Centre For Partnership

Call to graduates to embrace homeless challenge at city event

Posted on: Tuesday, December 6th, 2016

A group of future housing leaders from across the UK will meet up in Bradford this week (8th December) to look at how they can help turn ‘rough lives’ around at a unique homelessness event.

 

Hosted by local housing group Incommunities, 23 recruits on the latest GEM – Graduate Employment Mentoring – programme will on the day get a compelling insight into the growing rough sleeping crisis facing the UK and be challenged to come up with their own solutions.

 

The Homeless GEMshack event takes place at the University of Bradford’s Heaton Mount. It is being run by the group’s Centre for Partnership and will bring together a former homeless person who has turned his life around, national housing leaders, homelessness officers and representatives from local and major homeless charities.

 

The event will be chaired by Incommunities’ Group Chief Executive and Chair of the GEM Programme, Geraldine Howley.

 

Speakers will include Nigel Tooby, artist-in-residence at the Leeds-based charity, Simon on the Streets. Nigel will introduce ‘Eye Spy’, a hard-hitting exhibition of photographic images of life on the streets through the eyes of the homeless themselves. Nigel’s exhibition has received critical acclaim in London and Bath.

 

He will be joined by David Tovey who will share his personal account of his life, sliding from being a successful army chef who cooked for the Queen to ending up on the streets not knowing where he could find food. David transformed his life creating the Man On Bench fashion label to help raise awareness of homelessness. He is also an award winning artist and photographer and has exhibited at the Tate Modern.

 

Key presentations will also be given by Terrie Alafat, Chief Executive of the Chartered Institute of Housing, Paul Gartland, Chief Executive of Bradford-based Horton Housing, Andrew Burnip, Director at Crisis and Grace Darbyshire, Communications Director at South Yorkshire Housing Association who leads the Cathy at 50 campaign.

 

The Cathy at 50 campaign, launched by Inside Housing, is aimed at raising awareness of homelessness and promoting innovative practices to tackle the problem. The campaign will form part of the event. The campaign marks the 50th anniversary of Ken Loach’s iconic film ‘Cathy Come Home’ which exposed the problems of housing and homelessness when it was released 1966.

 

The GEMshack will also feature a Question Time session with the key speakers, a speed dating exercise where the GEM graduates will explore how they can help address homelessness through volunteering, fundraising or through their careers.

 

On the day, Geraldine Howley will present a ‘big cheque’ donation of £1000, on behalf of Incommunities, to the Crisis at Christmas campaign in support of the charities work supporting rough sleepers.

 

Incommunities Group Chief Executive, Geraldine Howley, said: “Homelessness is a growing problem that devastates lives with the number of people on the streets doubling since 2010.

 

“Housing providers, local authorities and charities face increasing challenges in responding to its impact. This event is about raising awareness of homelessness and engaging with young leaders at the start of their housing journey.

 

“Tackling homelessness is fundamental to working in social housing and it’s vital they get it!”

 

Trevor Smith, Director of the Centre for Partnership, said: “The GEM programme is about delivering talented graduates ready to meet the many challenges facing the housing sector.

 

“Homelessness reflects the single biggest challenge facing housing. It is fundamental to the development of the sector and is why we work in social housing. Today’s event is about ensuring housings future leaders understand and embrace homelessness and become part of the solutions.”

 

Since its launch in 2009, the GEM programme has gone from strength to strength. Over 95% of GEMs completing the programme secure jobs. Nearly one-third of GEMs now working in housing are from BME backgrounds and two-thirds are female.

 

The students taking part in the event are part of cohort 9 of the GEM programme and come from housing associations and related organisations across England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. For the first time two of the latest GEM recruits are from Canada and are studying the Chartered Institute of Housing accredited programme via distance learning.

 

 

4 Issued by Tony Lofthouse, Incommunities Media & Communications Officer on 01274 254253. tony.lofthouse@incommunities.co.uk

 

Media interview opportunities

 

Between 12.30pm and 1.15pm (8th Dec) there will be the opportunity to interview Nigel Tooby, artist-in-residence at the Leeds-based charity, Simon on the Streets and former rough sleeper turned entrepreneur David Tovey. All the day’s speakers and GEM graduates will also be available.

 

Speakers and GEM graduates and will be also available for phone interviews before the event (event starts 9.45am) and after (4pm).

