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You are here: Home > The power of partnerships

PartnershipsWestlea Housing has been about a lot more than just bricks and mortar for a long time now – but our commitment to helping create better, stronger neighbourhoods, and improving the quality of life for residents, has never been stronger.

And we know how much more we can do by working with others than we could alone.

Work in partnership
At Westlea, we know we can find creative, long-term solutions to problems by working in partnership with voluntary and community organisations, the private sector, not-for-profit charities and most importantly the communities themselves.

Stick around
The issues we deal with cannot be solved overnight and we welcome the resources and expertise of different organisations to achieve the best results for our communities. Westlea invests in innovative approaches to tackle complex issues. We prefer to stick around than to offer a ‘quick fix’ that might not last.

See the bigger picture
Working in partnership means that we can look objectively at what we are doing. This helps us to avoid duplication and confusion and to identify how things can be done better. We can share results through our website, networking events, local community activities, resident conference and our annual impact statement.

Include and communicate
We work with local communities, we listen and learn from their experiences, and we are committed to building relationships with residents to share ideas.

Young Carers Partnership - with Youth Action Wiltshire
Wiltshire Young Carers is a registered charity and this partnership provides confidential advice, information and emotional support to young carers of any age living where Westlea has its homes. A young carer is achild or young person who looks after a family member with a serious or long-term illness, physical disability, mental health problem, drug or alcohol dependency, or a learning disability.

The charity arranges a number of free activities so that young carers can take part in a wide variety of events. It is a great way to get to know other young carers in a safe and fun way. Transport and food are provided and it is all free to young carers.

If you would like to get involved with any activities or would like further information please call on 01380 720671 or email yc@youthactionwiltshire.org.

Jigsaw Project - with Barnardo’s
The aim of this project is to provide intensive support for individual families, with children aged 0 -19 years, or young people who are tenants in their own right, to help them maintain their tenancies. We aim to work in partnership with Westlea Housing Officers, supporting families, some with ‘starter tenancies’ to stay in their homes. We work with families on agreed contracts of work, for a time limited period, using regular reviews to check out the progress of our involvement.

Our work remains child focused, helping to keep children living in safe homes. We will use joint meetings to bring together agencies to help families who are experiencing complex and multiple problems. We will also advocate on behalf of children and their families. When appropriate, we will offer targeted groups and family group conferences, and we will continue to signpost children and families on to other services. We can offer confidential advice about a number of child and parenting related issues, and advice on housing, financial management and benefits.

If you would like further information please call 01249 463907.

Project Inspire Credits - with Youth Action Wiltshire
Project Inspire Credits for Young People is an exciting volunteering scheme for young Westlea residents aged 12 to 16 living in the Hill Rise area of Chippenham, delivered by Youth Action Wiltshire. The project works by giving young people an opportunity to volunteer in a wide range of activities that will benefit others and the young people themselves. Volunteering opportunities include Mountain Bike Mechanics, Woodwork Skills, Sports Coaching, Conservation Volunteering, First Aid and D of E Taster sessions amongst others.

In return for volunteering, the young people earn themselves credits which can be saved towards individual goals, such as swimming lessons, gym membership or for reward trips that are organised by Project Inspire staff. Reward trips include Mountain Biking, Rifle Shooting, Quad Biking, Power Boating, High Ropes sessions and other fun activities. Credits for Young People aims to give young people theopportunity to learn, meet new people, develop skillsand confidence alongside earning credits that they can spend on fun reward trips or something that will improve their health and wellbeing.

For more information please contact Rob Guy on 0750 2299300 or rob@youthactionwiltshire.org.

Salamander Project - with the Wiltshire Fire Service
The Salamander Project is run by Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service and aimed at young people between 13 and 17. It teaches young people about the consequences of anti-social and criminal behaviour. The group typically sees footage about road traffic collisions, participates in a water rope rescue, and learns about the working lives of firefighters and the risks they undertake on a daily basis.

Young people work on developing team-building and communication skills, which help to generate mutual respect for peers and instructors. The project enables those taking part to meet others from different backgrounds, to overcome personal fears and even phobias, and learn new skills – such as abseiling 50 feet down the drill tower of a fire station as part of their tuition in rope rescue skills!

For more information on the Salamander Project please contact Jamie Salmon on 01249 465465 or email jamie.salmon@westlea.co.uk.

Adult Carers Partnership - with Carer Support Wiltshire
Carer Support Wiltshire is a charity that provides support, advice, information and opportunities to people who have caring responsibilities for a relative, neighbour or friend, which may be for 24 hours a day. Carers have a valuable role in helping people to
manage at home, and we recognise that carers need help and support themselves.

