The Naseem Khan Award was set up in memory of a well-respected and valued member of staff who left Orbit to undertake a law degree in Peshwar and had a long-term desire to set up a women's refuge in the area. Tragically she passed away and in her memory and with the support of her family, Orbit set up the Naseem Khan Award. The award recognises innovation in equality and diversity and is awarded to a member of staff, team or voluntary member who demonstrates that they have improved the services delivered to residents who in the past may have experienced disadvantage in accessing housing or housing services. This may include residents with a disability, women, young or older residents, those from a black or ethnic minority background (BME) or members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual or transsexual community.
Some suggested examples of things that may be considered:
Using language skills to translate for a non-English speaking resident
Catering for the dietary preferences of a BME resident
Establishing a support network to assist a resident fleeing domestic violence racial, sexual or homophobic harassment
Innovative ideas to work with or support young people
Arranged an innovative event for older residents, such as a holiday
Making specific links with community or faith groups
Resolving a challenging request for a disabled adaptation.
Our Supporting Diversity Group considers nominations quarterly, and a panel which includes Naseem's family and voluntary members, selects an overall annual winner. If you would like to nominate a member of staff or a member of a governing board or committee please contact Orbit Group's Equalities and Diversity Advisor at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 0800 678 1221
Fiona McFall, Area Sheltered Scheme Manager and the Southam Sheltered Team
Fiona and the sheltered team based in Southam have been instrumental in developing partnerships with Age UK and the Alzheimer’s Society which enabled a bid to the Orbit Heart of England community investment fund for 1 years funding to run a dementia (memory support) café at Wattons Lodge in Southam.
A dementia advice service recently ended in Southam due to funding cuts so the sheltered team worked in partnership to try provide a service in some way.
The café is open to Orbit Heart of England customers as well as the wider community; customers at the scheme were approached about volunteering in the café as we hoped this would give more insight and understanding. The aim of a dementia café is to offer support and social interaction but beyond that the role is largely dictated by customers – so there may be more advice and information, or more social activities, but it is very much a customer led group and staff are there to facilitate. The Alzheimer’s Society are providing specialist support and presence at each dementia café session.
This initiative is quite innovative for a social housing provider – although not the first, we are one of the first – and is being delivered through a very effective partnership.
James Yeoman, Neighbourhood Officer, Thanet Area, Kent
Within Thanet Jim has become an ambassador for DA and has raised the profile of Orbit South as a Housing Association who really takes DA seriously.
Jim has built a solid relationship with all of the staff at Oasis, Thanet’s Women’s Refuge who provide outreach and DA support workers. Staff will often contact Jim for advice and assistance on cases that are not Orbit South residents because they know that he will be able to steer them in the right direction. Jim has also provided a Housing Advice session at the Six Bells Children’s Centre in partnership with Oasis staff.
Jim also works closely with CASA who provide floating support to victims of DA funded by Kent County Council’s Supporting People. He attends the East Kent Domestic Abuse is well known and respected by the Police. Whilst working in Cambridge for Sanctuary he gained experience of working on cases of Honour Based crimes with the local Turkish and Muslim communities.