To arrange interviews/photos please contact Tony Lofthouse, Incommunities Media & Communications Officer on 01274 254253. tony.lofthouse@incommunities.co.uk

Photo opportunity – 12.30pm at Heaton Mount (Bradford University), BD9 4JU Nigel Tooby, David Tovey, housing leaders and some of the GEM students can be pictured viewing ‘Eye Spy’ exhibition of images of life on the streets through the eyes of the homeless themselves.

 

4 Incommunities Group has over 22,600 homes in West and South Yorkshire. Incommunities is the biggest social landlord in the Bradford District and the Huddersfield-based Sadeh Lok is a traditional BME Housing Association formed in 1988.

 

4 For more information on the GEM programme and how to apply online click www.centreforpartnership.co.uk/the-gems/ or ring 01274 254701.

International Housing Partnership Leaders Meet in Ottawa – Focus on New Ways to Work and Managing Changing Political Landscapes

Posted on: Thursday, November 17th, 2016

Leaders from more than 50 premier housing and community development organizations in Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States gathered in Ottawa the week of October 3rd. In a series of high-level peer exchanges, they tackled overarching topics such as new ways of working in a time of major generational change, managing in rapidly changing political and economic landscapes, and creating effective partnerships between the health and housing sectors. Strategically-focused, and led by the participants, working sessions also included a discussion of contemporary governance models; new business strategies; social inclusion initiatives; and effective approaches to redevelopment and revitalization.

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Alan Arthur and Deidre Schmidt

 

The opening session, centered on changing political landscapes, included participation from leading Canadian policy makers: Jean-Yves Duclos, the federal Minister of Families, Children, and Social Development, whose portfolio includes housing; Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson; and Evan Siddall, President and CEO of Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. Terrie Alafat, chief executive of the UK’s Chartered Institute of Housing, was also a special guest. Minister Duclos spoke of the growing partnerships among the federal government, municipalities, and the provinces, and highlighted his government’s newly-launched $200 million innovations fund.

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Canadian Housing Minister Jean-Yves Duclos, Shayne Ramsay, and Stéphane  Giguère

 

Among the highlights of the exchange was a session led and facilitated by members of the GEM World Housing Organisation, which brings together young housing leaders from the four IHP countries and the Netherlands. Building on research conducted by the group, the session was a highly-interactive, energizing exploration on the future of work and leadership in the social housing arena. Geraldine Howley, chief executive of Incommunities in the UK, has been leading IHP’s engagement in people, culture, and leadership issues for the past several years – with an emphasis on career paths in housing for young people.

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Pippa Medley, Aminda Galappaththi, and Nick Proud

 

The four-day exchange also included site visits to many current and future developments of Ottawa-based IHP members – Centretown Citizens Ottawa Corporation and Ottawa Community Housing, led respectively by Ray Sullivan and Stephane Giguere, who served as local hosts for the event. The closing dinner took place at the Canadian Museum of History, which offered spectacular views of Ottawa’s Parliament Hill and surrounding area.

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Howie Wong and Terrie Alafat

 

Shayne Ramsay, CEO of BC Housing in British Columbia and Chair of IHP and Housing Partnership Canada, presided over the event, which was the eleventh annual leadership exchange of the International Housing Partnership (IHP), which brings together 175 leading housing and community development organizations from the four countries, with a collective portfolio of more than one million affordable homes serving two and a half million people.

Scott Langford, CEO of St. George Community Housing in Sydney, was elected chair of IHP for 2017, and Neil Hadden, chief executive of Genesis Housing Association in London, was elected vice chair.

For more information about IHP and the 2017 IHP Leadership Exchange to be held in Melbourne, Australia, contact Manuel Muelle.

New GEM programme cohort welcomes international recruits

Posted on: Monday, October 31st, 2016

 

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Pictured – Cole McNamee and Nicole Han with Geraldine Howley (right) and Georgina Uttley (left) from Incommunities’ Centre for Partnership Team.

 

Incommunities’ award winning graduate development programme is going international as two Canadian housing officers join its latest group of recruits.

 

The Bradford-based housing group is launching cohort 9 of the GEM Programme – Graduate Employment Mentoring programme – with a two-day induction (Thurs – Friday) at the University of Bradford’s Heaton Mount centre.

 

The GEM programme is run by the Centre for Partnership and aims to fast track graduates that show leadership potential and strong social values into exciting careers in housing.

 

Cole McNamee and Nicole Han become the first overseas graduates to join the blended learning programme, taking their place with 24 students from across the UK.

 

They work for Capital Region Housing, which manages nearly 5,000 rented properties in Edmonton, Alberta, Western Canada.

