ commitment to providing the best in social, physical, and economic regeneration and delivering sustainable communities has been recognised at this year’s UK Housing Awards 2021.

The company has been shortlisted for ‘Best Neighbourhood Transformation’ for the positive impact it has made on the local community at Wooddene Estate in Peckham, South London.

The UK Housing Awards, which are now in their 25th year, continue to recognise successes from all areas of housing at a time when decent homes and support to communities is more important than ever. The Best Neighbourhood Transformation category celebrates an approach that has been successful in transforming an area and the lives of the people living in it. 

Steve Leakey, Managing Director of Higgins Partnerships comments, “We are thrilled to once again be recognised for the work we do within the local communities in which we build. We are extremely proud of the work we undertook at Wooddene Estate with Notting Hill Genesis and the local Tenants and Residents Association to provide a lasting legacy in terms of employment and wellbeing for both individuals and the wider community.”

From the outset of the project, Higgins ensured the local community were engaged and part of the regeneration of the new estate. Initiatives were aimed at not only benefitting individuals directly but having a positive effect on their families and the wider community, which would last beyond the contract. Through enhancing skills and employability of local people who may not have worked for a number of years, this would also have a positive long term effect on the local economy.

Althea Smith, Head of the TRA commented, “I have seen lots of local faces working on site and they come out looking really happy and engaged in their work. I even noticed one guy who hasn’t worked for years happily working on the site.”

Social value outcomes at Wooddene Estate

  • 998 weeks on site training for local people
  • 31 local employees
  • 248 weeks of work experience
  • £1.7million local economic value
  • 223 volunteer hours
  • 36 opportunities generated for long term unemployed residents

Shawn Hutchinson, apprentice bricklayer who worked at Wooddene Estate said, “There is a lot of variety of work on this site, one day I could be laying blocks, the next day bricks and sometimes we are doing snagging and repair work. It’s really good because you get to learn lots of different elements of the role. If you are willing to work hard and learn, an apprenticeship is a great way to get qualified and ready for the future.” Shawn has completed his apprenticeship in bricklaying and has been given a full-time role with one of Higgins subcontractors.

Abidemi Oluwale, Trainee Surveyor commented on working at Wooddene Estate “I have been given the opportunity to work independently as well as part of the team. I would recommend this to people that live locally because this is an opportunity to better the community.”