The work housing associations do beyond bricks and mortar doesn’t receive a great deal of public exposure, but every day housing association staff are working with tenants and communities to make a positive and lasting impact, and this should be celebrated.
Livi Elsmore works in the Communications team at the National Housing Federation
9 May 2017
Now open for submissions until 9 June, the Community Impact Awards 2017 will showcase the sector’s positive impact in four categories:
- Better neighbourhoods
- Greener living
- Health and wellbeing
- Investing in people.
There is a tangible sense of excitement in the Federation office when the awards open for entries each year and we are inundated with examples of the impact of housing associations in our communities. Time and again the judges tell us what a joy it is to read and shortlist your submissions. The overall winners will be decided by public vote during Community Impact Week (24–30 July), a cross-sector celebration of the work housing associations are really proud of.
The Community Impact Awards demonstrate the extent to which housing associations work collaboratively in order to invest in people and communities. 2016 Health and Wellbeing category winner, Scarborough Athletic Frame Football Club, an initiative of Yorkshire Coast Homes enables local children who use a walking frame to be active and fully involved in community football. By partnering with Scarborough Athletic Football Club and attracting independent financial backing, Yorkshire Coast Homes were able to secure the future of the project for years to come. Since their win in last year’s Community Impact Awards, the club has gone from strength to strength, and you can follow the progress of the project on their Facebook page.
Innovation is another recurring theme among successful applications. In her blog last year, Ana Mae Contreras Ramirez described how Poplar Harca sought to generate their community impact through an innovative method of delivery and therefore keep project costs low. Winning the Greener Living award provided them with the external exposure necessary to open up new opportunities for the Energy Champions project.
Past entries have included everything from youth training schemes and digital inclusion clubs, to initiatives connecting coastal communities to maritime sector jobs and elderly residents to assistive care via their televisions. So regardless of the size or form of your project, make sure it gets the recognition it deserves, enter it into Community Impact Awards 2017. The awards wouldn’t be a success every year without such fantastic entries and enthusiasm on social media during Community Impact Week. Wherever your housing association is making a lasting difference, beyond simply bricks and mortar, we want to hear about it.
The deadline for entries is 9 June 2017 – find out more about how to enter.