A company boss from Wearside who built a brilliant career has spoken of his pride at being awarded an OBE for services to housing.
Paul Tennant, 54, has worked in the housing industry for almost 35 years after starting out as a trainee with the former Sunderland Borough Council.
It’s going to be a fantastic experience for me, to be recognised for the work I’ve done since 1982.Paul Tennant
The former St Aidan’s School pupil, who grew up in Ryhope, moved away from the area and worked as housing officer for the NE Guinness Trust.
Now in his second stint working for housing association Orbit Group, which he first joined in 1985, left in 1991 and rejoined as chief executive in 2003, he continues to support young people to get a start in life through affordable housing, apprenticeships and delivery of employment programmes.
His leadership within the sector has seen him take on many senior strategic roles, including presidency of the Chartered Institute of Housing in 2013-14, while he has also been involved in the International Housing Partnership and the Chartered Institute of Housing in Canada.
Now living in Stratford-upon-Avon in the West Midlands, Mr Tennant, dad to Olivia, 14, and Joseph, 10, said: “I’ve had a lot of people saying well done and it’s very nice to hear. Every day you do your job, you do it the best you can.”
Keen Sunderland fan Mr Tennant, who says he makes it to the Stadium of Light for games when he is back home, is now looking forward to receiving the honour at Buckingham Palace later this year.
“I know it’s within seven months that I’ll be given the OBE,” he said. “It’s going to be a fantastic experience for me, to be recognised for the work I’ve done since 1982.”