Pickering and Ferens Homes set to leave culture stamp on city thanks to backing by regional community fund

Pickering and Ferens Homes set to leave culture stamp on city thanks to backing by regional community fund

A community project developed by one of Hull and East Riding’s leading housing associations has been awarded a share of £153k grant funding.

Our Lives. Our Hull, being launched by Pickering and Ferens Homes, is one of 29 projects to be backed by social housing consortium Efficiency North.

The City of Culture-linked project will provide an opportunity for residents to tell their life stories through art. Blank canvases will be freely available to residents and their family, who will be encouraged work on them at weekly craft groups designed to encourage social interaction and reduce loneliness and isolation.

The funding also means Pickering and Ferens Homes can now commission up to three artists to deliver the craft groups as well as create and choreograph a drama and dance piece to perform to residents and local schools to portray their home, work, war, school and family life – all of which will be captured on video.

Claire Champlin, health and wellbeing manager at Pickering and Ferens Homes and project leader, said: “We’re thrilled to have received this money that will enable us to successfully run the Our Lives. Our Hull project.

“It will provide residents with an opportunity to form part of Hull’s City of Culture legacy – some of the stories they tell are fascinating and it’s brilliant that we’re now going to have an archived piece to look at in the future and for generations to come.

“Craft activities prove to be popular among our residents – while it may offer something free and fun for them to participate in the benefits run much deeper in helping to reduce loneliness and isolation, increase confidence and encourage social interaction, which is extremely high on Pickering and Ferens Homes agenda.”

The EN:Able Community Investment Fund is generated through Efficiency North’s procurement frameworks for construction and maintenance schemes for social housing and it received over 100 applications for a total of nearly £900k.

Bids were received from a diverse range of excellent projects working to support the communities of social housing landlords throughout the region.

The Fund is targeted at local projects that are sustainable over the long term, provide local employment opportunities, encourage self-sufficiency and that will also provide long term benefits for the wider local community, reflecting the 4 strategic aims of Efficiency North’s vision.

The fund will open for its next (sixth) round of applications in August 2017.

Efficiency North’s Social Value Manager Paul Mitchell said: “The standard of applications was exceptionally high this year with some very close scoring and strong competition between so many excellent local projects.

“It’s great that Efficiency North can generate so much funding for such a diverse range of initiatives but we always like to do more and intend that EN:Able funding will again increase substantially when it opens next year.”