Place Category: Communities
- Website & Social
- Social Impact Declaration
- Social Impact Statements
As a Home Improvement Agency HomeFirst Plus is a not for profit, locally based organisation that assists elderly, disabled or vulnerable clients by providing a range of services and adaptations designed specifically to help them remain independent in their own homes. By improving people’s living conditions, HIAs enhance their quality of life and enable them to remain in their home in greater comfort and security.
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Social Impact Statements
The Social Enterprise Mark criteria includes a requirement that the applicant can demonstrate that social and/or environmental objectives are being achieved.
In support of this, new applicants and renewing Mark holders must submit Social Impact Statements that summarise their headline activities and achievements, helping show how they are striving to make a difference and stand up to scrutiny of purpose as a social enterprise.
Updated September 2017
1) Providing services to support people to live independent and fulfilling lives
Somerset Care & Repair (SC&R) has provided a raft of services, which includes disabled adaptations for the elderly and disabled, bringing empty properties back into use for those in greatest housing need, recycling of furniture made available to those on low incomes, training of the long term unemployed and ex-offenders on building sites and within the furniture recycling unit.
To date we have brought back into use 75 empty properties and where appropriate used long term unemployed people under instruction of our employed site supervisors to undertake the work. This provides work experience training and work readiness and has resulted in over 30 volunteers either finding work or undertaking FE courses.
On completion the properties are made available to those in greatest need on the Local Authority housing waiting list. Often these tenants have been excluded from all other mainstream housing. SC&R works closely with the local colleges giving onsite experience to their students.
Furnicare is a furniture recycling unit, taking donations and making items available at low cost to those on low incomes. It also provides additional training to the long term unemployed in warehousing, customer service, pick up and deliverers, furniture repair and office administration.
SC&R still undertakes disabled adaptations for the elderly and disabled including its own stair lift company fitting both new and refurbished lifts. Furnicare also has a mobility and adaptations show room so Furnicare clients and the general public have easier, more affordable access to aids and adaptions in the Yeovil area. SC&R have also gained planning permission to build 3 new properties using timber-frame, eco housing methods using trainees and contractors to provide low-cost housing for the homeless.
2) Measures of support provided
We have 75 properties housing single tenants, couples and families all supported by SC&R staff to maintain their tenancy. In addition, we have undertaken countless adaptations, which not only helps the client but impacts greatly on the clients family.
We have literally hundreds of clients a week buying furniture through Furnicare, we have also saved 200 tonnes of furniture from entering landfill.
We have assisted over 100 volunteers providing work experience and training.
We have supported trainees in employment, housing and education and are currently in talks with all our tenants to get those that are unemployed into long-term work or education.
All services are mindful to recycle wherever possible and reduce the amount of waste and landfill.
3) Benefits created for local communities
Local communities have gained by having 75 local properties back into use, reducing degradation to the area and housing the homeless. This reduces antisocial behaviour, increased local house value and improved the aesthetics of the area.
An ex-offender with violent tendencies has spent 6 months on-site training with us and turned his life around. We found him a home and a job which he has been successfully working at for over 3 months now without incident. His attitude has completely changed and multiple agencies have congratulated us on changing him so dramatically.
3 other ex-offenders have found long-term employment after trialling on site with us.
We recently helped a tenant suffering from domestic abuse to seek help and helped her move into a secure premise away from the area she was living in.
We provided support for a tenant with over £2,000 of rents arrears who has now brought the debt down to £400 with advice, support and patience from our housing officer.
We have provided work for a local charity called the Hub who work with trainees with multiple learning difficulties or disabilities, who's painting and decorating team have been working along side ours to gain experience and advice to expand their own project.