Chapter 1’s Torquay Hostel wins national award

18 JAN 2012

National housing charity Chapter 1 has once again recognised the outstanding achievements of its staff, service users and volunteers. At an award ceremony in London the staff team from the Leonard Stocks Centre in Torquay were highly commended for their customer service. Leonard Stocks staff team - nov 11.JPG

 Chapter 1’s Operations Director, Rachel Sanders said: 'The staff team have only been together since April when there was an internal restructure, a change of manager, and a number of new appointments. Together they have created a positive, lively project which is a hive of activity. Some of the residents can be quite challenging, but they are treated with dedication, respect and goodwill. The service users always come first, even if staff sometimes have to work additional shifts and manage increasing workloads. They've built strong relationships with other agencies and the hostel is regarded as a model of excellence. They are worthy winners of this award.'

 Doug Saunders, Manager of the Leonard Stocks Centre, said: ’We all excel in working as a team and linking in with our bank of volunteers who carry out  a vital role in our work.  I am truly honoured to have the opportunity to be the Manager of such a dynamic team and to have the support of Shekinah and Chapter 1 in our quest for ongoing success and customer satisfaction. Together with my deputy manager, Ron Nyland, I would like to take the opportunity to thank them for the dedication and commitment to this project and long may it continue to be the substance of our success in the future.’                  

 The hostel sees itself as part of the community, and is grateful to the many volunteers who help them. Among these, the Friends of Factory Row have been supporting the needs of the homeless since the early days of the former hostel. Their Chairman, Nick Pannell, said: 'Hostel staff are at the sharp end of caring for vulnerable adults and this award is recognition of their collective skills. Rough sleepers have complex needs and the first step to resolving them is having a roof over your head. I see the progress people make after just a few weeks in the hostel. That's because it's a hugely supportive environment. Congratulations to the team.'

 This is the third year the charity has run its award programme. Chief Executive, Geoff Hawkins, explained: ‘We set up the Great 1s to recognise the individual and team achievements of the people who make Chapter 1 unique – our staff, our volunteers, and above all our residents. We like to think of ourselves as a family, and the award ceremony is our family celebration.’

 The judging panel was made up of representatives of the Chapter 1 Board, staff and service users. The winners came from as far afield as Liverpool, Warwickshire, Cornwall and London,  and were presented with their awards by Rob Taylor, Chair of the Chapter 1 Trustees. 

 He said: ‘Every story was inspirational, and everyone who was nominated deserves recognition. Choosing the winners was difficult, but also very encouraging. The Great 1s scheme demonstrates lives that are being changed one by one, across our wide range of projects and locations ’

 Chapter 1provides accommodation and related support services to help vulnerable people enjoy a more fulfilled life.  It is a charity, based on Christian principles, which offers human compassion and practical support to meet people’s needs respecting their faith, culture and social background.  Currently Chapter 1 works in partnership with 29 local authorities and has a growing network of 40 projects across England.

The Leonard Stocks Centre is the hostel in Factory Row, Torquay, managed by Chapter 1 in partnership with Shekinah,  to provide accommodation and support to homeless people in the Torbay.


Further information:

Barbara Smith, PR Adviser, Chapter 1 – Tel: 01736 786421/07801 947897