Lorna Simpson is named Participation Officer of the Year
6th December 2018
A Highland Council employee, nominated by the tenants she works with, has scooped a national award.
Lorna Simpson from Wick has been a Tenant Participation Officer with The Highland Council for the past ten years, covering Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross. Throughout that time she has worked tirelessly to involve tenants in the Housing Service.
She has mentored tenants, individually and in groups, to give them the confidence and knowledge to actively participate and engage with the Highland Council to influence decision making in the housing service.
In 2013, the Caithness, Sutherland and East Ross Forum, locally known as the Brora Forum, was formed The aim of the Forum is to bring together tenants from right across the north Highlands to discuss housing issues and to feed back their views on a variety of issues.
Lorna has put a huge amount of work into sustaining this Tenant Forum. She works with the tenant groups and the interested tenants on a very regular basis to give them the information and the skills to participate fully in the discussions held at the Forum. She works with them to increase their confidence and understanding of housing issues - eight of the Forum members have gone on to sit on Highland Council's strategic groups. Lorna has also arranged workshop sessions for the Forum members on subjects like the Housing Revenue Account and the Capital Investment programme.
Winning the award reflects the high esteem Lorna is held in by the tenants she works with who put her forward for Participation Officer of the Year at the TPAS Scotland annual awards.
The Council's Principle Tenant and Customer Engagement Officer Mandy Macleman said: "Lorna’s tenacity, patience and support has been inspirational to the tenants she works with. She has worked with some tenants for years to bring them to a level of knowledge and understanding which enables them to engage with the Highland Council over very complex issues. With tenants who are new to this type of engagement she will work with them for as long as it takes until they are comfortable and confident and ready to fully engage."
Lorna’s award was presented at the 2018 TPAS Scotland Annual Conference in the MacDonald Aviemore Resort by Still Games’ Isa and Tam (Jane McCarry and Mark Cox). These National Good Practice Awards recognise the passion, acknowledge the dedication, and celebrate the achievements of tenants and staff from throughout Scotland.