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Learn a Lot, Live A Lot project will improve lives; Community Regeneration & Sustainable Communities.

AN award-winning housing management company is helping to improve the lives of its tenants through education.

Blyth Valley Housing is an award-winning arm's length management company set up in 2002 to manage the council housing stock across Blyth Valley Borough.

The company prides itself on providing an excellent housing service for tenants and going the extra mile to ensure that customers are delighted.

Since 2002, the company was awarded 2* status, achieved the decent homes standard ahead of Government deadlines and ranked eighth in the country for tenant satisfaction in 2007. The company is committed not only to excellent customer service and community regeneration but to improving the quality of life for tenants.

The latest commitment is the launch of the second phase of Learn a Lot, Live a Lot.

This is a free training and events programme for all tenants that aims to encourages people to learn new skills such as basic Maths and English, develop employment skills and provide the opportunity to meet new people.

One of the most popular courses is a free basic food hygiene course which has made a real difference to one tenant.

Verena Clark from Blyth undertook the training and gained the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health certificate. Following this achievement, she successfully found part time employment in catering.

Ray Boycott, managing director of Blyth Valley Housing, said: "We are committed to developing the quality of life for our tenants and the Learn a Lot, Live a Lot programme helps us to do that.

"I am pleased that we were able to provide Verena with the qualification that helped her find employment and wish her all the best in her new job."

The second phase of the Learn a Lot, Live a Lot programme starts in September and has seen the introduction of a new partnership with Homebase for free DIY training as well as continuing the free gardening sessions with Azure Garden Centre in Cramlington.

Blyth Valley Housing has not stopped there in the campaign for sustainable communities.

The company has now launched the Making Ends Meet campaign, providing a dedicated resource to help people maximise their income and get all the help they are entitled to.

Graham Brewis, financial inclusion manager, said: "It is important to ensure that the tenants of Blyth Valley Housing, have good advice on financial help and benefits.

"The Making Ends Meet campaign aims to do just that".

So far the company has reached out to over 200 residents and helped claw back a combined total of almost pounds 16,000 in benefits they didn't know they were entitled to.

Blyth Valley Housing aims to continue to provide excellent services & high quality neighbourhoods for residents. The housing company can now bid for a share of a pounds 8.4bn grant to help build new homes.

If you would like to attend a free training course, or receive advice on making ends meet, contact Blyth Valley Housing participation team on (01670) 542093 or email participation@blythvalley.gov.uk

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WELL DONE Ray Boycott, managing director of Blyth Valley Housing, congratulates Verena Clark, from Blyth. She undertook the training and gained the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health certificate .
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Aug 15, 2008
Words:530
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