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BeConnected party beats the winter blues


                     Press Release


Ref:PRSH289                                                                                             Date: 13thFebruary 2020

BeConnected party beats the winter blues

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A special party organised as part of an award-winning community project managed by Stafford and Rural Homes (SARH) has helped customers banish the winter blues.

The event was held in the community room at the housing association's Independent Living Scheme at Hopton Court in Stafford as part of BeConnected, a successful initiative that aims to tackle loneliness and isolation.

Alison Poole, BeConnected Project Coordinator explained: "After all the excitement of Christmas, for many people, the winter months can be particularly miserable - especially if they are unable to get out and about.

"With live music, fantastic food and good company, the BeConnected Winter Party provided the perfect ‘pick-me-up' for members and volunteers.

More than 50 people came along to the event hosted by residents at Marsh Court, where SARH Independent Living Scheme customers regularly stage their own events and activities.

Local resident, EddieHodkinson, helped organise the party and said: "We decided to host the party in our spacious community room because we recognise the fantastic work the project does in helping people to make new friends and enjoy an active social life.

"We also don't need much of an excuse to have a party!"

Managed by SARH, part of the Housing Plus Group  BeConnected provides a programme offun and free activities including arts, crafts, gardening and exercise classesacross the borough. BeConnected is funded by The National LotteryCommunity Fund. 


Pictured at the party are: (back row l-r) Alison Poole, BeConnected Project Coordinator; Nita Pearce, BeConnected Volunteer; Barbara Hodkinson, Volunteer and Customer; Eddie Hodkinson, volunteer and customer, and (front row l-r) customers Christine Edensor, Joan. Grundy and Pat Whiston. 

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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, SARH set up a trading subsidiary company Housing Worx, to deliver planned maintenance works to its properties and fulfil commercial contracts in 2012. SARH also offers 18 Independent Living schemes for people aged over 55 and an award-winning Telecare home safety and personal security system for the elderly and vulnerable ‘You First’. SARH has invested more than £280 million on improvement and regeneration programmes and have built 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 has pledged to build or acquire 900 new homes by 2021 and 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’.


SARH is registered as a Charitable Community Benefit Society and is part of Housing Plus Group, one of the largest housing providers in the region.  

Follow SARH on Twitter @SARHomesFollow 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 and Communications Manager

t:01785 216793 (Direct) 
m:07800 619 863 (Mobile)