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THE efforts of frontline staff at DGHP, part of Wheatley Group, during the pandemic have been recognised along with two other honours at the prestigious Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) Scotland Excellence Awards.

Wheatley, Scotland’s largest housing, care and property-management group, picked up awards for:

  • Excellence in Housing Innovation – Dumfries and Galloway Housing Partnership’s (DGHP) Repairs Team
  • Excellence in Customer Service – Wheatley Group’s Environmental Team
  • Communications in a Crisis – Wheatley Group’s ‘A Route through the Pandemic’ campaign

Judges in the Excellence in Housing Innovation category were also impressed by the new repairs service at DGHP, which joined Wheatley in December 2019.

DGHP brought the repairs service in house in April 2020. Working across 2,480 square miles, the team provides a customer-focused, efficient and cost-effective service by using technology to deliver real time information and resources.

DGHP’s Managing Director, Matt Foreman, said: “When we decided to bring our repairs service in-house at the start of the year, we saw an opportunity to think big for our 10,000 customers and deliver a cutting-edge service that makes the most of new technology – and also the skills of the team.

“The service uses technology that delivers real time information on resources to ensure an efficient, cost effective repairs service that gets it right first time for our customers.

“The rural geography of DGHP’s homes presents specific challenges in getting repairs right first time – from travel time to ensuring that operatives have the right equipment for the job and this award recognises the progress we have made in improving services for our customers.”

Secondly, Wheatley Group’s approach to tenant communication during the coronavirus pandemic was recognised with the ‘Communications in a Crisis’ award.

Rounding out the hat-trick, Wheatley’s environmental team was honoured by judges for going above and beyond to deliver truly outstanding customer service during a challenging year.

The team, who work across the central belt, responded to the pandemic by helping vulnerable customers with groceries and making welfare visits. That was on top of their regular tasks including the 24/7 concierge service, stair cleaning in multi-storey flats and responding to emergencies.

Wheatley Group chief executive Martin Armstrong said:

“This is a fantastic result. CIH Scotland’s recognition through these three awards is testament to the hard work, passion and commitment Wheatley staff have brought to their jobs every day through the challenges of this past year.”

The CIH Scotland housing awards recognise and celebrate the creativity, passion, and innovation of housing organisations and individuals across the sector in Scotland.

This year’s ceremony, hosted by actor and comedian Neil Mullarkey, took place online due to coronavirus restrictions.

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