The poverty issue
Welcome to Issue 21 of the Greater Manchester Housing Providers anti-poverty newsletter, shining a light on the work we do to help reduce poverty and some of the projects and communities we work with. In this issue we have contributions from;
Athena and Motiv8
Bolton at Home
Southway Housing Trust
First Choice Homes Oldham
ForViva (cover photo)
Irwell Valley Homes
Wythenshawe Community Housing Group
Jigsaw Homes Group
Plus news from our partners Salford University and the GM Food Poverty Alliance
Food Award for Oldham You might remember that we gave a mention last time for our pledge to help to drive forward work on strategic food partnerships and the nationally recognised Sustainable Food Cities framework. We have some good news this quarter as Oldham have recently been awarded a Sustainable Food Award, one of only a handful of towns and cities across the country to achieve this. In GM both Manchester and Stockport have been previous recipients of the award.
The submission by the Growing Oldham: Feeding Ambition Partnership recognises Oldham’s cooperative approach – ‘from grassroots to boardroom’ – to promote healthy, sustainable and local food.
Projects include the community-led Oldham Food Network an active movement focused on action and access to food the Get Oldham Growing programme which encourages residents to get involved in food growing Joining up our work on food and working more strategically can make a huge difference and that’s why we included this as one of our Poverty Pledges. If you want to find out more contact me or if you want to make contact with others working on food poverty then you could join the GMPA Food Poverty Alliance, see here for details. Life on a housing treadmill This came out too late to make our last issue but it is definitely one to watch. In April Joseph Rowntree Foundation published a report that provides powerful evidence of the struggle to make a home on a low income in today's housing market. One of the recommendations makes the case for the provision of basic decoration and floor covering in social housing, along with access to furniture packages. The report is well worth a read and I’ll be coming back to this in a future issue to see what we’re all doing and how we could do more. People powered change Our colleagues at the National Housing Federation have been quietly working away on a series of projects under the banner of Creating Our Future, their social innovation project which is seeking solutions to some of the most serious problems facing society today. It hopes to use the energy, experience and assets of housing associations to make a difference. 2 2
As part of this, Katie Teasdale from the NHF is leading a people powered team based in Liverpool who are looking at poverty and last month I was pleased to be invited to meet with Katie and another colleague Alan from Magenta Living to talk to them about our work on the Poverty Pledges. It’s early days yet but this is another one to watch. If you want to follow developments then they are on Twitter - @natfedKatie @PoweredAlan
GMHP Ambition to Deliver You may have seen the press release and press coverage for GMHPs Manifesto which was launched at the All Party Parliamentary Group on 20th July. Understandably the focus was on our work around new build and homelessness but three other commitments within the manifesto relate directly to our anti-poverty work;
investing in more than 1,000 apprenticeships as part of our building programme supporting around 4,000 people to overcome multiple, complex needs and move them closer to training and work via Motiv8 and delivering at least £3 of social value for every £1 spent.
Chair of the GMHP, Jon Lord said: “This manifesto sets out our ambitions to play a major role meeting the key challenges facing the region and putting Greater Manchester at the forefront of tackling the country’s housing crisis. Finally a word on accessibility The newsletter has grown in size since its inception and it’s no longer practical to email out a pdf version due to the file size. I’ve had feedback that this is a problem for some. On top of that, the free version of Issuu no longer allows the facility for downloads. As an alternative I’ve shared this issue plus all back issues via Google Drive, which you can access here for download and sharing. If you have any other comments on accessibility please let me know. As usual you are very welcome to send your feedback or suggestions for the next issue to Julie.Ralph@boltonathome.org.uk 3 3
ATHENA MOTIV8 PROGRAMME Redmond’s story Motiv8 is a programme to help people aged 25 and over in Greater Manchester improve their lives and chances of getting back into work. It has been set up thanks to £9.7m of funding from National Lottery through the Big Lottery Fund and European Union through the European Social Fund (2014-2020) as part of the Building Better Opportunities Programme.
Here is Redmond’s story.
Moving back to the North West to help look after his younger brother with learning disabilities, 63-year-old Redmond found himself unemployed and staying in ‘temporary’ accommodation for more than four years. Redmond was trapped in cycle. It was really hard to find accommodation without a job. And his unsuitable accommodation was proving a barrier to getting employment and also affecting his health and mental wellbeing. He was stuck and needed help to move on… This is where Motiv8 came in. As Redmond explains: “My Jobcentre work coach had heard good things about Motiv8 and suggested that I speak to them. I was quite sceptical to be honest, as I had had bad experiences with other agencies that promised lots but didn’t deliver, but I was happy to give it a go.” At Christmas last year, Redmond was at his lowest ebb. If it wasn’t for his brother, he said he would have been suicidal. However, with the rapport that he built up with his Motiv8 Key Worker, Redmond’s life has been transformed. He is now living in sheltered accommodation – an option that had never occurred to him – and loves the voluntary work he does through the Volition Service at Manchester Cathedral.
ATHENA MOTIV8 PROGRAMME Redmond says: “I can’t believe the difference between how I felt at Christmas and all the changes that have happened in a few short weeks. I am in such a different place - both emotionally and literally - and now I’ve got so much to live for. The support I have had from Motiv8 has been fantastic. I can’t believe how my life has changed for the better. Everyone I’ve come into contact with through the programme have been brilliant. They’ve even found me some funding for a cooker and fridge-freezer - things I didn’t have in my previous place as they were communal facilities!”
