These are just snippets – there’s much more going on and the full articles are available here
Motiv8 is a GM programme to help unemployed people aged 25 and over, supporting some of the most disadvantaged and vulnerable people overcome a wide variety of complex issues and barriers to improve their lives and chances of getting back into work. New Charter Homes 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.
Bolton at Home have two projects under Ambition for Ageing: Working Potential is aimed at carers aged 50+ who want to explore employment or training opportunities and their Social Eating project aims to reduce social isolation by bringing people together using food. Withins Action Group, known as WAG, aim to improve their local area and create opportunities for the local residents and one of the outcomes has been a Community Café with a ‘Snack and Chat’ drop in session.
After asking children to describe what home meant to them First Choice Homes Oldham discovered that it was all about a feeling. Since then they have worked with young people in the Clarksfield and Greenacres neighbourhoods focussing on the concept of place and identity. The project aimed to address their sense of safety and security when using public spaces and to look at how their own behaviour in these places could make other people feel.
ForViva, working in partnership with Salford Council Integrated Youth Services & Fighting Fit Kids ran a pilot programme aimed at helping young women aged between 11 and 16 to raise their aspirations, specifically aiming to develop a greater sense of emotional and physical wellbeing whilst gaining self confidence and self-esteem. Sessions included self-defence, body image, relationships with food including nutrition and cooking, the impact of social media, mental wellbeing, internet safety, relationships and domestic abuse.
Not everyone has the knowledge, or the provisions to make their house energy efficient. One Manchester’s Asset
Management and One Money teams partnered with LEAP to offer residents free energy and money saving services through a series of road shows. This allowed them to help people to understand switching their energy provider, smart meters and how to get the most out of their heating system. By the end of January 2019, they had actively engaged with 116 people.
Regenda Homes’ Oasis Community Kitchen Project is where volunteers create meals for the community using food collected from supermarkets that would otherwise be wasted. Planning and preparing meals and activities for half term, saw over 100 families attending up to 4 times a week for activities, films and food. Meals are prepared and served by the volunteers in a family dining experience. Media such as phones and iPads were banned during the meals to encourage conversation.
More than £90,000 has been ploughed into community projects and good causes in Salford during the past year thanks to Salix Homes Springboard fund. The community grant programme enables Salford-based organisations or initiatives to bid for funding to help support projects that boost community spirit, improve the environment, reduce isolation and promote health and wellbeing. During the past 12 months, recipients have included dance troupes, grassroots football teams, bowlers, computer clubs and community gardening projects.
Six Town Housing’s Chesham Fold Tenant and Residents Association’s Baby Bank is providing parents in poverty with
equipment including cots, pushchairs, toys and baby baths as well as disposable items such as nappies and baby shampoo. Clothes are also available for children up to the age of five. Items are provided on a referral basis, with partnerships set up with local midwives and health workers. The Association also run a weekly youth club for children aged 5 to 16, a foodbank and the ‘Friends of Gypsy Brook’.
Continuing to promote South Manchester Credit Union, Southway Housing Trust deliver an affordable loan scheme ‘Southway Solutions’, now in its 5th year with over 900 tenants having borrowed. Southway also launched ‘Right Track UC’ loans in January issuing its first loan to reduce the hardship suffered by those having to wait for their first Universal Credit payment. The loan is available to those who haven’t had an advanced payment from DWP and are being supported by Southway’s Advice Services Team.
Every year, Stockport Homes’ Winter Welfare visits to around 500 older and more vulnerable customers enables staff to provide advice and assistance on keeping warm, eating well, checking vaccinations are up to date and making referrals for equipment and adaptations. They are also working in partnership with Stockport Council, Good Things Foundation and local partners as part of the #digiknow network, to create a web of digital skills support centres, making it easier for residents to find help in their local community.
A Christmas food appeal co-ordinated by Wythenshawe Community Housing Group with an army of volunteers to make sure that the most vulnerable people in the community had enough food for Christmas, provided 144 hampers with enough food to feed 425 people, including 243 children. Also following the roll out of Universal Credit, they have been supporting vulnerable and digitally excluded people who require face to face help with their on-line application.