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The Chartered Institute of Housing is the independent voice for housing and the home of professional standards

The Big Picture photography competition winners unveiled in exhibition


The winners of The Big Picture - CIH's centenary photography competition to showcase the value of housing - were unveiled to hundreds of housing professionals at an exhibition at our presidential dinner.

The competition attracted more than 120 entries from housing professionals and organisation and the standard was extremely high.

Baska Read, a project worker for Enable which is part of emh, triumphed with her photograph of the hands of staff members and vulnerable tenants who had written a single word on their hand to express what housing meant to them.

Steve Hayes, communications manager at CIH, said: "We were so impressed with both the volume and quality of the entries.

"A picture tells a thousands words and the winners' pictures each tell a really compelling story about the value of housing, which was really the whole point of the competition.

"We were delighted to showcase the winning entries in a special exhibition at our presidential dinner and we now have plans to take the exhibition on the road with us to some of our other events.

"Congratulations to Baska and the other winners and to everyone else who took part. And a big thank you to Creative Bridge, our competition sponsors."

The standard of entries was so high that the top three was extended to a top seven. Each of the winning individuals/organisations receives a winner's certificate and a large framed copy of their picture.

The winners in full:

1st place - Baska Read, Enable

Taken by project worker Baska Read, this picture features the hands of staff and tenants at Enable - which supports and houses vulnerable individuals. Participants were asked to write on their hand a single word which represented the value of housing to them.

Judges' comments: We felt this was the competition's outstanding entry. We thought it had real artistic merit and cut to the heart of the value of housing - articulated by a combination of the people that provide housing services and some of the people who need it the most.

2nd place - Salix Homes

Joyce Cotgrave is the longest serving tenant at Arthur Millwood Court tower block and moved in with her husband Stanley when it first opened in 1964. More than 50 years on, Joyce is pictured here celebrating the building's multi-million pound refurbishment.

Judges' comments: Joyce's pride for her home of more than 50 years is there for all to see in this striking photo. We particularly liked the juxtaposition of Joyce's vibrant outfit and the building as a backdrop. The picture tells a touching story about the stability someone's home can give them amid the many changes which happen during the course of their life.

3rd place - West Kent Housing

Fred, a 92-year-old resident at an extra care scheme run by West Kent Housing, is pictured enjoying lunch with this son. Fred has thrived since moving into the scheme which combines independent living with on-site care and communal facilities.

Judges' comments: This picture beautifully captures an everyday moment between father and son which in turn tells a strong story about the value of housing. We enjoyed the underlying message of the picture - that people like Fred, who has at times suffered from isolation, can thrive and enjoy moments like this with the support of this type of housing.

4th place - EastendHomes

Some of EastendHomes' youngest tenants feature in this photograph taken at one of the housing association's community centres in Tower Hamlets. The youngsters are with their mother watching a pantomime which was arranged in partnership with local schools.

Judges' comments: The faces of the two young children in this photograph are enough to melt anyone's heart. A nice use of focus and position help the picture really capture the family's emotion and enjoyment.

5th place - Riverside

The photograph features residents and staff at a RemPod at an extra care scheme run by Riverside. RemPods, or reminiscence pods, are environments which are decorated and equipped with furniture and items from a bygone era which is shown to stimulate people living with dementia.

Judges' comments: The emotions of each person and the interaction between staff and tenants have been touchingly captured by the photographer. The picture also highlights a key element of support that housing organisations can provide - support which is crucial in an ageing population.

6th place - emh

The photograph is more than 70 years old and features Peter Elderfield, the founder of emh group. Peter set up East Midlands Housing Association in 1946 to provide housing for ex-servicemen. Today emh provides 18,000 affordable homes.

Judges' comments: Even though it is more than 70 years old this photograph is a pertinent reminder of the roots of social housing and the intentions of the people who set up the earliest housing organisations. Though the world has moved on a lot since then, the picture also brings to mind the enduring nature of our housing crisis.

7th place - Adam Cosgrove, Easthall Park Housing Co-operative

Resident Emily is pictured receiving a Good Neighbour Award.

Judges' comments: This picture beautifully captures Emily's happiness as she is presented with her award for being a good neighbour in the beautiful garden of her home. We felt it represented perfectly the difference someone's home can make to their emotional wellbeing - a central part of the value of housing.


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