Making a difference in a day

Staff at a Daventry-based housing association left the comfort of their office far behind them last week in a bid to make a difference in their local community.

Daventry & District Housing (DDH) hosted its second Make A Difference Day (MADD) on Friday (September 20).

Volunteering at Daventry Food Bank.'Pictured with Barry Preece ( Food Bank Manager ) are Hayley Davies '( DDH Executive Direcetor ) & Donna Eales ( DDH Executive's Assistant )

Volunteering at Daventry Food Bank.'Pictured with Barry Preece ( Food Bank Manager ) are Hayley Davies '( DDH Executive Direcetor ) & Donna Eales ( DDH Executive's Assistant )

DDH, part of Futures Housing Group (FHG), was joined for the first time this year by fellow group member Futures Homescape Ltd.

Both organisations tackled tasks in their local areas with the aim of making a positive difference to their communities. Support team members from FHG also helped out at both sites.

In the weeks before, local community groups were encouraged to submit their projects for consideration, and an 80-strong team turned out to dedicate a day of their time to help them.

On the day, staff from DDH took on a range of challenges including reading to the children at Falconers infant school, sorting through donations and making up food parcels at Daventry food bank as well as helping with maintenance works at Green Acres Farm, Staverton.

In total, 19 challenges were undertaken by DDH and FHG staff.

Heather Wilson whose Green Acres Rural Enterprise Centre project received a helping hand, said: “The MADD team was a huge help. Having the extra hands meant that we were able to make improvements, which could have taken months in just one day. It’s amazing what can be achieved in a short time when you have the help of a dedicated and experienced team.

“Although it was a lot of hard work, we had a really fun day. The staff were not only armed with paintbrushes, but smiles and a positive attitude that made the whole MADD event enjoyable.”

Sarah Sims, community development officer at DDH said: “The day was a complete success. The enthusiasm and commitment shown by our staff was fantastic. Everyone was really eager to get involved and we made a genuine difference to those we helped.

“As a housing association, DDH already has a great relationship with the community, but this day gave us a chance to get involved with local projects in a hands-on way.

“It was also an opportunity to work alongside colleagues from FHG and other DDH teams who we don’t always see on a regular basis. The day had a positive impact on both the Daventry district and the organisation itself.”