Posted 04/06/2020

Grant from Countryside Communities Fund to Support Essex Communities

Countryside, the leading UK mixed-tenure developer has donated £3,500 to Swan Housing Association to support two projects that provide additional support to residents and Care and Support customers.

The first project will help to tackle social isolation currently being felt by some of the most vulnerable members of our community across Essex. As many customers who currently receive care in their own homes can often feel socially isolated, Swan's award-winning carers have stepped in and helped them to stay in touch with their family and friends by facilitating video calls on their work mobile phones. However, some older clients and those with visual impairments struggled to see their loved ones on the small, company-issued mobile phone screens and so this donation will fund ten mobile tablets. The larger screens will help these clients to see their loved ones and stay in touch whilst enabling everyone to remain socially distanced from each other.

 The second project will fund a new digital training programme for Swan residents. Swan has a well-established training and employment offer but all face-to-face programmes have been suspended due to lockdown. This digital training scheme will support residents to build their CVs, practise their interview skills and participate in training from the comfort of their own home. The new system can be implemented quickly so this support will be in place to help Swan residents who may be facing unemployment or simply wish to learn some new skills almost immediately.

The Countryside Communities Fund has been set up to support local charities and groups, food banks and others providing essential local services in locations where Countryside operates across the country. To date, the fund has contributed over £500,000.

 Phillip Lyons, Chief Executive, Housebuilding,Countryside said:"The idea for developing a communities fund was exactly for this reason - to support grassroot charities and social organisations that work so hard to ensure everybody receives the support they deserve through these unprecedented times. This donation is having a far-reaching impact across Essex supporting both the older generation and those looking to get back into work."

 Pete Morley-Watts, Interim Director of Operations & Customer Experience at Swan, added:"I would like to thank Countryside for their generous donation to support our customers at this unsettling time. The money will be used to decrease social isolation and increase skills allowing customers to maintain relationships and build a better future for themselves."