Applications for 2021 William Sutton Prize are now closed.

Our shortlist will be announced later this year, and the winners will be announced at our prize giving event early next year.

If you would like to register your interest for 2022, please click below.

2022 William Sutton Prize

The William Sutton Prize for Social Innovation.

The William Sutton Prize for Sustainability and Placemaking.

The William Sutton Prize champions Innovation for the good of society

We look for ground breaking new ideas which make a positive impact on a community. No idea is too big, or too small. You can enter as an individual with a fresh concept, or as an established organisation with a new business plan.

There are two distinct prizes, but the common theme is the value we place on innovation and the potential of an idea to make a positive difference to a community.

A prize of £20,000 is available to the winner of both categories. Every submission should include a short description of how the £20,000 could be used to further develop or enhance your concept. Entries are judged on the quality and potential of the idea, not a detailed business plan.

Read more about the 2021 prize launch

About the awards

Clarion Housing Group would not exist today without William Sutton, a 19th century entrepreneur who founded the UK’s first door to door parcel delivery service and bequeathed his fortune, in order to provide much needed housing for the poor. William Sutton’s legacy is found not just in some of our buildings, but in the spirit of innovation and philanthropy that we embrace at Clarion Housing Group.

Read more about the winners for 2020

The William Sutton Prize Panel

The William Sutton Prize Panel oversees the shortlisting and final judging of applications. We are delighted to have secured the hugely valuable experience and expertise of our pool of panel members – more information on each of our panel members can be found below.

Clare Miller

Clare is the Chief Executive of Clarion Housing Group. She was previously Affinity Sutton’s Group Director of Governance and Compliance.

Prior to this she was an Executive Director at the TSA, with responsibility for housing association regulation. Clare has also worked for the Housing Corporation, where she led on the financial regulation of associations in special measures. Clare is a chartered accountant, qualifying with Coopers & Lybrand.

Clare is looking forward to judging the William Sutton Prize and hoping to see a range of innovative and bold entries!

Michelle Reynolds

Michelle Reynolds

Michelle was formerly Clarion’s Group Director for Commercial Services and has served on the Group Executive team since Clarion was formed in 2016. Michelle has over 25 years experience and her previous roles include directorships at Affinity Sutton and William Sutton, and Chief Executive of Aashyana, the South West's first Asian-led housing association.

As Chief Operating Officer, Michelle leads on the transformation of the Group’s customer service offer to its 360,000 residents. Michelle also has responsibility for overseeing the long-term investment plan for new homes and neighbourhoods, creating mixed communities that are desirable and fit for the future.

Richard Cook

Richard is Group Director of Development. He joined Clarion in February 2019 from Lendlease Europe, where he was Head of Residential and responsible for delivering 1,000 new homes per year of mixed tenure from open market to affordable.

Richard joined Lendlease in 2010 as Head of Delivery of the Design and Build contracts on the Olympic Village for London 2012. His extensive career in residential development includes senior roles at Mace and George Wimpey PLC (now Taylor Wimpey PLC).

Greg Reed

Following a 20-plus year international career in Banking, Greg joined HomeServe Membership, the UK division in international business HomeServe Plc, in 2012 as its UK CMO and became CEO in June 2017. HomeServe UK is a business of 3,000 People, including 1,000 field engineers, and with nearly two million Customers. Greg left HomeServe Plc at the end of October.

Between 2011 and 2012, HomeServe experienced an existential regulatory, reputational and commercial crisis and Greg was part of the new Executive team brought in to create and instil a culture that would help a different HomeServe to emerge; a commercially powerful business built on strong principles with the right ethos of committed People delivering effortless service to Customers.

Glassdoor has recognised HomeServe in the UK as one of the best places to work three times. In 2020, HomeServe was admitted to the FTSE100and on September 16, 2020, Glassdoor named Greg one of the top 5 highest rated CEOs in the UK during the COVID-19 Crisis.

Greg’s twin passions of helping to solve the UK’s housing crisis and encouraging social mobility through vocational education have led him to become a Board Director of Clarion Group, the UK’s largest Housing Association, and also a trustee of Talent Rise and the HomeServe Foundation.

A native of Smyrna, Delaware, Greg’s undergraduate degree was in Finance from Pennsylvania State University and he also holds a Juris Doctor from Delaware Law School. Greg lives in Edinburgh with his childhood sweetheart Melissa and their three children. His best friend is his border collie, Piper.

Usha Sundaram

Usha Sundaram is the Associate Dean for Employability for the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of East Anglia.

She is also Associate Professor in Consumer and Digital Marketing at the Norwich Business School, UEA. She has over 10 years’ international experience of working in media, hospitality, and marketing, and over 20 years of international experience in higher education, research, training, and development.

She researches areas in regional economic geography, clusters and innovation, digital marketing, digital transformation, digital economy, and the intersection of markets and technology.

She consults with higher education franchises, simulation game developers, and digital transformation in SMEs and mentors tech start-ups and enterprises. She was previously board member / non-executive director on Circle Wherry.

This years William Sutton Prize pool of external experts will be:

Jas Bhalla

Jas Bhalla, Principal and Founder at Jas Bhalla Architects. Part of the judging panel for The William Sutton Prize for Sustainability & Placemaking

Jas Bhalla is Principal and Founder at Jas Bhalla Architects.