To find out more about Motiv8 link to their summer newsletter below and sign up for future editions by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Motiv8 summer newsletter 2018
As much as Redmond praises the help he got from Motiv8, his Key Worker says: “We worked as a partnership and it’s been amazing to watch him progress. As much as he likes to credit me, when I suggested things, he said ‘yes’. He needed a bit of help along the way, but he’s achieved these changes himself – and it’s great to see his smile back.” View Redmond’s story here New Charter Homes (part of the Jigsaw Group) is leading the Motiv8 programme with support from other Manchester Athena housing providers at Stockport Homes, ForViva, Wythenshawe Community Housing Group and Bolton at Home. Further information about Motiv8 and the eligibility criteria for the programme, can be found on their website www.motiv8mcr.org or call 0161 331 2048 or email email@example.com. You can also follow them on Twitter @Motiv8GM.
BOLTON AT HOME Holiday Hunger The fifth Bolton Lunches scheme, organised by Urban Outreach, began on 22nd July and will run throughout the summer break.
Urban Outreach are supported by partners Bolton at Home, Seddon, U-Drive and Bolton Council plus an army of community volunteers who turn up each day to make, pack and distribute the lunches.
The annual initiative takes place every summer and aims to provide enough meals to feed children who usually have free school lunches but could go hungry throughout the holidays. About 1,520 lunches were packed on the first day and shipped out to centres across the town to be made available for families to pick up. Each brown paper bag contains a sandwich (a choice of cheese, ham or tuna), cheese bakes, a cereal bar, fruit juice and a piece of fruit. Bolton at Home are also running a Holiday Kitchen inspired programme from two community venues in the borough. Starts with You Congratulations to all our colleagues at Starts with you on being shortlisted for Start Up Business of the Year in the Bolton Business Awards. Starts with you is a social enterprise and part of Bolton at Home. In little more than a year, 33 jobs have been created at Starts with you and the team’s impact has to-date included: helping 81 people get work or training, creating opportunities for local people to work for the first time or after a long time providing the help that local people need to live better lives, offering a range of information advice and guidance services including home energy, digital inclusion and welfare supporting 400 senior residents and keeping 1,500 people safe across 56 buildings. For more information, visit startswithyou.org.uk. 6 6
BOLTON AT HOME Gemma Adams is Starts with you's Digital Inclusion Officer. “My main brief for working alongside UCAN centre project officers is to help people gain the skills they need to produce a CV, upload attachments and so on. “Some people need more support. For instance, they might not know why there’s a red line under their text or they need to learn how to search for information first. Others come through the door feeling under pressure by their circumstances or because they struggle with reading and writing. In these situations it’s important to help alleviate their anxiety.
“If people are apprehensive about touching a keyboard then it might indicate that they need extra support to get work ready. After getting talking with people, sometimes I find it’s best to refer them to Motiv8 for a personal support plan or the UCAN teams can arrange help such as barrier busting. “What each day brings can vary, but I’m always here to help. I have found it to be effective running drop-in sessions and offering one-to-one appointments, say if someone needs help to do a job application. It’s about tailoring the approach so people overcome their initial IT challenges and gain the ability to do more themselves,” Gemma adds. Mark is a statutory inspector and a caretaker with Starts with you. Performing these two roles makes him quite unique. Showing the determination he has done to get here makes him quite remarkable. “The team at Breightmet UCAN Centre were, are, fantastic,” “They’re determined to help people break down barriers and this spoke to me. I was ready to go after recovering from a final op, but had been out of work for a while and needed a route back. I recognised it might take some time. Joining a community food growing project in Breightmet was the first step. Being part of Men in Sheds was next,” he adds. Then a vacancy came up at Starts with you last September, which would lead to his first job interview in 15 years. I ask Mark what his working week looks like. He says, “I do my caretaking from 7am to 2.30pm on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. I perform my statutory inspector duties over 9am to 4.30pm on Wednesday and Friday. I love the different roles. It all suits me down to the ground.” 7 7
BOLTON AT HOME An Away Day To Remember…. On a hot July morning the Money Skills and Mediation teams set off to provide a day’s support to FareShare Greater Manchester, shadowing the busy depot as they redistribute surplus food to charities that turn it into meals.
In Bolton we have a number of projects supporting fuel poverty, which dovetail with various other anti-poverty initiatives within the borough. Having worked in partnership with other agencies at two of the Pantries; providing group “Cooking Slow and Savvy” sessions and one to one financial wellbeing sessions, Money Skills already had an awareness of the food provided. We had not, however, really appreciated the logistics, processes and hard work involved in getting the food out to the vulnerable people across Greater Manchester. Our aim at Money Skills is to help the residents of Bolton take control of their finances and gain the knowledge and confidence when dealing with everyday money matters. We come across people experiencing food poverty every day due to benefit changes, sanctions, changes in circumstances etc. We arrived not really knowing what to expect, although we were all intrigued to gain an insight into what does go on behind the scenes at the distribution centre which supplies over 200 charities and community groups with food. In the last 12 months their food partners have donated over 1,000 tonnes of fresh, frozen and long life food to their depot at New Smithfield Market in Manchester. Following a full H&S briefing, the team was split into groups and allocated tasks. Some were in the warehouse distributing food into crates which could then be loaded onto the delivery van ready for transportation. Other members of the team assisted during deliveries across GM, even going as far as Glossop. Food was delivered to various food projects and children's organisations. Interestingly there were a number of new organisations that had asked for 8 8
BOLTON AT HOME packed lunch type donations to help them feed children the following week with it being the start of the school holidays. Everything is recorded correctly from the temperature of the van at the time of delivery to the delivery being signed off as correct. Getting out and about allowed us to see other examples of food clubs and community groups and witness the variety and differences between them and what we have in Bolton.
