Leading social housing provider and housebuilder, Orbit, has appointed a new Financial Inclusion Lead as part of a new strategy to support the wellbeing of customers.
In a brand-new role for Orbit, Jo Brown who previously worked for the Citizens’ Advice Bureau, will ensure that Orbit customers receive the right support to improve their financial capabilities and maintain their tenancies through Orbit’s Better Days programme. Jo will also be overseeing a new Welfare Advice Service, which is helping customers manage their finances, maximise their income and reduce the pressure of cost of living increases.
The Better Days programme, which is open to all Orbit customers, offers free support on a range of issues including managing finances, employment and skills, mental health and general wellbeing.
Jo said: “It goes without saying that customers are finding things extremely difficult at the moment and we’re acutely aware of the financial challenges that everyone is facing. That’s why this role is so important to me and to Orbit to ensure that customers get the focused support they need to manage the current cost of living crisis but also remain financially resilient and capable of maintaining their tenancies in the long-term. Part of the challenge is that customers see us purely as their landlord, and I want to change the narrative around that and let people know that we’re about so much more. We want people to live happy and fulfilled lives and are here to support them to achieve just that.”
The creation of the Financial Inclusion Lead role is part of Orbit’s new Thriving Communities Strategy, which launched earlier this year and aims to ensure that Orbit creates maximum social value within the communities in which it operates.
Last year, over 5,000 Orbit customers, alongside a cohort of non-Orbit customers living in and around Orbit communities, accessed its Better Days services. The strategy aims to build on this success and allow for increased participation in the design and co-production of the Better Days provision, involving communities and customers in determining and acting on local priorities.