Last updated: 20.07.17

Positive response to first ‘Social Housing Horizons’ Event

Held on 12th July at Knightstone Housing in Weston- Super-Mare, this first networking forum for professionals in the social housing sector was very well received.

The main aim of the forum was to provide an opportunity for fellow professionals from the region to network, discuss best practice and identify new solutions for the delivery of a better workforce.

This first meeting was hosted by Fiona Sheen, Virtual College, Customer Account Manager and Jennifer Trew, Learning & Development Business Partner at Knightstone Housing. Knightstone Housing is a leading housing association in Somerset and the West of England.

Providing services to over 23,000 people in 11,000 homes, Knightstone Housing builds around 300 homes a year.

The theme of this first event was ‘The Changing Work Environment’:

  • With ever reducing budgets, how can HR and L&D work closer with the business to anticipate training needs and meet business objectives?
  • Learning and development requirements of an increasingly agile and flexible workforce
  • How can we also continue to develop ourselves?
  • The changing workforce - attracting the Gen Z and the millennials whilst still meeting the needs of the baby boomers and Gen X and Y.

Attendees included delegates from Elim Housing Association, Merlin Housing Society, DCH Group, Seven Vale Housing Society, Homes in Sedgemoor and Cottsway Housing Association.

Discussion took place around the following topics:

  • Mergers/re-structures
  • e-Learning - culture change
  • Communication from management
  • Technical engagement
  • Increased responsibility on staff
  • Mobile working
  • Building resilience
  • Personal motivation/change fatigue

A number of valuable best practice ideas emerged around:

  • Communication plans
  • Secondments
  • Fun days
  • Mobile working
  • e-Learning

The networking forum was deemed a success by the delegates. Having strayed away from the agenda and proposed topics slightly, many of the challenges that Housing Associations are currently facing were aired by the attendees who were able discuss solutions to overcome the challenges in a positive manner.

The next ‘Social Housing Horizons’ Event will take place on 28th September. Hosted by Aldwyck Housing Group, it will take place at their offices in Houghton Regis, Bedfordshire and will cover topics from speakers Claire McDonald & Amanda Bentley from Luton Community Housing Ltd and Jan Ross, Learning & Development Adviser, Aldwyck Housing Group.

For further information or to book your place at this free event, email:

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