7th December 2023
My role as Head of Social Impact is to create and support opportunities for our customers and neighbourhoods to improve (that's me in the funky trousers). I work with other teams across the business to help customers sustain their tenancies, through offering support with work and training or health and wellbeing. I am always on the lookout for new opportunities that will help strengthen our offer to customers. My role involves a lot of partnership work with organisations whose values align to our own. I lead on maximising and negotiating social value, re-investing money we are spending with contractors and suppliers into local communities. I’m also the lead for the customer voice – making sure that feedback from our customers continues to improve and shape services. Two days are never the same and I love that about my role.
We know that the winter period puts pressures on families and households, and for the past couple of years we know its been even harder as the cost of living bites into customers' budgets. It is particularly difficult at the moment with utility prices and living costs on the rise, and see first hand how customers struggle to make ends meet. The winter campaign is designed to support customers facing these pressures, and we have use insight and data to direct this support towards those that need it most. Our 2022 campaign reached over 2,500 residents! We are lucky to work with lots of community partners so we can extend our campaign into neighbourhoods and reach residents who don’t contact us directly.
I would say my favourite part of working in the social housing sector is the type of workforce it attracts. I am surrounded by colleagues who, regardless of barriers, want to improve the lives of others. This motivates and inspires me. I am also a good talker and networker and my current role allows me the freedom to do this with colleagues, partners and within communities. Having been homeless myself I’m passionate about providing access to safe and secure social housing that everyone can enjoy.
My biggest achievement in the past year has been the opportunity to influence what our cost of living support looks like for customers. I have been able to work with colleagues and board members to scrutinise what we currently offer and enhance it. I have felt empowered to bring in new partners who can assist us and develop new partnerships for the benefit of our wider customers.