20 July, 2016
Brexit seemed to pervade the entire CIH conference 2016. However, a glimmer of light came from PlaceShapers' launch and premiere of the 'We Work' film and storybook on 29 June 2016. This focuses on 15 powerful and inspiring stories showing how lives have been transformed by the hard work of the PlaceShapers network and the determination and commitment of the individuals involved such as Jim from Preston who was able to get back into work after being unemployed for 24 years and also Pete from Scunthorpe who, having been released from prison, joined the scheme to do some volunteer work and has now got a full time position as a result. These stories amongst others show that with encouragement, support and work experience provided by the member housing associations success can be achieved.
Placeshapers is a network of over 100 community based housing associations who look for ways to increase the wider social value and add value for money. The 'We Work' initiative has established a partnership with local agencies and businesses to achieve this goal as many of those individuals they have worked with have been long-term unemployed. Supporting people into work helps boost the community as well as saving the public purse in terms of welfare and health expenditure, thus providing social value and value for money. Since 2010 PlaceShapers have helped over 60,000 people find work and build a career.
In these challenging times of budget cuts and a general squeeze on the housing industry this launch came at the right time. We congratulate all involved in the project and wish you further success in the future.