Olena Batista, a New Horizons Officer at Clarion Housing Group has made the shortlist for the prestigious ‘Public Servant of the Year’ award, run by the Guardian. Olena has made the final in recognition of her inspiring work in helping more than 1,400 social housing residents with practical money management issues. Olena is on a shortlist of five and the winner will be decided by public vote.
Why Olena has been nominated for national public servant of the year
Olena is a long term resident of Kings Lynn and joined Clarion Housing Group (then Circle Housing Roddons) in 2013. Working across Fenland, Olena’s role is to offer support and guidance to social housing residents who may be struggling to manage their money. Olena delivers her support in person and one to one, often to some very vulnerable individuals, who for different reasons need help sorting bills, help with rent, applying for grants and to engage with other services.
Olena’s challenge has become all the more acute given welfare reforms over recent years and the current rollout of Universal Credit, which has major implications for social housing residents across the region and the country.
Results achieved by Olena
Despite the challenges, Olena has achieved some remarkable results. In the past year alone she has: obtained 94 grants for basic households goods, distributed 52 foodbank vouchers, provided benefits advice to 135 people, guidance on 181 utility bills and supported 71 people with access to employment or digital support.
Commenting on Olena’s nomination for the award, Stephanie Noyce, Head of Financial Inclusion at Clarion Housing Group said:
“Olena is an inspirational member of our team who has made a positive impact on countless lives. She is incredibly compassionate, successful at her job and hugely appreciated by residents and colleagues alike. I am so pleased that she has been recognised and shortlisted for this award.”
Commenting, Olena Batista added:
“My passion is to help people in our community and the best reward is to know that you have made a difference to someone in their life. It’s so overwhelming to be nominated for a national award on this scale and I really can’t believe it. The people that are also on the shortlist all have inspiring stories and I am proud just to be alongside them.”
The public vote for the Public Servant of the Year is open until the 9th of October, you can support Olena here: