whg plays vital role in levelling up communities

Midlands landlord whg has been praised for its work to help deliver ‘levelled up’ communities in a national report.
Volunteers from whg with Diwali baskets.

Midlands landlord whg has been praised for its work to help deliver ‘levelled up’ communities in a national report.

whg, which operates in one of the most deprived areas of the country, was singled out on in the Placeshapers national report Stay Local Go Far for its team of community champions. These are customers who are given paid roles to directly engage with other residents on a range of issues. The scheme creates a network of community representatives who have the trust of local residents and can act as their first port of call, signposting them towards appropriate resources. The report commended the champions for the way in which they worked with communities to build trust and improve the confidence and life skills of other residents.

Julie Haywood, director of community investment, said: “Walsall is ranked the 25th most poorest out of 317 local authorities, placing it in the 10% most deprived districts in the country. As the largest housing provider in the borough we have a strong place and purpose in  our communities and a real  understanding of the challenges our customers face. We know that resident engagement is key to building trust and we are hugely proud of  our Community Champions who use their own lived experiences and local knowledge to  reach customers facing some of the greatest  inequalities at source.”

Matthew Walker, chair of Placeshapers, said: “Our mission is to put place-shaping at the heart of decision-making to improve lives and communities. So, it is unsurprising that we are fully supportive of the Government’s commitment to ‘level up’. We know that housing associations already deliver a variety of services to level-up where they have homes, however the scale of the challenge requires a different approach, where Government works more with local communities and adequate investment and support is provided for truly effective levelling-up and regeneration.”

The Placeshapers report explores the role of housing associations in the government’s Levelling Up agenda – and the tools they need to do more. It calls on the government to work far more with local institutions, like housing associations, to deliver their levelling up ambitions.  It is available to read online at: www.placeshapers.org/levelling-up-stay-local-go-far/

Image: Volunteers from whg with Diwali baskets.

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