I think what surprised us all was the fantastic quality of the items that were donated, we saw perfect bananas, melons, cakes, Tesco Finest Ranges yogurts, sausages, chicken plus much more. What was very clear to see was how organised the team need to be and how quickly the food needed to be “turned around” in order to get into the organisations before use by and best before dates were reached. The charity relies massively on volunteers to support their work force in a variety of roles. We met College/University students /job seekers/retired people all giving up their time to support FareShare GM, and over 21k people all over Greater Manchester that benefit from this amazing charity. During our day there we helped to distribute 5.86 tonnes of surplus good food. This equates to 13,853 meal portions, and represents a CO2 emissions saving of 21.68 tonnes. The retail value of the food is £13,889.08. We can highly recommend spending a ‘Employer Supported’ day with the FareShare GM team. It was great for team building, bringing two separate services together and sharing an experience. What was key was that it really does make you appreciate the work that goes into trying to eradicate food poverty. FareShare GM are always looking for organisations to get “stuck in” and join their team for a day. To find out more and book a day call Anna on 0161 223 8200 ex 111 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
FIRST CHOICE HOMES OLDHAM Directions service doubles the number of people it steers into work For those facing barriers to finding employment, First Choice Homes’ Directions service has worked wonders. Now into its third financial year, the service has seen the number of job starts for FCHO customers more than double, going from 122 jobs started during 2016/17, to 264 during 2017/18.
The Directions Employment Service was created in 2016 as a proactive measure to ensure that with the changes in Universal Credit and the benefits cap, First Choice customers had a way to find suitable and sustainable employment and avoid financial hardship. The team offers one to one support, training, work placements and volunteering opportunities.
John was referred to Directions by his tenancy support officer. He said: “I was my father’s carer before he passed away in August 2017 and I was living with him in sheltered accommodation. I then had to leave and became unemployed. I would not have had a home but First Choice Homes found me a flat and helped me find employment. They told me about courses I could attend free of charge. I did a customer service course and an SIA security course. I eventually found a job at a petrol station part time hopefully leading to full time. The courses I attended helped me in getting through my interview and gave me confidence. I would recommend the Directions service to anyone needing a step in the right direction in finding employment. I can’t thank them enough for their help!” Keen to create thriving communities and take a wider approach to improving neighbourhoods, the First Choice Homes initiative isn’t just for customers. Anne found out about Directions as it was operating in the area where she lived. She had been caring for a family member for the past eight years and had very little confidence. Directions employment advisor, Suzie, worked closely with her as part of a multi-agency approach, helping her with her CV, guiding her through application forms and supporting her when it came to interview preparation. Most importantly, they worked on building Anne’s confidence. The hard work paid off as Anne applied for a catering assistant role in Oldham Schools and went on to get the job. Going from strength to strength, the Directions team, which is made up of motivated and passionate advisors with backgrounds in welfare and employment, has increased from two team members at launch, to eight, including an apprentice. The team celebrated a Women in Housing award at the end of last year for Excellence in Career Development. 10 10
FORVIVA ForViva Community Fund The ForViva Community Fund benefits over 5,500 local people in Salford. The Community and Wellbeing Team at ForViva work in partnership with a tenant panel to manage the Community Fund which has benefited over 5,500 people in Salford. The Community Fund is open to any local groups to apply for grants of up to £500.00 to support their projects and ideas within their communities.
Successful applications can benefit tenants in one or more of the following categories: Learning and education activities Promotion of financial inclusion Promote employment and preparation for it Activities which promote healthy living and well being Activities which contribute to community safety, security and respect for other Activities which support under represented or vulnerable groups Improving the environment Activities which encourage community spirit and good neighbouring Throughout 2017/18 the ForViva Community Fund panel allocated £30,000 to local groups and organisations which directly benefitted over 5,500 individuals. After evaluating the first year of the fund we evidenced the following outcomes: Gained new skills and knowledge Reduction in social exclusion Improved health and wellbeing Increase in people getting active This is what successful applicants had to say about the impact of the Community Fund and the difference it has made within ForViva communities: "The girls had a sense of belonging they made new friend which in some cases was difficult to do due to the different cultures they did thing that may not have been possible at home. The girls have a place to feel safe and to just be themselves" 9th Eccles Guides 11 11
FORVIVA "We have managed to recruit volunteers (parents of the children) to run the teams and created 3 juniors teams and helped reduced ASB within the neighbourhood." Walkden Junior Cricket "We have provided the only recovery group within the Little Hulton area. This will assist local residents to receive support in relation to all aspects of recovery, which will reduce the burden on social care, health and policing in the area." SMART Recovery Group
"The sessions helped build stronger communities by teaching the young people valuable life skills through the team building exercises and helping them recognise and address issues which often result in unacceptable behaviour, improving health and wellbeing. " Sparky Summer Camp.
Blending Basics July 2018 has seen the successful launch of Blending Basics which is a project that combines cookery with combating social isolation. The project has been piloted at The Valley Community Garden in Swinton. The Community and Wellbeing Team at ForViva are working in partnership with Big Top Catering, New Beginnings and Valley Community Garden Group to deliver this project which supports participants to gain new skills, improve health and wellbeing, meet new people and help to reduce social isolation. Each week the participants will take part in a range of structured lessons around using fruit and veg to make snacks and meals including smoothies, shakes and soups using only a blender. The sessions also include a section on nutritional advice to educate the participants to look at making healthy choices within their diets. The project was developed with our partners as JSNA statistics highlight that healthy and obesity are higher than average in Salford; Blending basics supports our value of providing opportunities to improve quality of life for people living in our Communities. The expected outcomes of the project are; To improve health and wellbeing / lifestyles To increase community led activities To increase the number of customers improving eating habits and increase knowledge of healthy eating and benefits 12 12
FORVIVA The Snack Shack ForViva has been working with working with local partner agencies to support the new Snack Shack in Little Hulton. Every Wednesday afternoon for the 6 weeks of the summer school holidays the youth club will be open to local young people who can come along to socialise with their friends, make new friends, get involved in fun activities such as sports, arts & crafts, a climbing wall and a music room.
