Showcasing the very best of the housing sector
As nominations for the 2019 UK Housing Awards are now open, CIH answers some of your frequently asked questions about preparing submissions.
Does my project have what it takes?
This is a common question and an important one to ask. Whether you’re the person in your organisation driving a submission or you’ve been asked to consider entering by someone else, it is always worth sitting down and considering if you think it meets the mark.
Your instincts are important. The UK Housing Awards recognise the best projects, approaches and initiatives in housing and we’re looking for work of a very high quality which sets a standard in the sector. Does it feel like your work could come under that banner? If you think it could then it’s worth a shot, if not then you might want to reconsider.
There’s an even more robust and simple test than this though. Take a look at the general guidance and the category criteria and do a simple exercise of measuring your work up against that. You need to be able to answer some fundamental questions. Did your work have clear aims and objectives, how did you deliver on them and what were the results?
We’re not looking for perfection but we are looking for work which can answer those questions and meets the criteria.
How long will it take to put a submission together?
An award submission is what you make it and setting aside a decent chunk of time is important.
The process of putting forward a submission generally has two stages – information gathering and writing.
The information gathering, or evidence gathering, process is probably the most time-consuming part of the submission but this doesn’t have to become an industry. A project or initiative normally has one or two people driving it. They can get you the detail and evidence that you need or put you in touch with the right people.
Trimming this down to 1,000 words is often the biggest challenge. To put into context just how quickly you’ll get to that point, you’ve already read more than a third of that if you’ve lasted to this point.
And though it is better if someone with good writing skills can put together your submission we are not looking for literary genius – just a convincing, concise demonstration that your work meets the criteria.
So though an award submission involves investing time this doesn’t have to be huge, you have the entirety of the nomination period to do the work and the benefits of being shortlisted or winning significantly outweigh the time you spent on your submission.
How much does it cost to enter?
The UK Housing Awards are free to enter.
Which categories could I enter?
• Landlord of the year
• Council of the year
• Direct Labour Organisation (DLO) of the year
• Contractor of the year
• Direct professional services partner of the year
• Homebuilder of the year
• Digital landlord of the year
• Campaign of the year
• Innovator of the year
• Resident employment and training award
• The neighbourhood transformation award
• Homelessness project of the year
• Best older people’s landlord
• Best supported people landlord
• Inclusivity and diversity pioneer.
How long do I have to prepare my submission?
Entries close on Thursday 15th November.
How do I make my submission standout?
Here are three top tips to consider:
First of all be passionate. If you’re the person who was involved in the project really sell it to us, and if you’re someone writing on behalf of your organisation take the time to get to know the people at the heart of the project or work you’re writing about.
Secondly, gather evidence and testimony. The former is extremely important but so is the latter. It is one thing for you to tell us that you achieved something, it’s even better if that’s backed up in some way by someone else. So if your work helped residents or involved a partner, let’s hear from them,
Finally, think creative. Though an award submission does need to cover what we set out in the criteria it doesn’t have to be presented in a bland way. We changed our submission process to give you more freedom. If you prefer a more factual approach then that’s fine, but if you want to be a bit more colourful with your submission then there’s nothing stopping you.
What’s in it for me?
Awards are an excellent tool to recognise the hard work of people in your organisation and gain positive publicity.
Your entry is free so you have nothing to lose and being shortlisted or winning opens up more opportunities to you than ever before. You can use your internal platforms and the press, particularly in your local area, to announce you’ve made it to the final or won.
You will also gain a host of benefits aside from boosting the morale of your people and positive publicity, including a profile of your work in Inside Housing, opportunities to speak at high-profile events, a chance to showcase your work in CIH publications and in webinars and much, much more.
The UK Housing Awards are about showcasing the very best work in the housing sector. It is about recognising the organisations and people behind that work. But it also about much more than that.
In the more than 20 years that we have run the awards we have showcased thousands of projects and initiatives on everything from tackling homelessness to regenerating communities. The profile and recognition that organisations get from the awards helps them and us to continue to make the case for their invaluable work at a time it has never been more important to do so.