Housing association celebrates 25 years with volunteering projects for the community

Kevin Bolt
Kevin Bolt

A new project has been launched by Bedford-based Housing Association, bpha, having celebrated their 25th anniversary in June.

Throughout the next year, a minimum of 25 employee volunteering projects will take place, offering all 343 bpha employees the opportunity to celebrate and engage with their customers and communities.

The aim is for all employees to take part in one volunteer project and give something back to the local community.

Chief executive officer Kevin Bolt said: “bpha puts its customers at the heart of its business so it is only natural that we have chosen to celebrate our 25th anniversary by giving back to the people and communities that we serve through a programme of volunteering. We are proud of how we as an organisation can ‘make a real difference’ and over the coming year our plan is for all employees to get involved and give something back to the communities in which we work.”

The wide range of volunteer activities taking place will include:

Environmental Projects – including communal planting, waste collection, gardening and painting activities.

Educational Projects – including road shows, working with schools to provide one-on-one reading support, and organising games and entertainment for our elderly residents.

Tackling Poverty Projects – including working alongside Food Bank and supporting the ‘Make Lunch’ initiative (providing lunch for children during school holidays that would normally have access to free school meals.)

There will also be a number of stand-alone projects including parties for children and elderly residents, leisure and fitness activities for young people, and the burial of a time capsule. An Apprenticeship Scheme is also being launched, offering four apprentice positions to bpha residents as Housing Officers and Customer Service Advisors.

Community & Financial Inclusion Manager, Nicky Dahl, who is leading the project said: “This is a really exciting time for residents and employees alike. Over the next twelve months we intend to enhance our relationship with communities through these projects, which will increase our engagement with residents and provide a range of community benefits.”

More details about all these exciting events and activities, and how customers and communities can benefit and get involved, will be advertised on the bpha website and through customer communications over the next few months.

bpha has come a long way since it was founded in 1990, through the purchase of housing stock from the former North Bedfordshire Borough Council. From small beginnings of 7,378 homes offered for rental, predominantly based in the Bedford area, bpha has grown and developed, and now owns just under 18,000 homes across Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Cambridgeshire, Gloucestershire, Northamptonshire, Oxfordshire, Peterborough and Wiltshire.

The housing schemes offered have also diversified considerably and now include a range of rented homes, housing for older people and low-cost home ownership options such as ‘Shared Ownership’ and ‘Rent to Buy’.