The essential journalist news source
Sing-a-long success for SARH scheme



Ref:PRSH259                                                                                                       Date: 21st February 2019

 Sing-a-long success for SARH scheme

A special event has helped to celebrate the ongoing success of an award-winning project that's helping to tackle loneliness in Stafford and surrounding areas.

Led by Stafford and Rural Homes (SARH)  BeConnected includes a programme offun and free activities including arts, crafts, gardening and exercise classesand one of the highlights is an annual party to help beat the winter blues.

During the party at St Bertelin's Church Hall in Holmcroft Road, Stafford, more than 40 BeConnected customers, carers and SARH employees joined the housing association's Chief Executive Karen Armitage in a sing-along led by local singer HollyReynolds. After enjoying a buffet lunch they danced away the afternoon to hitsfrom the 50s, 60s and 70s.

The event also proved a fitting farewell to Project Worker, Susan Cooke, who has led BeConnected since its successful launch in 2017.

Now Susan is set to retire but says she'll be staying in touch with all the friends she has made over the last two years.

"I've thoroughly enjoyed working on the project, I've met so many wonderful people," she said. "I'm sure I'll be helping out as one of the volunteers who are so vital to its success."

Amongst those taking part in the event were Kenneth and Christine Bowe from The Bothy, near Stafford who said they thoroughly enjoyed the party.

"As you get older it gets harder to get out and about and since Kenneth suffered a stroke it has been even more difficult, particularly in the cold, dark winter months," Christine explained. "BeConnected has proved a great way to make new friends and feel part of the community."

Karen Armitage added: "Once again, the BeConnected winter ‘Pick Me Up' party was a huge success and it proved a great way to lift the spirits of those who would otherwise be stuck at home.

"It also provided the ideal opportunity to thank Susan for all her hard work in making BeConnected such a success."


Pictured at the party are (left to right):Kenneth Bowe; Project Worker, Susan Cooke; SARH Chief ExecutiveKaren Armitage;singer HollyReynolds and Christine Bowe. 

- - - ENDS - - -

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. A Community Benefit Society (CBS), 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)