EXEMPLARY commitment to staff is the firm foundation which led Sentinel Housing Association to land the Employer of the Year trophy.

Sentinel won this award for incorporating professional staff development into a holistic programme that capitalises on the full value of its employees. This includes award programmes, extensive staff consultation, engagement as well as an impressive array of staff benefits.

David Smy, who is a partner at HW Chartered Accountants – this category’s sponsor – presented the award to the Sentinel team, led by the association’s chief executive Martin Nurse.

David said: “Sentinel demonstrated by far and away that they were the best employer. They look after their staff, introduced us to many different people and just showed us how good they are right across the company.”

The affection and respect staff have for Martin was very evident at the awards evening and with good reason. He has been at the helm of the housing association for 11 years, steering it on a course of growth and success.

Set to retire early next year, Martin said: “For me personally, this is a real measure of our success at Sentinel and so I’m really delighted – there is a really good atmosphere at Sentinel.

“We highly value all our staff and empower them to perform well, which means we can provide first-rate service to our customers.

“Our success as an organisation relies on everyone at Sentinel contributing to our success – they have all played their part. Everyone has a big part to play – so thank you very much to the team at Sentinel.”

Martin said the award will spur the association on to continue to place staff development and wellbeing high on the agenda.

“We hope Sentinel will certainly be a beacon for good employment practice,” said Martin. “I think the people we have got here tonight represent a whole cross section of those hard-working people we have at Sentinel.”