Community Regeneration: Reporting Back 2012 - Riverside

Community Regeneration: Reporting Back 2012 - Riverside

Community Regeneration




In this issue

Hello from Caroline Field – page 2

Capital projects – page 4

Employment and enterprise services – page 6

Community safety and cohesion projects – page 10

Education and skills services – page 12

Environment liveability projects – page 14

Wellbeing health, support and sports projects – page 16

Poverty and social inclusion projects – page 18

Moving forward – page 20


Hello from

Caroline Field

The work we do in Community Regeneration

is designed to support our tenants and their

neighbours in their local communities.

We carry out a whole range of activities from

employment schemes to improving green

space. Through this document we start to

see the full impact.

The NHF wanted to understand the impact of

this kind of activity, so they commissioned an

audit of housing associations across the country.

We have collated information from central and

local teams and have compiled this newsletter to

show you what we have done. The NHF will use

the information to inform and lobby government

and key stakeholders – we wanted to tell you, our

colleagues and partners.

Even though we have done so much, we actually

do even more. This information does not include

the activity funded by Supporting People, which

we think misses a lot of local activity and we are

thinking of looking at this ourselves.

Thanks for your help and I’m sure we’ll soon

be back for more information. We are in this

work for the long term as this newsletter shows.

Well done to everyone involved – be proud of

what we do!

Caroline Field,

Director of Community Engagement


Community Regeneration: Reporting Back 2012


The Community Regeneration team would

particularly like to thank staff from across

Riverside for providing detailed information and

case studies to help us to complete the audit. We

can’t thank staff, tenants, residents and funding

partners enough for helping us to deliver projects

that benefit all sections of our society.

Services that are not included in the audit:

——Housing management, e.g. tenancy matters

——Housing services, e.g. maintaining grounds

——Supporting People services funded under

contract to the local authority

——Registered Care Services, Care Homes

and domiciliary care services.


Community Regeneration: Reporting Back 2012

Capital projects

Riverside works in some of the most

deprived areas in the country. The

buildings and spaces around our tenants

homes are important. We are investing in

these to give our tenants the best quality

of life possible.

We are committed to the long-term sustainability of

neighbourhoods. Through our capital projects we are:

——providing a wide range of neighbourhood facilities, such as

community cafés, kitchens, community gardens, developing

green space, allotments, sports facilities and much more

——developing award winning flagship projects

——working in partnership with a huge variety of partners

including local government, Big Lottery Fund, Groundwork,

Housing Market Renewal Initiatives and many more.

Key facts

Our green spaces were the facilities which

received the most external funding (£1.6m).

Over the five year period from 2005/6 to

2010/11 we invested almost £8.7 million into

neighbourhood facilities, made up of contributions

from our own money (£3.5m) and additional

funding from external sources (£5.2m).

This meant for each £1 of our own money

invested, £1.49 was invested by other funders

(excluding staff costs).

£0.9 million

The facilities that received the most investment from us (£0.9m)

were a community space, a meeting room and a drop-in centre.




Case studies

Colshaw Farm multi-use games area

and BMX track, Riverside Pennine

This project has transformed a neglected piece of land into a much

needed activity area. The existing playing fields at Colshaw Farm

were upgraded with a fenced multi-sports facility for football and

basketball, which has a macadam surface for use in all weathers.

The existing skateboard park was also transformed into an

impressive and popular BMX track.

The new BMX track owes a lot to the input of local youngsters who

had a big say in its design – Groundwork Cheshire organised

workshops in youth clubs to encourage youngsters to get involved

in designing the track. A wider objective was that creating a well

planned space would encourage people to use it for legitimate

purposes and help to discourage criminal or anti-social behaviour.

We’re keen to share good practice, please contact:

The Stages Academy,

Riverside ECHG

The Stages Academy is a flagship new build

scheme where we provide temporary

accommodation in a safe, friendly and

supportive environment.

Our main aim is to reduce homelessness whilst

working for the benefit of our clients and helping

to place them into appropriate permanent

accommodation. We have 30 en-suite bedrooms

with communal facilities.

Other on-site facilities include a health centre,

gym, multipurpose room, allotment, community

café, radio recording room, community training

and placement café and a really welcoming

reception area.