There are sessions available aimed to make young people self-resourceful and able to make food on a budget. Each week the young people will have the opportunity to learn how to cook some nutritious, healthy meals made with fresh ingredients donated by the local Tesco.
This meal is then served to the young people for lunch. Food bags with fresh ingredients are available for the young people to take home to cook for their families. There has been around 25 young people attending each session so far who have enjoyed cooking spaghetti bolognaise and a chilli. All those who have attended have enjoyed a healthy, filling lunch whilst learning new life skills such as food preparation, peeling and chopping vegetables, nutritional values, food hygiene and washing up. The session was covered by the Manchester Evening News and ITV News have also filmed some of the young people and spoke to them and their parents which was aired on Granada Reports on Friday 3rd August. Some of the comments made were: “It’s about bringing a community together” “It is allowing children to come here and to learn to use the facilities to make nutritious meals, and take that knowledge home and tell their parents”. “I think this place is amazing because of the staff, and you get to meet new people. I’ve got new friends from here”. Positive engagement with the young people on subjects such as anti-social behaviour, substance misuse, bullying and health will be available on a 121 basis for those young people who need it. 13 13
IRWELL VALLEY HOMES New homes affordable homes for Haughton Green Work has begun building affordable new homes in Tameside. The development off Wordsworth Road in Haughton Green, is being built by affordable homes provider Irwell Valley Homes, who already own and manage around 900 homes in the area. The new development, which will be completed in May next year, will offer a mix of semi-detached and mews style homes that will be available to rent, or to buy on a shared ownership basis. Sasha Deepwell, Chief Executive of Irwell Valley Homes, said: “We are delighted to be building these new homes in Haughton Green, giving local people access to a home they can afford within their community. There is an acute need for more affordable homes across Greater Manchester. Irwell Valley Homes has a development programme in place that will see us develop over 1000 affordable new homes over the next five years, helping to meet the growing housing need across our region. “This includes new homes for affordable rent as well as shared ownership, helping people to get a foot onto the property ladder. We’re also developing more supported housing for those who need extra support to live independently within our communities.” Tameside Council’s Executive Leader, Cllr Brenda Warrington, said: “As a Denton councillor and a resident of Haughton Green, I welcome this scheme to build much needed homes which will utilise and improve upon previously derelict land. “For me, the key feature is that these properties will be affordable. Social housing gives Tameside people on lower incomes the chance to get on the housing ladder and buy their own home from reputable associations like Irwell Valley Homes.” Irwell Valley Homes is investing over £2.5 million in the Wordsworth Road development of which £584,000 has been granted by Homes England, the Government’s Home Agency set up earlier this year as one of the key steps towards delivering the homes the country needs. Christine Hill, Senior Specialist, Home Ownership & Supply, at Homes England, said: “We have been working with partners across the North West to ramp up the number of new homes built each year, and I am really thrilled to see Irwell Valley Homes proactively developing again and contributing to that supply of new homes. The Irwell Valley Homes team has an ambitious outlook and is working to create some fantastic and affordable homes to help meet the housing needs across Greater Manchester. For more information about these new homes please visit www.irwellvalley.co.uk/ 14 14
Holiday Activities The Summer holidays can be a difficult time for families as they look for low cost activities and extra meals for children.
New Charter Homes are working closely with community groups in Tameside and Oldham to support them to run free holiday activities and also provide additional supplies for food banks where needed. We are also running free cooking courses and outdoor cookery workshops for all ages. The sessions allow parents to bring their families along for a free healthy lunch and they are also able to have any questions answered in relation to their diets or their children’s diets.
The meals include favourites such as healthy kebabs, curries, burgers & meatballs and families are encouraged to share budgeting tips with one another.
Pre-tenancy workshops In June, prospective new tenants for the new housing development on Hawthorn Road, Wigan were invited to a pre-tenancy workshop held at Wigan Youth Zone organised by the Breathe Team. Prospective tenants rotated across seven activities held by different departments to learn about their rights and responsibilities as an Jigsaw tenant. The hope is that the training will give them the confidence and skills to sustain their tenancy, in addition to accessing any of our support services their require prior to moving in. Following the completion of the workshop the feedback was very positive from all attendees, “Everyone was friendly and well mannered, put my mind at ease with the information given” and “ Lots of information and good interaction”.
REGENDA HOMES Creative Credit in Hollinwood and Oldham: Tackling financial exclusion through fun and engaging ways! The financialisation of our lives is becoming increasingly complex. Financial services and markets are developing at such a pace that even if we were free to dedicate our entire focus to these changes, we would not be able to keep up. Rules-of-thumb we were once able to live by no longer apply, and increasing levels of deprivation are impacting these developments for the worse. People are coming to be financially excluded from mainstream society. Indeed, the most vulnerable of our society end up paying a â€˜poverty premiumâ€™ for a lack of capacity to deal more effectively with many of the challenges life throws at us. Creative Credit attempts to deliver financial education aimed at increasing financial inclusion. It teaches the principles of money skills, keeping personal accounts and budgeting, and about sources of fair credit, all of which can help individuals keep on top of their financial health and increase their financial resilience during testing times. The project primarily works with young people in schools across Hollinwood and Oldham. Supported by Coliseum Theatre Oldham, the project delivers Play in a Day workshops. These workshops work with groups of young people on issues relating to money, careers, budgeting and avoiding loan sharks and pay-day lenders. The workshops take various forms, but all use drama to explore these issues, often resulting in the young people performing a play they learned in one day for their peers and parents. The project also works closely with Oldham Credit Union, a community-based source of fair credit, where those who save regularly may benefit from having an alternative to the likes of pay-day lenders and worse in cases of emergency. Currently the project has set up a communitybased credit union drop-in in Hollinwood, to encourage those in the neighbourhood to open accounts while allowing them to save without having to take the bus all the way to town to do so. There are also afterschool clubs that run through the year which involve playing moneybased board games, taking personal accounts, career and life-skills workshops, learning about basic banking, ethical banking and cooperative banking, and finding fair credit as an alternative to the likes of pay-day lenders. The young people are encouraged to open accounts with Oldham Credit Union and the clubs then act as further community-based savings deposit points. Some students have even begun applying what they have learned into their own money-based board games!
