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UK Charity Week 2017, by Fiona Deal - Executive Director of People and Culture

This week is UK Charity Week (4 – 10 December) and I want to share with you a little about some of the charities we work with. As a social housing provider, we are committed to helping those in need and tackling homelessness is a key priority for us. We have an ongoing partnership with St Mungo’s and over the last two years we have raised over £60,000 for them.

Staff have cycled from London to Paris, walked from Wembley to Stockwell Park, held coffee mornings and bake sales and everything in between in an effort to raise as much money as possible for St Mungo’s.

We also partner with New Horizon Youth Centre (NHYC) on Project Vista – a partnership supporting young Londoners who have been made homeless. Project Vista gives young people a stable place to live while they improve their employment situation and save money. There are currently 20 young people living in four flats in Islington and Hackney which are provided by Network Homes and managed by NHYC. So far, the project has housed 36 young people and they have all completed an independent living skills programme and gained employability skills. To find out more about New Horizon Youth Centre see here and for more information on Project Vista see here.

All staff get two volunteer days a year and to encourage staff to use them we launched our Giving Something Back initiative. This was an opportunity for staff to work together in groups to volunteer, fundraise and ‘give something back’ for charities or causes of their choice. Staff have been involved in a huge range of activities, including: collecting food for local food banks, taking donations to Grenfell survivors, skydiving to raise money for Cancer Research, a blood and organ donor campaign and organising a football tournament to raise money for a local hospice.

We have also established a Green Team in Hertfordshire. Made up of eight young people, the team aims to create better places for locals while also improving their employment prospects. The project is run by community charity Groundwork Hertfordshire and funded by Network Homes. The team worked together to transform a communal garden in Hertford for the benefit of local residents.

Nearly 2000 residents have benefitted from a furniture re-use scheme in Ware that we have supported. The concept is to recycle good quality furniture for those who are in need and may be moving into somewhere without any furniture at all. Over 1000 deliveries of re-usable furniture have been made in the last five years.

We are committed to playing our part in tackling homelessness and helping those in need this week, next week, next month and beyond. See more about UK Charity Week here.