Jason came to live at the former hostel

Wellington Street. He had turned to drugs and

alcohol after losing his flat and ending up on the

streets. He said: “The other hostel was dull. You

just went to your room and on my first night

I just sat on the end of my bed and sobbed

because it was so depressing. But all I can say

now is that the new facilities are great and we

get all the help we need, even if it is just

someone to talk to. My self-esteem and

confidence is miles better and you walk around

with a smile on your face. I have also got my

Construction Industry Training Board card to

enable me to work again on building sites.

All this because of STAGES and the staff.”

We’re keen to share good practice,

please contact us on: 01642 733560


Community Regeneration: Reporting Back 2012

Employment and

enterprise services

Riverside is committed to helping raise the prosperity

of tenants and residents. We know our tenants find it

hard to get into employment, so we have made this a

key objective in our corporate plan.

Our latest STATUS survey of tenants identified that over half

of our homes are located in the 10% most deprived communities

in England. Less than 1 in 5 of our heads of household are in

full-time employment. Our initiatives seek to change that, from

support in training, job search and interview preparation, to

in-work support to help people stay in work when they get it.

We are committed to helping raise the prosperity of tenants and

residents. This is a key objective within our Corporate Plan. We

support the creation of employment and training opportunities

through procurement activity. We are also able to ensure local

recruitment, apprenticeships and training outcomes when

awarding new contracts, for example in planned maintenance

and new-build construction activities.

By directly engaging with tenants, signposting and referring them

to specialist services and partners in the local community, we are

making a significant impact. For example, we host regular job

cafés in local tenant resource centres or neighbourhood offices.

We directly support or work with a range of partner organisations

to deliver:

——information, advice and guidance

——one-to-one mentoring and support

——welfare benefits advice and ‘better off in work’ calculations

——job brokerage

——qualifications and skills.

Key facts

During 2010/11 we invested almost £1.1 million,

made up of contributions from our own money

(£0.6m) and additional funding from external

sources (£0.5m).

This meant for each £1 of our own money

invested, 83p was invested by other funders

(excluding staff costs).

£1 83p


Case study

Springboard, Riverside Mersey South

& Mersey North

Thanks to support provided by Springboard, 29 year old Nick Hobbs

from Walton, Liverpool was able to secure employment as a Help

Desk Agent with a local company, following redundancy from the

civil service.

Nick said: “After redundancy I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do.

I’d heard of Springboard through a friend and contacted the team

to see how they could help. With Rachel’s support I worked out

my job goals, identified my transferable skills, brought my CV up

to date and prepared for upcoming interviews, which really helped

me. I’m grateful for all the advice I received.”

We’re keen to share good practice, please contact:


Employment and enterprise services continued...

Springboard Project

The Springboard Project is a Riverside

designed approach to support economically

inactive tenants and residents living in a

number of disadvantaged neighbourhoods in

Liverpool. We successfully secured the first

year of funding from Liverpool City Council’s

Innovation Fund to deliver the project across

Mersey North and South.

Due to the success of the project,

Riverside has put up the funding

to allow the project to continue

for the next two years.

A dedicated team of project officers provide

information, advice and guidance to individuals

who want to access employment, training and

work experience opportunities. The team work

closely with individuals to identify and break

down barriers to work, and develop a personal

action plan helping them to achieve their goals

and manage their finances on the journey back

to work. The team have developed a successful

network of partner organisations to help with

employment, health and welfare issues.


Community Regeneration: Reporting Back 2012

Springboard’s achievements from

April 2010 to March 2011 include:

1,089 people

706 people


received advice

Future Jobs Fund

Working in partnership with the National Housing Federation,

3SC and Groundwork UK, Riverside provided 47 job opportunities

throughout 2010 and 2011 as a result of securing funding from

the Government’s Future Jobs Fund.

We offered a range of six-month job

placements, primarily to young people

aged 18-24, to help reduce the effects of

long-term unemployment during the

economic downturn.

Trainees have undertaken a variety of job roles adding value

to services across the organisation, with 60% entering into

further employment.

182 people

accessed training

21 people

undertook work experience

171 people

entered employment


people volunteered


Community Regeneration: Reporting Back 2012

Community safety

and cohesion projects

We have a range of programmes designed to

improve quality of life in our neighbourhoods.