SALIX HOMES Garden shed proves a lifeline for Salford war veterans A garden shed has proved an unlikely meeting place for war veterans in Salford.
Lower Kersal Young People and Community Group
The solar-panelled wooden shed at Kersal Vale Allotments – dubbed Soil and Shed - has become something of a lifeline for ex-service men and women. Soil and Shed is the brainchild of charity Lower Kersal Young People and Community Group (LKYPCG), which built the shed as a community hub for local groups and organisations using the allotment site. Thomas Lever MBE, who runs LKYPCG, said: “We are very proud to be working with the Royal British Legion to support former military men and women and help them meet new people and learn new skills. “Ex-servicemen and women can often feel very isolated after leaving the forces. They sacrifice a lot, risk their lives and lose friends and comrades along the way, so Soil and Shed is the perfect place for them to socialise and reconnect with the armed forces community.” The charity previously had a shed on the allotment site, but it was too small to accommodate all the local groups and organisations that wanted to get involved, which has included local youth groups, refugees and people with mental health issues. Now thanks to a £900 grant from Salix Homes through its Springboard fund, the charity has been able to build a much larger shed. Mick Walsh, neighbourhood manager at Salix Homes, said: “Soil and Shed is a fantastic project, which Salix Homes is very proud to support. “This garden shed has proved the most unlikely of meeting places for people from all walks of life, from war veterans to refugees, providing a lifeline for local people who may otherwise be feeling lonely and isolated. “Soil and Shed has become a real community hub, and we look forward to seeing more local people in Salford using this fantastic facility to learn new skills, make friends and access help and support.” 17 17
SALIX HOMES The Springboard fund exists to support projects and initiatives in Salford that boost community spirit, promote health and wellbeing, reduce isolation or improve the environment. Since launching the initiative last year, Salix Homes has donated more than £50,000 to community groups and projects in Salford. Salix Homes scoops national award for improving Salford neighbourhood
Salix Homes is celebrating after winning national recognition for its work to improve a Salford neighbourhood.
Keep Britain Tidy deputy chief executive Richard McIlwain presents the award to Lee Sugden, chief executive at Salix Homes.
The Salford-based housing association has scooped a Platinum Neighbourhood Award from environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy, in recognition of its efforts to transform the Spike Island area in Lower Broughton. Judges were impressed by Salix Homes’ efforts to make the neighbourhood cleaner, safer and greener with regular litter picks, clean-ups and community events to encourage residents to take pride in their communities. Sue Sutton, executive director of operations at Salix Homes, said: “Salix Homes is passionate about building safe, clean, green and happy communities where our residents can be proud to live and work, so we are delighted to win this award in recognition of our efforts. “We are dedicated to ensuring that residents are at the heart of our decisions, and one of the key reasons for the success at Spike Island is down to the partnership between residents and our partners, and this award is testament to everyone’s hard work.” Allison Ogden-Newton, Keep Britain Tidy’s chief executive added: “We believe everyone deserves to live somewhere they can be proud of. If people care for the environment on their own doorstep – beginning with the street where they live – then the environment, the community and the individual will all benefit. “With Salix Homes sharing our aims for cleaner, safer and greener neighbourhoods, we are delighted to award the Spike Island neighbourhood and Salix Homes with our Platinum Neighbourhood Award.” 18 18
SOUTHWAY HOUSING TRUST Southwayâ€™s move to new offices Southway have recently moved to new refurbished offices in West Didsbury called Southern Gate (see picture below left). Tenants should find it easier to get to us as it is more centrally located with regard to our estates and is well connected to areas by public transport.
Increasing our housing stock Given the housing shortage Southway has engaged in a building programme developing properties of mixed tenure including shared ownership and affordable rent, which supplements existing stock and provides greater choice for tenants. Land for building is scarce in the area so many of the developments have utilized brown field sites and creative use of smaller plots. There has been particular focus on developing 1 and 2 bedroom properties which are less expensive to heat and allow tenants to downsize. Southway has a particularly high proportion of 3 bedroom properties many of which were family homes but now house a single person or couple. Since the introduction of the â€˜bedroom taxâ€™ many of these under-occupying households who claim benefit are really struggling to pay the 14% or 25% towards their rent and, given the shortage of smaller properties in the area, find it almost impossible to downsize. Many have lived in the area for 20 years or more meaning their whole support network has been established locally so they are very reluctant to move elsewhere. Increasing the number of smaller properties in the area should therefore encourage many more households to downsize which in turn will allow larger families opportunity to be housed. Providing for older tenants Southway also has a higher than average number of older tenants, many of whom are living in properties too large for their needs and cost more to keep warm and maintain. In future older people will make up a higher proportion of the population so housing will need to respond to such demographic changes. 19 19
SOUTHWAY HOUSING TRUST With regard to new –builds one of Southway’s main objectives is to ‘develop homes of all tenures to meet the needs of older people.’ This includes small flats with individual front doors tailored to those able to manage independent living (see Oasis Close below, one of Southway’s flagship projects, which consists of 14 x 1 bedroom cottage flats). Southway are also developing Extra Care housing for older people needing greater support. Older people, should find moving to these properties a more financially viable and socially supportive form of housing.
