It's Community Impact Week and we've been celebrating the difference we make in our neighbourhoods.
Over the past 12 months, we've given out more than £38,000 in community grants to local organisations, seen staff spend more than 1,000 hours volunteering and helped and supported 1,000 people to improve their physical and mental health through the Wellbeing College. We also launched our into Work Programme in the spring, since when it has helped nine customers find a job and is currently working with 40 customers to increase their skills and improve their employability.
Community Impact Week celebrates the impact housing associations across the country make every day to for individuals and the places in which they live.
Among the organisations that's benefitted from a community grant over the past year was Yate Town Council which received £3,000 towards the costs of its new Urban Vehicle for Information and Education which provides a safe space for local youngsters to learn new skills. Other beneficiaries have included the Armadillo Youth Centre in Yate, Recycled Teenagers project in Thornbury and the Winterbourne & District Community Association.
At the same time staff have been leaving their day jobs to volunteer with local organisations. Staff have been cooking and serving food at Chipping Sodbury Luncheon Club, helping with donations at Yate & District Foodbank , and transforming the playground at Watermore School in Frampton Cotterell, to the delight of all the pupils.
Leader for Diversity, Equality, Inclusion & Partnerships Cam Kinsella said: “Understanding our communities and investing in them were they need it the most is our ethos. We really believe in the power of people and communities and by supporting and empowering these communities, we will get back the real meaning of what it is to live in a place where everyone is valued and given equal opportunity to have the best quality of life.
“I couldn’t be more proud of the work we do at Merlin but also hope every single staff member, partner and individual we work with understands the difference they make when they join forces with us allowing us to do more incredible work together.”