Page 3

BUILDING BLOCKS FOR BETTER COMMUNITIES

WinnerBest Community Initiative

More than 365 days a year: CityWest Homes has a community plan

THE NEED As part of its corporate social responsibility strategy, CityWest Homes aims to fulfill 20 commitments to its tenants in five categories: • Supporting our communities • Looking after you • Saving energy • Better green spaces • Connecting our communities.

THE SOLUTION To deliver on these commitments, CityWest Homes created the 365plan, an initiative to provide the local community with a whole year’s worth of voluntary service, with staff committing to volunteer for at least one day each year. CityWest Homes created more than 200 opportunities for staff to help the local community, from mentoring unemployed residents to homework clubs. One of the cornerstones of the plan is Leap into action, which sees employees getting involved in local projects to spruce up an area, whether through cleaning, painting, gardening or anything else hands-on. In December 2012, a number of storage sheds at Queen’s Park were given a makeover as part of a Leap day. Gerry Henegan, who has lived in the area for 25 years, said: “I think it’s brilliant that the shed doors have been

renewed. A little touch up really makes a difference and I was glad to muck in.” To identify areas to benefit from the Leap days, staff can put forward suggestions based on what they see on a daily basis or following requests from resident groups. Alternatively, areas are identified during regular estate inspections. CityWest Homes also trialled a ‘wishing tree’ as a means of receiving suggestions. The tree was used at four local events where residents were invited to add their proposals to the tree. This generated more than 100 new suggestions that are currently under consideration.

THE RESULTS Across the city of Westminster, CityWest Homes has delivered more than 50 ‘Leaps’ since starting in 2011. An average of 15 staff participate in each event, meaning more than 750 volunteering days have been given to the community so far. In 2013 CityWest Homes is communicating externally with its partners and suppliers, to garner further support. It expects to smash its 365 volunteering days target for 2013, with at least 80 per cent coming from Leap days. Darren Levy, interim chief executive of CityWest Homes, said: “As well as our residents benefitting from our 365plan, it’s an

opportunity for staff to give back to the community and the impact it generates cannot be underestimated.”

THE JUDGES

“This scheme really shows the potential in volunteering. The people who give up their own time for this project really go above and beyond.” KEY LEARNINGS • CityWest Homes realised the huge potential of asking just a little from its staff. By leveraging its large staff base and asking them to sacrifice just one day, it was able to achieve a significant amount of good in the community. • By involving residents with the identification of areas in need of renewal, it has been able to target spaces that will have the greatest positive impact on the community at large. • One of the benefits identified was to take staff out of their day jobs to meet residents and other team members.

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THIS PROJECT David Scott, corporate communications team leader • T: 020 7245 2088 E: dscott@cwh.org.uk

| 3

NFA Best Practice Guide 2013  

This is the NFA Best Practice Guide 2013, produced annually by Acceleris on behalf of the National Federation of ALMOs (NFA), the trade body...

NFA Best Practice Guide 2013  

This is the NFA Best Practice Guide 2013, produced annually by Acceleris on behalf of the National Federation of ALMOs (NFA), the trade body...

Advertisement