 

Cole and Nicole were put in touch with the Centre for Partnership after their Chief Executive (Greg Dewling) attended a presentation by Geraldine Howley on the success of the GEM programme and wanted to get involved.

 

Nicole Han said: “I am a firm believer in snapping up an opportunity to learn and grow.

 

“Joining the GEM programme is a great way of developing my career, achieving CIH recognition and getting an international perspective on the housing sector.”

 

Cole McNamee said: “Coming to the UK and Incommunities is a fantastic opportunity and when I heard about the GEM programme at work I wanted to apply straightaway.

 

“I have only been working in social housing for a short time and I’m particularly keen on the mentoring approach to advance my learning.

 

“Incommunities have been great hosts and visiting some of the housing has given me a real insight in preparation for the programme.”

 

The programme also welcomes for the first time two recruits from the Northern Ireland Housing Executive and five from the leading construction company, United Living.

 

During the two-day induction, everyone will meet tutors and mentors from partner organisations as well get first-hand experience from previous GEM students of the value of the programme.

 

A host of housing associations and related organisations are providing paid one-year placements as part of the programme. They include Incommunities, Contour Homes, Orbit Group, Northern Ireland Housing Executive, Regenda Homes, Salix Homes, South Yorkshire Housing Group, Thurrock Council, United Living and the Glasgow-based Wheatley Group.

 

The GEM programme is accredited by the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) with students studying for a Level 4 qualification as well as taking part in intensive personal and leadership development activities.

 

Recruits are joining a programme that gets results. Over 95% of GEMs completing the programme secure jobs. Nearly one-third of GEMs now working in housing are from BME backgrounds and two-thirds are female.

 

Incommunities Group Chief Executive, Geraldine Howley, said: “The GEM programme goes from strength to strength expanding from a local venture seven years ago into a UK wide programme that is now attracting international recruits.

 

“We are delighted to welcome Nicole, Cole and all our new partners and their GEMs onto this exciting programme where they can really make a name for themselves and build rewarding careers in the sector.

 

“All our new GEM recruits will meet for the first time this week and be given an insight into how the UK social housing sector has evolved as well as look at the challenges it faces today.

 

Trevor Smith, Director of the Centre for Partnership, said: “It’s really exciting to see our strategy for GEM expand into the construction sector and our growth geographically become a reality this week.

 

“We will be forging more international partnerships whilst we are delivering this programme as we know housing is a global issue which requires a pipeline of talented graduates to meet the challenges of the future.

 

“As an integral part of the GEM programme, it will be interesting to deliver not just across the UK but also across the Atlantic using Skype and other technologies.”

 

 

4 Issued by Tony Lofthouse, Incommunities Media & Communications Officer on 01274 254253. tony.lofthouse@incommunities.co.uk

 

 

4 Incommunities Group has over 22,600 homes in West and South Yorkshire. Incommunities is the biggest social landlord in the Bradford District and the Huddersfield-based Sadeh Lok is a traditional BME Housing Association formed in 1988.

 

4 For more information on the GEM programme and how to apply online click www.centreforpartnership.co.uk/the-gems/ or ring 01274 254701.

United living Press Release

Posted on: Wednesday, August 17th, 2016

United Living partners with the GEM Programme to recruit graduates across the UK

A national recruitment drive to find a group of exceptional graduates who are keen to build rewarding careers in housing has been launched by UK contractor United Living, in partnership with The Graduate Employment Recruitment (GEM) programme.

The Graduate opportunities will be based at United Living’s Headquarters in Swanley, Kent or its regional offices in Sheffield and Wolverhampton. The graduate programme is designed to give graduates high quality management and leadership training through on the job experience in production, quantity surveying and general management roles. Each recruit will have one to one mentor support from housing leaders.

GEM is an award-winning national learning programme which is delivered by the Centre for Partnership, supported by Incommunities housing association. Each of the contracts offered by United Living and GEM will be two years in length and they are accredited by the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) with students studying for a Level 4 qualification for the housing profession.

Anne Newman, United Living Group’s people services director, said: “We are really excited to be working with the GEM Programme to help recruit our graduates and thus develop a pipeline of leaders to future-proof our strategy of growth to 2020 and beyond. Each GEM recruit will be given a great all round working knowledge of our business and have the opportunity to learn comprehensively about estate regeneration and environmental improvements, particularly within the social housing sector.”

Centre for Partnership Director, Trevor Smith says: “The GEM Programme is a great fit for graduates who want to pursue careers in 21st Century organisations that change lives and be part of an exciting new future for the sector. The GEM Programme focusses on developing GEMs from talented students to housing sector leaders of the future.”

