Supporting Vulnerable Residents in Client Communities

Our client, Southern Housing, is a social landlord and provider of high quality, affordable homes. Their mission is to enhance lives by building new homes, and continuing to support its residents and communities.

Southern Housing works closely with Fresh Visions, a registered charity that undertakes a number of vital projects aimed at helping people gain control of their lives by developing skills, confidence and motivation so they can build a brighter future.

About the cause

Meeting regularly with Southern Housing, Fresh Visions and their community officers is an important part of our social value commitment to them. It allows us to understand what’s important within their communities, and how we can make the greatest impact.

One issue that became apparent was how Southern Housing residents who lived alone would often feel isolated and lonely. Having recognised this, Southern Housing and Fresh Visions launched the Sussex Wellbeing Health Membership Scheme.

The programme is aimed at tackling isolation and loneliness by promoting active lifestyles and wellbeing activities. Through a Community Wellbeing Coordinator, residents are referred to services and initiatives that could help make a difference to their individual issues.

One of these initiatives is the Freedom Leisure Pass, which allows residents access to the likes of swimming, gym sessions and exercise classes free of charge for three months.

How we helped

Collaborating Southern Housing and Fresh Visions, with support from the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), we formed a three-way funding partnership. With a fund-matching promise from all parties, we were able to fund 24 Freedom Leisure Passes, over double the number originally pledged.

Whilst the passes provide residents with valuable exercise, they do so much more. Getting people together so they feel included as part of a group, helping to ease feelings of loneliness, and giving them something to get up for in the morning.

For many, just having someone to talk to can make a huge difference, especially when it comes to reducing feelings of isolation.

One Freedom Leisure Pass user said:

“I’ve been joining exercise classes in the pool. I talk to other ladies in Aquafit. We have a joke and a laugh, the company stops me feeling lonely and I like the exercises. I feel much stronger, less isolated.”

“I can go to the pool anytime without worrying about money. I would highly recommend getting out of bed in the morning, joining a group or just go for a walk before breakfast. It has given me strength, physically and mentally.”

 “Supporting residents to make them feel more confident and less isolated”

Emma Cummings, Southern Housing Community Wellbeing Manager, said: “This funding helps us provide more residents with access to fitness facilities, supporting them to feel more confident and less isolated”. 

Our social value commitment

Supporting the social value commitments of our clients is something we are heavily invested in at FFT. So much more than simply meeting an obligation, we take time to understand how the things we support impact our clients’ communities.

Regular meetings with clients and community officers allow us to get involved in assessing what we can do to make the greatest possible impact. All of this combines to help us gain a better understanding of the wider effects of social intervention in urban areas so that we can identify where our help in supporting our clients’ vulnerable residents is best placed going forward.