Making sure that people feel safe in their

homes and neighbourhoods, and helping

communities to come together to understand

and respect one another, despite any apparent

differences, is important to create healthy and

vibrant communities.

Our activities involve our staff working with

people in our communities for their benefit.

Our initiatives include:

——dedicated anti-social behaviour staff

——setting up and facilitating a wide range of

community events, conferences and fun days

——supporting community groups and

delivering tenant representative training

——employing community wardens

——setting up home security and street

safety initiatives.

Key facts

During 2010/11 we invested almost £1.6 million,

made up of contributions from our own money

(£1.2m) and additional funding from external

sources (£0.4m).

This meant for each £1 of our own money

invested, 33p was invested by other funders

(excluding staff costs).




Case study

Anti-Social Behaviour team, Riverside Mersey North

Neighbours in a quiet close were plagued by

anti-social behaviour (ASB) caused by a Riverside

tenant. The tenant in question held alcohol

fuelled riotous parties for days on end. She also

caused ongoing disturbances and fighting in

the street, shouted tirades of foul language,

threatened neighbours and had been the

cause of numerous police call outs.

The ASB team worked to support the victims

and witnesses – residents were threatened,

intimidated, and dog excrement was even put

through their letterboxes. One neighbour

suffered an angina attack after one incident.

The ASB team worked out of hours to interview

victims and witnesses and a total of 18 videos

of incidents and copious notes were collated.

The court case was concluded after a period of

two and a half years. The case went to court for

a five day trial and the six prosecution witnesses

included the police, a member of the ASB team

and four residents, including an 80 year old who

attended court in her wheelchair to give

evidence. The Judge found that the tenant had

breached her ASB injunction a total of 12 times.

He issued her with a suspended prison sentence

and a new injunction banning her from the close

and causing nuisance or threatening behaviour.

One witness said: “I have been able to enjoy

walking out of my front door without worrying

about passing her door. Me and my family can

now sleep and my six year old daughter has

moved back into her own bedroom. She doesn’t

miss school anymore through tiredness and I

don’t have to explain to the school. We are able

to just move on and get on with our own lives.”

We’re keen to share good practice please



Community Regeneration: Reporting Back 2012

Education and

skills services

We are committed to expanding learning

opportunities and life chances in our neighbourhoods.

We support a diverse range of services, from

children’s breakfast clubs to IT workshops for

older adults. Engagement is wide and embraces

all generations.

We continue to provide access to the following

education and skills services:

——adult education

——advice and guidance on education/training

——after school, breakfast and homework clubs

——arts and theatre initiatives

——capacity building training for residents


——horticultural training

——IT learning initiatives/digital inclusion

——parenting skills and support.

Our partnerships with colleges and training

providers are helping tenants take big steps to

the world of work.

Key facts

During 2010/11 we invested almost £1.2million,

made up of contributions from our own money

(£0.9m) and additional funding from external

sources (£0.3m).

This meant for each £1 of our own money

invested, 33p was invested by other funders

(excluding staff costs).




Case study

Get Digital

In 2010 Riverside successfully bid for funding from the Government’s

Get Digital programme, delivered by Digital Unite. The funding

provides three sheltered schemes with communal computers,

tenant internet access and digital cameras.

The support from Digital Unite also includes a package of training

delivered by an expert tutor over a four month period. Tenants

who have never before used a computer or the internet can now

explore digital technology and develop their skills. Tenants can

engage with digital photography, online communication, social

networking and word processing as well as pursuing interests such

as family genealogy, local heritage and card making in a fun,

informative environment.

We’re keen to share good practice please contact:


Community Regeneration: Reporting Back 2012


liveability projects

Our customers consistently tell us that the quality

of their living environment is one of their central

concerns. We are working to change the local

environment for it to be clean, tidy, well-managed

and, where possible, improving it by adding features

such as community gardens and play areas.

Riverside has actively engaged in a range of

programmes designed to improve quality of life

in our neighbourhoods.

We have developed the Your Place team, which

delivers specialist tailored neighbourhood

services to 11 of our neighbourhoods spread

across the country. These places experience

higher than average anti-social behaviour and

poor environmental quality.

