We were recently recognised at the prestigious Northern Housing Awards 2021 for the lead role we played in Burnley’s COVID response and the creation of the local community hub, Burnley Together.
We were shortlisted against seven other Northern housing associations and went on to win the Resident Support/Advice Programme of the Year category.
Burnley Together was set up in March 2020 when we joined local partners to provide an emergency response and support local people through the COVID-19 pandemic. More than a year later, we remain a key partner as the hub continues offer people in the community the support they need, through food parcels, debt, and housing advice and much more.
We became the bridge between local people and the organisations that were there to give support at a time when the usual way of working had changed dramatically. As well as supporting customers, they supported the organisations they were working in partnership with to ensure they could access the resources they needed to deliver a service e.g. ingredients for a local charity to cook, offer a ‘meals on wheels’ service and collecting food donations for the local foodbank.
Since 23 March 2020, Burnley Together has received 19,629 contacts and supported 5382 individual households. They have also supplied 6587 food parcels.
From 10th – 14th May 2021, the Burnley Together team received 377 contacts, checked 32 residents were okay, provided 218 food parcels and provided 103 residents with other support, showing that there is still a vast and essential requirement for the service post-lockdown.
We continue to manage and operate the Burnley Together telephone support line, along with the external communications, and directly reach out frequently to those within the local community, ensuring that vulnerable people have the support they need.
One customer said, “I am a self-employed market trader and have not worked during lock down. I didn’t know how I was going to cope, and I wouldn’t have managed if it wasn’t for your service.”
Another said, “I was really desperate with no food at all, and as I had just come out of hospital, and I couldn’t walk due to my hips. I don’t know what I would have done without you, I have no family to help so I was really stuck.”
The awards ceremony took place on Thursday 13 May and judges of the Northern Housing Awards said, “The pandemic changed lives and services. This project [Burnley Together] took advantage of the turmoil to create new partnerships across different sectors. These partnerships will be essential going forward. This was a standout entry that showed lasting positive impact.”
Burnley Council is one of the leading partners in Burnley Together. Councillor, Margaret Lishman, the Council’s Executive Member for Health and Wellbeing said, “It’s great to see recognition of the marvellous work that Burnley Together has done to support our local communities and help people through these challenging times. Burnley Together has brought out the best in people and the different organisations involved in it, and the lessons we’ve learned will continue to benefit our borough well after COVID is over.”
Leanne Townley, Personalised Services Manager at Calico Homes, was involved with the initial set up of Burnley Together and worked closely with the team to make sure that the service ran as efficiently as possible, reaching those in the community who needed it.
Leanne says. “It has been amazing to see the people of Burnley coming together during the pandemic. The team, partners and the local community have all contributed to the success of Burnley Together and thoroughly deserve the award. Burnley Together is an essential service, providing support in a way that works for our customers. ”
Mark Beach, Managing Director at Calico Homes, said, “This win is a testament to all the teams and partners that keep Burnley Together moving, continuing to provide vital support and helping make a real difference to people’s lives. Calico is committed to ensuring Burnley Together continues to play a crucial role helping our communities as we recover from the pandemic”
The Northern Housing Awards celebrate and promote all the great things local housing providers and their supply chain partners are doing. You can find out more about the Northern Housing Awards here: https://northernhousingawards.co.uk/