Corporate social responsibility
Our whole business is based on Corporate Social Responsibility. Our social purpose underpins everything we do. Our mission is to open up possibilities for as many people as we can by building, renting and managing good affordable homes in thriving communities.
We build beautiful affordable homes for sale and rent. Every penny of profit we make is reinvested into the business to build more homes and deliver better services. Our executive and non-executive directors do not receive any profit-share or dividends.
We also go beyond just providing and managing homes. We invest heavily in communities to support our residents and other local people to meet their aspirations and fulfil their potential.
We invest over £1 million a year in the communities where we work, through economic development, employment and training, and social and environmental projects.
In particular, we run major employment and training programmes. We also work closely with residents to improve ‘financial inclusion’ – supporting people with budgeting, managing the impacts of welfare benefit reforms, helping to set up bank accounts, and signposting people to other welfare and advice services. We also run many environmental improvement projects on our estates.
Last year, for example, we supported over 100 people into employment or support programmes, delivered apprenticeships, and helped people claim £800,000 in benefits they were entitled to, making a real difference to the quality of people’s lives. We spent over £460,000 improving the quality of local living environments in the communities where we work.
We have started measuring the ‘social value’ of these programmes - the positive impact which they have on people and communities - and we will report on this in our annual Value for Money Statement.
We are currently reviewing our Corporate Social Responsibility strategy.
Since 2016/17, our Charity of the Year has been St Mungo's, an organisation working to end homelessness and improve the lives of those in housing need in London and South England. As a social housing provider, we share their goals of ending homelessness.
In 2017, we raised £66,000 for St Mungo's, the largest amount ever raised through a single charity challenge.
Our staff are able to put forward nominations for our Charity of the Year, which is them shortlisted by our Network Cares team. All staff are then able to vote for our new Charity of the Year. We work with that Chairty to raise awareness of their aims among our staff, contractors and partners, and we fundraise through a variety of events.
We've even done Charity Challenges such as the London to Paris bike ride and Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge for St Mungo's, where we raised nearly £100,000!
Every year we organise a Giving Something Back initiative for our staff - this helps them to take advantage of their two volunteering days they receive and also helps to give back to our residents and the communities we work in.
We've raised over £20,000 for charities close to our hearts by walking for Alzheimer's, skydiving, and raffles, and given a helping hand to food banks, Girl Guide groups, soup kitchens and more.
Even though we're a charity ourselves, we know that smaller local charities can sometimes struggle to find funding. That's why we're proud to support local community initiatives and events, especially when they can help benefit our customers. We've donated woodland to a local school in Brondesbury, funded a homeless shelter in Bishop's Stortford and supported a soup kitchen in Brixton.
You can find out even more about how we're supporting the communities we work in by viewing our Community Impact Brochure.