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North Star welcomes residents of Darlington Housing Association - Find out more

The full article can by viewed on the Northern Echo Website by clicking here

A NORTH-EAST housing association has been named UK Employer of the Year after a year in which staff were praised for their work in supporting communities during the pandemic.

North Star Housing Group was named Investors in People UK Platinum Employer of the Year for organisations employing between 50 and 249 people.

Only 1,500 organisations worldwide hold IIP Platinum status, and only the top 20 were invited to enter the UK Employer of the Year Awards.

Paul Devoy, Chief Executive of Investors in People, said: “I am so proud of every organisation that entered this year, demonstrating their fantastic commitment to making work better. And, as a winner, North Star Housing really stands out amongst the crowd. A huge well done to all involved!”

Angela Lockwood, North Star’s Chief Executive, said: “We were extremely proud just to be awarded Platinum status by Investors In People, but to be named UK Employer of the Year is an incredible achievement.

“Making North Star a place where talented and committed people want to work is a high priority for us, and this national award is testament to the outstanding team spirit that has come to the fore during an immensely challenging period in which everyone pulled together to support vulnerable people in our communities.”

Days later, North Star was also highly commended in the Landlord of the Year category in the UK Housing Awards in London.

None of North Star’s staff were furloughed during the pandemic and all services were maintained. In addition, staff supported frontline initiatives, including foodbanks, prescription collections, and befriending services.

The IIP award was the second national honour North Star has won this year. In September, it was named “UK Employer of the Year” at an event organised by the Chartered Institute of Housing. The event jointly incorporated the Housing Heroes Awards and the Women in Housing Awards, with judges saying North Star staff had gone “several extra miles”.

North Star, a not-for-profit housing association, employs around 100 people directly, along with many more indirectly. The group manages a stock of 4,000 houses and flats across Tees Valley, County Durham and North Yorkshire.

Its portfolio also includes five women’s refuges; schemes for people with learning disabilities and mental health problems; drug and alcohol rehabilitation initiatives; support accommodation for homeless people and young people; a scheme for women with complex needs; and ‘Extra Care For Older People’ – 50 units in Stockton, catering for older people, with a bistro, hairdresser, and social services on site.