Ken, Carla and the Tpas Awards

The Tpas Awards is an event held every year to award excellence in housing, tenant and tenant management. The Northern region is held in Manchester. This year was at the Hilton Hotel.

Ally and Carla

I went along with Carla (of BITMO’s GATE centre) to the event. My category which I was short-listed for, was Tenant of the Year.

Carla and Chris Simpson (CEO at BITMO) nominated me for this award for my volunteer work and fund-raising for charities, primarily at BITMOs Gate.

The day started with me and Carla being picked by taxi to take us to Leeds City Railway station. We had awhile until the train was due, so Carla and me had a chat about the day.


We got on the train to a number of men shouting and drinking beer. Trust us to get the train which would, after leaving Manchester, go to Liverpool to the races at Aintree. Bit early for me, beer at 10am.

View over Manchester from top floor of Hotel

We arrived at Manchester about an hour after leaving Leeds, very quick. The last time in a train I was about 10 years old, and on a trip to Otley on a steam train, to where we as a family had a caravan on Otley Chevin.

Anyway we got a taxi to the hotel. Arriving a bit early a member of hotel staff asked us would we like an birds eye view of Manchester, and told us to get the lift to the 54th floor of the Hotel.

Wow what a view, see for miles. I seemed to get dizzy so close to the window of the hotel. No not the drink. Lol.

We made our way back to the reception before going to our conference room. Champagne was flowing and we took advantage of this.

Mike Shaft Presenting an Award on big screen.

In all 35 tables where set out for lunch, 10 to a table, so 350 guests for the day. I believe the cost per table was £2,000, so £200.00 ahead – wow!

More wine and champagne. Our host for the day, Mike Shaft gave a running order for the day.

While we had lunch and before the awards we were entertained by a lovely singer, Kirsty Tarttler.

Kirsty is a classically trained singer from an early age, and songs sung mostly in a jazz style. Kirsty was joined by a guitarist.

Then we had a juggler to keep us entertained. Spanish guy who the ladies seem to like, with a very Spanish name. Probably in real life, his name was John Smith.

Ally, Carla and Bev.

We where joined at the table by Bev and Ally who came down with us on the train. Down to lunch, starter was smoked haddock balls. Main course: fillet steak with baby vegetables, and the sweet a chocolate bomb.

To finish chocolates and coffee, oh and more wine and champagne. The food was beautiful.

Took awhile for the various awards to get to Tenant of the Year, me, Carla and the two other ladies had our fingers crossed. Sorry was not to be.

Tracey who Carla knew, did get a place in the top three and was from Leeds City Council.

I cannot say I was not disappointed in not getting in the top three. I think Carla was upset as well as the two other ladies who came to Manchester with us.

The certificate is for ALL the volunteers that do a fantastic job at BITMOs Gate every day. Well done.


The short listed tenant of the year and results below.






Tenant of the Year Award.
Bernie Callaghan – First Choice Homes Oldham
Carole Cutter – The Gateshead Housing Company
Clare Cowell – Progress Housing Group
Eric Alker – Wigan & Leigh Homes
Lynne Jones – Bolton at Home
Ken Ingram – Belle Isle TMO
Krys Stankiewicz – St Vincents Housing Association
Pat Cahill – Rotherham Federation of Communities
Pamela Hankinson – South Yorkshire Housing Association
Robert Sharp – Equity Housing Group
Steve Balderstone – Together Housing. Tracey McGarry – Housing Leeds, Leeds City Council

3rd Place: Pamela Hankinson – South Yorkshire Housing Association
2nd Place: Tracey McGarry – Housing Leeds, Leeds City Council
Winner: Eric Alker – Wigan & Leigh Homes.

I thought I did incredibly well to get in last 12. Without Carla and Chris Simpson, would not have  got so far. So Thank you Chris and Carla.

So after a fantastic day out made our way to get a taxi to the railway station to take us back to Leeds.

The journey back was certainly quieter than coming. It was quicker too.

We arrived at Leeds and me and Carla got taxis home. I think we were both very tired and time to put our feet up.