Today is Housing Day and an opportunity to celebrate the work carried out by our Community Investment team to support our customers. The role of the Community Investment team can have a huge impact on the lives of our customers and the communities in which they live.
One of our services is to help customers to find employment. We help with the first steps which start from building confidence, then creating CVs, providing training to learn new skills and as well as youth mentoring and volunteering opportunities. We hold a free-of-charge programme of activities for young people and families over the summer holidays to keep young people active, busy and engaged.
We also help to improve customers’ digital skills, especially for those who may feel more vulnerable because they live in rural communities, helping them make the most of online services such as claiming Universal Credit, grocery shopping or ordering repeat prescriptions from their GP – a lifeline for some.
We also work with other housing associations, local authorities and community groups to hold events to enable customers to get to know each other, or collect bulky waste to help customers clear gardens and homes or hold litter picks to keep areas tidy.
Other help provided by our Community Investment team is financial by way of our Grants 4 Your Community funding. In the last financial year over £7,000 in grants were given out to help local organisations, events or projects to benefit our customers in their communities:
- Biggleswade Community Safety Group (BCSG) volunteers work with police and other services to reduce crime and ASB through events like talks on scam awareness to Good Neighbour Groups’ coffee mornings. BCSG used our funding to help buy personal safety items and purse bells.
- A grant was given to the New Bradwell Youth Boxing Club, formed in 2017, to pay towards some boxing training. Since its formation members’ self-esteem has increased, as well as discipline inside and outside the club, and ASB in the area has reduced by over 50%.
- Groundwork Northamptonshire benefited from a grant to help buy a bench, plants, compost and rockery stones for a Health and Wellbeing area. The project is ongoing and they hope to extend the garden area to include water features and beehive training.
- We awarded Northampton Sailability with a grant to help buy a new set of sails for one of their access dinghies. This and their other boats will be on the water all summer, allowing people with disabilities to discover the joy of sailing.