A new initiative to enable staff to take paid time off throughout the year to do voluntary work in the community has been launched by Manningham Housing Association (MHA).
The scheme is part of the association’s revised human resources strategy which aims to broaden workplace experiences whilst benefitting the wider population in Bradford and Keighley.
Each team member has been invited to volunteer on a project or with a local charitable group for one day a quarter.
Staff who are already engaged in community activities in a voluntary capacity will be able to do so in work time four days a year without it affecting their leave allocation.
MHA has recently made the headlines after being shortlisted for six national awards.
The association’s Chief Executive, Lee Bloomfield, was named Mentor of the Year at the Housing Heroes Awards and Helen Rourke, MHA Director of Finance and Company Secretary, has just been shortlisted as Finance Professional of the Year for the forthcoming Women in Housing Awards.
MHA has also achieved the highest standard of customer service excellence and become the first housing association in the country to be officially accredited for its work in promoting equality, diversity and inclusion.
Commenting on the new voluntary work scheme, Mr Bloomfield said it was important that MHA staff were able to get as close as possible to the communities they serve whilst enhancing their personal skills.
He continued: “Our customers rely on us for more than bricks and mortar and our team members are always keen to help those in need in any way they can.
“Serving alongside other volunteers and learning more about what they do is incredibly helpful.
“It deepens the knowledge of MHA staff and can make a tangible difference to the lives of some of the most vulnerable people in Bradford and Keighley.
“There is a wide range of projects to choose from including working in food banks, in charity shops or simply rolling up our sleeves in community clean-ups – I shall certainly be doing my bit too.
“Everyone taking part will prepare a short summary of what they have done and this will form part of the MHA annual report
“Our staff are strongly supportive of the initiative and look forward to undertaking challenging new tasks.”
Barrington Billings, Chair of Manningham Housing Association, praised the “foresight” of the scheme.
He said: “This is an excellent idea and it has the full support of the Board.
“The overarching HR strategy is designed to help the association achieve its corporate objectives which include broadening the experiences of MHA employees whilst further assisting our customers.
“Lee and his senior management team have done a magnificent job in putting it together. I am confident it will deliver positive outcomes for all involved.
“The level of professionalism now on display at every level of MHA is the reason why, after some difficult years, the association has won a well-deserved reputation for excellence and tangible achievement. “
“We look to the future with a deep sense of pride and ever-growing optimism.”