Our Community Levy

At Aspire Housing, we aim to make a positive, lasting difference to individuals and communities. Through our work, we are committed to adding social value to our area and supporting people to build better futures.

The focus of this takes many different forms and we use our Community Levy fund to finance different projects and initiatives that support our customers.

Thank you to our partners

We'd like to say a huge thank you to all the partner organisations and suppliers who help to fund our Community Levy. 

When Aspire Housing agrees contracts with suppliers or service providers, these organisations generously donate a percentage of the contract value to the Community Levy. 

This incredible support helps us to fulfil our commitment to social value in our communities.

What has the Community Levy funded?

Kind donations to the Community Levy fund have helped us to support our customers in a number of ways in areas such as helping people into work, improving life chances and mental health support.

Helping people into work

We have a number of initiatives that support people into training and employment, including:

  • Supporting a role to co-ordinate and develop apprentices at Aspire, preparing them for further education and employment, and supporting their learning and wellbeing
  • Our employment and skills hub in Newcastle-under-Lyme town centre that is open six days a week - The WorkShop offers tailored and personalised career support to help in accessing training, employment or education. This is in partnership with Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council and a range of local partners
  • Our Barriers Fund can help to break down barriers for anyone wanting to access training or employment, such as assisting with course fee payments, travel costs and clothing (subject to eligibility)

You can read a snapshot of our success stories in the case studies, here.

Improving life chances

We offer a range of our advice through our Money Mentor and Money Advice Team. This includes debt management, benefit advice, fuel and food vouchers and data sim cards. Our support is often coupled with the work of our Employment & Skills Team who also assist these customers into work.

Case Study:

One of our customers was a care leaver in their first tenancy. We gave them support in budgeting, prioritising bills, a ‘winter warmth’ pack plus a data sim card. We also completed a benefits check which included a ‘better off in work’ calculation. We assisted them into part-time, temporary employment which then became permanent. They are now being recruited into a more senior position which means they will be able to come off benefits all together, sustaining their tenancy at the same time.

You can read more about the great work of our Money Advice Team, here.

Mental health service

Customers who present with mental health issues are offered counselling sessions which have been a fantastic support mechanism. We use a ‘remote provision model’ as best practice, (set up during covid). This utilises WhatsApp, video calls and telephone calls as appropriate for each customer, evolving into a more flexible, responsive service. Some one-to-one appointments have also been implemented as circumstances warranted.

Outcomes are extremely positive and have surpassed expectations. The feedback from customers has been excellent:

"Without this service I do not know how I would have coped. The counsellor has been my rock."

"The counsellor has been there for me through some very dark times, she is so empathetic and understanding, just wanted to say a huge thank you."

Moving forward we want to continue evolving the service offer, providing mental health counselling support via more one-to-ones and also drop-ins, utilising the locality hub locations, and telephone/internet support as appropriate.

We also have a dedicated page here on our website which offers help and advice, including how our Wellbeing Team can assist.

Realise charity funds

In 2022, we made the decision to close down our group Realise charity and to bring the charitable activities into Aspire Housing. 

All past funds raised for Realise charity will continue to be used to support charitable activities through our Community Levy fund.