Great Places triumphs at the first-ever Rochdale Diversity Awards

04 July 2012 Last updated at 12:07

  • Great Places triumphs at the first-ever Rochdale Diversity Awards

Great Places Housing Group has won an award for its workforce diversity at the inaugural Rochdale Diversity Awards.

The group, which recently won national Social Landlord Of The Year at the Housing Excellence Awards for the third consecutive year, was praised for championing equality and diversity in the workplace and among its tenants.

Its efforts include regular equality and diversity training for its 600 staff members and the group’s annual Diversity Week, which helps colleagues to learn about - and embrace - other people’s views, cultures and disabilities.

Most recently, Great Places launched an exciting new training programme that’s helping people from Rochdale, Manchester, Oldham and Blackburn to become community interpreters.

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They’re gaining the new skills in return for giving up their own time to volunteer to help other local residents who aren’t good English speakers. The interpreters – who speak a range of languages – can be called on to assist in any situation. A total of 51 residents are expected to gain an Open College Network qualification in Advanced Community Interpreting as a result.

The group also stood out when it came to pushing the boundaries, and the panel was impressed with its long-running link with the Walk Centre in Nakuru, Kenya, which provides food and schooling for street children. Every year, three Great Places employees visit for a month to educate, entertain and cook for the youngsters.

Judges at the event, which was established by Kashmir Youth Project (KYP) to honour some of the many individuals and organisations promoting equality and cohesion in the area, were impressed by Great Places’ diverse workforce, and the efforts made both as an employer and a housing provider to promote equality and opportunities for all of its customers and colleagues.​

Great Places was also shortlisted in two other categories – the Housing Award, which recognises an individual or organisation in the housing sector that has made an outstanding contribution to improving housing and/or related services within the minority ethnic communities in the borough; and the Contribution To Health Award, for an individual or group that has improved health within those communities.​​