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Prestigious award for pioneering project


                     Press Release


Date: 8thMay 2018 

Prestigious award for pioneering project

An ambitious project, led by Stafford and Rural Homes (SARH), has scooped a prestigious award after helping to tackle loneliness in local communities.

Since its launch last year, dozens of people have taken part in a wide range of activities organised as part of BeConnected, a pioneering scheme that's now been recognised by a national organisation representinghousing association customers.

At a recent awards ceremony in Birmingham, SARH was presented with the Community Focused Service/Product of the Year for the Central Region by the Tenant Participation Advisory Service (Tpas).

The award recognises how the project, which has been run for a year in partnership with Stafford Borough Council, has a clear mission to improve health and wellbeing and reconnect people with their local community.

Karen Armitage, SARH Chief Executive, commented: "We're delighted to have received this award from an organisation that represents our most important stakeholders, our customers.

"The accolade reflects all the hard work put in by everyone involved with the project, particularly the volunteers from the local community who have played such an important part in its success."

As part of BeConnected, around 10 sessions per month are delivered at locations across the borough, many of them at Independent Living Schemes managed by SARH.

Project Worker, Susan Cooke, explained:  "This packed programme included individual and group activities - from afternoon teas and quizzes to Tai Chi classes and presentations by guest speakers - and it was fantastic to be involved in the delivery of the project."

Feedback from the events suggests that 80 per cent of those taking part acquired new skills, 86 per cent became more physically active and everyone feltmore integrated in the wider community.

Karen Armitage, SARH Chief Executive, added: "A huge well done to everyone involved in a project that really demonstrates our commitment to building stronger and healthier communities.

"The Tpas award is the latest in a series of accolades recognising our efforts to encourage people to ‘Be the Best' they can be and follows hot on the heels of the announcement that SARH is the leading housing association in theSunday Times 100Best Not-for-Profit Companies to work for list."

SARH will now go forward to the National Finals of the Tpas Awards, with the winners due to be announced on 12th July 2018.


Caption: Pictured here receiving the Tpas award are (from left to right) BeConnected Project Worker, Susan Cooke; Elizabeth Lodge, SARH Health and Wellbeing Manager, Jean Shaw, BeConnected Volunteer, Jenny Osbourne Tpas Chief Executive.

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About Stafford and Rural Homes

Stafford and Rural Homes (SARH) is the largest social landlord in Stafford with around 6,000 homes across Stafford, Stone and the rural villages across the Borough. Established in 2006 to own and manage the former Stafford Borough Council housing stock, SARHset up a trading subsidiary company Housing Worx, to deliver planned maintenance works to its properties and fulfil commercial contracts in 2012. SARHalso offers 18 Independent Living schemes for people aged over 55 andan award winning Telecare home safety and personal security system for the elderly and vulnerable.SARH has invested more than £100 million on improvement and regeneration programmes and building over 500 high quality new homes for rent and shared ownership which have benefited SARH customers by improving neighbourhoods and creating job opportunities for local people. The housing association works in partnership with local authorities, health trusts, statutory bodies and a range of voluntary organisations to create safe, sustainable communities where residents can ‘Live, Work and Grow'.

Follow SARH on Twitter@SARHomes

Media contact:

Martin Farrow

CHANGEWORKS Communications
t: + 44 (0) 1785 247588

m: +44 (0)7771 970025


Stafford and Rural Homes contact:

Mara Hargreaves
Marketing Manager

t:01785 216793 (Direct) 

m:07800 619 863 (Mobile)