Sovereign provides tools for modern life

22 May 2019 

A recent IPPR Report shows that housing associations offer £70m of support annually to people living in social housing.

As well as increasing funding to £3m a year over the next three years, housing association Sovereign is focusing on giving people the tools they need to go places in modern life.

Over the last year, the organisation’s employment and training service provided 26 dongles, 88 refurbished laptops and 29 grants for driving lessons to residents. 

And more than 580 residents across the south west contacted the housing association’s officers to ask for support in other areas, from building up IT skills, to starting up businesses, to switching careers completely. 

In national ‘Communities that Work week’ - led by Give us a Chance (GUAC) a national body whose purpose is to highlight the ways that housing associations support people into long term and rewarding employment - Sovereign is celebrating the ways that its residents have made huge changes to their lives.

Michelle Smith, Assistant Head of Communities for Sovereign, said: “At Sovereign we support our residents to take the steps that they want to take: whether that’s offering a laptop so that they can successfully manage a universal credit application – which all has to be done online – or giving them a dongle so that they can job search on the move. Other residents come to us for help with CV building, managing household budgets or changing employment – and we’re here to offer that support. 

“Last year, we supported more than 2,200 of our residents to take courses or educational programmes. We’re aiming to provide £3m a year to our communities over the next three years to keep this impetus going.

“We’ve all seen studies in the news only recently that show that the gap between rich and poor in the UK is widening again, after years of decline. But the division between ‘the haves and the have nots’ is not just about income, it starts way before that. It’s about access to education, to technology, to information and to influential social networks and Sovereign can help change that.”