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Empowering our residents with early action

Empowering resident

We work with residents and partner agencies to help shape communities, so they meet the needs of residents now and in the future.

Our community investment strategy tackles the issues that stop people feeling safe, secure and well in their homes. That might mean supporting community groups, giving them access to services or overcoming social, health-related or economic barriers that are affecting them.

Rather than simply dealing with problems when they happen, we're increasingly taking action early, which costs less and is more sustainable.

During the past year we invested heavily in helping our residents into work or training, giving them advice on managing their money and providing greater access to computers and the internet. We're also part of the Give Us A Chance consortium of housing associations, which aims to influence national employment policy.

  • More than 600 residents helped towards employment.
  • 413 residents in training, education, placements or volunteering.
  • 113 residents achieved sustainable employment.
  • 1,500 residents provided with specialist debt advice, working with partners.
  • 46 community organisations strengthened by support from our Community Investment team.

More than 400 residents surveyed said that they had increased confidence, health, life skills, knowledge or wellbeing thanks to our work.

For the first time we measured the social impact of some of our community investment work, using the Housing Associations' Charitable Trust's Wellbeing Valuation. We spent around £250,000 helping people into work, supporting residents' associations and investing in new neighbourhoods, and generated £3.1m of social value. 

Strive training

Our Strive project gave 10 of our residents the chance to learn how to set up their own business - and pitch for funding from Sovereign to get them up and running. Following a week-long ‘boot camp’ to learn the skills they might need, the residents then faced a ‘Dragons’ Den’ event to persuade Sovereign bosses to invest in their enterprise, which ranged from cake-making to dog-walking.

We'll be running more courses, both in the classroom and online, throughout 2015.




We aim to provide safe, secure places for people to live, making our communities stronger and more resilient. We support individuals and groups to cope with reduced income levels, higher costs and reduced public services.

We have been helping our residents, especially those affected by welfare reform, to manage their money more effectively and confidently.

This might be by building on our relationships with credit unions and other financial service providers, helping residents to access and utilise the internet, or teaching schoolchildren how to budget.

  • We've created 9 digital hubs in our communities as well as free Touch Points in 6 office receptions.
  • We recruited and trained 29 digital champions last year, taking the total to 51.


Picket twenty

Picket Twenty digital hub

We have set up computer suites across all our operating areas and recruited digital champions to support other residents to get online. These ‘digital hubs’, often located in community centres - like this one at the new Picket Twenty estate in Andover - help our residents and communities to get online so they can take advantage of money-saving initiatives, keep in touch with their families, search for jobs and access training and services.


Safer Neighbourhoods

Safer neighbourhoods

Dealing with anti-social behaviour (ASB) is a major priority for us. We want to help create communities where people feel secure and able to thrive. We have a team of ASB officers across all our regions who work proactively with partner organisations to deal with incidents when they occur.

Last year, we dealt with 1,380 cases of anti-social, hate-motivated behaviour or domestic abuse. This was an increase on previous years, but was almost certainly due to our efforts to raise residents’ awareness of how to report ASB issues.

We are pleased that the number of residents satisfied with how we deal with their ASB cases has increased during the past few years. To improve the service further, we became the first large housing provider to allow victims of ASB to ask for a review of their case.

So far, 11 requests have been made using this process, eight of which have been progressed.

  •    74.5% - satisfaction with how ASB case dealt with. 


Community awards

In April we launched our first Community Awards to recognise people who make a difference in our communities.

We had:

  • More than 100 nominations from across our regions. 
  • 19 people and groups shortlisted.

The award ceremony took place on 24 October at Newbury College, and winners included local people who had created communal gardens, organised youth activities, and set up groups to help residents of new developments. There were also organisations that supported victims of domestic abuse, arranged activities for older people, taught children about healthy eating, and helped families affected by alcohol and drug problems.