Recent weeks have been crammed with initiatives designed to heighten awareness of societal needs. Challenge Poverty Week, World Homeless Day and World Mental Health Day all fell in October, closely followed by COP26 in November.

Affordable housing providers like Places for People Scotland are already tackling a major social issue at the root cause, yet our communities continue to face many challenges because of poverty, unemployment, crime and cuts to public services. What is clear is that we need to come together as a sector, learn from each other and share resources to have the best possible chance of creating positive change.

There is a business case to ensure we provide genuine help to secure financial and emotional stability in the lives of our tenants. It is a vital part of our sustainability strategy to invest in delivering a programme of activities with these objectives in mind.

Some of the steps we have taken over the past year to help include making regular phone calls to nearly 1,000 customers to see how they are coping and if they need help. 1,100 people have received emergency support with food and essentials. Almost 200 customers have been helped with debt advice and 1,396 people received financial support and accessed £2 million of income.

World Bank stated climate change is a threat to global development and efforts to end poverty. Without urgent action, climate change impact could push an additional 100 million people into poverty by 2030. We are acting now to lower carbon emissions and improve energy efficiency in the homes we manage to help reduce the number of homes in fuel poverty.

To do our bit, and truly deliver a positive difference, requires a robust strategic approach coupled with the investment and tangible activity in our communities. And, by collaborating with other housing providers and working together with the wider community, the impact we will have on lowering carbon emissions and improving wellbeing will be even greater. If you’d like to explore how your organisation could work with us, please get in touch with me at tom.norris@placesforpeople.co.uk

Tom Norris, Managing Director, Places for People Scotland

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