Greater Manchester Housing Providers have been producing their quarterly newsletter for four years now. The idea stemmed from our willingness to work together and respond to the GM Poverty Commission recommendations by adopting our first set of Anti-Poverty Pledges.
We quickly realised that there was such diversity in what each of us were doing to help tackle poverty in our communities that it would be a good idea to start to share that learning amongst ourselves in the hope that this would inspire others to stretch themselves to do more.
A good example of this is the Stockport Homes Penny Lane Pantry project, which was featured in one of our earliest issues. That project really caught people’s attention; Stockport Homes have opened their fourth pantry now and there are at least ten others across GM with more in the pipeline. Another project that caught our eye was Strictly Lunch, an Irwell Valley project that uses food as a way of reducing social isolation in older people, which links to the health agenda and has the potential for being scaled up across GM.
Sometimes it can be the smaller projects that take off. City West Housing shared a story about how their staff brought in unwanted winter coats which were made available via community buildings to anyone who needed one. Such a simple idea but so valuable and lots of us followed their example.
In our most recent April issue we shared our work to put housing at the top of the GM Mayor’s agenda by supporting our call for ‘everyone in Greater Manchester to live in a home they can afford’. We also included articles on two collaborative projects; Better Together, which is about forging closer working relationships between three of the housing providers in order to improve services for customers and save money, and our Athena Motiv8 project which is a GM wide programme aimed at supporting those who are furthest from employment back into work.
We’ll be launching our updated Anti-Poverty Pledges next month and it includes an offer for any group or organisation who wants to work with us on any of our pledges to get in touch. You can use the contact form on our website or email Julie Ralph