Adding social value in the community

Getting involved and doing more

Our work within local communities providing new, quality housing also brings opportunities to get directly involved and do more.

We empower our managers on active projects to support the local communities.

Understanding the need

Rowlinson is currently on site delivering Gorton House Mill, a 106 home extra care scheme, for Southway Housing.

Early engagement with community stakeholders means that we’re ideally placed to form effective relationships with a clear understanding of local need. It’s an ideal way to understand if there any gaps that can be filled through with added social value.

As the build programme started, Rowlinson formed good links with the local community centre, including the Healthy Me Healthy Communities (HMHC) social enterprise. Together with our supply chain partners, we supported a number of activities including food collections.

Lockdown pressures

Everything changed for the group during lockdown. There was a huge increase in demand putting a strain on outreach work alongside the need to operate within the Covid guidelines.

In early 2021, HMHC took responsibility for part of the Gorton Community Centre with the aim of providing a Community Grocer and training room to assist people across Gorton and Abbey Hey. Unfortunately, the rooms were in a state of disrepair and in urgent need of refurbishment.

“We realised there was an opportunity for us to do more.”

Rowlinson met with the social enterprise and gained an understanding of the challenges facing the group.

David Chilton, managing director, Rowlinson, said: “HMHC do a great job and really care about improving people’s life expectancies through food based work.

“With the impact of the pandemic hitting people hard, we realised there was an opportunity for us to do more. We agreed to take over the Community Centre for a short period of time and, working in a Covid-secure way, delivered a whole range of improvements including electrical, flooring, fit-out and redecoration works.”

Direct benefits

 The result of the team’s hard work meant that HMHC was able to establish a new community grocer when need was greatest. Well stocked with a range of fruit, vegetables and other supplies at reduced prices, it further aims to help people make healthier food choices.

Jill Blanshard, Services & Business Development Manager, HMHC said: “Without Rowlinson’s help, we simply wouldn’t have been able to get up and running at a crucial time when the community need was high.

“As a social enterprise with very limited funds, the input from Rowlinson was invaluable. Our services were in place earlier, helping us achieve increased membership for our Community Grocer and the ongoing delivery of food and wellbeing courses.”

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HMHC, improving outcomes through healthier food

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