Our mission is the reason why we exist. It is our purpose, our cause and it is: to provide funding that enables lives to be transformed.
Our 2022 vision is where want to be in the pursuit of our mission and is: to be established as a charitable foundation dedicated to providing funding that enables transformation in the lives of individuals and communities served by the social housing sector.
Our values guide us in how we aspire to go about our work. They help you understand what you can expect from us and what we hope for in return when working together. They are to be: transformative, passionate, aspirational, collaborative and agile.
How we were founded
Longleigh was originally set up in late 2015 by the social housing provider Stonewater who recognised that many of their residents – in both independent and supported housing – and the communities they are part of, had needs which were not being met. Today, this original motivation remains as relevant as it was back then. Indeed, we feel Longleigh is needed more than ever.
More and more people are unable to access the support they need. Many people are struggling with severe financial pressures which can then have a dramatically negative impact on many other areas of their lives. In many cases this is due to reductions in, or the disappearance of, public and community services combined with ongoing changes to the welfare system and the precarious nature of work and employment in the UK today.
Stonewater realised that establishing Longleigh as an independent charitable foundation, to provide help and support at the right time to both individuals and communities, could make a significant difference to the communities they serve and go beyond what they could achieve as a landlord alone. Stonewater’s vision was recognised as they won Innovation of the Year at the 24housing Awards for setting up Longleigh.
We have received long term financial support from Stonewater due to the difference our work is making. Alongside the financial support Stonewater provides, it also wants to see us take our transformative funding model out to other parts of the UK to grow our fund. An increased scale will allow us to give value for money to all our donors while supporting more and more people and communities.
Here at Longleigh our values inform everything we do. They guide our relationships with each other, with our partner organisations and how and where we allocate funding. For all funding applications we will want to know how the funding is in line with our values of being transformative, passionate, aspirational, collaborative and agile.
We know there are many funders that will support community organisations in developing and delivering services that fill the needs and gaps created by reductions in public spending. The role of these funders is vital. Our focus is to look at these gaps, and beyond, and encourage transformative approaches that will, in the longer-term, see the lives of individuals and their communities be sustainably better.
Striving for transformative change requires us to work in new ways ourselves. Those bold people in our communities need people to believe in their ideas – they need people to work alongside them and take the right risks with them. This is why – right from our application process to our commitment to multiple-year funding – we are completely relational in our approach.
Our vision means that we focus on addressing the issues that are more prevalent, pronounced and entrenched across the social housing population. For example, projects we have funded are addressing the following themes:
- Provision of new beds for children and young people who have no bed of their own to sleep in at night to support their physical and emotional health and wellbeing and opportunity to thrive at school.
- Intensive mentoring support for young adults to help them build confidence and skills and to access training, work experience and employment.
- Ex-armed services personnel who have poor mental health to gain on-site experience and off-site training in the property development industry.
- Suicide prevention through the safety of text messaging, leading on to ongoing support, for those with suicidal thoughts and their family and friends.
- Personal development programmes for women living in a refuge after suffering from domestic violence and abuse so that they may rebuild their confidence, self- esteem and move forwards in their lives.
Our Journey to 2022 strategy
As Lewis Carroll once said, “if you don’t know where you are going, any road will take you there”. So, we developed our plan, called The Journey to 2022. Within the plan we have four aims and these are:
- Increase our fund size to increase the support we can offer and to deliver value for money to our donors.
- Use our scale to attract match funding, bringing new resources into the communities we are here to serve.
- Be an active and integral strategic partner to our donors so they can do more to improve and enhance the lives of individuals and the communities they are working in.
- Share our experiences and learning across the housing and charitable foundation sectors – the challenges we face in society weren’t created in a vacuum and they won’t be solved in one either. It is by working together and through collaboration that we can take great strides forward.
If our aims resonate with you and you want to discuss how you can support us or work with us towards meeting them, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Our Board of Trustees
Our Board of Trustees ensure that we have the right policies & practices, scrutiny, financial planning, strategies and support in place. This enables us to fulfil our responsibilities as a charitable foundation and to award funds that can be genuinely transformative in making a difference for people and communities.
Our Trustee team is led by our Chairman, David Emerson CBE. David spent 14 years as the Chief Executive of the Association of Charitable Foundations. David is also the Chair for ACRE (Action with Communities in Rural England).
David is joined on the board by:
- Ron Williamson (Chair of Longleigh’s Finance & Investment Committee)
- Liz Morris
- John Weguelin
- Anne Dokov
- Jon Pearson is an independent member on our Finance & Investment Committee.
Our Company Secretary is Anne Harling.
Our staff team
Our commitment is to ensure that as much money as possible goes into the funding programmes we deliver. We have a small staff team that leads on:
- Our day-to-day implementation of strategy;
- The close, relational way of working with grant applicants;
- Running our organisation to ensure safe and sound operating and financial management; and
- Developing relationships with other funders, donors and partners.
Andy Peers is our Chief Executive. Andy has held senior leadership roles within The Big Issue movement, The Big Life group and the British Red Cross. He has provided organisational and team development support to more than 150 charities and social enterprises ranging from pre-start to established stages, from the locally to the internationally focused, with turnovers ranging from £0 to £200 million per annum and across a broad range of social, cultural and environmental issues. Andy brings his 18-plus years of experience in the service delivery side of social change to ensuring that, as a funder, Longleigh remains as transformative in its own approach as we want to see in those we fund.
You can contact Andy on firstname.lastname@example.org
Andy is joined on the staff team by: