An engagement project with a group of young people has led to Derby Homes winning a National Award for delivering a “highly innovative” annual report.

Derby Homes, the arms-length organisation that manages housing on behalf of Derby City Council, won the “Achievement in Financial Reporting and Accountability” at the Public Finance Innovation Awards, held on Thursday 20 April 2017 at The Grange, St.Paul’s Hotel, London.

As part of a wider plan to engage with the Young People living in Council homes, Derby Homes’ Customer Engagement and Community Development and Finance Teams took the decision to hand over a big part of the content and design of their 2015/16 annual report to a small group of their potential, future tenants.

Working with local engagement practitioners Mash Up Derby Ltd, the young people went through a range of creative sessions to understand the unedited material. They then helped produce an interactive annual report, using audio/visual media to look at certain parts in more detail.

A really positive outcome was that the project gave the young people opportunities to learn and gain skills. Some of the work has even been included within the portfolio evidence for a Creative Media course.

Derby Homes’ entry was shortlisted in the awards, the most prestigious in the finance industry, against the likes of Wales Audit Office, FRC Group, Transport for London and the British Business Bank.

 

PFI Awards Judges commented,

“This was a highly innovative and imaginative example of financial reporting, with the extensive involvement of young people and stakeholders from the local community. It showed particular originality and use of social media to engage with its target audience.”

David Enticott FCPFA, Finance Director & Company Secretary, Derby Homes:

“Our approach this year balanced the need to report formally with an approach that attempted to engage with a completely different audience and it far exceeded any expectations we had.

Although many may see some youth engagement as tokenistic, this was actually a really involving project for both parties and the benefits extend way beyond merely producing a document.”