Housing in the North steps up to deliver Big Society

It will train a group of 30 recognisers, who in turn will oversee and accredit the learning and development of tenants on the Level 2 Award in Community Action in Housing. The training programme will be managed by one of the Airport Group members, Merseyside-based Helena Partnerships, and offers the potential for a sustained number of learners over a number of years.

The Airport Group, which manages homes for more than 400,000 tenants across the North, has formally agreed to roll out this major educational programme which rewards the skills and contributions of people who do valuable unpaid work in their communities.  Their work is an example of the ‘Big Society’ in action.

Active Learning for Residents is a unique programme as it does not rely on traditional assessments but uses an intermediary group of recognisers trained by CIH to accredit learning on the basis of evidence and discussion.  It offers flexible learning and ensures that language and literacy skills and prior learning experiences are not a barrier to gaining qualifications.

Sarah Webb, CIH Chief Executive said: “One of the outstanding features of housing is that so many residents help to make their communities better by giving up their time to work with landlords. We know that by working with progressive bodies like The Airport Group, the Active Learning for Residents programme can support large numbers of residents to have a greater impact in their voluntary work at the same time as saying ‘thank you’ for the massive contribution they already make.”

Liz Haworth, Director of Neighbourhoods for Helena Partnerships, said: “The role of volunteers is hugely important for developing strong and sustainable communities, particularly in these challenging times. This project is an excellent example of how we can develop our residents to be more active volunteers in their own communities, improving our neighbourhoods and ultimately the lives of our residents.

“The Airport Group reaches over 400,000 residents in some of our most deprived communities, so it is fantastic to be able to formally recognise the partnership working we are doing with our tenants every day. I hope that this course will become a springboard for even more joint-working opportunities in our neighbourhoods.”

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