TWO SOCIAL HOUSING CHAMPIONS HONOURED DURING NAMING CEREMONY AT NEW CITY RIVERSIDE DEVELOPMENT
Two stalwart supporters of social housing have been honoured at the naming ceremony of two of Norwich’s latest apartment blocks, part of Canary Quay, a development of over 300 new homes being built along the riverside in Geoffrey Watling Way, in a partnership between Broadland Housing Association and RG Carter.
Lord Alan Howarth and MP Clive Lewis were among the speakers at the event, which saw two of the blocks named ‘Patricia Hollis House’ and ‘Richard Hawthorn House’.
Baroness Hollis, who died in 2018, was chair of Broadland Housing Association from 2009 until 2015, during which time the vision for the Canary Quay development was created. Richard Hawthorn was a tenant Board member of the housing association from 2010 until his death in 2017.
Welcoming guests to the naming ceremony, Broadland Housing Association chief executive Michael Newey said the occasion was bittersweet. “Patricia and Richard were amazing as Board members, and they both played a significant part in making this development reality. It is fitting that their names adorn the first two blocks which have been completed here, because above all both of them felt it was very important that people have somewhere to call home.”
Lord Howarth, who was Baroness Hollis’ partner, said, “Patricia was not about public recognition, but she would have been very proud to have her name associated with a social housing project in Norwich. She would have been thrilled at the fulfilment of this project.
“She was very happy to be invited to chair Broadland Housing Association; she loved working with them, and was very proud of what they achieved.
“Patricia was also very fond of Richard Hawthorn, a fellow trustee and a great advocate for the interests of Broadland’s tenants.”
Norwich South MP Clive Lewis said that the new development was a community space which would enable the community to flourish.
“Ultimately community is about people, it’s about buildings, it’s about infrastructure, it’s about talking, and Patricia was very good at all of those things, she was a community builder.
“When people look at the name Patricia Hollis on this building in years to come, all they need to know is that she helped to build that building, and that she helped to build a community not just here, but across the city, and in many people’s hearts.”
Richard Hawthorn’s son Marcus sent a message from Canada to be read out at the ceremony. “My father could not have wished for a greater accolade than to have his name associated with a cause that is supporting people, and that it should be so close to Carrow Road and his beloved Canaries.”
Canary Quay has been built on land formerly owned by Norwich City Football Club. The development is a mixture of social housing, affordable homes and open market properties.