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Unity brings success as Northern Housing Awards Team of the Year

Unity Homes and Enterprise has achieved a remarkable feat in winning the Team of the Year prize at the Northern Housing Awards 2024.

The BME housing association’s Employment Services and Enterprise team triumphed over eight other shortlisted finalists from across the north of England to scoop the highly coveted accolade at a ceremony in Manchester.

Founded in 1987, Unity manages over 1,386 affordable properties for tenants from all communities and ethnic backgrounds in Leeds and Kirklees.

Working alongside housing officers, the Employment Services and Enterprise team helps people in hard-to-reach communities to access jobs and training.  They also assist those already in work to boost their career prospects by gaining new skills including how to set up and run their own business.

In the last financial year, the team helped 198 people to find jobs, 256 people to improve their skills and employability through training and 15 people to enter voluntary work.

The team also operates three enterprise centres including Leeds Media Centre which recently underwent a £1.8 million upgrade in partnership with Leeds City Council and the European Regional Development Fund.

Collectively the centres provide 142 affordable units for more than 80 diverse businesses employing over 900 people.

Cedric Boston, Unity Homes and Enterprise Chief Executive, said:

“I am incredibly proud of the team’s achievement which is thoroughly merited.

“Being shortlisted for this prestigious award was a great success in itself.

“To win it in the face of such stiff competition from housing associations many times bigger than ourselves is outstanding.

“I want to congratulate every member of the small but immensely talented team who work hard every single day to change people’s lives for the better.

“They are a credit to themselves and to Unity.”

Adrian Green, Unity Enterprise Manager, said:

“It has been a rollercoaster year with the redevelopment of Leeds Media Centre including a brand new hi-tech business hub.

“That has placed us in a perfect position to devise a series of exciting enterprise focused initiatives with a number already being rolled out.

“Winning Team of the Year at the Northern Housing Awards is the best possible catalyst towards future success.”