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4 | BUILDING BLOCKS FOR BETTER COMMUNITIES

Finalist Best Community Initiative

Ban the Pan: Northwards Housing dishes up some practical fire safety solutions

THE NEED

where cooking using hot oils is prevalent.

In the 12 months to November 2012 there were more than 80 cooking-related fires across north Manchester, with 29 people injured.

THE RESULTS

Northwards Housing was having to pay a hefty excess to its insurer and money was being lost from rental income while properties were being fixed. In addition, while houses were under repair they were unavailable for rent, causing knock-on delays for tenants on the waiting list.

THE SOLUTION Northwards Housing partnered with Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service to help reduce dangerous cooking fires by offering residents a free and safe deep fat fryer in exchange for their chip pans. Northwards Housing specifically targeted residents who may not understand the issues around fire safety, such as elderly and vulnerable tenants, or those with cultures

As part of the Ban the Pan scheme, more than 130 chip pans were traded in. The ALMO was praised for the scheme by the chair of Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Authority, Councillor David Acton, who said: “We’re delighted Northwards Housing has been helping tenants replace old chip pans with brand new deep fat fryers. Chip pans are incredibly dangerous and we’re encouraging everyone to ban the pan and swap for safer alternatives.” Northwards Housing is now reviewing its fire safety data to determine the scheme’s effectiveness.

THE JUDGES

“This project offers the key to wider fire safety work…”

KEY LEARNINGS • This simple campaign was carried out at a relatively low cost, yet had multiple positive impacts: increasing safety in the home and saving potentially thousands of pounds through reduced insurance costs. • Northwards Housing identified certain cultures that may be at more risk than others due to the prevalence of using hot oils in cooking. It tackled this head on, as well as targeting other potentially vulnerable tenants. • There is scope to link a project like this with healthy eating work done by ALMOs in association with the NHS and other partner agencies.

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THIS PROJECT Pamela Welsh, media and communications specialist • T: 0161 720 5889 E: pamela.welsh@northwardshousing.co.uk

Finalist Best Community Initiative

A leap into training: Wolverhampton Homes tackles financial problems and unemployment

THE NEED Across Wolverhampton, 12,000 people were claiming job seeker’s allowance and as the recession continued to take hold, more and more tenants were faced with financial difficulties and trouble finding work.

THE SOLUTION To support tenants into work, Wolverhampton Homes created the Learning, Employment and Achievement Programme (LEAP). It helps to give tenants work-related skills and experience and in some cases, secure full-time employment. To ensure LEAP was fit for purpose, Wolverhampton Homes asked for tenants’ suggestions in advance. Suggestions put forward included keeping the programme open to all ages and providing support to those looking to gain qualifications.

LEAP was developed in conjunction with the National Apprentice Service and Trades Union Congress. There are three key stages to the programme: • Pre-employment skills ranging from gaining qualifications to preparing for work • An eight-week work experience placement in areas across the organisation • A 12-month paid apprenticeship.

THE RESULTS The pilot programme was a huge success that allowed Wolverhampton Homes to engage with tenants and boost community cohesion. It also saw six local residents employed on a painting programme to make their estate more attractive. Since its launch in 2012, the programme has taken on 80 tenants. Sixteen have secured year-long paid apprenticeships, while six have

secured full-time jobs.

THE JUDGES

“This project offers clear solutions to clear problems.” KEY LEARNINGS • From the beginning, residents were involved in the development of the programme, ensuring it was fit for purpose and its objectives were of interest and relevance to those it aimed to support. • The staged structure of the programme meant that there was the real opportunity for tenants to develop their skills and become skilled workers.

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THIS PROJECT Dawn Aston-Adams, project manager • T: 01902 556412 E: dawn.aston-adams@wolverhamptonhomes.org.uk

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...

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