Ralph Facey, executive director of Operations at Abri, and one of the founding members of Communities that Work (CtW), explains why Abri supports the national body’s purpose and how doing so benefits the lives of its customers
It’s not a new sentiment but it is an essential one to repeat: collaboration is the key to success when it comes to employment and community investment.
Tackling the employment crisis requires a joined-up approach. Helping our customers into work would be much more challenging without our meaningful connections to local partners in communities across the south of England.
Equally, improving social mobility for those who need that help the most would be a much bigger feat. But we have a greater chance of achieving both these things for those we work on behalf of when we’ve got strong, ongoing connections with our peers.
Among Communities that Work members, we’re regularly sharing approaches and lessons learned to improve our individual offerings to customers.
And we have access to ongoing conversations with government and decision makers around the role of the housing provider in respect to increasing employment prospects for residents.
“By working together, we can achieve more when it comes to increasing opportunities and ensuring equality across the country”
With a big focus on the levelling up agenda, seen with the introduction of the Department for Levelling Up, Housing, and Communities, comes an even greater need for bodies like Communities that Work.
By working together, we can achieve more when it comes to increasing opportunities and striking that balance sought by the government, in ensuring equality across the country.
As a national body, Communities that Work is a proactive lobbyist and influencer. We’re mutually keen to support and work with the government to increase opportunities and tackle unemployment.
At the same time, the body is raising the collective voices of social housing customers and influencing positive change.
As a member we benefit from this; we can access events and conversations, directly hear insight and ideas. Often, we take what we hear and learn into our services to better support our customers.
Undoubtedly, peer-to-peer collaboration has a positive ripple effect. Communities that Work is our foundation for that as we undertake research, connect with government, and form new partnerships.
CtW works so well because it operates on an aspiration to increase the life chances of communities throughout the country. From Yorkshire to Southampton, Kent to Portsmouth, we’re one of 60 organisations that come together as one to combine our local knowledge, skills, and ideas to change lives positively.
This is our shared goal, and it’s one that will remain steadfast as we navigate through a post-lockdown landscape.
Image: Ralph Facey, executive director of Operations, Abri
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