Driving Community Engagement to the next level

Sowgol Zarinchang, Managing Director, Way of Life, 16 February 2021

Early Spring last year when on-site community activities came to a grinding halt in all Way of Life buildings due to the pandemic, the team had to regroup and change its approach to organising social events and bringing residents and the local community together.

With the health and wellbeing of our residents at heart, a virtual Way of Life Run Club was set up offering weekly new local running routes, fun challenges and regular posts with useful running tips. All residents were also given access to the Way of Life Home Workouts platform accessing over 750 virtual fitness classes, tailored to suit young & old and available 24/7.

We partnered with Mind, the mental health charity, to supply a monthly subscription service of Pause boxes to frontline workers and vulnerable residents of each building. Containing a craft-based activity to encourage a moment of relaxation, creativity, and reflection – the boxes are designed to focus on and improve mental wellbeing.

Not only keen to supporting its own residents but the wider local community as well, Way of Life rolled out a number of schemes offering free accommodation to NHS workers, either as existing residents of the building or as local individuals looking for a temporary space to self-isolate whilst working on the frontline. Uptake on the initiative was very positive with the majority of the local NHS workers we accommodated in our buildings becoming permanent members of the Way of Life community.

In these cold winter months when people need it the most, residents were encouraged to donate food and other essentials to support their local foodbank, with a an astounding total number of 1,208 items donated across all buildings.

Winning the UKAA BTR Award 2020 for ‘Community Initiative of The Year' and being shortlisted for the ‘Site Team of The Year’ award was a positive reflection of Way of Life’s pro-active approach to supporting its local communities. In addition to this, Way of Life collected three 'HomeViews Awards’, including fifth place in the ‘Top 10 BTR Management Companies 2020’, with The Lansdowne in Birmingham being awarded second and third place in the ‘Top 10 Regional BTR development 2020’, and the ‘Top 10 National BTR development 2020’ respectively.

Looking ahead, Way of Life will continue to explore how to improve community engagement activity through partnerships with both local and national brands to ensure we deliver the best possible experience to our residents.

 

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