Working with our communities

Working with our communities

We have a proven track record of innovation in the way we support our tenants and the communities they live in. Our BeFriending and Financial Inclusion projects are now an established part of mainstreamed provision, alongside small scale funding and other schemes to improve our local communities and neighbourhoods. Funding allocated independently by Tenant Volunteers has supported a range of community groups, alongside delivery of community benefits by our contractors. Our Next Steps programme for young people who are likely to be our future tenants is in its tenth year of delivery. The positive impact of these initiatives has shown that as a social landlord we can and should do more to support our customers to sustain their tenancies and improve the communities they live in.

Our communities team

We have created a new Community Team which is led by our Community Initiatives Manager (Dougie Paterson). This new team is there to support our goal:

“To help create thriving local communities by delivering a range of actions to support our tenants and the communities they live in.”

We will do this by:

  • Empowering our staff to identify and respond to the needs of tenants and their families
  • Collaborating and working in equal partnership with existing groups, services and local assets to support our tenants and improve their communities
  • Seeking matched and co-funding for initiatives in partnership and/or delivered by others for the benefit of our tenants and their local community
  • Consistently engaging in the network of services and community organisations to identify changing needs and collaborate in delivering strategic responses
  • Ensuring initiatives can be sustained for long term delivery including future mainstreaming where consistent need is evident
  • Using an evidence-based approach to guide activities and learn from similar initiatives elsewhere
  • Promoting local delivery including co-location of currently centralised services to Berwickshire
  • Involving our tenants in the creation, delivery and evaluation of all community initiatives
  • Ensuring community initiatives are sensitive to equality and diversity, especially in responding to marginalised groups, stigmatising conditions and areas where there are fewer BHA tenants
  • Signposting our tenants to our other initiatives, including Financial Inclusion, BeFriend and fuel poverty reduction programmes

Community Benefit Fund open for 2019/2020

For us value for money is about spending wisely and making the best use of our resources.

Our procurement strategy allows us to make savings whenever possible through our competitive tendering process and these savings can in turn benefit the local community.

It is good practice for any contracts over a certain value to include a community benefit clause. These clauses can result in a range of economic, social or environmental benefits to the local area. Recently both Duns Junior Football Club and Duns Youth Centre have benefited in this way by having their facilities upgraded with new paintwork internally and externally.

We invite any local community group in need assistance with their project to get in touch. Youth groups such as Scouts or Guides, sports groups, clubs, societies and voluntary organisations throughout the Berwickshire area can let us know of their needs and suggestions.

Applicants will be asked to complete a short application explaining their project and what assistance is required. This will be assessed by a small panel who will decide on which groups have been successful.

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