A retired teacher from Witham who has volunteered for a host of charities for the last 12 years has been shortlisted for a national award.
Greenfields Community Housing resident Ken Davies has been shortlisted in the Lifetime Achievement category of the TPAS Awards for tirelessly dedicating his time to improving communities in a range of ways.
12 years ago, Ken walked into a meeting at Witham Public Hall and walked out as the Chair of Greenfields Community Housing’s Witham Area Forum, which receives funding for community improvements. The forum, now called Greenfields Residents Group South, improves the town based on what residents wanted to see. Car parking, improving grounds maintenance, installation of litter and dog bins and new bus shelters are all funded by the forum.
The group also supported the creation and running of a Youth Forum at what is now Powers Hall Academy in Witham. In response to some safety concerns, a nearby underpass was given better lighting and students designed posters to put up there.
Ken, 72, became Chair of the Humber Road Estate Community Initiative in 2011. Its successes including securing £2,000 from Tesco to plant trees on the estate, following Ken joining Witham Tree Group as its treasurer in 2015. The group helps to preserve River Walk, a beautiful public space nearby.
Ken, a retired former teacher, chaired the group until he joined Greenfields’ Community Gateway Group in 2015, serving as Chair from 2018 until last year. The group approves service changes, proposes service reviews and ensures the Board understands residents’ feelings about issues.
Ken said: “Upon retiring I found myself with more free time and decided to volunteer after my son told me: “You’d better find something to do or you’ll end up going senile!” It’s been a real privilege working with so many people to improve our communities together, and I’m honoured to be recognised in these awards. Thank you, Greenfields, for all the opportunities and for nominating me – it means a lot.”
Sandra Crosby, Greenfields’ Executive Director for Housing and Customer Service, said: “Ken has devoted a huge amount of time and energy to ensuring services meet our residents’ needs; as well as mentoring new volunteers. He has helped to improve the lives of people in our communities in so many ways. It’s a privilege to know him and I hope he wins the well-deserved award.”
TPAS promote, support and champion tenant involvement and empowerment in social housing across England. The winners of the awards will be announced on Friday 27 March in Manchester.
Greenfields has a range of volunteering opportunities for residents. To find out more, please visit Get involved or contact us.