Category Archives: Vestia General

What Happened During April 2017

Employment Services

During April 2017 we delivered the seventeenth and eighteenth On Your Mark Programmes, which saw twelve learners successfully complete the course and achieve a Level 1 City and Guilds in Employability Skills.

Jack, one of the two learners from April who has since gained employment said; “Thanks for everything! You have really helped me, and I consider you and this course the main reason I have a job!”

MoodMasters – 12 Week Stress and Worry Programme

On Tuesdays 3rd April we, alongside HR colleagues, commenced the first of two pilot programmes for the MoodMasters 12 Week Stress and Worry Programme, as part of the Group’s absence management programme & employee well-being commitment.

Running weekly, the MoodMaster programme aims to provide a range of simple tools and techniques to help improve ‘resilience’ to stressors for attendees, enabling them to better manage life’s (and work’s) emotional ups and downs more effectively, cope better with everyday stresses and worries and improve their overall quality of life.

So far the first two programmes have been running extremely well, with attendees benefiting from the tools and techniques learnt.

Baxter College Careers Event

On Tuesday 4th April we hosted a careers event for Baxter College, the event helped support Baxter’s year 8 pupils in their selection of options and possible careers choices.

During the event, pupils were able to get involved with a number of interactive stands, including Grounds Maintenance – Pot your own Sunflower Plant, Construction – Knock in the Nail and an Interview and CV Writing workshop, with two of our Job Coaches.

The pupils were also able to speak with different Apprentices from across the Group, and get an insight into the skills and expectations an employer would want from an applicant.

Following the successful day, the school commented; “Our students gained a valuable first insight into the expectations employers have, including the need for good communication skills and a positive attitude to work reflected by a good attendance and punctuality record. We would like to thank Kathleen Sandford and the rest of the team at TCHG for organising this annual event and for their continuing support, helping students at Baxter”

Worcestershire TeleCare Customer Care

On Tuesday 25th April 2017, our Training and Development Officer, Karen Evans delivered a bespoke Customer Care Workshop, for Worcestershire TeleCare (WTC).

The workshop, which Karen initially designed and delivered in 2016 focuses on telephony-based services and assistive technology.

Since the initially delivery, the workshops have helped raise awareness of WTC’s customers and the challenges they face and positive feedback from customers have increased.

Dress Down Friday

On Friday 28th April 2017, we had our first dress down Friday, in aid of the Kidderminster Food Bank, which is short of supplies. Visitors to Community House also joined in with the spirit of dress down Friday by bringing a gift for the food bank!

Food banks handed out a record number of meals over the last 12 months and need your support wherever possible!

Visit Kidderminster Food Bank’s website for further details on how you can support this important cause;

What Happened During February 2017

Chamber of Commerce Careers Event

On Tuesday 7th February The Community Housing Group (TCHG) supported a careers event, which was organised by the Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce at King Charles High School.

The event which was targeted at year 8, year 9 and Sixth Form pupils was a great success. Our TCHG representatives were able to talk to the pupils about post-16 options, including Apprenticeships.

Building Better Opportunities

On the 6th February we welcomed Jo Hodgson, BBO Jobs Coach to the Vestia Training team, over the next two years Jo will work alongside Kirsty Thorpe, who is also a BBO Jobs Coach.

The Jobs Coaches will work 1-1 with participants, supporting them with an agreed individual plan, helping local people move into employment, improving their lives and securing future prosperity.

Building Better Opportunities (BBO) is a European Social Fund (ESF) and Big Lottery funded project which aims to deliver parts of a European Social programme that focuses on employment and skills. The project will be delivered by Fusion, a Housing and Voluntary and Community Sector (VCT) led consortium.

Vestia Community Trust led the work to establish Fusion and acted as lead in the bids to deliver ESF/Lottery contracts in a Worcestershire. The organisations within Fusion are working together to deliver Worcestershire wide programmes and provide better, more comprehensive and coherent services; producing better outcomes for residents in need of help moving into sustainable paid employment.

In addition to Housing and VCS, Fusion also has the support of strategic partners, including the District Councils, Heart of Worcestershire College and Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce.

If you know of someone who is long term unemployed or ‘economically inactive’ (not currently seeking employment) and would benefit from BBO support, please contact Vestia at or call 01562 733133 and ask for a member of the Vestia BBO team.

Vestia Updates

Big Lottery Building Better Opportunities – European Social Investment Fund Success

The Vestia led consortium Fusion has been successful in a further bid for Building Better Opportunities funding.  We now move onto stage two of the bidding process to develop full proposals for an investment of £1 million of Lottery and European Social Investment Funding to help long term unemployed into work.

The Worcestershire Building Better Opportunities has been shaped by the Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership and is part of the European Social Investment Fund 2014-2020 programme to invest in local projects tackling the root causes of poverty, promoting social inclusion and driving local jobs and growth.

This success has come from work carried out over the last two years, where Vestia has engaged and worked with Worcestershire principal Housing Associations, Redditch Borough Housing and a range of specialist Voluntary Sector Organisations, to establish the Fusion consortium.

Over the next 3 months Vestia will continue to work with partners to submit the stage 2 application.

Partnership work with The Illegal Money Lending Team and West Mercia Police

A new campaign urging people not to get bitten by loan sharks has been launched in Kidderminster by the England Illegal Money Lending Team who are working in partnership with West Mercia Police, Community Housing Group and Worcestershire Trading Standards.

Leaflets will be delivered to residents across Sion Hill and Horsefair by the agencies involved, posters will be displayed at local shops and beer mats will be delivered to local pubs. Agencies will be on hand on 15th June to talk to local residents about the danger of Loan Sharks.

Vander Browning – Vestia Board Member

Vander Browning

I am the co-opted service user Board Member for Vestia. This was a new post that was the result of me asking why the board didn’t have one!!

I thought it was important for the Board to have someone who had used the services of  Vestia as I was worried that Board’s sometimes forget that people are at the other end of their choices. I am really pleased to say that I was wrong about the Vestia Board. They have a passion to make sure service users are at the heart of all they do! My term as a co-optee will last two years and I have already served one year so it is important that we recruit another service user to come up and take over from me next year.

For the new person they will get a lots of support from the Vestia Board, staff and of course me.

I am a mother to three children, actually it’s now two teenagers and an adult with a job, and a husband!! 6 years ago we faced a number of difficulties and I needed some support, Sharon, a Vestia Families Key workers was appointed to help me. She was brilliant. She took time to get to know me and my family, she helped me recognise my families strengths and what we wanted to change. She was then there to help guide my family to change things  so we were back on the right path.

Some readers may ask why I am looking back but I am keen to share with others so they can see that with the right help, they can get past difficulties and see a brighter future.

Vestia not only provides support to families, they also deliver training to help unemployed into work and support local projects like Big Local DY10.

If you want to know more about Vestia and its Board please email

I also want to thank the Vestia team for all their hard work and dedication over the last 5 years.