Awards, Wembley, and Driving the Mini Bus!


It’s the 3rd of February and I am getting ready to go to work. Today is different though. Penhill Street Reps have been shortlisted for the national tpas awards and I am excited to think that this team of volunteers might win their nomination, ‘Excellence in Community Action’. It’s also different because I’m driving the mini bus to the venue (Hilton Hotel in Wembley), and I think everyone is in safe hands.

I pick up the bus and check it over, make sure the lights work, indicators etc., then drive it to the Council offices, where my passengers await - tenant volunteers who work with housing, and of course 3 of the Penhill Street Reps. We are also joined by other council officers, Claire (Tenant Participation Manager) and Mike (Head of Housing).

I need a co-pilot for the journey, so Mike takes up the challenge. It’s a good drive there - we make good time and arrive at the Hilton unscathed! And everyone is looking forward to the day.​

I drop everyone off and look for a place to park - which proves a little harder than expected. I eventually find a space, pay for the parking and walk to the Hilton, where Claire is waiting for me with my ticket. In we go! My initial thoughts are, 'It’s very busy'.

We have a very nice meal and for some reason I end up with 2 puddings... We have someone singing for us as we eat and she is very good. I start to feel a little impatient and want the awards ceremony to begin. Finally it does and Penhill Street Reps are in the 2nd group of nominations.

'And the winner is……….?

Come on, say Penhill Street Reps, say Penhill Street….'

Avondale Community Events…. That’s not how you say Penhill Street Reps! My head drops and for a minute I am deeply disappointed, but just for a minute. I quickly remember the Penhill Reps have done so well to have been shortlisted let alone anything else. Looking up I can see John, Di and Lisa all still smiling and happy and already saying we will win it next year!

The drive back was long because of an accident on the M4, I dropped off our volunteers and I am home by 9.30pm to be greeted by the cat. I reflect on the day and I am so proud of the Street Reps and what they do and get involved in. It’s been a very long day, but I would do it all again tomorrow.

#Swindon #tenant #tpas #awards #award #streetreps #neighbourhood #community #enagagement #volunteer #volunteering #action #London #2017 #participation #housing

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