Part of the judging panel for The William Sutton Prize for Sustainability & Placemaking

Prior to establishing the practice in 2018, Jas held positions at a number of renowned architecture and design firms, including Kohn Pederson Fox, Adjaye Associates, and Allies and Morrison Urban Practitioners. Uniquely, Jas studied at the Bartlett School of Planning before completing his architectural education at Yale University as the recipient of the prestigious Fulbright Scholarship. Jas is a regular writer and speaker, and has authored articles published in the Independent and New Statesman. He is a member of the Essex Quality Review Panel and regularly acts as a visiting critic at the Bartlett and Architectural Association.

Jas Bhalla submitted the winning entry for the 2019 William Sutton Prize for Placemaking and Affordable Housing Design. The winning proposal presented a planning policy that encourages the transformation of nine main roads in Outer London into dense, urban streets through place-based design guidance.

Alastair Mant

Alastair Mant

Alastair Mant is Director of Business Transformation at the UK Green Building Council (UKGBC).

Part of the judging panel for The William Sutton Prize for Sustainability & Placemaking

Alastair heads up the business transformation team at the UK Green Building council (UKGBC). He leads the scoping and delivery of projects to provide the industry with the tools and guidance it requires to radically improve the sustainability of the built environment. His current focus areas are circular economy, climate resilience, green infrastructure and innovation.

Alastair was previously a director at a national property consultancy where he provided advice on sustainability issues throughout the property lifecycle and especially on asset management, focussing on strategy, reporting and the link to business value. He is a frequent public speaker and facilitator and is a Member of the RICS and a Practitioner of IEMA.

Matthew Morgan

Matthew Morgan

Matthew Morgan, Director at The Quality of Life Foundation.

Part of the judging panel for The William Sutton Prize for Sustainability & Placemaking

Matthew Morgan is the Director of the Quality of Life Foundation. With over 20 years' experience in writing and communications, his role is to foster greater understanding and cooperation between local people, the built environment industry and government. He is particularly interested in how communities are formed and how to help them thrive.

Jeremy Porteus

Jeremy Porteus

Jeremy Porteus, Chief Executive at Housing LIN.

Part of the judging panel for The William Sutton Prize for Social Innovation

Jeremy was formerly National Lead for Housing at the Department of Health responsible for the Extra Care Housing Fund and the Prevention Technology Grant programme.

After leaving the Department, he founded the independent Housing LIN (Learning and Improvement Network) ten years ago, bringing together over 25,000 housing, health and social care practitioners in England, Wales and Scotland to identify and showcase innovative housing and technology enabled solutions for an ageing population.

The Housing LIN’s free knowledge and information sharing activities, along with its consultancy business, provide market insight and intelligence on latest funding, research, policy and practice to inspire better housing and care choices.

Jeremy is Inquiry Secretariat to the All Party Parliamentary Group on Housing and Care for Older People Inquiry on housing and dementia (2020-2021). He was author of the influential ‘care ready’ HAPP12 (2012), HAPPI3 (2016) and HAPPI4 (2018) reports for the same APPG. He also co-authored RIBA’s publication: Age Friendly Housing: Future design for older people (2018).

Jeremy sat as judge on the Government’s Homes for 2030 Board and is a member of Innovate UK’s Healthy Ageing Advisory Board. He is also vice-chair of the Housing & Ageing Alliance.   


Sebastian Rocca

Sebastian Rocca, Founder and CEO at Micro Rainbow.

Part of the judging panel for The William Sutton Prize for Social Innovation

Sebastian is a social entrepreneur, social innovator and LGBTQI activist. He is the founder of Micro Rainbow and the Micro Rainbow International Foundation.  These organisations promote equality of LGBTQI people through housing, employment and small businesses in the UK and internationally.

Sebastian’s passion is to apply innovative models for social change that are sustainable, scalable and replicable. He is a pioneer in the use of social investment in the LGBTQI human rights sector. 

In the UK, Sebastian created the first national housing scheme for homeless LGBTQI asylum seekers and refugees.  In Cambodia, he designed and implemented the first micro-finance programme for the benefit of LGBTQI people in poverty.  In Brazil, he created the first small business incubator for LGBTQI people in poverty. These award-winning schemes have successfully attracted social investment. 

Prior to founding Micro Rainbow, Sebastian served as Executive Director of Rainbow Migration and held the same post at International Lesbian and Gay Association.

Micro Rainbow took home the William Sutton Prize for Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation, in the competition’s inaugural year, for their proposal to expand the number of safe homes available to vulnerable LGBTI asylum seekers and refugees.

Rebecca Sycamore

Rebecca Sycamore, Executive Director of Development at St Mungo’s.

Part of the judging panel for The William Sutton Prize for Social Innovation

Throughout her career Rebecca has specialised in working in homelessness.

She was a specialist social worker, helping homeless people experiencing mental health problems for the London Borough of Ealing, as well as holding positions with Crisis and Homeless Link.

She was Director of External Affairs at Broadway from 2010 and led Fundraising and Communications at St Mungo’s from 2014. In her current role, she heads up the newly established Strategy and Development department, which includes fundraising, policy and communications, new business and, strategic asset management.

Rebecca holds an MSc in Applied Social Science and a Diploma in Social Work.

Take a look at our video on The William Sutton Prize Awards Evening 2019.

Take a look at our video on The William Sutton Prize Winners 2020.