Clarion Housing Group, the largest housing association in the country, has launched Clarion Futures, a charitable foundation responsible for investing £150 million over the next decade. Over the course of ten years, Clarion Futures’ ambition is to contribute £1 billion in social value* to individuals and communities across the country.
Keith Exford CBE, Group Chief Executive, commented:
"Critics of the housing sector sometimes claim we have lost our social purpose, they couldn’t be more wrong. Our mission is to change lives and communities for the better and Clarion Futures will allow us to do this on a bigger and more ambitious scale than ever before."
Clarion has an established employment support service, offered to residents nationwide to help develop their skills and place them into work, with major employers including Sainsbury’s, Primark and Pret a Manger. Clarion is also the lead delivery partner for Love London Working, a major employment programme funded by the European Social Fund and managed by the Greater London Authority, open to all Londoners aged over 16. The jobs and training arm of Clarion Futures will expand further, with a target to support 4,000 people into work every year. This includes a commitment to place at least 250 people into apprenticeships, through positions at Clarion and with other employers.
Clarion Futures Money and Digital is focused on financial guidance and helping residents get online. Financial guidance helps residents manage their outgoings, access free debt advice, banking services, savings and affordable loans through a national partnership with Leeds Credit Union. In parallel the digital team runs group courses and one to one sessions to help people benefit from being online. Clarion Futures is part of the national One Digital consortium, which recently received £4million from the Big Lottery Fund to help 40,000 people improve their digital skills.
Clarion Futures Communities will take the lead in making a difference in local communities through social action projects. The team will support 75 community centres to deliver community programmes across the country. The Communities team also provides grants to local groups, where beneficiaries will range from youth groups to community allotments. Clarion Futures will provide £250,000 in grants every year. The Communities team will also work with young people to play an active role in their communities through volunteering, citizenship and sports programmes. In total Clarion Futures will aim to help 15,000 young people every year.
Sue Killen, Chair of Clarion Futures commented,
"With the national spotlight on social housing, I am especially proud we are launching Clarion Futures now. We are not just a social landlord, what drives everyone at Clarion is the desire to maximise the opportunities we provide to our residents. Clarion Futures will build on our record of delivery and enable us to transform the lives of thousands more people".