Recognition for University of Birmingham PhD student

william sutton prize

Clarion Housing Group has revealed the winners of the fourth William Sutton Prize at an awards ceremony, which took place 9 March 2022. 

Highly commended was a proposal by Geography and Environmental Sciences PhD candidate Hannah Absalom from the University of Birmingham. Their idea is to develop a model that utilises psychological insights to support the allocation process for social housing providers. The aim is to ‘put the heart back into allocations’, building relationships with new tenants and staff that result in sustainable tenancies and designing impact measures and training to scale the approach. The £5,000 prize fund will help develop the concept further, with additional support and expertise from Clarion. 

Hannah comments, “I am incredibly pleased to have won the William Sutton award and the support from Clarion Housing. It is always a worry as a PhD student that your work remains 'bending a shelf' in a library. This funding means my work has the potential for a positive impact in social housing practice". 

Now in its fourth year, The William Sutton Prize was developed by Clarion Housing Group to celebrate the legacy of its founder, William Sutton, as a 19th century innovator and philanthropist who bequeathed his fortune to improve the quality of social housing. 

It encourages individuals and organisations to present a new concept, service or idea that will benefit social housing residents and communities, with a prize fund on offer to help develop the idea and maximise its impact. The funding is provided by Clarion Futures, the charitable foundation of Clarion Housing Group. 

The winning entries were determined by a panel led by Clare Miller, Chief Executive of Clarion Housing Group, and including Rebecca Sycamore, Executive Director of Strategy and Development of St Mungo’s (Clarion’s charity partner), and Jeremy Porteus, Chief Executive of Housing LIN. Also part of the panel is Sebastian Rocca, Founder and CEO of Micro Rainbow which won The William Sutton Prize for Social Innovation in its inaugural year and has gone on to be named one of the top 100 UK social enterprises in NatWest's SE100 Index. 

To find out more about The William Sutton Prize visit  

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