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Posted 23 May 2024

Residents at Housing 21 have saved over £500k since May 2022 as part of the organisations’ Helping Hands initiative.

Two years ago, Extra Care and Retirement Living provider Housing 21, launched its Helping Hands Fund to offer financial support to residents. The fund has helped over 2,000 residents by offering a one-off grant of up to £300 for day-to-day costs, emergencies or unexpected bills. The fund can be used for food vouchers, white goods and furniture, funeral expenses, utility debts and much more.

The fund aims to not only provide financial support to residents but also guidance and advice from trained employees around benefits and grants that can be claimed. Since January 2022 this approach has helped residents access over £5 million in additional benefits.

Corrinne Askaroff, Strategic Operations Officer at Housing 21, said: “We’ve supported a huge number of residents over the past two years to maximise their income by claiming benefits that they were unaware of, and apply for grants and with one-off payments through the Helping Hands Fund.

“Colleagues have had training to support with having difficult conversations to make talking about money a positive conversation, showing people there is help out there.”

Emma Bryan, Local Housing Manager at Housing 21, shared her experience applying for the fund on behalf of one of her residents, she said: “I looked into help from a food bank but didn’t have a referral; I then thought of Helping Hands Fund and emailed on the off chance they may be able to help. Corrinne called me back almost straight away and issued a shopping voucher almost instantly. I delivered this to my resident who was overwhelmed by the gesture and couldn’t thank us enough for the help.

“On behalf of myself and my resident we can’t thank you enough for the help you provided and the speed which you provided it.”

Another scheme manager at Housing 21 provided feedback on how the initiative has had a real impact on the lives of one of their residents, said: “I just wanted to say thank you for your fast processing of my Helping Hands application. Letting my resident know that she was getting her washing machine was great. She was really happy and sent me a note to say thank you. 

“You really are making a massive difference to residents’ lives by getting them help at a time when they are worried about costs more than ever.”

You can find out more about the Helping Hands Fund here



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