Our Your Place teams work with

tenants, residents, community

groups, agencies and

organisations to prioritise

problems and develop ways

to deal with issues.

Teams are based in Carlisle, Mersey North,

Mersey South, Midlands and Pennine.

We also involve tenants and residents in the

transformation of green and open spaces –

we source funding and establish play areas,

community gardens, fruit and vegetable growing

initiatives, orchards, wildflower meadows and

other enhanced spaces for our residents to enjoy.

Key facts

During 2010/11 we invested almost £3.8million,

made up of contributions from our own money

and additional funding from external sources.

This meant for each £1 of our own money

invested, 73p was invested by other funders

(excluding staff costs).

£1 73p


Case study

Your Place, Riverside Mersey

South & Mersey North

Our Your Place teams are working in some of

the most challenging areas of Liverpool where

demolition is taking place. With empty homes

and environmental blight there is much to do,

but our staff are making a real difference.

The Local Councillor for Kensington & Fairfield

said: “Riverside’s Your Place team is a wonderful

resource in Liverpool. In their distinctive

turquoise uniforms the wardens walk the streets

of Kensington, Fairfield and Smithdown offering

reassurance to residents, reporting and dealing

with dumped rubbish, graffiti, unlocked alley

gates and unlit street lamps. They respond

quickly and are the eyes and ears of the public.

They go into schools and talk to the children

about road safety; they join in with community

activities and events and listen to people’s

concerns. They have developed an instinct for

which residents might be vulnerable and support

them individually. The wardens are

complemented by environmental staff, who

clean and tidy the open spaces in the area –

particularly those plots of land where buildings

have been demolished, grassing them over,

keeping them tidy, planting flowers and shrubs,

mending and renewing fencing. They really

improve the look of the place. Because of Your

Place, our place is a good place to live.”

We’re keen to share good practice, please



Community Regeneration: Reporting Back 2012

Wellbeing health,

support and

sports projects

Riverside is committed to working with tenants

and resourcing initiatives which help to improve

the wellbeing and health of tenants.

We work in partnership with local agencies to

promote and develop drug and alcohol, sports,

healthy living projects and much more.

We support and help our older tenants to live

with confidence in their own homes.

Riverside recognises the ability

of older people to lead active,

creative lives and values the

contribution older people make

to their families, society and the

communities in which they live.

Key facts

During 2010/11 we invested almost £420,000,

made up of contributions from our own money

(£260,000) and additional funding from external

sources (£160,000).

This meant for each £1 of our own money

invested, 62p was invested by other funders

(excluding staff costs).

We do this through a range of initiatives

including helping them to build and strengthen

social networks through developing lunch clubs,

healthy eating initiatives and exercise classes.



We also promote safety and wellbeing by

working in partnership with the local fire service

and police to increase security within their homes

and reduce the risk of fire.


Case study


LiveTime is our national three-year pilot project which started in

December 2010. Ten hubs have been created across Riverside to

help provide better services for older people living in our general

needs properties. The hubs are located in the Midlands, Carlisle,

Mersey South, Mersey North and the South East. This work is a key

priority in our local plan.

LiveTime is taking a holistic approach concentrating on four

key areas:

— physical wellbeing

— social wellbeing

— financial wellbeing

— connecting with communities and society

We are developing partnerships with local community centres and

intergenerational projects and have already developed gardening

projects, new low cost lunch clubs, exercise classes and knit and

natter sessions. We are looking at a pilot peer-to-peer affordable

warmth project in Wirral and building links with Age UK, museums

and galleries, police, fire service and tenant groups.

We have carried out face-to-face surveys with 1,115 people and

found that they don’t know about the range of services available

to them from Riverside and other organisations. We now know

that 57% would like to take part in social activities, 16% live in

unsuitable accommodation for their needs, 21% are interested

in resident involvement and 41% required follow up action.

We are currently planning dementia awareness training, an

Older People Conference in 2012 and two affordable warmth events.

We’re keen to share good practice, please contact:

What is Riverside Home

Improvement Agency?

Riverside’s Home Improvement Agency service

is aimed at older owner occupiers with low

incomes or people with a disability or

disadvantage. We recently achieved Quality

Mark Status.

