Superheroes help clinch hat-trick of accolades for Cartrefi Conwy housing association

- Cartrefi Conwy Superhero's Gareth Leech, left and Dave Owen, right pictured with Andrew Bowden, CEO and Sandra Lee, company secretary.

A team of super heroes has helped turn a housing association that’s celebrating its 10th anniversary this year into one of the UK’s best companies to work for.

Cartrefi Conwy have been honoured in the prestigious Sunday Times Top 100 competition in the category for not-for-profit organisations for the third year running.

As a result, they have also been recognised as one of the top 25 housing associations in the UK.

– Cartrefi Conwy Superhero’s Gareth Leech, left and Dave Owen, right pictured with Andrew Bowden, CEO and Sandra Lee, company secretary.

The organisation was created in 2008 when Cartrefi Conwy took over responsibility for around 3,800 social housing properties from Conwy County Borough Council.

The award came after staff filled in an anonymous online survey, giving their thoughts on a range of questions from leadership to terms and conditions, and fair pay to promotion opportunities.

According to Cartrefi Conwy, they recognised the importance of being a family friendly employer shown in the range of benefits enjoyed by their 175 staff, including flexible working, help with career development, health care and discounted gym membership.

They recently ran a superhero event where staff nominated colleagues who had given fantastic customer service their customers.

The fab five winners were given super hero capes for going above the call of duty.

Head of HR Siobhan Johnson was thrilled Cartrefi Conwy had been named as one of the best employers in the UK which placed them as one of the top 30 companies in Wales.

She said: “As a relatively new company celebrating our 10th anniversary this year we are delighted to be recognised by our colleagues as an exemplary employer.

“In 2016, we were named as one-to-watch, then last year we came into the chart at 99 and we have used that as a springboard to climb to number 57 this year.

“We pride ourselves on being an inclusive, equal opportunities employer which is underlined by the fact that 40 per cent of our senior managers are women.

“Benefits include flexible working, 12 weeks’ half pay for people on maternity leave, and a defined salary pension. In addition colleagues are supported in personal and career development, health care and get discounted gym membership.

“The reason we want to make Cartrefi Conwy the best possible place to work is to ensure we can give our tenants the best possible service and create communities to be proud of.

“That was the thinking behind our super hero event which had five categories – Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman, Robin, Flash and Ironman.

“It was a fun way to shine a light on some of the good practice and excellent customer service our staff deliver every day to our tenants and clients.

“We have some fantastic and innovative people and managers that care and colleagues really believe in what we do and that makes it a great place to work and develop.

“I believe the way the team has grown and developed and the way everyone supports each other helps massively. There is that trust and belief that we can be do great things and I think people buy into that.”

One of the super heroes was Business Assurance Partner Gareth Leech who was presented with a Batman cape for his efforts.

He said: ““I was delighted to be recognised by my colleagues for the work I do. My role is all about analysing data and coming up with solutions that will help deliver a better service to our tenants.

“I haven’t experienced a team ethic quite like we have at Cartrefi Conwy anywhere else. It sets us apart and we know we are part of something special.

“I love working at Cartrefi Conwy as the role is varied and there are always opportunities for personal development. I’m part of a great team and I certainly feel valued.”

Company Secretary Sandra Lee, who has worked at Cartrefi Conwy since 2009, was named as Wonder Woman.

She said: “It is wonderful to have been named in the Sunday Times Top 100 list. It’s certainly a very active and vibrant place to work and no two days are the same.”

“We have an ethos, creating communities to be proud of, that was founded on good intent and a real desire to make a difference to people’s lives.

Cartrefi Conwy Chief Executive Andrew Bowden said: “It’s fantastic to be recognised like this in our 10th anniversary year.

“We have been awarded a star accreditation for our workforce engagement and to have been named in the top 25 housing associations in the UK is also an amazing achievement.”

“I am exceedingly proud of what we have achieved but I have to stress it’s all down to teamwork.

“It shows we have the right attitude and we can progress and deliver great customer service for many decades to come.”

To find out more about Cartrefi Conwy please visit