Since 2009, the GEM Programme has trained 119 graduates and almost 85% of those completing the qualification are currently working within the housing sector. Nearly one-third of these GEMs are from BME backgrounds and 59% are female. The programme also provides the right balance of work experience and structured learning which meets the needs of potential employers. This combination makes the GEM programme a very attractive career proposition.

For more information on the roles available visit the United Living website and head to the careers section: www.unitedliving.co.uk

Link to the article – http://www.unitedliving.co.uk/news/2016-08-16-united-living-partners-with-the-gem-programme-to-recruit-graduates-across-the-uk

JGEM – Housing students make the grade 24 Dash

Posted on: Thursday, July 21st, 2016

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On the 20th July our Junior GEMs celebrated successfully completing their CIH level 3 qualification, the celebration event was held at the Quays, Incommunities. See the link for the full article http://www.24dash.com/news/housing/2016-07-21-Housing-students-make-the-grade

GEM Cohort 7 & Junior GEM Cohort 2 Awards Presentation

Posted on: Tuesday, May 24th, 2016

On Friday 20th May, 8 GEMs from Cohort 7 & 9 Junior GEMs congregated at Heaton Mount to celebrate being presented with their Level 4 & 3 Certificate for the Housing Profession.

KIPPA MATTHEWS - © COPYRIGHT NOTICE

We also had the pleasure of been joined by over 70 people for our awards event, which included staff from Incommunities, the CIH, various Housing associations from across the country.  Thank you to everyone for your attendance.

Following this momentous occasion, attendees were invited to a BBQ and an evening of live entertainment. We also took this opportunity to join in the #housingmatters campaign!

KIPPA MATTHEWS - © COPYRIGHT NOTICE

 

Housing Inequalities

Posted on: Friday, December 11th, 2015

Brilliant article here from Geraldine Howley on housing inequalities.

http://www.insidehousing.co.uk/debate/expert-opinion/world-caf/7012879.article?adfesuccess=1

GEM wins again!

Posted on: Friday, October 30th, 2015

The GEM Programme has won the 24 Housing Best Training Scheme Award 2015. This is a huge accomplishment for GEM so a big thank you to everyone who has contributed and supported the programme!

24Housing Award Logo

 

Thomas wins Young Leaders Award!

Posted on: Friday, October 30th, 2015

Thomas Sutton has won the 24 Housing Young Leaders Award 2015! Thomas was on the GEM Programme on Cohort 4 in 2012. Since then he has gone onto be the Smarterbuys store manager for Incommunities. Winning this award is a brilliant achievement for Thomas and the GEM Programme and we hope to see more GEM success like this in the near future.

Well done Thomas!!!

 

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Thomas makes housing leaders final

Posted on: Wednesday, September 9th, 2015

Natural light portraits

Incommunities’ officer, Thomas Sutton, has been shortlisted for a prestigious housing award.

The twenty-five year old graduate is one of five finalists for the 2015 24housing Young Leaders Award, sponsored by Maxmedia.

Now in its fifth year, the competition is one of the leading events in the housing calendar.

Thomas was one of 20 finalists for the award and after an online public vote in May, the final 10 were invited to make presentations to a judging panel in London.

He joins four other young people who will go forward to the live final at the National Housing Federation’s annual conference in Birmingham (23rd September).

Thomas manages the Bradford-based housing group’s Smarterbuys store which provides essential household goods through affordable payment plans.

He joined Incommunities through its award winning GEM – Graduate Employment Mentoring – Programme, which helps graduates into exciting careers in housing. After completing the GEM Programme in 2011, Thomas was offered a permanent role within the group’s Income Team supporting customers affected by the welfare reforms. He had also spent his internship with the team.

Thomas originally went into the teaching profession after university but realised it wasn’t the career path he wanted to take.

Geraldine Howley, Incommunities Group Chief Executive, said: “Everyone is thrilled to see Thomas make the finals of these prestigious awards. He has really prospered through our GEM programme and made a big impact.

“Four years on he now heads up our Smarterbuys store and his leadership qualities show through everything he does.

“Fingers-crossed Thomas can make a winning pitch at the Federation’s annual conference later this month.”

Issued by Tony Lofthouse, Incommunities Media & Communications Officer on 01274 254253. tony.lofthouse@incommunities.co.uk

Incommunities is the largest social landlord in the Bradford District with nearly 21,000 homes for rent and almost 1000 leasehold properties.