Category Archives: Community

Bolton at Home implements the Government’s rent decrease – Hooray……..?

by John Dunn Assistant Director Bolton at Home

As the Government imposed rent reduction in the public sector is now in place (a decrease of 1% for this year and the 3 years following), it’s probably worth reflecting on what it means for Bolton at Home, and Bolton at Home tenants.

I’m sure its largely welcome by the majority of tenants who feel the impact of Government imposed “austerity” policies. Whether you’re on benefits because you’re unemployed or disabled or can’t find a job, on a zero hours contract not knowing where the next minimum wage hour is coming from, or just working in a low paid job with little or no protection, you’ll be feeling the pain. So who wouldn’t welcome a rent reduction?

Maybe no one, maybe not you, but there is a price to be paid. Continue reading

Food, the recipe to bring communities together

Looking back at what we’ve done in Breightmet over the last 12 months or so, we’ve achieved a surprising amount. Our Social Housing Arts Network (SHAN) project took place last year and it’s really kick-started something quite special.

Setting the scene … the SHAN is an 18-month arts project funded by Arts Council England’s Strategic Touring fund. It wants to create a touring network for artists to deliver socially engaged arts activities to meet the needs of specific places, then share learning and best practice more widely. Four places – Bolton, Sheffield, Tower Hamlets and Doncaster – were the initial locations chosen, with Breightmet and Bolton at Home being the first. Continue reading

Fusion proves life changing for local family

Here’s a customer’s personal account of a better life thanks to the volunteers who run the Fusion Centre, based at Connaught Square in Tonge Moor.

My name’s Joan. I live with my husband Alan and my son David, who has learning difficulties. I have the early stages of dementia. With no support from family or friends, our lives consisted of staying in the house and staring at four walls. My husband rarely smiled and we had no social interaction. This put a big strain on our relationships, so much so, it even led me to attempt suicide.

We heard about an area forum for Tonge and the Haulgh, being held at Bolton at Home’s Tonge Moor UCAN Centre. We decided to go to hear about some road works being done where we live. We didn’t know at the time this would be a life changing experience for us. Continue reading

Customer Committee Eunice: How many pennies will you spend?

I’ve just been to our latest Customer Committee learning and development session. Sound boring? Well, it was quite the opposite as we learned more about how Bolton at Home ticks and what choices they have to make so that all tenants get the best results.

We know money’s tight right now but the simple maths of it all is pay your rent and Bolton at Home will keep maintaining a good place to live for you and your family.

If you’re a tenant and haven’t yet looked at your most recent copy of the Door to Door newsletter, I urge you to read how Bolton at Home spent each £1 of rent monies received last year.

Coming soon, online, will be your chance to say how you’d spend a pound. How much would you put towards building communities? More or less on improving homes and estates? What about making neighbourhoods safe or supporting the more vulnerable?

More details will be available soon. I can’t wait to have a bash. We’ve seen some designs of how it’ll work and I’m sure we’ll all learn something as well as having our “two pennies worth!”

Eunice Rowley

Customer Committee Member

Email: Eunice.Rowley@boltonathome.org.uk

Connecting communities

“Community is important, having a sense of community is essential.” Wise words from the guest speaker at our recent Connecting Communities event at King’s Church. This is where we bring community groups together, so that they can share ideas and learn from each other.

You often hear groups wishing they could have things like other groups, such as luncheon clubs, kids clubs, and buildings! So this is the day we give centre stage to our volunteers who want to ‘showcase’ their work, group or project and explain how they’ve made it happen.

Put yourself in their shoes for a moment. Imagine yourself stood on a large stage, about to address a room full of people (who you may not know), big screen behind you and a microphone in front. Are the hairs standing up on the back of your neck yet, are your palms sweating? That’s exactly how they feel but they do it to help others go back to their communities with fresh ideas. Continue reading