Equilibrium North West, a Birkenhead based community interest company, set up the ‘Little Helpers’ programme in an effort to reduce social isolation of parents and carers, whilst raising the aspirations of young children in the area.
Over 12 sessions, children from ages one to three were invited to explore interactive activities designed to help them understand the roles people play in society and how they help us every day.
Through a grant from One Vision Housing’s Community Development Fund, Equilibrium were able to deliver the programme with over 800 hours of educational fun and memory making at Livingstone Street Play & Community Centre.
Jen, who has attended the sessions with her two year old son, said: The sessions are just fantastic. The ideas the centre comes up with are so creative. We can’t really do messy play at home, so it’s been amazing for my son to get involved in it – his social skills have really developed.”
Joanne, a local childminder, added: “We come every week. There’s always something new for the children to explore and the staff here go above and beyond, so much thought goes into the sessions. The children get to make new friends and experience amazing things. There’s a real community feel here.”
One Vision Housing provides over 13.6k homes across the North West, and as part of The Sovini Group works closely with partner organisations like Equilibrium to forge a better future for communities.
Fellow Group member, Sovini Property Services, delivered the programme’s latest session and provided children with a fun insight into the repairs and maintenance they deliver across affordable homes.
Sharon Munroe, from Equilibrium North West said: “We can’t thank One Vision Housing enough for supporting our Little Helpers programme which has been a great success. The sessions have created a place for local families to come together and gain positive learning experiences to reduce social isolation, build confidence and self-esteem.”
Using the HACT Social Value Calculator, which was formed following extensive research to measure the positive impact of social initiatives, One Vision Housing were able to determine that over £576k of social value had been generated thanks to the project.
Ian Mitchell, Managing Director at One Vision Housing said: “It is clear to see how this wonderful programme is forging a better future for communities across Wirral and we are thrilled to have played a part in bringing these sessions to life. As part of The Sovini Group, we are committed to creating opportunities and changing lives, and this programme demonstrates the impact we can make by coming together and partnering with fellow Group members and those living in our communities.”
A total of £15,000 is available each year for voluntary and community groups through the housing association’s Community Development Fund. Applications can be submitted at any time throughout the year.