The #PowerPlayers14 Awards at #HseParty14

Winners of people choice awards at House Party:

Social Media Campaign:  Winner: Adrian Capon for #HousingDay. Runners up: Council Home Chat , Real Life Reform

Best Blogger: Winner: Colin Wiles. Runners up: Thom Bartley, Jules Birch

Rising Star: Winner: Michala Rudman. Runners up: Cheryl Tracy, Thom Bartley

Social Superstar England: Winner: Nick Atkin. Runners up: Asif Choudry, Lara Oyedele

Social Superstar Wales: Winner: Brett Sadler. Runners up: Keith Edwards, Michala Rudman

Digital Innovation of the Year: Winner: Jayne Hilditch for MyTVH. Runners up: Muir Group for  digital sign up , Halton Housing for digital deal.

Super Connector of the Year: Winner: Anne McCrossan. Runners up: Nick Atkin, James Caspell

Comms Innovator of Year: Asif Choudry

Digital Innovator of Year: Matt Leach


After the excitement generated by #PowerPlayers14 we’ve decided to reflect on peoples contribution to digital housing one final time this year at House Party in Manchester on 24th June.

This is a time of huge change in the public sector and the importance of social and digital technology has never been so important.

Despite the success of #powerplayers14 – the housing sector still has a mountain to climb in embracing new ways of working and thinking. Once you open the door to social media you have begun to change the nature of your organisation. There’s no going back.

We are now turning the spotlight away from the list itself and towards the difference that has been made.  These are awards for the people and organisations who are doing something new and making a difference.

The categories for this year are:

Social Media Campaign:  Which campaign has most effectively used digital to promote social housing for social good?

Best Blogger: Which are the posts you just HAVE to read?

Rising Star: Which newcomer (or nearly newcomer…) has made a powerful mark in #ukhousing for their use of digital?

National Social Superstar: We’ll have winners for Wales, England , Scotland and Northern Ireland. Who are they and why?

Digital Innovation of the Year: Which person or organisation has used digital to really make a difference for their customers? What have they done differently?

Super Connector of the Year: Who’s the person who has most effectively used digital to break down barriers between sectors?

Anybody can make a nomination. All you have to do is to state who you are nominating, the category & the reason. You can post your nomination with a comment in the blog or use Twitter with the hashtag #powerplayers14.

This is completely crowdsourced – nominations can be made up to 5.00pm on the 24th June.

Winners will be revealed during the House Party dinner on Tuesday evening from 7.45pm by Paul Taylor and Boris Worrall. Shirley Ayres will also be presenting some special awards.

This being a socially savvy event all awards will be virtual and tweeted out to winners live!

You can follow events via the hashtag #hseparty14.

We look forward to hearing the nominations!

Paul, Shirley and Boris



36 thoughts on “The #PowerPlayers14 Awards at #HseParty14

  1. Reblogged this on Connecting Social Care and Social Media and commented:
    We are now turning the spotlight away from the #powerplayers14 list and looking for the people and organisations with an interest in the housing sector who are doing something new and making a difference through the use of social technology.

    Anybody can make a nomination. All you have to do is to state who you are nominating, the category & the reason. You can post your nomination with a comment in the blog or use Twitter with the hashtag #powerplayers14. Nominations close 5.00 Tuesday 24th June.

    Winners will be revealed during the House Party dinner on Tuesday evening from 7.45pm by Paul Taylor and Boris Worrall. and I will be presenting some special awards!

    1. I think this is a great idea, as the skills of the people must lead to real change and better empowerment within their organisations or of those they influence. Housing has a long way to go as people organisations to embrace technology to open up ideas, services and change the way we work. It is the early adopters and pioneers that will lead the way and show what can be done. The TVHA on line services project is about opening up services but also building the skills of the staff. We are used to resident involvement but this is really about properly creating service platforms with residents and our partners. This excites staff, saves money, makes services responsive and that helps us work quickly adapting to change. Let’s shake up the sector to be one that is seen to lead the way in service design, not one that is left in the hands of large companies that produce poor systems that we are tied into. Well done for setting this up. Let’s party!!

    2. Ok here are a couple of nominations from me. I always enjoy Thom Bartley’s blog, he’s an excellent writer and he also brings an important perspective to UK Housing, with the kind of honest and unflinching voice that I believe is integral to the future success of the UK Housing sector in credibly engaging with residents and stakeholders. He’d have to share an award with you though Paul, because you’re completely tireless at producing thoughtful and great quality content even on the beach! And that has to be recognised.

      I’d like to nominate Brett Sadler for rising star of the year. Brett is a real credit to North Wales Housing and has brings great enthusiasm and passion to exploring the digital potential on offer. If ever there was an example of someone bringing networked capital to their organisation, it’s Brett.

