Resi Props awards with children's charity at their heart

The Yorkshire Residential Property Awards are officially open for entry. Sharon Dale reports.

Open for entry

During a long hiatus when there was no cause for celebration, the Yorkshire Residential Property Awards were mothballed, along with scores of development projects.

Last year, the event enjoyed a hugely successful renaissance that reflected a revived economy and the property market bounce back. It raised £30,000 net for Variety, the Children’s Charity and put the region’s property talent in the spotlight.

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Now it is back for 2016 and is all set to be an annual fixture that combines positive PR and a pat on the back for Yorkshire’s residential sector, along with vital fund-raising and a great night out. Tables for the event, which is on October 13 at the Queens Hotel in Leeds, have already sold out, although there are still some sponsorship packages available.

TV presenter Jonnie Irwin, best known for presenting Escape to the Country and A Place in the Sun is, once again, the celebrity host for the evening.

He has a degree in estate management and is a trained surveyor with a genuine passion for property.Jonnie is helping to herald the all-important call for award entries. The categories are listed below and include recognition for everyone from developers to estate agents and marketing experts.

Event organiser Charlotte Farrington, of Variety Yorkshire, says: “Last year’s awards were a great success and we are building on that. The response from those wanting to attend has been incredible and we are hoping to get plenty of entries.”

All the funds raised from the awards evening will go to help disabled, disadvantaged and deserving children in Yorkshire. Past events have seen some handsome donations from residential property people.

Duncan Syers, Finance Director of Town Centre Securities and Chairman of the Yorkshire committee of Variety, says: “Residential property is a sector where people are very entrepreneurial and will take big risks for big rewards. We have benefited from some very generous individuals and organisations and we are grateful for that. The other element that dictates how much people give is how much they are enjoying the event so a lot of effort goes into that.”

All the money raised is spent in the region and very little goes on running costs as Variety Yorkshire is mainly run by volunteers. Some of the funds are used to pay for Sunshine coaches, which are used by schools and organisations for children with special needs. It is also used to support one-off appeals for help and to buy wheelchairs.

Duncan Syers says: “A lot of people don’t realise that the NHS only funds just one hand-push wheelchair. For many disabled children that is not good enough. Most of the chairs we buy cost between £3,000 to £5,000 but we have paid £15,000 to £20,000 to buy specialist chairs for those with the most complex needs. The effect that these wheelchairs have is remarkable. They can help stop children being isolated and give them some independence. They are life changing.”

The bulk of Variety UK’s income comes from property events, including The Props awards in London.

“The great thing about the Yorkshire Residential Property Awards is that they celebrate the industry and allow people to network,” says Duncan. “But it’s not just about congratulating each other, it’s also about giving something back.”

*The Yorkshire Residential Property Awards 2016 are organised by Variety, the Children’s Charity and sponsored by Bond Dickinson, Carter Jonas, Kier Living, New Hampshire Bank, Quod, The Yorkshire Post and DS Emotion with support from French PR. There are more sponsorship opportunities available. The Yorkshire Residential Property Awards categories are: Best Planning Practice; Best Design Project; Best Innovation Project; House Builder of the Year; Best Large Development; Best Agency; Best Regeneration Project for Housing; Best Small Development ; Best Marketing Campaign and Lifetime Achievement.

Visit www.yorkshireresidential The deadline for entries is August 26.