On Wednesday 7 December 2022, we got stuck in with over 20 community projects across the East Midlands, with team members leaving their desks behind to give back to the neighbourhoods where our 10,300 homes are.

We opened ten warm spaces at some of our community centres throughout Derbyshire, where the public came for free hot drinks, cakes and biscuits. People of all generations came along, from those born in the 1920’s to the 2020’s.

Janene Haywood, our Community Engagement Project Delivery Officer said; “It was so lovely to see all these people come together, and we got such positive comments. For some people this was an opportunity to catch-up with neighbours they hadn’t seen since before Covid, which was quite overwhelming to know these warm spaces brought them together again.”

As well as opening warm spaces, employees were spread across Derbyshire and Northamptonshire getting stuck in with various projects. In Daventry the Mayor, Councillor Malcolm Ogle, visited employees tidying communal gardens at Futures’ sheltered housing scheme, Warwick Court, while community group Grow Outside, supported those gardening at Midland Railway Station, Butterley.

From Rushden to Ripley, team Futures were litter picking, painting, planting, digging, tidying and talking in a day dedicated to giving back to the community.

We wouldn’t have been able to complete the day without the generous support of other organisations, such as Amber Valley Borough Council, Daventry Town Council, Travis Perkins, Printscene, Landscape Supply Company, AstraSeal and Cheap Skips.

Janene said: “The feeling of bringing everyone together, not just the community but our colleagues too, is heart-warming. I’m incredibly proud of everyone, I’ve come away with that warm, fuzzy feeling inside! It just shows when we all come together, with that single focus which is about being in the community, just how much we’re able to achieve.”