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Outstanding win for Bromford’s Clare

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BROMFORD neighbourhood advisor Clare Bartlett has won a regional National Housing Federation (NHF) prize for her successful work with the Ozone club for teenagers in Cirencester.

She walked away with the Outstanding Individual certificate in the South West regional final of the What We Are Proud of Awards 2011 last Wednesday (June 29).

Clare, who spends two days a week working with Ozone in the Gloucestershire market town, outpointed two other finalists in her category to clinch the prize at Taunton, Somerset.

Watching her go up on stage to collect the regional accolade were customer Rebecca Smith and Bromford economic inclusion manager James Walsh.

James said: "Clare is a winner in every way, a real star and the award is a timely and thoroughly well-deserved recognition of her passion, hard work and relentless positivity.

"The What We Are Proud of Awards are a fantastic opportunity for us and our customers to celebrate and showcase our outstanding work- and there is no better example than Clare's achievements at Ozone.

"Clare has made a tremendous difference to community life in Cirencester since she started her work with Bromford and Ozone. She's a terrific example for others to follow and I know she will go on to achieve more great things in the future."

A delighted Clare said: "This award means everything to me and I still can't believe I won. I would just like to say a massive thank-you to everyone for their support - especially to Rebecca Smith, the customer who was with me last night, as I couldn't have achieved what I have without her support."

Ozone - aimed at young people aged 13-16 - was launched in May 2010 as part of the Our Future Cirencester community plan in a partnership between Bromford Living, Cirencester Town Council and New Brewery Arts.

Setting it up was one of Clare's first tasks after she was seconded to the town council as their youth information officer -and has proved a great success with teenagers, who can relax after school in the non-alcoholic bar, watch TV or play Nintendo Wii games as well as get useful advice.

Jenny Allen, South West lead manager for the NHF, said: "These annual awards nights are a great way to showcase the good work that housing associations are doing throughout the region, and with 70 people turning out in Taunton last night, it was a fantastic celebration for the sector.

"For the first time we presented awards to projects under four sub-categories and Bromford took the award for Outstanding Individual. Judges clearly recognised the role that Clare Bartlett has played in establishing Ozone - a much-needed and highly successful youth club in Cirencester. We'd like to wish Clare, and Bromford, every success for the future."

Clare beat contenders from Riviera Housing Trust and Westlea Housing Association to win the Outstanding Individual prize - one of four categories at regional level. The overall winner, Westlea Housing, now goes forward to the national finals later this year.