A HOUSING project which was initially developed with the community of Bellsbank has earned a national award.

It was one of two major accolades won by staff from East Ayrshire Council’ s Housing Asset Services (HAS).

The team were honoured for their ‘people first, not fabric first’ approach that has since been rolled out to Muirkirk and elsewhere, winning them the Margo Blair Award. Honour for housing project In addition, HAS also won the Association for Public Service Excellence (APSE) award for Most Improved Performer: Building Maintenance in the UK.

HAS encouraged the community to participate in projects designed to improve green spaces and gardens in Bellsbank.

A local social enterprise group was provided with new lawnmowers, strimmers, hedge cutters and power washers. These items are now available to anyone who wants to help keep Bellsbank clean and green.

Councillor Elena Whitham , Cabinet Member for Housing and Communities said: “The team worked with CANI, a mother’s group from Bellsbank, directly supporting the youth club and helping to introduce a dignified food programme, helping those who need it most in a compassionate way.

“There are now 70 children and young people attending the youth club each week and this has led to a decline in antisocial behaviour.

“Bellsbank was just the beginning; this initiative is now being rolled out to Mui rk i rk a nd othe r communities throughout East Ayrshire.

“This work exemplifies the importance of transformational change, and why we should put people at the heart of everything we do.”