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SFHA’s Innovation and Future Thinking programme brings our members and other stakeholders together to collaboratively develop new ideas and solutions for the future.  Our purpose is a collective ambition to broaden and strengthen the sector’s contribution to social justice and inclusive growth. 

The programme aims to be: 

  • Inspirational – incorporating international and ‘out of sector’ inputs to promote radical thinking and fresh approaches 

  • Customer focused – using design-led approaches which put people at the centre 

  • Evidence-led – building ideas and solutions based on robust research and insight 

  • Sustainable – developing capacity for the housing sector to continue to innovate on an on-going basis. 

We have three key streams of work within the programme:   

Home of the Future 

Innovation in design, construction and maintenance will deliver improved quality and services andimportantly maintain affordable rents. The home of the future will be designed around the individual understanding the needs and desires and implement into development and property services. 

Our Aim: To influence the housing sector to future proof homes by working with the construction sector and its customers, hence reducing isolation, boosting  connectivity, centralising adaptations,ensuring “a place for everyone” and providing great homes for all.  

Service Transformation 

Digital technology and culture improvement will aid how housing associations are transforming andevolving.  Encouraging staff development to construct a more agile and dynamic team, be more responsive to customers' needs can strengthen user experience.  Digital change will transform the landscape of communication, operations and data. 

Our Aim: To demonstrate that understanding how customers and users experience services is key too creating and delivering best practice through involving residents in the service design and decision-making process.   Support and motivate organisations transforming services to digital approaches to ensure value, efficiency and effectiveness.  

Tackling Poverty and Demonstrating Impact 

Housing associations strive to support the lives of, and where needed build resilience in, residents and the communities that they serve.  We, as a sector, can join forces to provide the protection, careand opportunity to evade the hardship faced by many.  

Our Aim:  To showcase and provide tools and resources to measure the social housing sectorsimpact and use this to influence future plans and business strategies, and to secure new or continued funding and investment. . Work with the sector to improve services to enable increasedphysical, mental and financial wellbeing in communities 


Innovation & Future Thinking Programme Icon Innovation & Future Thinking Programme

Blackwood's £430k funding boost will improve lives of vulnerable people

Blackwood Housing and Care will carry out a range of works to give people with disabilities more dignity and make their lives more accessible.

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tags : Place Making / Social Impact / Technology enabled care / Future thinking / Construction Innovation / Inclusive design / Families / Older people / Housing Futures / Innovation and future thinking

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Blackwood, a housing and care organisation has been awarded funding that will enable it to adapt homes and directly improve the lives of people with disabilities across Scotland, enabling them to live as independently as possible.

By successfully securing £430,000 in funding from the Scottish Government, Glasgow City Council, and The City of Edinburgh Council, Blackwood Housing and Care will deliver adaptations to give people with disabilities more dignity and make their lives more accessible.

The funding will enable Blackwood to carry out a range of works, including converting bathrooms to wet rooms and building handrails, grabrails and ramps to assist customers with mobility issues.

It will also ensure assistive equipment such as hoists and specialist toilets and baths can be installed, allowing customers to live more independently and aiding their personal care and support services.

In addition, part of the funding will also go towards enhancing Blackwood’s bespoke digital care system, CleverCogs™, which allows customers to communicate with carers, as well as friends and family, and also gives users control over their support and care.

Paul Bellamy, Property Investment Manager at Blackwood Housing and Care, said: “This is important funding which will improve the lives of so many people with disabilities across the country.

“It will enable us to further integrate housing and care support, ensuring our customers can live as independently as possible, in homes that have been designed to suit their care and support requirements.

“One of the many lessons we have learnt from COVID-19 is the increasing importance of the role that quality housing plays when caring for vulnerable people.

“We have always focused our efforts on combining innovative technology with accessibility and a high quality of care, meaning our customers can grow with homes that can adapt to their specific needs.”

Some of the funding will also cover the costs of revamping a care home in North Lanarkshire to house a new tenant in a home suitable for the high level of care support required.

Blackwood submitted its requests for Stage Three adaptations funding - used to adapt properties to suit the needs of an existing or new tenant - from Scottish Government, Glasgow City Council, and The City of Edinburgh Council, earlier this year.

Blackwood aims to help people live their life to the full, by providing services which support individuals in exercising their right to have choice and control over their lives in a home which is suitable and adaptable to their needs.

As Blackwood works in 29 of Scotland’s 32 local authorities, it is more widely dispersed than most other care or housing providers and has embraced the challenges of taking housing and care into innovative areas at a time when funding is increasingly limited.

For more information, please visit: https://www.blackwoodgroup.org.uk

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