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Sanctuary lays the foundation for careers in housing

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Sanctuary lays the foundation for careers in housing


Published by Natasha Jones for Sanctuary Housing Association in Housing

Student and income officer at a residents house Student and income officer at a residents house

Sanctuary Housing has provided a real taste of the housing industry by hosting a unique, educational experience for undergraduate students studying at the University of Northampton.

Students saw first-hand the range of calls customer advisors receive as they took a tour around the Shared Service Centre in Banbury and spent the afternoon out on the frontline with housing officers, income advisors and lettings staff, meeting residents in the Cherwell district.

Only in its second year, the housing module forms part of the Social and Community Development BA (Hons) undergraduate degree, for which these students are now in their final year.

For the first time, the Sanctuary Housing experience has become an essential part of the course, previously students had the choice to volunteer with the leading housing provider. Sanctuary staff also appear as guest speakers at the university, talking about interesting topics such as welfare reform, social exclusion and the history of social housing.

Kelly Smith, lecturer in social and community development at the University of Northampton, said: “Sanctuary has provided our students with a valuable opportunity that the University of Northampton greatly appreciates. The students have been able to gain practical experience alongside policy and legislation, delivered in lectures, to see the real implications of these for communities. 

“We are looking forward to continued partnership working with Sanctuary who have made a substantial contribution to the education of housing professions of the future.”

Sanctuary’s head of local partnerships, Harj Lota added: “We were very pleased to host this work experience day for students of the University of Northampton.

“We hope the experience will not only prepare the students for employment, but also give them a true understanding of the complexity of career choices in social housing.”

The partnership between Sanctuary Housing and the University of Northampton is set to continue with plans for possible longer work placements in the future.

For further information about Sanctuary Housing, visit

Students interested in courses at the University of Northampton should visit or come to the next Open Day on Friday 4 July.



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