A housing association group created by a merger a year ago has celebrated its first anniversary with the launch of a new £500,000 community fund.
Jigsaw Homes Group opened its Jigsaw community fund for applications earlier this week to mark the occasion. Furthermore, it launched new action plans to improve neighbourhoods where it works across the North West and East Midlands.
The organisation, which owns around 34,000 homes across Greater Manchester, Lancashire, Cheshire, Merseyside and Nottinghamshire has earmarked half-a-million pounds of investment for local projects in 2019/2020 as part of its new Jigsaw Foundation.
Residents, charities, social enterprises, voluntary groups and local agencies are invited to bid for a share of this money towards projects involving health and well-being, employability, financial inclusion, the environment and encourage enterprise and training.
Tenants signed up to Jigsaw Rewards surveys will also be able to vote on where bids of up £25,000 should be spent. Entries in excess of this amount will be decided by Jigsaw’s executive team, the organisation said.
“Since we merged, we’ve focused on improving our services to tenants and communities as a new, larger organisation and I’m delighted to celebrate our first year with significant neighbourhood investments and extra support for those most in need,” said the group’s chief executive, Hilary Roberts.
“Our new Jigsaw Foundation builds on the success of former neighbourhood funding programmes and it’s also a chance for tenants to have their say on how money should be spent in their areas. It’s a fantastic opportunity for local projects in all our communities to get the support they need to make a positive impact and we look forward to receiving applications.”
Meanwhile, new three-year action plans are also in place across all of Jigsaw’s 61 neighbourhoods with targeted work around health and wellbeing, employability, antisocial behaviour, community desirability and tenancy sustainability.
A £50,000 hardship fund has also been set up to pay for essentials like beds and cookers for tenants who cannot provide their own. Referrals will be made by Jigsaw.
Jigsaw Homes Group formed on 3 April 2018 from the merger of New Charter Group and Adactus Housing Group. It has an annual turnover over of around £200 million and employs around 1,450 people.
Main Image: Jigsaw Homes Group and partners celebrate the launch of the new £500,000 Jigsaw Foundation community fund at Jigsaw’s head office in Tameside, Greater Manchester