Leeds social housing organisation builds community links through sport
Published by Hannah Wooderson for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Communities
WNWHL reaches out to Armley residents
West North West Homes Leeds (WNWHL) has launched a community cohesion project to build links with the Asian community in the Armley area of Leeds.
The Armley Mosque initiative was launched after WNWHL discovered that many of its Asian tenants were not coming forward with their home repair needs and were unsure how to report anti-social behaviour issues or complete service forms.
WNWhl teamed up with the Armley Mosque Committee and developed an approach of using sport, one-to-one dialogue sessions and open days to encourage the tenants, traditionally a hard to reach group, to integrate with the wider community and be more vocal about their housing needs.
Regular surgeries and open days are now held at the mosque to give residents easy access to housing information and advice. WNWHL has already advised more than 150 extra tenants as a result of the new partnership and is delighted that the Asian community has been so receptive to the initiative.
Community Participation Officer at WNWHL, Glyn Beynon, is behind
the scheme and says:
“The project really has been an important piece of work. It’s a new way of approaching cohesion which is making tenants aware of our services while helping integration into the wider community. When we became aware of the communication barriers amongst Armley’s Asian population we realised that we needed to work even harder to reach those tenants. The initiative has proved a fantastic tool for building links between groups of people.”
A number of sporting fixtures have been organised to help open channels of communication between the mosque and the wider community, including a charity cricket match which raised £150 for the British Heart Foundation and paid for new cricket equipment for the mosque.
In addition to future cricket matches, WNWHL and the Armley Mosque Committee are looking to organise other sporting activities in the area and have supplied the mosque with a notice board to advertise upcoming meetings, surgeries and activities to the wider community.
The Armley Mosque project has also encouraged the mosque committee to engage with other local services in the area including Leeds police who have been able to deliver essential advice and information on anti-social behaviour.
West North West Homes Leeds manages more than 21,000 council homes in Leeds. As one of the country’s 69 ALMOs (Arms Length Management organisations), West North West Homes Leeds involves residents in the running and management of their estates. For more information visit http://www.westnorthwesthomesleeds.org.uk/