Stonewater wins Innovation of the Year for Longleigh Foundation

Social housing provider Stonewater has won a top national innovation award for the creation of Longleigh Foundation, a new independent grant-giving charity which helps the UK’s most vulnerable residents and communities affected by poverty and welfare cuts.

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The Foundation has been named Innovation of the Year at the 24housing Awards after it was set up a year ago with a £1 million endowment by Stonewater to help alleviate the impact of government budget cuts and policy reform on the most disadvantaged members of the community. Like many housing associations, the cuts have put immense pressure on Stonewater’s ability to provide enhanced services and support beyond its core purpose of providing good quality housing for those who need it most.

“Within the 31,500 homes we manage, we have many vulnerable residents who need additional help beyond their immediate housing needs,” explains Nicholas Harris, Stonewater’s Chief Executive. “This is what inspired the creation of Longleigh Foundation, which provides funds for individuals and projects that help our most disadvantaged residents and communities who are struggling through poverty, exclusion, lack of opportunity or skills and qualifications.”

This year, Longleigh’s grant-giving activities have been focused on supporting projects relating to community cohesion; isolation and inclusion; positive intervention; health and wellbeing, including individual hardship cases, and funding for strategic research. Key projects funded by Longleigh over the past 12 months include a domestic abuse ‘Recovery Toolkit’ for residents at our Southampton Women’s Refuge; a national training scheme for elderly residents tackling digital exclusion and a healthier lifestyles initiative; a project tackling loneliness in Reading’s Tilehurst area, and a number of youth projects in Dorset.

“We’re delighted to have won this prestigious innovation award for Longleigh Foundation and proud that its funding activities are helping the most vulnerable in our communities and making a real difference to people’s lives,” says Nicholas Harris.