      Finally, if you aren’t aware of MyTVH as an innovation of the year, well Geeta Nanda, Jayne Hilditch and the TVH team have quietly planned out the kind of digital infrastructure which sets a new standard, sidestepping vendorware and delivering the kind of approach to customer service delivery and data enablement that will be adding value to TVH for years to come. Nothing showy or self-promotional, just über smart. My TVH deserves credit for the way it’s harnessed the power of digital tech into core ops; not bolted on, baked in.

  2. Latest nominations:

    @GudrunBurnet nominated @KeithEdwardsCIH as Welsh National Social Superstar for being huge part of #DV & #ukhousing

    @nickatkin_hht voted for best social media campaign goes to @AdeCapon for #housingday 39K tweets!

    @KathrynS_Muir nominated @MuirGroupHA for digital innovation using iPads for new sign-up process #cuttingredtape

    @TomEMurtha and @LaraOyedele nominated Best Blogger @colinwiles for always hitting the mark on anything to do with #ukhousing

  3. Hi Paul and Shirley – Bit more detail on my nomination @MuirGroupHA for digital innovation using ipads for new sign-up process #cuttingredtape.

    In a nutshell, our ‘mobile working’ project is about enabling front line staff to manage many administration processes associated with their roles on-line via an iPad tablet device.
    Frontline staff, including our Community Housing Officers, our Income Management Team and our Asset Management and Maintenance Teams were provided (roll-out started a year ago)with iPads preloaded with a suite of materials to help cut down on the red tape associated with some of our administration processes. Early feedback suggests that our customer experience when coming into face-to-face contact with us is improved, as less time is taken up with paperwork.
    On sign-ups, iPads are used to digitally log information, take pictures of ID and the customer themselves as well as taking digital signatures following completion of the on-line forms. Our Income Management team complete resident assessments using digital tools on the iPad and can also take payments using Call Pay whilst our Asset Management Team use their iPads for inspections and visually recording defects. Our new Customer Information Form has also been produced for the iPad allowing staff in direct contact with customers to complete the form in their presence.

  4. I’m nominating James Caspell (@jjcaspell) as Super Connector of the Year #PowerPlayers14 for being the driving force behind the @RightToRent campaign which has broken typical barriers between housing tenures, engaging struggling owner occupiers with the social housing sector.

    In just three weeks, @RightToRent now has over 800 twitter followers, and James’ Adobe Voice video ( makes the case for how social housing can be a solution to problems experiences by owner occupiers, local authorities and even mortgage companies.

    The campaign has engaged and drawn support from politicians from various political parties and those outside of the housing world – and James is a true Super Connector for the housing sector!

  5. I’d like to nominate Thames Valley’s MyTVH project for the digital innovation award. And in the interests of openness, I must declare my own interest in it. But on this occasion, I’m delighted to blow the trumpet, because it’s not on my behalf, but for the great team of folks I’ve been working with on it!

    MyTVH is Thames Valley’s online customer services platform. It’s not a big vendor out of the box, one-size-fits-no-one solution. Nor is it a simple data slice that gets published on the website behind a basic log in. It’s a proper bit of good digital service design.

    The front end stuff for the user….

    It’s all responsive design – which means it works as well on a smartphone, tablet as it does on a PC. And that matters, because our customers are coming online on smartphones at a rate like never before.

    Customers can see all the repairs logged that affect their home – both the ones they’ve raised personally, and the ones that others have raised for communal areas. Repair requests can be raised, and these route through our underlying repairs system, not just generating a “mail:to” to an inbox to be dealt with.

    Customers can manage all their financial interactions with us. They can make a payment, change their bank details, view and print account statements for rent and service charges. And oh my, we’ve spent some time getting the rent statements right. We looked at *loads* of statement variants to get this right – there’s NOT a reference to the incomprehensible “rent debit” in sight.

    Customers can update their contact details and register their preferred communication methods.

    The back end stuff for the techies….

    We’ve built a bit of “middleware” that extracts data out of, and pushes data back to, the underlying Housing Management system. This can power a range of webby-things. For the moment, it powers all the transactional services on MyTVH. In the future it’ll power other cloud services like trillio, so we can offer customers on the phone the option to hear their last 5 transactions, their account balances, or their pending repairs orders.

    Building it this way means we have the freedom to change our underlying Housing Management platform in the future, without messing up the online service. It means we have control over the user interface, which we believe really matters if we’re going to get high take up. It means it’s scale-able.

    We’ve done it by partnering with an SME web development firm, not a big systems integrator. They have a relentless focus on building what works for customer. And sadly I can’t say that for many of the tech suppliers to the HA sector.

