Following the community investment it provided to support local people and voluntary groups during lockdown, leading housing association VIVID is setting up a charitable arm to provide more opportunities and support for its customers and local communities.
VIVID+ will start operating in January 2021 with an initial £21 million to invest in making a long-term impact.
Mark Perry, Chief Executive of VIVID, said: “We’re living in unprecedented times, the effects of which are having immediate and long-term consequences on the world’s and this country’s economy. We’re only at the start of the impact this will have on society and especially the most vulnerable, so by establishing VIVID+ we’ll do all we can to help local people thrive in their homes and neighbourhoods and create brighter futures.
“We know that many more people are facing increased financial pressures following onset of the pandemic. The approaching cold weather and festive period will add more pressure to people already in crisis meaning they’ll struggle to cover the cost of heating bills, food and living costs more so than ever. Being able to launch our charitable arm in January will provide the vital grants needed at a critical time of year and onwards to support people in a wide range of ways.”
This investment from VIVID+ will go towards providing employment, training and money advice to help get customers back into work and sustain their tenancies, access to wellbeing and mental health support, extra funds for voluntary groups to help keep their vital services running, and place shaping activities including funding social enterprises so people feel proud of the area they live.
During lockdown VIVID provided £250,000 worth of grants to foodbanks, charities and community groups; provided 400 free tablets with SIM to help keep vulnerable people connected when self-isolating and to enable school children to complete their home schooling; and welfare calls to hundreds of vulnerable customers.
Mark Perry said: “We’ve learnt a lot throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. As a housing association deep-rooted in the heart of the area we’re in a strong position to use our financial strength and partnerships to do our very best for the customers and communities we serve.”
Further details on how to gain support from VIVID+ will be made available nearer the time of its opening for business in January.