Christmas hampers with a difference for our vulnerable tenants
Our Community Support Officer, Sarah, works with some of our most vulnerable tenants to help them overcome complex barriers to their ability to sustain a tenancy.
Some of our tenants struggle with social inclusion, financial problems and debt, mental health issues, alcohol and other addictions, and hoarding - to name a few.
The difficulties that these tenants are facing have been exacerbated this year by the impact of COVID-19.
Sarah has found that social care assessments have been delayed, referrals to foodbanks have increased, and some home-based support that was previously available is no longer being provided. This has led to a decline in living conditions for some of these tenants who, without the right support, struggle to properly look after themselves and maintain the condition of their properties.
These are some of our most vulnerable tenants who are living in poverty and struggling. Many of them are now living without the basics like bedsheets and duvets, soap, toothpaste and cleaning products. These items are often difficult to source from charities or foodbanks but make a difference to their sense of pride in themselves and their home. Without bin-bags, for instance, some tenants are living amongst food waste and rubbish that is building up around them in their homes, causing so many health and safety issues. All most of these tenants need is a bit of support from the Group and referrals to the correct services to get them living safely again and being able to take care of themselves. Sadly, despite them fully engaging with me, wanting to make a change and desperate for help, some of my tenants are really struggling. This year especially, I wanted to do something to help.
Sarah called lots of different charities and organisations and appealed to supermarkets to see who could help. Despite many being unable to contribute due to huge demand or the timescales, Sarah has managed to secure £300 of funding, including £150 from Bell Group from their social value offer, £20 from Morrisons and the rest from the Group's neighbourhood tenant support budget.
With the £300 secured, Sarah is currently putting together 30 cleaning and toiletry hampers which will include:
• washing-up liquid
• multi-purpose spray
• sponges, scourers and cloths
• toilet cleaner
• washing powder
• a toothbrush and toothpaste
• shampoo and conditioner
• sanitary products
• soap and shower gel.
The 30 tenants who will benefit have all been identified as some of our most in-need tenants.
Sarah adds "I want to thank Bell Group, Morrisons and Progress Housing Group for their kindness and generosity, as well as colleagues from across the Group who have brought in items for our tenants so that they can live safely and warmly.
"If possible, I'd love to be able to create some 'winter warmer hampers' for the tenants as well, to include duvets, duvet covers, a pillow and a hot water bottle. But I'll have to try and get some more funding together first."
UPDATE 24 December:
Fabulous news! Winter warmer packs including a double duvet, duvet cover, pillows and pillowcases and a hot water bottle are now on their way to 15 of our tenants who will benefit the most, after the Group approves a further £500 funding from our neighbourhood tenant support budget!