UK supplier of lone worker safeguarding solutions Reliance Protect has teamed up with two longstanding customers to create social value funds dedicated to supporting people experiencing hardship during the cost of living crisis.
The social value funds provide an invaluable safety net for some of the most disadvantaged members of society, in addition to funding training for support staff and local communities.
As part of its four-year contract with Sovereign Housing Association, Reliance Protect supplies and maintains 1,295 of its Pulse keyfob style personal safety devices, which are used by service personnel across the estate. Sovereign Housing Association takes care of over 60,000 homes throughout a core area including Berkshire, Hampshire, Oxfordshire, Bristol and Avon, Dorset, Devon, Gloucestershire, Wiltshire and the Isle of Wight. Driven by its social purpose, Sovereign Housing Association invests for the long-term, creating great places to live, and working with residents and partners.
Reliance Protect contributes one per cent of the financial value of the contract it has with Sovereign Housing Association into a social value fund for tenants and service users. This money is split between two initiatives that are designed to assist those facing financial hardship.
Firstly, the Emergency Fuel Voucher scheme provides a £28 or £49 gas or electric top-up voucher to anyone who has a pre-payment meter. The resident is emailed or texted a code that allows them to take this into the shop where they would normally top-up their fuel and have this sum added on to their account. Secondly, the Helping Hand Fund provides a shopping voucher to those with an emergency need due to a change of circumstances, such as a loss of job or family bereavement.
Deborah Williams, Social Impact Manager at Sovereign, comments: “Creating social value and supporting the communities in which we operate is vitally important to us. Our relationship with Reliance Protect will enable more of our customers to access greater financial support, which will help those who are struggling as a result of the cost-of-living crisis.”
The success of its social value fund with Sovereign Housing Association has led to Reliance Protect initiating a similar scheme with a large county council on the south coast of England. A scheme is being developed to provide specialist trauma training for employees, who are the key users of the personal safety monitoring system provided by Reliance Protect. The purpose of the funded training is to upskill managers to better spot signs of trauma to more effectively support staff members. This reduces sickness absence and provides more comprehensive wellbeing support, which, in turn, improves the consistency and standard of care the council supplies to its residents.
Chris Allcard, Lone Worker Services Director at Reliance Protect, says: “Social value funds are a great way to give back and provide essential resources where they are most needed,’ ‘The current cost of living crisis is having a serious impact on some of the most vulnerable in society. By working closely with our customers, we are able to look beyond the financial cost of a contract to consider how the services we provide can directly improve the economic, social and environmental wellbeing of people.”