This week sees the final week of the National Housing Federation’s Homes at the Heart campaign and wraps up by looking at how we make communities thrive.
Through funding community projects, championing diversity, apprenticeships and employment support work, we are working with our residents and communities to provide more than just homes.
Our Jigsaw Foundation supports projects that make a difference to the lives of our residents by improving their health and wellbeing, from digital inclusion and employment skills to environmental improvements and sustaining tenancies. Last year (2019/2020) we funded 79 projects totalling £494,339
Any projects valued under £25,000 are voted on by our residents as part of Jigsaw Rewards, our award-winning programme which allows us to receive vital feedback from our residents in exchange for points. This last year, almost 7,000 residents responded to 64 surveys.
And now we are a year into our three-year Neighbourhood Plans which show how we will improve issues like poverty, unemployment, conditions of properties and desirability of all 61 neighbourhoods we work in.
Our Neighbourhoods teams continue to work and support residents even during this most challenging time, checking on their welfare, tackling anti-social behaviour, providing low-cost food provisions, meals and activities during the school summer holidays.
In recent months we formed JET (Jigsaw Employment Team). The team works with residents who are out of work, helping them with job searching, CV writing and interview skills. With our help, participants improve their prospects of getting back into employment.
Through Motiv8, part of our wide range of Jigsaw Support services, we are helping people aged over 25 across Greater Manchester get back into employment. The project recently received a further £4.3m in funding so we can continue this work with our partner agencies.
And we are focusing on making sure we get to those harder to reach residents, through our diversity and inclusion work. We are working on renewing and refining our current Equality and Diversity policy to create a new Equality, Diversity and Inclusion policy to eliminate discrimination, promote good relations and increase equal opportunities – not just for our residents but our colleagues too.