Our Social mission and Values
Our mission is the reason why we exist. It is our purpose, our cause and it is: to support transformation in the lives of residents and communities, becoming the charity partner to the social housing sector.
Our 2025 vision is where we want to be in the pursuit of our mission and is: to enable more lives to be transformed, across more communities, by continuously improving the difference we make and the value we bring to our partnerships with 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: compassionate, collaborative, agile, insightful and ethical.
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.
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 2025 Plan: Progress and Partnership
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 2025. Within the plan we have four aims and these are:
- Be a valued and integral long-term partner to our donors in how they enable transformation in the lives of their residents and communities.
- Partner with more social housing providers, and their supply chains, so our model can reach more individuals and communities.
- Embed a learning culture so we can understand, improve and demonstrate the difference we make and then share this with others.
- Improve the effectiveness and efficiency of our work through continual development and integration of systems.
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 Chair, Fiona Ellison. Fiona was previously an independent member of Longleigh’s Finance & Investment Committee, supporting the team to utilise the investment from our corporate partner. She is also a Director of the Unite Foundation, which delivers a unique university accommodation scholarship for care leavers and estranged students. Her career has focused mainly on the youth and charitable sectors.
Fiona is joined on the board by:
- Anne Dokov;
- Liz Morris;
- John Weguelin;
- Ron Williamson;
- Aisha Butera; and
- Heather Bowman.
Our Company Secretary is Annie 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 delivery of our grant programmes to individuals and organisations
- 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.
Visit our team page to find out about us and why we are so proud to be part of the Longleigh team helping to transform people’s lives.