Real Lives: Susan’s lifetime award shows she’s one to Trust

Susan Barlow's award recognises her long service
Susan Barlow's award recognises her long service
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A STALWART of Trust Housing Association has been honoured with a lifetime achievement award celebrating her hard work over the last 25 years.

Susan Swanson, 42, was recognised for her long service as well as her “approachable, friendly and professional nature” during her employment at the firm’s Edinburgh HQ spanning a quarter of a century.

She was due to collect the accolade at the trust’s inaugural awards ceremony, the “Trust Oscars”, held at the West Park Hotel in Dundee, but colleagues picked it up on her behalf after she was unavailable to due to annual leave.

The former Portobello High School pupil scooped the award despite tough competition from contenders across Scotland.

The winner was crowned following a public vote by staff and customers.

Trust Housing Association provides more than 2500 homes throughout Scotland – ranging from general needs to sheltered dwellings.

Speaking about her award, Susan said: “I’m absolutely delighted with it, it’s just great.

“I think it also reflects on the Trust Housing Association as a great employer as it’s a really good place to work and genuinely a very supportive organisation for employees.

“It’s testament to the association that someone has been here for so long.

“People have asked me if I get bored with it after all this time but, like any job, it evolves into different areas.

“I work alongside really skilled colleagues and that is part of what motivates me in my job.” The award-winner told how colleagues stepped in to collect her gong.

“I was off on leave so my boss and colleagues collected the award on my behalf.

“The whole thing is a wonderful gesture and made me feel really special.”

Asked how the department has changed since her arrival, she said: “It’s changed for the better.

“More people have been employed in the various departments to drive it forward.

“I am repairs controller and oversee a team to ensure repairs are logged and prioritised correctly.

“I think I am now the longest-serving employee at the Trust Housing Association, but they are not getting rid of me until I’m old enough to apply for sheltered housing myself.”

Bob McDougall, Trust Housing Association’s chief executive, said: “The Trust Oscars recognise the passion and enthusiasm of our dedicated staff throughout the country.

“Susan was the clear winner for this category.

“She brings with her enthusiasm, knowledge, humour and a willingness to help others.

“She is an inspiration to her colleagues and a pleasure to work with.”

Trust Housing Association was established in 1973, primarily for the provision of housing and support to an older client group.