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Bromsgrove District Housing Trust (bdht) is pleased to announce the launch of their new Community Coaching program, designed to help customers feel empowered within the community and informed financially.

The Community Coach role was launched in November 2021 as a pilot with Kate Harvey for the Burcot Lane estate and with proven success bdht have rolled out the program with a second Community Coach, Louise Smith, for the Shawfield area and May farm Close in Wythall. bdht decided to launch this as a new concept to incorporate different roles within the company such as a lettings officer, income officer, communities’ officer etc. into one single person in small areas as the Community Coach. Differing from the Community Officer role, this set up allows the community coach more time in the community with people and offers a one stop person managing all the day to day roles of the company in these areas. This role coincides with regeneration of these areas.

The Community Coaching program is open to bdht customers in these areas and provides one-on-one support and guidance to help any individuals who may need it. The Community Coaches are working closely in these areas to make the residents aware they are they are there to help. Whether customers are just looking for a friendly chat or if they are struggling and need support, Kate and Louise are focused on assisting however needed. They will be trying to get the customers’ needs met, bring the community back together, and give customers their voice back by supporting them introduce what they want to see in their communities.

Kate Harvey, Burcot Lane Community Coach said, “When the opportunity for the pilot came up, I knew this was the role for me as I was already enjoying working in the housing team and with the community at bdht. I knew this would allow me to work more closely with our customers and really help them feel empowered that their voices are heard by supporting them however I can.”

With the cost of living crisis, bdht recognises that their customers are really being affected so the role also incorporates budget coaching. Working with customers as a friendly face in the community, the coaches are trying to get in and identify those struggling financially early. They are on hand to resolve any issues the customers may be facing, and support them with various aspects including trying to access grants or assessing their finances to help them with their expenditures.

The coaches will be in the communities daily and have scheduled drop-in sessions to give customers access to any support they need. The coaches are experienced professionals who are passionate about helping others gain financial knowledge and skills. They provide tailored and accessible support and guidance to help customers achieve their financial ambitions.

Louise Smith, Shawfield and Wythall Community Coach said, “I feel very lucky to be appointed to this role, the results so far are really positive and I can already see the impact of our work within the Shawfield and Wythall area. Our role allows us to listen to customers more closely so we can support however we can. Following in Kate’s footsteps in Burcot, I am looking forward to bringing a sense of community back to this area.”

“We are delighted to be launching this new program,” said Ashlea Green, Support Manager at bdht. “We are committed to helping our customers become more empowered, and the Community Coaching program is an important part of that. We are confident that it will make a real and tangible difference to people’s lives.”

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