Smart Moves event After a successful Smart Moves event last year Southway are planning another this year in October. The event focuses on careers and employment opportunities and lots of businesses and support services will be there to offer information and advice on a range of subjects including childcare, travel, job opportunities, banking, training and apprenticeships. We will also be promoting the charity Smart Works who provide designer outfits and confidence building advice for women who have a job interview lined up. We will give tenant volunteers, men and women, a transformation make over including buying them a smart outfit suitable for an interview and on the day women will have their hair and make-up done by professional beauticians. All will then take part in a catwalk show. The intention is to show how anyone can create a great impression. All who take part will get to keep their outfits. A range of activities will keep the children entertained including a ‘What I want to be’ dressing up corner, where they can transform into a nurse, fireman, racing driver, chef etc.
‘Wonderful Things’ holiday activities in Stockport
Since October half term 2017, Stockport Homes Group has worked in partnership with social enterprise ‘Wonderful Things’ and All Saints Primary School in Heaton Norris to deliver a pilot of innovative activities in the school holidays. In line with Stockport Homes’ commitment to its communities and the Greater Manchester Strategy priority around young people being equipped for life, the aim is to inspire thirty children, feed into their social and academic attainment and provide affordable childcare for working parents. All Saints’ catchment is the deprived neighbourhood of Lancashire Hill/Heaton Norris. Many children who attend have emotional or behavioural needs, including some on the autistic spectrum and involved with social care. The sessions run from 9-4pm to provide a full day of activities and engagement. Some of the sessions delivered to date include an Animal Day, Didgeridoo, Flash Bang Science, Lego Day and an Alice In Wonderland Day. Four of the older children have been promoted to Youth Volunteers and mentor the younger ones as role models. This opportunity builds their self-esteem and allows them to be part of the wider Wonderful Things Youth Volunteer programme which already has more than thirty young people involved in delivering holiday activities elsewhere. Stockport Homes funds the cost of Wonderful Things organisation and facilitation, supported by bids for external funding when possible. The school meet the cost of a Teaching Assistant being present every day and parents/carers are charged a token £2 per day for each child to encourage them to value the opportunity and maximise attendance. All children have to attend for the full week. The results have been overwhelmingly positive. 100% of parents agreed the club had a positive impact on their finances during the holidays, on organising childcare and on combining work with childcare.
“I always find it hard to get childcare as I work nights and family all work in the day and without Wonderful Things, I would work all night and stay awake all day.” “I would find it difficult without trying to arrange sitters for my child. He also wouldn’t have a very good holiday as his sitter is elderly (Nan). They are limited to what they can do with him, he would spend his days stuck inside.” 100% stated Wonderful Things had a positive impact on their child/ren’s happiness, selfconfidence, feelings about school, trying new activities and interacting with adults/new people. The majority stated it had a positive impact on their child’s behaviour.
“This is the first time my children have attended the club, they have LOVED every minute. They have never once complained about attending the club. They are up, dressed and ready to go without being asked, there manners are fantastic and both are very happy to help around the house even tidying there rooms. Thank you wonderful things!” Parent “He has gained lots of confidence made new friends, loved handling the animals which wouldn’t of been possible without the club, overall the impact has been an exceptional positive response, many thanks!” Parent “I have never seen [Child X] smiling or interacting with others at school. The change in him was amazing.” Teacher “Child Y’s parents have never set foot in school for anything. Dad came into the school for the first time to see what his children were doing and interacted with staff. This is HUGE for that family and is something the school can now build on.” Teacher
A lot of lessons have been learned and implemented over the year. For example, behaviour for the first and last hours was very challenging, and it was realised that many of the children were arriving with emotional baggage from home and were hungry. The first and last hours are now devoted to feeding the children and doing calming activities, so they can get the most out of the core activities. A further two week club will be delivered at All Saints during the summer holidays, before the project is extended to a second local school. Tanya King, Social Inclusion Manager 0161 474 2887 Tanya.email@example.com
STOCKPORT HOMES Employment program for caretaking service Stockport Homes’ customers are nearing completion of a new employment programme all about our Caretaking service as part of our Skills for Life customer training offer. Our Caretaking Services team were keen to dispel the stereotypical image of a Caretaker and promote the dynamic role that many carry out in our properties. Caretakers are often the first point of contact for many of our customers and the various procedural responsibilities placed upon them have meant they need to be multi-skilled, professional and knowledgeable. The programme ran over 6 weeks and covered various skills including COSHH and Health and Safety, manual handling and job skills. 59 people expressed an interest in the programme with 12 applicants selected through a short assessment session. The learner’s feedback throughout the programme has been overwhelmingly positive. Two of the learners will be selected for a work placement with our Caretaking team and all of the learners will receive continuing support from our employment team. Stockport Homes are keen to partner with other housing providers to deliver employment programmes, recruit learners and offer work placements. For more information contact Christopher Hughes, Customer Training Officer on 0161 474 2862 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Place based community development project Stockport Homes Community Development Steering Group selected the Mottram Street Estate to develop a place based community development project. A key part of this project is bringing together local support providers, understanding who is doing what, where, and when and identifying how we can work together to maximise support to residents living in the area efficiently by pooling resources and avoiding duplication. The area was chosen based on a range of data including information from the Index of Multiple Deprivation. An informal perception survey completed with 15% of residents in the area identified tensions between different age groups, which has likely been heightened by the increasing number of families and young people moving into the area as singles and couples under-occupying larger properties have moved out. A recent ‘Discover Your Mottram Estate’ event and a ‘Big Lunch’ brought local people together whilst promoting local services and support available on the doorstep. Stockport Homes have also established a multi-agency partnership to identify and implement long-term solutions towards addressing some of these issues. These include working with the Public Health Service and local GP’s to adopt a ‘social prescribing’ model and supporting the Targeted Preventative Alliance (TPA) to work with a newly established group of young males identified as having low mood or anxiety. A separate partnership group led by the local school is working together with Stockport Homes, the Police and Stockport College to address anti-social behaviour caused by students congregating in the communal areas. For further information, please contact Rebecca Sweeton Rebecca.email@example.com or 0161 218 1368. 23 23
WYTHENSHAWE COMMUNITY HOUSING GROUP Norbrook Young People cooking up a storm Young people at Norbrook have been cooking healthy meals for everyone at the centre. During weekly Norbrook Junior sessions, they set the menu, budget and cook the meals using Real Food Wythenshawe recipes.
