We’re not just changing renting for the better; our neighbourhoods create wider social, environmental and economic benefits – also known as social value – for local and surrounding communities.
Everyone has a stake in social value creation – us, our residents, local communities and councils – and we know we must continually invest in our neighbourhoods to nurture this. Our role is to support local employment and local suppliers, become civic family members of the communities in which we operate, while pursuing a green and sustainable agenda.
Neighbourhoods anchored in their locality, that are sensitive to the local environment, are more vibrant places to live and where people choose to live for longer. Social value creation then grows through the lifetime of a neighbourhood, as relationships are built and partnerships are forged.
We are backed by long-term investors who share our values and who want to see our neighbourhoods continue to grow and thrive. We continually strive to support and enable social value creation; first at East Village, the former London 2012 Athletes’ Village, and now across the UK.
The impact of the global pandemic has been felt in each of our neighbourhoods, but we have been heartened by our community response and have worked hard to support our residents and local people through this period.
The team has been overwhelmed by the sense of community spirit; from the emotional Thursday night ‘Clap for Carers’ during lockdown, to more than 50 East Village volunteers distributing food parcels to vulnerable neighbours.
Alongside £2,000 donations to local foodbanks in Newham, Southwark and Salford, we wrote to each of our existing charity partners to confirm our continued commitment and offered the NHS our available homes and parking spaces at East Village to be used by local hospital staff.
Since 2015 we’ve distributed more than £100,000 to brilliant local organisations in and around East Village and Elephant and Castle.
Through our Inspiring Communities Fund we distribute grants to support the local communities in and surrounding our neighbourhoods to build community togetherness, improve health and wellbeing and engage local residents, particularly children and young people, in arts and cultural activities.
A wide variety of projects have been supported including a community choir, music classes for children and young people, basketball sessions and health and wellbeing workshops.
Our Get Living story started at the former London 2012 Athletes’ Village and, reflecting that sporting heritage, since 2015 we’ve annually supported 10 promising young athletes during the critical early stages of their careers.
Each athlete receives an annual £1,000 award which contributes towards costs such as travel, accommodation and equipment. This year, our athletes live in and around London and Manchester.
Get Living staff are encouraged to support fundraising efforts through team sporting challenges and for SportsAid that included September’s SportsAid Week #mymiles step count challenge, raising a further £3,000.
After asking the first residents of New Maker Yards which charities meant most to them, we partnered with Mind in Salford to support its valuable work in the local community. Mind provides vital services to make a positive difference to the wellbeing and mental health of thousands of local people.
Through this new partnership, we’ve supported their ‘A Phone Call Away’ campaign across Get Living’s social channels to encourage people to pick up the phone and talk to their loved ones during these difficult times. We also pledged funding to their Community Mindfulness Project, to help provide five, eight-week mindfulness courses for vulnerable people in the local community throughout 2020.
The E20 Football Foundation offers children, young people and adults of all backgrounds and abilities the opportunity to enjoy free football coaching six days a week at Chobham Academy in East Village.
Get Living first met its founder, Jonathan Silman, in 2014 as a young dad playing football with his son in Victory Park. With a background in sports coaching, Jonathan soon found other children joining them for a kick around, which sparked an idea.
Jonathan spoke to Get Living about supporting Sunday morning sessions on the football pitches of East Village’s Chobham Academy and soon after we became the E20 Football Foundation’s founding sponsor.
Visit http://www.e20-ff.co.uk/ for more information.
An East Village community space backed by Get Living opened in April 2019. ‘The Hall’ from the East Village Trust sees free and ‘pay what you can’ sessions running seven days a week; from Girl Guides and playgroups to yoga and boardgame groups.
Through the East Village Community Team, part of Team East Village, weekly homework clubs have also been established to support local young families.
In its first year, The Hall welcomed more than 6,500 local participants to sessions, with almost half under 18.
Since having to close their physical space in response to Covid-19, The Hall hosts groups digitally, including Yoga and Knit and Natter. The Hall’s after school Art Club, run by The Yard, is now online and have made and delivered art packs for local children with all the materials they need to take part. The Hall has also been a big part of the East Village community response to Covid, supporting volunteers in delivering 348 food parcels between April and August.