Projects led by Together Housing Group and its charitable arm have been recognised for their impact on the community and the environment in the UK Housing Awards.
Together Housing Group was shortlisted for the Sustainability Project of the Year after working with Kensa Contracting Ltd. to install ground source heat pumps in 1,000 flats at 12 locations across South and West Yorkshire.
By replacing electric storage heaters with ground source heat pumps, the project aimed to lower residents’ energy bills and reduce Together Housing’s carbon footprint. This is because electric storage heaters can be expensive and difficult to control.
After the installation, residents have benefitted from more comfortable, whole house heating which is easier to control as well as the average potential household saving 45% on their energy bills.
Calderdale resident June Wilson said; “The workers were all lovely and made every effort to make sure we were as settled as possible. It was a long process but Together Housing and Kensa did everything they could to make sure any issues were sorted.
“The heating system is amazing. Before it was difficult to heat up more than one room, but now I don’t have to worry about that.”
Patrick Berry, Managing Director of Together Energy, added: “It is great for this project to be acknowledged for this award because the impact of it has been fantastic for residents’ day to day lives as well as the environment.
“With 14% of the UK’s greenhouse gases coming from households it is great to be leading on a project which shows that it is possible to reduce existing homes’ carbon footprint.”
Creative engagement, a course delivered by Newground Together, part of Together Housing Group, has been named in the shortlist for the Resident Employment and Training Award in the UK Housing Awards 2020.
The 10-week course is funded by the Department of Work and Pensions through its Integrated Communities programme, which is a part of Blackburn with Darwen Council’s ‘Our Community, Our Future’ social integration campaign.
Each course combines classroom learning on subjects such as ICT, housing pathways, substance awareness and sexual health with practical workshops such as cooking on a budget and bike maintenance. The group were also involved in a workplace visit and given support developing their own employability skills.
As well as employability prospects the course also helps participants with housing. So far, 12 individuals have since moved from hostel environments into a better living situation, this includes their own tenancy or specialist accommodation to meet their specific needs. A further two participants are due to complete on their new homes in the coming weeks.
Senior Project Officer Ian Whittaker said: “The course has been a huge success with many participants not only reporting a boost in self-esteem but also going on to secure further training or work.
“The key to the success is the variety of the course. While life skills such as managing finances helps with future planning, cultural experiences like visiting their local museum and Mosque reconnects them to where they live and helps them feel part of their community. Other activities such as yoga and meditation help promote a healthy body and mind.”
The winners will be announced on Thursday 7th May 2020 at the Grosvenor Hotel in London.