These sessions have enabled the young people to gain important life skills in cooking and budgeting, as well as ensuring all those in the centre receive a nutritious meal. Digital Inclusion Benchill Community Centre has recently been awarded funding to expand the Digital Inclusion initiative from 3 days per week to 5, to address the increase in people we envisage will need to become digitally capable in order to claim Universal Credit online. The initiative will provide access to digital inclusion across 3 sites, ensuring availability of equipment, resources and training providers. The service will include job search advice, setting up email addresses, applying for a basic bank account and basic IT skills training to help claimants manage their Universal Credit claim online. We will work collaboratively with Wythenshawe Job Centre Plus, the Real Opportunities and Welfare Reform team Benchill Community Centre has been an ‘A’ grade BCS (British Computer Society) Test Centre since 2006 offering ECDL qualifications at Levels 1-3. Since we began, more than 2500 different individuals have come into the IT Suite including: Priory in-patients, homeschooled children; adults needing qualification for employment; parents to keep up with children; adults with learning difficulties; adults searching for jobs and digital skills for Over 50’s. Holiday Hunger WCHG Community Development Grants have funded 3 local community initiatives to provide food for families and children who would normally access free school lunches. The Lifestyle 24 24
WYTHENSHAWE COMMUNITY HOUSING GROUP Centre, Bideford Centre and also St Luke’s Church have all teamed up to ensure that local children and families do not go hungry this summer. The project is being coordinated through the Unit E Food Bank run by WCHG’s Real Food team and will mean that drop in access for a hearty healthy meal will be available at each venue. All venues will also offer a breakfast option along with fun activities and access to a range of advice and support should people need to discuss any issues.
The centres offer a holistic approach to tackling food poverty whilst connecting families into our holiday play schemes, ensuring children have access to quality play and sports as well as access to breakfast and lunch clubs, narrowing the gap towards food poverty in the Wythenshawe community. Local Women’s Institute supports UNIT-E The Women’s Institute (W.I) in Sale has donated 83.20kgs of Food to Unit-E, the Wythenshawe food storage warehouse. The Women’s Institute was formed in 1915 and is the largest voluntary organisation for women in the UK. Members come from all ages and backgrounds and play a unique role in providing women with educational opportunities and a chance to build new skills, make new friends and take part in a wide variety of activities. The newly formed; The Willows W.I (Sale) held their first meeting in Jan 2018 and members generously donated items of non-perishable food to Unit-E. ‘Unit-E’ helps supply seven Food Banks within Wythenshawe and is supported by WCHG’s, Real Food team and a network of volunteers at the store in Wythenshawe Town Centre. Unit-E utilises the Trussell Trust model with ‘The Food Poverty Group’ and works in collaboration with FareShare, providing a more streamlined approach to supplying food banks in Wythenshawe through a bespoke referral system and data base. 25 25
WYTHENSHAWE COMMUNITY HOUSING GROUP WCHG Group Chief Executive, Nigel Wilson said, “Thank you to the Women’s Institute Sale for their generous and kind donation. This will make a real difference to people's lives in Wythenshawe”.
WCHG Enterprise Centre Businesses Go Global
Wythenshawe Community Housing Groups, award winning Enterprise Centre provides business advice and support for Wythenshawe entrepreneurs and has seen some amazing success stories operating out of the centre. The most recent collaboration between office tenants and Wythenshawe resident Xelex Global Ltd started their business in 2015 which has now gone on to an international venture. Now fully established, their international sales include innovative chemical products and renewable technologies for heating and cooling, cleaning and energy reduction. The company has established a base in Mauritius the gateway to Africa, and is now installing its energy reducing Solar Thermal Collector technology for air conditioning systems in two shopping malls, where 104 collectors are currently being installed. UA Antia (UK) Ltd commenced trading in April 2014 and as demand for services increased, the business sought office space and became tenants of the Enterprise Centre in 2017. The business provides consultancy services to the UK construction industry specifically in the areas of Geo-environmental Consultancy and Environmental Monitoring. Through networking opportunities at the Enterprise Centre these two businesses saw an opportunity to collaborate. UA Antia is currently rolling out broadband infrastructure to businesses in Ghana, and saw an opportunity to introduce energy saving technologies such as the ones Xelex provides in Mauritius to Ghana businesses. It therefore made sense to create a joint venture in Ghana. 26 26
WYTHENSHAWE COMMUNITY HOUSING GROUP Group Chief Executive Nigel Wilson said, “The Enterprise Centre has made a hugely positive impact on changing the lives of local people and supporting many successful entrepreneurial businesses. This is another amazing success story that has gone global, the centre has provided invaluable support and advice to hundreds of businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs and is a great recognition for their hard work. WCHG Proudly launches its biggest development to date
Wythenshawe Community Housing Group (WCHG), development arm Garden City Homes was proud to announce the launch of its £20m Scholars Fields development part funded by Homes England £3.27m, as part of its £100m development programme which will see 836 new homes built for the Wythenshawe Community. Their largest development to date, will be built on a nine acre site on Simonsway adjacent to the Manchester Enterprise Academy and will provide 147 new homes with a varied tenure of 80 shared ownership, 29 outright sales and 38 rent to buy apartments. Providing a mix of two-bed and three-bed houses, alongside two-bed apartments, with construction due to start in July 2018 completing in the summer of 2020. WCHG were delighted to welcome guests from Homes England, MP Mike Kane, The Bishop of Manchester, The Right Revd Dr David Walker, Principal of the Manchester Enterprise Academy, Mr James Eldon and local councillors for the area. These new affordable, quality homes are much more than just bricks and mortar, they help provide the building blocks to leave a sustainable legacy for the Wythenshawe community. Danielle Gillespie, General Manager for Homes England in the North West said, “It’s wonderful to see the next phase of redevelopment take shape in Wythenshawe with the launch of Scholars Fields. Homes England is committed to working with organisations like WCHG to enable the delivery of homes that meet the needs of communities. “The funding we’ve provided will help to create homes that offer real choice for people in Wythenshawe.” Chair of the Board the Bishop of Manchester, The Right Revd, Dr David Walker, said, “Scholars Fields will be a welcome addition to WCHG’s impressive development portfolio 27 27
