An ambitious project, led by Stafford and Rural Homes (SARH), has scooped a prestigious award after helping to tackle loneliness in local communities.
Since its launch last year, dozens of people have taken part in a wide range of activities organised as part of BeConnected, a pioneering scheme that's now been recognised by a national organisation representing housing association customers.
At a recent awards ceremony in Birmingham, SARH was presented with the Community Focused Service/Product of the Year for the Central Region by the Tenant Participation Advisory Service (Tpas).
The award recognises how the project, which has been run for a year in partnership with Stafford Borough Council, has a clear mission to improve health and wellbeing and reconnect people with their local community.
Karen Armitage, SARH Chief Executive, commented:
"We're delighted to have received this award from an organisation that represents our most important stakeholders, our customers. The accolade reflects all the hard work put in by everyone involved with the project, particularly the volunteers from the local community who have played such an important part in its success."
As part of BeConnected, around 10 sessions per month are delivered at locations across the borough, many of them at Independent Living Schemes managed by SARH.
Project Worker, Susan Cooke, explained:
"This packed programme included individual and group activities - from afternoon teas and quizzes to Tai Chi classes and presentations by guest speakers - and it was fantastic to be involved in the delivery of the project."
Feedback from the events suggests that 80 per cent of those taking part acquired new skills, 86 per cent became more physically active and everyone felt more integrated in the wider community.
Karen Armitage, SARH Chief Executive, added:
"A huge well done to everyone involved in a project that really demonstrates our commitment to building stronger and healthier communities. The Tpas award is the latest in a series of accolades recognising our efforts to encourage people to ‘Be the Best' they can be and follows hot on the heels of the announcement that SARH is the leading housing association in the Sunday Times 100 Best Not-for-Profit Companies to work for list."