THE royal seal of approval has been bestowed upon a woman who has helped house Wearsiders for more than 20 years.
Gentoo’s executive director of vision and culture, Caroline Gitsham, travelled to London to receive her MBE from HRH The Princess Royal at Buckingham Palace.
Speaking when her award was confirmed, she said: “I work in a great sector and for a fantastic organisation. Throughout my career I’ve had the support of people both at Gentoo and elsewhere and I love what I do.
“I work with brilliant people who make a real difference to our city and change lives every day.
“I am delighted to accept this honour in recognition of their commitment and contribution.”
Caroline, from Houghton-le-Spring, joined Sunderland Borough Council as a housing manager in 1991. In 1997, she coordinated the Safer Estates Task Force which was a joint housing and police initiative and was invited onto the Government’s Social Exclusion Unit Policy Action Team on AntiSocial Behaviour.
She was Lead Officer on the 2001 tenant consultation which saw the city council transfer 36,000 homes to the Sunderland Housing Group, which later became Gentoo.