Greenfields Community Housing and CHIP fund creates Learning Village for residents in the Braintree District
Published by Amanda Bhavnani for Greenfields Community Housing in Housing and also in Communities
Case Study - Alec Hunter Learning Village
The Community Housing and Investment Partnership (CHIP) Fund was established in 2007 when Braintree District Council transferred their housing stock to leading Community Gateway Association, Greenfields Community Housing. The fund totalled £11 million and was designed to ensure long term positive improvements within the district.
The priorities for the CHIP fund are: the development of new affordable housing, the provision of facilities for community benefit, environmental improvements and regeneration activities. Following consultation with residents and the CHIP Fund board, a need was identified for an adult learning centre to benefit the residents of the Braintree District and £250,000 was subsequently assigned for the development of the Alec Hunter Community Learning Village.
Launched in August last year – and based in the Alec Hunter Humanities College in East Braintree – the Community Learning Village specialises in providing numeracy, literacy, parenting and employment skills courses. There is also IT and business training on offer, and the village is available to hire for community groups. There are also meeting rooms and office space that can be booked for hire.
Terry Dixon a resident, comments: “I attended a First Aid course at theAlecHunterCommunityLearningVillagethis year and have benefited hugely from the experience. Not only has it allowed me to develop my skills and knowledge, but it has also given me a real confidence boost and allowed me to mix with other like-minded people in the community.”
Sandra Crosby, Housing Director at Greenfields, says: “The CHIP Fund was set up specifically to facilitate community improvement projects in targeted areas within our district. The Alec Hunter Learning Village is a great example of a project that has delivered tangible benefits to local residents. As awareness has grown there is an ever-increasing demand t courses and we hope to continue to introduce more in the near future based on our residents’ feedback.”
Stansted Airport also contributed £10,000 to the Alec Hunter Learning Village.
Greenfields Community Housing is a not-for-profit, Community Gateway housing association launched to give tenants and leaseholders a big influence in how their housing service is run. The organisation has approximately 8,100 homes spread over the district, which coversBraintree, Witham and Halstead and many surrounding towns and villages, as well as approximately 450 leasehold properties.