WYTHENSHAWE COMMUNITY HOUSING GROUP providing much needed new homes for the Wythenshawe community offering a varied tenure to support families. The development will provide training and job opportunities for local people, to support the Housing Groups vison of making Wythenshawe a place where people choose to live and work.” Wythenshawe Community Housing Groups, Group Chief Executive Nigel Wilson said, “We are delighted to launch this exciting new project to create much needed affordable
housing for this area extending choices for local people wishing to rent or buy. We have a diverse vibrant community with a young and growing population, this development of 147 new homes will be another Landmark development for the Group following on from its Village 135 extra care scheme”. 5 more New Homes for Wythenshawe – Woodhouse View (above) Wythenshawe Community Housing Group (WCHG) continues to build new homes as part of its £100m development programme creating 836 new homes by 2021 for the Wythenshawe Community. Their £500,000 Woodhouse View development in the Woodhouse Park area of Wythenshawe was part funded by Homes England and creates 3 two bedroomed houses and 2 two bedroomed bungalows for affordable rent; completion took place in April 2018. Woodhouse View creates a quiet cul-de-sac, is close to local shops, schools, Woodhouse Park Lifestyle Centre and is set alongside superb transport links. New tenant at Woodhouse View Tomiqua Munro said, “I’m delighted to move into my new home. It’s a really great size and in a very convenient location. Thank you to WCHG for all their help in making the process very easy and straightforward.” Group Chief Executive of WCHG Nigel Wilson said, “I’m delighted that tenants have now moved into the Woodhouse View development as these homes have created much needed affordable housing in the Wythenshawe community. WCHG will continue to explore every opportunity to keep building new homes and help play our part in addressing the housing crisis across the UK.” 28 28
Hidden young people in Salford – a new research project
Since the mid-2000s, increasing numbers of young people have been struggling to make a successful transition from full-time education into work or further training opportunities. Whilst in recent years the numbers of young people who are not in employment, education or training (NEET) has been decreasing following their peak during the Great Recession, the number of young people impacted remains a major concern. But whilst there is a growing body of research focusing on NEETs, there is increasing concern about so-called ‘Hidden NEETs’ – those young people who are neither in employment, education or training nor in contact with mainstream welfare services. Suggested possible reasons for being ‘hidden’ include the stigma associated with benefit receipt, experience of benefit ‘sanctions’, being able to rely on financial support from family, engagement in crime and participating in the informal economy. However the evidence base on this is incredibly weak. To address this evidence gap, the University of Salford, as part of the Salford Anti-Poverty Taskforce, has been commissioned by Salford City Council to explore this issue. We are currently trying to find young people (aged 18-24) who are living in Salford, not in employment, education or training (NEET), and not claiming the benefits they are entitled to. They will be invited to take part in a short, confidential interview about their experiences and all will receive a £10 shopping voucher as a thank you for their time. If you / your organisation are aware of any such individuals, or might be able to help us to find them, please contact Katy Jones on firstname.lastname@example.org or 0161 295 7030.
GM FOOD POVERTY ALLIANCE Please tell us about action on holiday hunger and strategic work on food in each borough GMPA’s Food Poverty Alliance already has over 100 organisations working together on a Food Poverty Action Plan for Greater Manchester – you can join us here if you haven’t already – so we have a good understanding of the range of actions on food poverty across the city region. However, there are two areas that we need to understand better at this stage, so have worked with Greater Together Manchester and FareShare Greater Manchester to produce two surveys and are asking everyone who might have relevant information to respond and share widely: 1 School Holiday Activities and Food Provision To be completed by any organisation involved in school holiday food provision in Greater Manchester. We want to find out more about the organisations providing school holiday activities and food provision across Greater Manchester. We will use the information provided in this questionnaire to better understand the scope of current provision and how this relates to the areas of greatest need. We will also be able to look strategically at gaps in provision and work with partners to address this. Please fill in and share the survey here 2 Addressing Food Poverty – Existing Strategic Work To be completed by every local authority, third sector infrastructure organisation, and anyone else who is collaborating on responses to food poverty in their area of Greater Manchester. We know that a great deal of strategic and coordination work is carried out in many boroughs of Greater Manchester, however food is often addressed in policies that primarily focus on other topics. We therefore want to understand all of the existing strategic policy and coordination work that mentions or includes food in any way. We will use the information provided in this questionnaire to understand how food policy is embedded in other policies, and what coordination work is carried out in each borough, so as to better work together and develop complementary strategies. Please fill in and share the survey here.
You can find out more about the work of Greater Manchester Housing Providers by following them on Twitter @GMHousing Or visit the website for the latest news www.gmhousing.co.uk 30 30
Shining a light on the poverty reduction work done by Greater Manchester Housing Providers and some of the projects and communities we work...
Published on Aug 7, 2018
Shining a light on the poverty reduction work done by Greater Manchester Housing Providers and some of the projects and communities we work...