PRESTON-based Community Gateway has become one of the first UK housing associations to sign up to a new Board Charter for Community Investment.
“Investing in our local communities is fundamental to Community Gateway and is right at the heart of our social purpose,” said David Yates, chair of Community Gateway’s board. “As part of our Gateway in the Community programme, we deliver a wide range of services across the city and beyond to support local residents and enable neighbourhoods to flourish.
“As with everything here at Gateway, it is the tenants who shape and scrutinise our community investment programme, so we can be sure the projects we deliver make a real difference to local people and neighbourhoods.”
Rob Wakefield, the organisation’s chief executive, added: “Signing up to the charter demonstrates our continued commitment to working with our communities and making sure that our investment has a real and positive impact on people’s lives.”
Andrew van Doorn, chief executive of HACT, said: “As one of the first housing association in the UK to sign up to the charter, they have demonstrated their commitment to community investment and highlighted their role as one of the leading anchor institutions in Preston.”
The charter was launched by the Centre for Excellence in Community Investment (CECI), which was itself launched in September 2018 by HACT, with funding support from Clarion Futures, L&Q, Peabody and Sovereign.
As part of the pledge, Community Gateway will work with CECI to help maximise and measure the impact of its work.
“When the Centre for Excellence in Community Investment launched the board charter in September, we were inundated with interest from housing providers across the UK,” van Doorn added.
“Many social housing organisations are already driving forward the community investment agenda and they recognise that there is now a significant opportunity for us to speak more collectively, effectively and publicly, formalising our long-term commitment and ensuring our social purpose is embedded across our businesses.”
The board charter consists of nine pledges to which social housing organisation boards are required to commit. These are:
The Communities Pledge:
- Community investment is core to our role as a social housing organisation and central to our social purpose.
- We commit to owning, investing in, and celebrating our community investment work and its impact.
- We will work with the Centre for Excellence in Community Investment to help maximise and measure the impact of our work, as well as invest in the people who deliver it.
How we’re going to deliver it:
- Our Community Investment Strategy will be underpinned by an action plan, and the appropriate resources, people and skills to deliver on our objectives.
- We will ensure residents are at the heart of community investment, co-creating service design and involved in scrutiny and review.
- We will be part of our communities, with Board members leaving the boardroom to see community investment delivery first-hand.
How we’ll demonstrate it:
- We commit to a methodologically robust and rigorous measurement mechanism to evidence the impact of community investment activity.
- We will publish key measures of success in our annual report to facilitate transparency and accountability.
- We will be leaders and advocates for community investment, both in and outside of the housing sector.
Main Image: David Yates, chair of the board, and Rob Wakefield, chief executive, both of Community Gateway.