    What’s coming up next…

    It’s an iterative process, because we know tech changes fast. So we’ve built in the ability to store twitter and Facebook handles for our customers, and we know that in the not too distant future, we’ll be doing customer service at scale, in those places. We’ve just mobilised a new repairs contractor – so next up we’ll be putting in place the ability for customers to book their repair appointments online. Oh, and I have my sights set on near real-time service charge calculations…

    I reckon I have the best job in housing – what could *possibly* be more fun than this! And I’m really lucky to work with a team that’s passionate about using their tech skills to make public services better. Rock on 2014 and all the good digital stuff happening throughout the sector!

    1. Great shout Jayne and why not blow your own teams trumpet! I’ll be picking your brain on this at House Party for sure!

    2. Hi all, I’d like to second this nomination (and declare an interest – I am the lead user researcher on the project).

      We’ve been working hard since June/July last year on this project. It started with talking to residents about what they actually need, not making assumptions. We’ve never presumed to know better than our users and since we’ve gone live we’ve looked at the data about how our users are accessing the site. What devices? When? All of this combined with in depth user testing (filming participants trying to find information or complete transactions) means that we’re tailoring the system for the right people: the users.

      We’re incredibly lucky to be working with Jayne and the rest of the TVH team. They are intensely motivated and incredibly thoughtful in the way they work for their residents. We wouldn’t have been able to build something that we are this proud of without their hard work.

      We’ve worked on sites for the NHS and central government, but there is something fantastically tangible about talking to a resident who has just signed up and them thanking you, as they think the site will make it easier for them to stay in control of their rent account balance. Asking difficult questions of the build, being prepared to change the process and battling inertia can really make a difference.

  6. For what its worth, here are my votes:

    best social media campaign goes to @AdeCapon for #housingday followed by special consideration for @4socialhousing who are just starting building up momentum with their manifesto!146&app=WordPdf
    for their campaign for social housing.

    Best Blogger @jules_birch with #ukhousing @insidehousing top blog and comms are spot on, all the way from sunny Cornwall but sooo close was @colinwiles it is no coincidence, that both were in last years “battle of the bloggers” at the CIH2013 conf.

    Super Connector of the Year: on this I am going to say what I think lot of people may think? Its goes to both @PaulBromford & @shirleyayres !

    Digital Innovation of the Year: @nickatkin_hht Housing Trust Chief Executive uses social media forum Facebook to talk to customers in scheduled monthly chats! Yeh, it may not be the innovation people may be thinking of, the latest app or stuff but actually using a social media channel as a two way dialogue rather than just broadcasting ” now here this , now here this” type of message can be risky just ask our political leaders; Ed or David, so it nice to see a CEO to take a risk and be open and transparent, as you have no idea what type of dialogue you are going to get, and for everyone to see!


    William Shortall @MerseyNorthBM

    1. Great shout William ( apart from vote for me ;-)) – I do think you’re right on the Digital Innovation front. Too often we can ignore what may seem fairly small things which – done well and done consistently – are the things that make a real difference to people.

      Thanks for posting.

  7. My much considered votes are:

    Ade Capon (@adecapon) for Social Media Campaign of the Year (for Housing Day). We all have ideas of things we can do, but Housing Day actually happened last year and this year promises to be even more successful.

    Nick Atkin (@nickatkin_hht) for Digital Innovator of the Year. Personally he’s been a great inspiration on my ‘digital journey’ and I know he’s done this for many other people and organisations. Continuously pushing the digital boundaries.

    Paul Taylor (@paulbromford) for Super Connector of the Year (who’d have guessed!). Not sure an explanation is needed, but the most well informed, forward thinking and connected individual I know!

    Thom Bartley (@thombartley) for Best Blogger. I might not agree with everything that he says in his blogs, but he consistently pushes the boundaries of what I know and accept in #ukhousing and beyond.

    1. Lovely set of nominations Brett – and I’m touched at your words even though I can think of more deserving Super Connectors…!

  8. +1 to my chair Tom Murtha for his blogging. Most CEOs fade away post retirement. Tom has come into his own as a strong and passionate voice for the sector values he believes in most

    Digital campaigning – could I split my nomination between Ade Capon for #housingday and the excellent #yestohomes – both thinking out of the box and making their mark using digital media as their main comms tool

    Superconnector of the year has to go to Asif Choudry – he’s taken what was a backwater area in many housing organisations and turned it into a mission. #commshero has created incredible networks amongst people who should have had networks (they are comms guys) but didn’t. Until now. Superb. Sure it’s not connecting between sectors, rather connecting previously unconnected parts of the sector. But worth an award nevertheless

    Digital innovators. A split nomination – Nick at Halton for his ground breaking experimentalism; Orbit for their brave (if still at very early stages) digital social transformation. Both different, both important. And a special mention to PiLON for their tablet apps – a brilliant idea from an up and coming repairs and maintenance contractor. Worth checking out.

