We spoke to Judie Obeya, Neighbourhood Investment Manager at Clarion Futures, to find out how they have been supporting the community:
Q What is your role at Clarion Futures?
A I am the Neighbourhood Investment Manager for the London South Region for Clarion Futures and sit within the Communities Team. My role is to look for opportunities to work in partnership with local organisations and stakeholders to deliver projects that service communities where Clarion have housing. An important part of my role is to support the capacity building of local infrastructures and lend influence, experience and support to priorities at a local level; and to support initiatives such as Mottingham Big Local Refocused (MBLR). As the Neighbourhood Investment Manager I manage a team of 3 officers and we offer a diverse range of initiatives that allow residents to access opportunities to support their health and mental well-being; staying connected in their neighbourhood so reducing isolation and loneliness and enabling personal growth and development.
Q How does Clarion Futures relate to Clarion Housing Association?
A Clarion Futures is the charitable subsidiary for Clarion Housing Group (CHG), which is the largest housing association in the country, with 125,000 properties servicing 360,000 residents. Clarion Futures delivers CHGs community investment programme and we are committed to delivering services that will improve the life chances of the tenants we house. Our ‘Jobs and Training’ , ‘Financial and Digital Inclusion’ and ‘Communities’ teams focus on supporting residents into work and training; maximising income and increasing financial capability and digital inclusion; and developing cohesive communities.
Q How did Clarion Futures support residents in Mottingham during lockdown?
A Clarion Futures very quickly, as soon as lockdown was announced 23 March 2020, were aware of the impact that lockdown would have on our communities and partners and how the effect could be detrimental to our most vulnerable and isolated residents. Our priority was to ensure partners were able to continue their services in accordance with government guidelines. It was understood that in order for continued delivery, support would be needed to adapt services. As a result we quickly designed our National Emergency Support Fund for community and voluntary organisations. Through our Emergency Support Fund Central Eltham Youth Project was awarded funding to deliver free ‘comfort boxes’ to Clarion LiveSmart residents containing cooked frozen meals, fresh fruit and veg and tinned food on a weekly basis. They also delivered 30-45 packed lunches per day to school-aged children living in Mottingham. As additional support to the London Borough of Bromley, Clarion Futures contributed £15K to the Emergency Fund administered by Community Links Bromley to support services and local organisations.
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