We provide an advice service, visiting free of

charge and inspecting any work that needs

doing or advising on possible adaptations. The

service also offers impartial advice and

signposting to other services to improve quality

of life. We provide support throughout the

process – designing alterations, recommending

appropriate contractors, tendering, and

supervising the work within the resident’s home.

We also find external funding to help meet the

cost of this work. To help our work with the wider

community, Riverside’s Charitable Trust

generously provides funds.

We deliver services in Riverside Mersey North

and South. We have recently started delivering

services to South Ribble and West Lancashire.

We’re keen to share good practice, please



Community Regeneration: Reporting Back 2012

Poverty and social

inclusion projects

Financial exclusion causes individuals to have little

access to, or awareness of, quality financial products

and services. This affects their finances, making the

poorest in society even worse off.

We recognise that this causes major money

management issues for tenants and residents. In

response we have developed a range of projects

and services to help sustain communities and

improve quality of life.

Our most recent survey into tenants’ finances

found that:

——13% don’t have a bank account

——11% are in financial difficulty

——17% have fallen behind paying their rent

——32% don’t save

——46% are worried about debt

——62% don’t know what the term APR means.

Riverside is dedicated to tackling the complex

issues associated with financial exclusion

and work with a range of key providers in

order to deliver activities, which really do

make a difference.

We provide help with:

——affordable loans

——affordable warmth

——banking and saving

——debt advice

——digital inclusion

——financial capability and education


——welfare benefits advice.

Key facts

During 2010/11 we invested almost £860,000,

made up of contributions from our own money

(£450,000) and additional funding from external

sources (£410,000).

This meant for each £1 of our own money

invested, 91p was invested by other funders

(excluding staff costs).

£1 91p


Case study

Affordable Warmth, Riverside

Mersey North

We were successful in securing £1.6 million funding from energy

suppliers E.ON to carry out an insulation programme covering 333

properties in the Anfield and Breckfield areas. This was funded by

the Community Energy Savings Programme (CESP).

Lillian Parry’s home on Coniston Street, Anfield was the first of two

pilot homes for the CESP project. She moved into the house five

years ago. Lillian said: “The minute the temperatures started to

drop, you’d feel it. Last winter it was bad, it was really cold. You’d

put the heating on and it had no impact, it was escaping through

draughts under the doors. You would never really feel the benefit.

The living room and dining room is open plan so you’d just feel

this cold coming through the room.”

“Since the work was completed, my home feels warm and

draught-free, and I’m saving money on my heating bills too.”

We’re keen to share good practice please contact:

Welfare benefits advice,

Riverside Carlisle

This year we worked with a married couple aged

82 and 83, both had been ill and had developed

care needs. They received no benefits, their joint

weekly income was £270 after paying rent and

council tax, their disposable income was £183

per week.

We applied for attendance allowance for them

both and they were awarded the high rate along

with council tax benefit, pension credit and

carers allowance.

Their weekly income has increased to £539.69

plus £94.23 housing and council tax benefit.

They were also awarded a total of £3,449.52 in

backdated benefits.

The financial improvement in their income will

be £20,744.24 in their first year and £17,297.72

in subsequent years.

We’re keen to share good practice please



Moving forward

Rarely have our customers needed

our time and services so greatly.

With the economic downturn and local and

national funding being cut, support services to

tenants are reducing just as the need for them is

increasing. So we will be focusing our efforts

where they are needed most.

In future we will have our own money advice

service, greater support for older people,

improved environmental management and

extended support to help people into jobs

and training.

Through these efforts we will put our vision to

transform lives and revitalise neighbourhoods

into practice both with and for our customers.

Paul Booth,

Regeneration Manager

Contact us


Customer Service Centre

24 hours a day, 365 days a year

0845 111 0000

With inclusive call packages or mobile phones,

it may be cheaper to call 0345 111 0000

We are happy to accept Typetalk calls

Minicom: 0845 111 7766

The Riverside Group Limited

Registered office:

2 Estuary Boulevard,

Estuary Commerce Park,

Liverpool L24 8RF

A charitable Industrial

and Provident Society

January 2012

Details correct at time of printing


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