Homes at the heart campaign logo

Homes at the Heart of a Stronger Economy

Homes at the heart campaign logo

Gloucester City Homes (GCH) is proud to support the National Housing Federation’s new initiative “Homes at the Heart”. The campaign aims to bring social housing providers together and create a “once-in-a-generation investment in social housing” to make sure that everyone has a safe, secure and comfortable place to call home.

The theme of the campaign this week’s is about building a stronger economy. At a community and resident level GCH provides valuable, tailored support through our Shine Employment and Training Service both in terms of specific programmes, such as our Digital Inclusion Programmes to help people get online and also with our Community Investment Team working with tenants directly.

In the past 12 months our Shine Employment & Training Service has helped and supported;

  • 20 tenants on an on-going basis
  • 5 tenants supported with English and Maths qualifications
  • 4 tenants to get photo ID to use as proof of ID for employers
  • 2 tenants with DBS certificates
  • 2 tenants got full-time jobs and one was able to switch jobs from zero contract to part-time contracted hours
  • 12 tenants with CV writing
  • 1 tenant completed Gloucester Wildlife Trust management course and has since  volunteered with them
  • 2 tenants attended a cookery course with Adult Education
  • As COVID lockdown eases there are 4 referrals from Tenancy Sustainment team with appointments already booked.

In the past 12 months during our Digital Inclusion Sessions have;

  • Provided support to 74 individuals in a variety of community venues including public libraries. Our evening Drop in at Treasure Seekers Mental Health support sessions was the most popular with 25 people seeking help and support for a housing or digital issue (such as applying for benefits) 
  • Helped 22 tenants to make Homeseeker applications online. This includes follow up support with bidding and moving in where required.

Our Shine and Community Investment Team work closely with tenants and local stakeholders to provide excellent training facilities and support tenants to thrive in their communities.

One of the many resulting success stories  is that of Miss Smith:

Miss Smith was 20 years old and was struggling with anxiety, had never had a job and due to her anxiety felt that she might never be able to have one. With the help of our Shine Employment and Training service she was booked on to a Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust Course in Cheltenham, where we supported her to attend the course as well as travelling to and from Cheltenham. Within weeks Miss Smith was doing this on her own and gaining confidence in her abilities. After successfully completing this course, Miss Smith expressed an interest to learn to cook, so we also supported her with a recommendation to attend local community cooking courses where she started to make friends whilst learning new life skills.

Miss Smith is currently volunteering for Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust and we are hoping to support her into part time work when the Coronavirus situation has become more stable.