It’s a hard job, finding the best of the best from a list of amazing people.
“They’re all wonderful people, doing wonderful things; they’re all good neighbours,” ŌCHT board member Pam Sharpe says.
“Now, we have to choose who is the best of the best, the ones who are doing even more amazing things.”
Pam summarised the job ahead for judges assessing nominations for the Tenant Advisory Group/ŌCHT Housing Heroes Awards.
Pam and board chair Alex Skinner beamed into the OCHT offices to discuss the nominations with Tenant Advisory Group members Noeline Monsef and Maria Blackett.
READ MORE: Time to nominate a Housing Hero
Between them, they developed and debated a shortlist of 16 finalists that’ll be considered in a new round of judging later this week.
Those names were on a spreadsheet of 40 tenant nominees, each supported by sometimes lengthy descriptions of what makes them a hero.
Many are nominated for keeping an eye on their neighbours, tending their gardens and taking them to appointments.
Some plant-out and clean their complexes, collect and deliver neighbours’ mail, and swap-out light bulbs.
Others are nominated for solving disputes, feeding those in need and even helping shy and unsure tenants engage with ŌCHT.
It is easy to see how the nominees have touched others’ lives.
There’s an older person who knits for premature babies, keeps the community lounge busy and helps people when they need an ambulance.
Another raised the alarm when a fire flared at a neighbour’s homes, and went to lengths to be sure they were safe and well.
Across the city, a tenant known for delivering food parcels also supplied supplied face masks as he educated people about social distancing.
Earlier, a couple sat outside with an elderly woman as she waited 90 minutes for medical assistance after a fall last year.
Many are first-time nominees but among them are names that’ve popped-up before and in the ŌCHT Garden Awards.
The Tenant Advisory Group is running this year’s awards.
Project leader Noeline says the outstanding nominations reflected the wonderful contribution so many people made to their communities.
The next round of judging will be extremely difficult.
The ceremony will be held at Maurice Carter Courts on October 26.
Published October 5, 2021