James Bryson, Public Affairs Officer for PlaceShapers writes about the latest Diverse Voices session looking into the importance and value of lived experience in the housing sector
22 June 2021 more...
Glad you clicked through but you’ll need to come back on Wednesday 29 June to find out about We Work. Trust us, there’s going to be some amazing stories showing how PlaceShapers up and down the country change people’s lives...
A new film and study shows how PlaceShaper housing associations have helped more than 60,000 people find work since 2010. Support for employment and enterprise saves public money on welfare benefits and health services, and helps communities thrive.
We Work focuses on 15 powerful stories of how lives have been transformed. They highlight how partnerships between PlaceShapers, local agencies and businesses provide people with the support they need to get into or return to work, or to start their own companies. Many of the people had been long-term unemployed.
Sinéad Butters, PlaceShapers Chair and Chief Executive of Staffordshire-based Aspire Housing said: “These stories show how we build lives as well as homes. We care about our communities and play a unique role in helping them thrive. These results are possible only because PlaceShapers are embedded in our communities, understand local issues and provide services which respond to local need.”
Toni Fleming from Manchester explained how Wythenshawe Community Housing Group (WCHG), made the difference between independence and a life spent in poor health, struggling on benefits. Toni said: “I grew up around unemployment, so I wanted to be different and work all my life. But after I was made redundant, I was out of work for two years, and I started to suffer from depression. I felt worthless, so I needed to be needed and snap out of it. Having a job – they need me to be in every day. And that’s what I need in life.”
Through WCHG’s Futures programme, Toni started volunteering in her community then got help to apply for a job in street cleansing. She was the only woman to be appointed and complete the 12-month training programme including a Bike Back to Workscheme. She now cycles to work and has seen a big change in her health, wellbeing and fitness. Toni is one of almost 2,000 people WCHG have helped on their journeys into work since 2010.
Sinéad Butters said: “It’s striking, and no coincidence that so many of these people have started jobs or businesses dedicated to helping others. They’re living proof that believing in and investing in people and their communities pays back – over and over again. They demonstrate that as PlaceShapers we don’t just work to build homes, we work to build better lives.”
This was launched on 29 June at CIH conference.