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Sue Spicer wins Lifetime Achievement Award

The Pioneer Group is pleased to announce that Sue Spicer, former chair of Castle Vale Community Housing, has won the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2021 National TPAS Awards, which took place on Friday, 8 October 2021. Sue’s award recognises her 30 years of active participation, engagement and unwavering commitment to others on the Castle Vale Estate.

TPAS are England’s leading tenant engagement experts and their awards, now in their 14th year, celebrate “the contribution of volunteers, housing staff and contractors who bring lasting change to communities across England”. These are the only awards dedicated to recognising and rewarding engagement excellence and best practice in the housing sector.

Simon Wilson, CEO of The Pioneer Group, said:

I’d like to congratulate Sue on winning this well-deserved award. During her 50 years of residency, Sue’s participation in numerous campaigns and advocacy organisations, has inspired and encouraged others to follow in her footsteps. She is an integral part of the Castle Vale community; from her volunteer roles to being an ambassador for the estate, Sue continues to dedicate her time and efforts to bettering the lives of those around her. She is a true example of a local hero.

In the 1980s Sue was allocated a flat in one of Castle Vale’s many tower blocks. Her passion for local charity work saw her volunteering with Birmingham Children’s Hospital and Radio Lollipop for the last 35 years and for 50 years with the Jaguar Charity Pantomime Society.

Sue wanted to make an impact on the way the Castle Vale estate was run and joined the Castle Vale Community Action Team (CVCAT), helping progress the proposed regeneration and afterwards continued campaigning for activities and improvements to enhance the community.

As one of the first tenant-led housing associations in the country, Sue joined the Board of Castle Vale Community Housing Association in 2002.

When Castle Vale Community Housing was rebranded as The Pioneer Group in 2015, Sue became an active Board Member of Compass Support, the groups’ charitable subsidiary that helps to deliver health & wellbeing and youth services. She also volunteers at local community charity shop, Upcycle.

In 2019, Sue took up the Chair of Castle Vale Community Housing Board, responsible for the organisations’ housing and community services on the Castle Vale estate and remained in position until September 2021. In addition, during the pandemic lockdowns, Sue regularly provided donations to the local food bank.

She achieved all this whilst being in full time employment as a Customer Services Manager in an engineering company in Tipton.

Castle Vale is now one of the most popular estates in Birmingham and the quality of the built environment remains of a high standard thanks to a strong investment strategy. Sue’s ongoing role as participant and resident leader has been instrumental in this success.

Sue concluded:

I was surprised but delighted to have received this award. I have enjoyed my time being on the Boards and Committees and will miss this involvement although I plan to continue my participation in other ways as long as I am able. I am proud of what has been achieved on Castle Vale and to have been involved with so many of the residents, some of whom are no longer with us but won’t be forgotten.

Thanks to my fellow Board Members and the staff at The Pioneer Group for all the support and opportunities they have given me.