ARCH Community Champion Award

By Rob Gooding, Community Engagement Officer

RotherFed recently nominated Tasha, for the prestigious Arch (Association of retained council housing) Community Champion Award. This award recognizes the dedication, willingness, inspiration, and devotion that our tenants freely give to the community, and Tasha’s commitment to Rotherham made her the perfect candidate for this honour.

One of Tasha’s standout achievements has been her work with local youth. She started a youth football team with mentorship programs, workshops, and extracurricular activities that have positively impacted the lives of countless young people in Ferham, Tasha has started actively participating in tenant forums and meetings, Tasha aims to provide a voice for underrepresented tenants and help to influence policies and initiatives that can positively impact the wider area. Tasha takes first-hand knowledge of the challenges faced by children and families in their community and articulates their needs and the needs of disabled people too.

I am pleased to announce that on the 14th of September 2023, Tasha was awarded an ARCH Community Champion award at the ARCH conference in Stevenage. Tasha said;

When I found out that I had been nominated for the Arch Community Champion Award 2023 it made me feel like I had been recognised and appreciated for all the work I do in the community.

I originally set up a community football club for youth in our area as I saw a need for a safe space with fun engaging activities to help the youth of the area thrive. In doing so, I very quickly realised the potential and need for so much more. The journey I have personally been on in the last few years has not been easy. It’s been stressful, exhausting but also very rewarding to see the impact that I have had on developing a “forgotten” and underprivileged part of Rotherham. One of the biggest supports I have had was from RotherFed who have been with me every step along the way and even having them nominate me for this award.

When I was told I had been shortlisted for one of the awards I was shocked. I know there are so many people out there who do fantastic things in the community but couldn’t quite believe that I had made it to the shortlist! When it came to awards time and my name was called out for the “Highly Commended Community Champion 2023”, I was astonished that it was really for me. Upon hearing what was read out in front of everyone about my journey and what I do and why I do it and going up to collect my award I felt so pleased that I had overcome everything I have done and created an amazing thing for so many people in our area. Being nominated for an award is one thing but being awarded it is another. I honestly never expected to even be nominated but I am so thankful to Rob (& Dan) at RotherFed for nominating me. It has made me feel so blessed to have been recognised, appreciated, and seen.

This has made me feel so much more confident in everything I do and has given me a mega boost to be able to go out there and try to achieve even more. I have joined on extra tenant panels, engaged more in different ways to get more tenants involved, linked up with more organisations to help get more changes made and generally want to achieve more in my everyday life as well as helping improve others’ lives too. Going forward I want to make it my goal to help create more community champions who want to make positive impacts for everyone to have a safe and welcoming community for everyone to learn and grow together.

Thank you so much RotherFed. I really appreciate it and hope it shows other people just what they can achieve if they set their minds to it, just like I always teach the children (and parents/families) who come to my football club