Yorkshire social housing consortium handed responsible business award

The Yorkshire social housing consortium Efficiency North has been named a Responsible Business Champion by Business in the Community, the business community outreach charity.

Efficiency North is one of six finalists in the Unipart Outstanding Employment Awards in the BITC’s 2020 Responsible Business Awards, awarded to businesses which make a positive contribution to society.

The social housing consortium sits alongside Grant Thornton, Heathrow Airport, ISS UK, Lincolnshire Co-Op and Tideway in the running for the award.

BITC has named 33 Responsible Business Champions overall in eight categories at this year’s awards, placing Efficiency North alongside some of the UK’s largest commercial organisations such as the Bank of England, Sainsbury’s, Nationwide Building Society, and BT Group.

Lee Parkinson, chief executive of Efficiency North, commented: “In what has been a very challenging year so far, I am delighted that Efficiency North has been recognised as a Business in the Community Responsible Business Champion in their 2020 Responsible Business Awards.

“The award reflects the hard work of our staff who work tirelessly to create flexible, high-quality training and employment opportunities for the tenants and communities of our member social landlords located in Northern England.”

Efficiency North comprises three not-for-profit organisations which aim to add social value and support social and economic regeneration in the North of England.

The consortium’s broader membership includes a variety of councils and housing associations across Yorkshire including in Barnsley, Bradford, Harrogate, Leeds, and York.

Efficiency North’s strategy to improve social mobility for residents in Yorkshire’s most deprived communities has led to a 500% growth in business since it was incorporated in 2014.

This has enabled it to develop employment and training projects such as the Humber Construction Hub, funded by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) and Humber LEP.

The consortium completed BITC’s Responsible Business Tracker for the first time this year and led the way in its scores for education and inclusive growth.

“The residual economic impact of COVID-19 means that our young people will require all the support and goodwill available to progress in their chosen careers,” Parkinson added.

“Receiving this award not only recognises the distinctive qualities of our efforts in this regard but will also further inspire the organisation to continue to innovate in the provision of its outstanding employment and skills offer.”

Amanda Mackenzie OBE, chief executive of Business in the Community, commented: ‘Huge congratulations to Efficiency North and our other responsible business champions.

“In one of the most challenging years yet for responsible businesses, it is a comfort to know that there are organisations like this, whose clear purpose and powerful leadership can set an example to their supply chain and the industry at large.”

Efficiency North is not the only Northern housing provider to have been recognised recently for its responsible business as Stockport Homes Group (SHG) scooped two awards at the Greater Manchester Business Awards last week.

The umbrella organisation, which manages Stockport Council’s housing stock, took home prizes in the categories of Business of the Year (over 10 staff) and Community and Socially Responsible Organisation.

Jenny Osbourne, chair of SHG’s board, said: “It’s a great achievement for us to be recognised in these categories, and to be the only housing provider in Greater Manchester to be listed. We are proud of our achievements, and our continued dedication to delivering high quality services for our customers.”

Image: A set of social homes in Yorkshire. Credit: Efficiency North

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