Mark Fowler is the Director of Gateway & Welfare in the People Department at the London borough of Croydon. He leads the People’s Gateway Team who recently won second prize, and £15000 in the London Homelessness Awards sponsored by the London Housing Foundation, Crisis, Shelter and the London Housing Directors. We asked him to tell us what winning the award meant for him and his team.
It is always good to win an award.
The Croydon Peoples Gateway Team were thrilled recently to win second prize in the highly sought after London Homelessness Awards, sponsored by the London Housing Foundation, Shelter, Crisis and the London Housing Directors.
It was fantastic to receive the cash prize of £15000. We will use this to enhance the services we provide to people in communities and through neighbourhood offices. It will help us to provide support, advice and interventions to help people solve their difficulties before they get to crisis point.
It was great to get the award, and to meet lots of other very positive people who are doing all they can to help people in need in London.
Interestingly, what I have found in the weeks since the award is that the main impact is a bit different. Of course the money is important, and the certificate and plaque look good in the office. But the big difference is psychological.
Knowing that your work is recognised and valued by people in the sector is incredibly important. The team have told me that they feel re energised by the award, they have been reminded of the importance of what they do and how it can make a genuine difference to the people who use our services.
Working in the public sector can be tough. The challenges are significant, the demand great and the budgets ever tighter. We have all seen, or maybe experienced, the stresses and demotivating factors that can cause problems and make things tricky
The LHA award has helped the People’s Gateway team re discover their vision; it has reasserted their sense of purpose.
So we are pleased to see the plaque every day and work, and the money will be spent wisely, but the big impact is less tangible but more effective: remembering that what we do counts