Why do we support community investment?
- We want GreenSquare customers to benefit from opportunities and resources in their community. By supporting local initiatives we hope to attract further investment into our neighbourhoods In particular we aim to encourage projects that promote financial security, opportunities for young people and community development.
- We would like customers to feel that they have a say in what happens in their community and to support this we encourage resident-led initiatives and the development of active neighbourhoods.
- We think it is important that we build good links and partnerships with organisations working in the same communities. By pooling our resources and expertise with others we hope to increase the impact of our involvement and help secure continuing provision of services
What is our approach to community investment?
- Where possible we support locally based community organisations or initiatives whose work benefits GreenSquare customers and neighbourhoods. We hope to contribute to longer term provision by helping to strengthen their capacity
- We recognise that our core focus is the provision of homes. We would rather support the work of existing providers in, for example, employment, advice and youth work than provide these services ourselves.
- Our priorities are reached through consultation with staff and customers. We also refer to customer insight information and of course work within the context of National policies affecting the housing sector.
- We carry out annual impact assessment reviews of key projects to help us evaluate the difference made by our investment and decide future investments.
How do we support community investment and development?
Our offer depends on the existing provision and level of need. If a community activity supports our priorities, we can;
- Let our customers know about services/opportunities available to them. We generally do this through social media. We also promote services in house to help raise awareness and encourage staff to refer to projects.
Provide information and expertise
- Share data, local knowledge, in-house expertise when appropriate to make the best use of resources (within the boundaries of data protection).
The Community Action Group in White City have plans for a community centre and are benefitting from advice from our asset management team as well as other local partners. We provided general profiling information to Calne Community Hub to help them plan a service.
- Support smaller organisations/associations (particularly those led by GreenSquare customers) with funding bids
We are currently helping Northway Community Association in Oxford to bring in extra funding to support their Committee.
- Part fund services with delivered by a partner.
We have well established Service Level Agreements with advice agencies across the group, including CAB, recognising the importance of the support they can provide to people experiencing problems with debt.
- This part funding of a core service often has the additional benefit of enabling partner organisations to draw down further funding. GreenSquare’s contribution to funding would never be more than 50% of total cost and likely to be a lot less.
In 2016/17 GreenSquare funded Youth Action Wiltshire (YAW) to work with young people in Wiltshire. We contributed £12,000 to Project Inspire and YAW were able to use that funding to lever a further £36,000 of grant funding to the initiative.
Seek investment from external funders
- We will seek joint funding for any projects that we initiate in our neighbourhoods where there is a wider community benefit.
In 2016 grants secured by GreenSquare for community work ranged from £1000 to over £400,000.
Work in partnership
- Involve partner organisations in projects where we are taking the lead and take part in relevant activities organised by partners. These can be one off or short-term (eg neighbourhood events, job fairs, information days) or longer term commitments such as participation in multi-agency working groups,
- Work with partner organisation(s) to increase provision of services in a neighbourhood or community,
The Consortium on Blackbird Leys of GreenSquare, Catalyst and A2 Dominion is an example of a formal, long-term partnership created to address the problems of a large housing estate.