Carer Support Wiltshire provides one-to-one practical and emotional support from experienced Carers Support workers, at times and venues to suit; information and advice about Carers’ rights, assessments and other support; newsletters; access to funding for Carers; and opportunities to meet other Carers and ‘time out’ from the caring role. Activities have included theatre trips, outings to places of interest, digital photography classes, alternative therapy and much more.

For more information please phone 0800 181 4118

Financial Inclusion - with CAB Wiltshire
Wiltshire Citizens Advice provides free, confidential advice to everyone. Westlea Housing Association and Wiltshire Citizens Advice have a dedicated service for all Westlea Housing Association residents and employees.

Our caseworkers can advise and help you with benefit and debt problems. We can check that you are receiving all the benefits you are entitled to and advise on appealing any benefit decisions. We can give free debt advice and deal with creditors on your behalf.

Our ‘Money Friends’ can support you in managing your household budget. We can help you open a new basic bank account and to start saving. We can help you make savings on your gas, electricity and water bills. We can help you make charitable applications if appropriate.

Contact us on 01249 445115 Ext. 3 (there is a 24-hour answerphone) or email westlea@northwiltscab.org.uk.

Partners in Literacy - with Wiltshire Council
The aim of the Partners in Literacy project is to put a structure in place so that families, particularly those with children under the age of 5, can access support to help them improve both their own and their children’s literacy. We will be targeting literacy support to families living in Calne, Chippenham and Trowbridge, offering a range of free activities where Westlea has homes to support families to improve their literacy.

We will also be launching a Community Literacy Champion initiative for adults with poor or low literacy in these communities, offering 1:1 first step support with reading, writing, speaking and listening skills. This support is for adults from families where there are under 5s. Our vision is a future where all Wiltshire families are supported to increase their literacy – we want to see more families playing, reading, singing, scribbling and drawing with their children as research tells us that this is the stuff that can change lives and help Wiltshire children to flourish and achieve.

For more information please contact Chris Moore on 01225 713716 or email chris.moore@wiltshire.gov.uk.

Youth Outreach Team - with Wiltshire Council Development Service for Young People
The Chippenham Area Youth Outreach Team is a team of professional youth workers employed by Wiltshire Council Youth Development Service. All the Team are police checked, carry identity cards and are recognised by distinctive red hoodies or polo shirts. We work around the area on the streets, in parks, community halls or wherever young people go.

We provide young people with information, opportunities and useful links. The Team help young people meet the needs they identify themselves during friendly chats and fun activities like rounders and cooking. We offer advice about life issues, support young people to create their own activities and help them link into other opportunities that are around the area.

We can help make things happen and give young people a voice in their communities. We work in the community with lots of different people. We are interested in what young people have to say and want to show young people in a positive light.

For more information please contact Sophie Morris on 01249 655249 or email sophiemorris@wiltshire.gov.uk.

Workability Skills & Support - with Vocation Quest
Vocation Quest is a Community Interest Company supporting unemployed people, living in Wiltshire. We hold a weekly Job Club that is free and open to all those looking for employment and direction. The Job Club is an open and friendly place to meet others who are dealing with the same things that you are, to swap ideas and experiences, a place where you will not be judged but welcomed just as you are. We listen to individuals to identify what it is that they most need support with – including ‘workability skills’ like interview skills or identifying untapped talents, or introducing them to another partner agency more skilled at solutions for their particular difficulty.

We run group activities which include workshops and social events as requested by Vocation Quest members. We also focus on different ways of working that might lead to employment; that might mean a new type of work, a new way to work like self-employment, setting up a new business or developing new skills.

For further information or an informal chat on how we can support you please contact Sue Jordan on 07855 405 288 or email suejordan@vocationquest.co.uk.

Link Schemes - with Community First
Link Schemes are local voluntary groups that offer a ‘Good Neighbour’ service to any local people in need of it. For example, the service benefits people who are disabled, living in areas with poor services, are elderly, or temporarily in need because of illness. Volunteers offer practical help with things like small tasks in the home and garden, collecting shopping and prescriptions or even just calling in for a chat, baking a cake or changing a light bulb.

Transport can be provided for medical appointments, social visits (including going to luncheon clubs or day centres) or visiting relatives or friends in hospital. Link Schemes provide a free, confidential service, but welcome donations from their users. All donations are used in the provision of the service, which is run entirely by volunteers. There are opportunities for Westlea residents to become volunteers – gaining great experience and supporting the project.

For more information, see the website at www.wiltslink.org.uk or contact Helen Lines on 01380 722241 or email hlines@communityfirst.org.uk.

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