EDS is committed to working in partnership with likeminded organisations to regenerate economies and communities for the benefit of local residents. As a consequence it has worked closely with a number of Housing Associations to revitalise their communities through: the provision of employment opportunities for local residents (e.g. L&Q and Homes for Islington, London and Accord, West Midlands): improvements to service delivery (e.g. IN Environmental Services, Liverpool); and development of social enterprise businesses (e.g. LHT, Liverpool). More recently the Company has advised RSLs on the feasibility of in-sourcing services (e.g. CGA, Preston).
- Community Gateway Association, Preston
- Development of IN Environmental Services (INES), Liverpool
- Business Review of Jigsaw Neighbourhood Services, Liverpool
- Greenscape Estate Services, Wednesbury
Association Social Enterprise Business Opportunity
Client: Community Gateway Association, Preston
Over the past six months EDS has been working with Community Gateway Association in Preston, on initiatives designed to reduce levels of worklessness on their estates through the in-sourcing of services. The project initially consulted tenant and resident representatives and officers on existing service provision, and opportunities to establish arms-length social enterprise businesses which could improve service delivery as well as provide employment opportunities for local residents. After considering over a dozen service areas the study focused upon three that had the potential to operate as successful social enterprise businesses: a housing maintenance and repairs business; a homecare business and an environmental services business. After the first stage of the options appraisal CGA’s board made a decision not to renew the repairs and maintenance contracts and establish a new in-house service. During the second stage, EDS undertook an in-depth analysis of the viability and job creation potential of the remaining two proposed businesses, recommending: the establishment of an arm-length environmental social enterprise business which would focus on the delivery of the two in-sourced grounds maintenance contracts and in-house gardening, landscaping and fencing activities; and the establishment of a joint venture with a care co-operative to provide a homecare service. Both recommendations are under consideration by CGA’s board.
EDS provided technical assistance to Enterprise-Liverpool Ltd. on the establishment of an innovative model of collaborative working between a private sector contractor and a community based environmental social enterprise. EDS’s role was to facilitate the delivery of a co-ordinated programme of environmental improvements across Liverpool which enhanced rather than replicated Enterprise-Liverpool’s mainstream environmental services contract. The social enterprise in question was INclude Regeneration Ltd an environmental employment initiative established by Plus Dane Housing. EDS’s involvement ensured that a viable business and implementation plan was developed for the collaborative programme, which led to the establishment IN Environmental Services Ltd (INES), a community based business which provides sustainable employment for local people and delivers grounds maintenance contracts across Merseyside.
Jigsaw Neighbourhood Solutions (JNS) was a project established by Liverpool Housing Trust tasked with delivery of a range of youth engagement, environmental enhancement and community engagement initiatives across the Vicinity Housing Group in Merseyside. EDS were commissioned by LHT to review the operation of JNS and investigate opportunities to establish it as an arms-length social enterprise business. Following an independent assessment of performance, through desk research and in-depth stakeholder consultations, the EDS team reviewed JNS’s management and operational structures and income generation potential. The study concluded that JNS was a successful brand through which LHT was successfully engaging with key resident and youth groups and its incorporation into an arms-length social enterprise business would not significantly add value to LHT, operationally or financially. JNS currently operates as a department within LHT’s Neighbourhood Division.
Greenscape Estate Management is an arms-length social enterprise business established by the Accord Housing Group to undertake grounds maintenance and landscaping activities across its estates in the West Midlands. In 2009/10, EDS as DWP Future Jobs Fund contractors approached Greenscape to identify opportunities to provide entry level training in grounds maintenance for local long term unemployed residents on Accord Estates in Wednesbury. Through this initiative eight local residents obtained ground maintenance skills, five of whom obtained permanent employment.