    Finally national social superstar… Got to be that @PaulBromford, surely…

  9. My second #powerplayers14 nomination is for Anne McCrossan as a SuperConnector. With the Connected Housing Index, she not only holds a mirror up to our sector, but co-creates it with us. She has brought influences from the charity, and for-profit sectors to bear, and helped join up many many different housing organisations and people in the last few years. She assiduously tends the #ukhousing online community, helping it grow and flourish, with the occasional grit in the oyster that it needs – the Connected Housing Index 2013 was a great wake-up call that there was work to do. A critical friend to the sector, in both senses of the word. Long may she continue!

    1. Completely agree with those words “she not only holds a mirror up to our sector, but co-creates it with us”

  10. Social Media Campaign: The one that stood out, got us all involved and really helped our sector sing from the rooftops was #housingday – so it’s a big high-five to Ade Capon for making this happen. (@AdeCapon)

    Best Blogger: For me this has to go to you, Paul Taylor. It’s THE blog that I must always stop and read, makes me think, smile, envious (damn those holiday snaps) and really challenges and promotes our sector.

    Rising Star: It’s another Bromford shout out but I simply cannot ignore the presence, and reputation, that Thom Bartley has built over the past year. Some of what he says will no doubt be digital-marmite to some, but he certainly makes a noise in all that he does – a powerful, witty and charming noise too. Winner or not, well done Thom. (@ThomBartley)

    National Social Superstar: She loves whisky and social media (great combo, although could be deadly when mixed) so straight away there’s something to admire about Helen Reynolds, but it’s her ever-present bubbly and supportive nature that makes Helen stand out – and she runs a great blog with ‘social for the people’. (@HelReynolds)

    Digital Innovation of the Year: I’ve long-admired the work of Nick Atkin and his team at Halton Housing. Halton’s fresh, and welcomed, approach to internal email use and promotion of technology amongst their customers should make us all sit-up and take notice. (@nickatkin_hht)

    Super Connector of the Year: Shirley Ayres gets my final vote. Really love what she does to promote social care and housing through social media, and the way she brings the two together is really opening up some fantastic opportunities for everyone and anyone associated with our sector. (@shirleyayres)

    Best of luck everyone, enjoy #HseParty14

  11. Tough choices

    Michala Rudman for her passion around empty homes (where I came in) for @councilhomechat and her discerning sense of humour deservedly Princess of Wales.

    Unmissable Blog @SpeyeJoe always passionate, on the money too, and on the side of the real victims of the BedroomTax, never afraid to speak truth to power.

    Pretty proud too of @4socialhousing begun on twitter following an article by John Healey MP on the Guardian housing blog, many of us founders did not meet in person until May yet the Affordable Fair and Flourishing report garnered cross party support at its launch last week so either Social Media Campaign or Best Newcomer – you decide!

    My England winner goes to RobG @simplicitly a Carer who like many of us fell sideways into this housing lark, another who speaks truth to power, and writes beautiful powerful blogs and tweets like there’s no tomorrow, never met him but consider him to be a good friend now.

    As Arnie said “I’ll be back” when I’ve remembered my other choices

  12. Best Social Media campaign goes to @AdeCapon for #housing day. A simple concept which proved so powerful and has the potential to grow and grow. Not many one day campaigns spawn an entire movement and leave such a lasting impression.

    Rising Star for me would be @MichalaRudman who has so many insightlful comments, makes me stop and think every time and is relentless in her pursuit of a better reputation for social housing through campaigns such as @Councilhomechat.

    Super connector has to be @shirleyayres who makes you wonder why things aren’t more joined up when the customer base is pretty much just that.

    The only blog I faithfully read is @PaulBromford so although he is being super modest, his content makes sense, sticks and makes me a bit envious too!

    Digital innovation is a combination of @nickatkin_hht and @matt_leach for pushing boundaries, i.e. exploring big data when most other people wouldn’t bother trying.

    1. Thanks Caroline – and I’m so touched by the blog comment. I won’t take the vote but will take the sentiment.

      PS – agree with other votes

  13. I’d like to nominate Michala Rudman for the Rising Stars category. Her twitter feed is never less than inspirational! She’s already a leading light in the housing sector.

  14. It’s always tough to single one person out amongst a sea of people doing great things but I’d plump for Ade Capon.
    Ade did great things in local government and has carried that through to the housing sector. His work on #HousingDay created real profile and traction so hats off to him

    Darren Caveney

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