Keeping our customers safe is the single most important thing we can do as a housing provider. We work with various safety experts and organisations to ensure best practice across all areas of the business and we are very proud to be the only affordable housing provider to have achieved BS9997, British Standards in Fire risk management systems.
We continue to partner with RoSPA to deliver exceptional levels of health and safety compliance on our construction sites and were one of the first housing associations in the country to be granted three RoSPA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents) gold awards for customer safety and overall Health and Safety.
Our award-winning Health and Safety teams continue to report 100% compliance in all areas of gas safety, boiler servicing, fire risk assessment, asbestos, and legionella. Our commitment to health and safety is further exemplified by our 100% compliance in customer safety, data request responses, audit recommendations implemented and, most importantly, we have seen no serious injuries in any of our operations.
As part of our commitment to customer safety, we have adopted the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) Safer by Design Gold Standard within our design specification for all our new-build homes and become the first social housing developer to have its house designs successfully matched against the Safer by Design framework. This means a brand-new home from Orbit will be amongst the safest on the UK market.
Safer by design is a framework which aims to reduce the more than 6,000 accidental deaths – and many more serious injuries – that occur in our homes each year. These safety standards go above and beyond the UK’s building regulations and work to reduce accidents in the home by designing out commonly known causes.
Safeguarding is a priority at Orbit, and we are proud that we were the first registered provider of affordable housing to achieve the ‘Leaders in Safeguarding’ accreditation, the quality mark awarded to organisations in recognition of their commitment to keeping adults and children safe, and accreditation from the Domestic Abuse Housing Alliance (DAHA), the UK benchmark for how housing providers should respond to domestic abuse in the UK.
We take our safeguarding responsibilities extremely seriously and have an Executive Director sponsor for safeguarding, an Organisational Safeguarding Lead across the business, and an Organisational Safeguarding Forum, which oversees safeguarding arrangements and responds to identified trends and themes. In addition, we also have Designated Safeguarding Leads to provide advice and support and trained Mental Health first aiders across the organisation.
We believe that strong financial management and a social value ethos can work together to empower local economies and create employment opportunities.
This ethos has resulted in us working with Supply Change to increase our relationships and spend with social enterprises. We now work with over 10 social enterprises, spending in excess of £1.6 million per annum and are actively looking to increase the percentage of spend with social enterprise partners.
When tendering for partners and suppliers, our procurement team includes a social value requirement, to ensure that we work with like-minded businesses who share our vision and values. Our procurement team actively identifies opportunities to further our social impact. through working in partnership with our supply chain. In the last two years nearly £500,000 has been invested into local community projects from our partners including Fortem, MPS, AD Group, Dodd Group, Bell Group, Southern Land Services, Shield Environmental, Just Ask and Anthony Collins Solicitors.
In addition, through our repairs and maintenance contractors, Fortem and MPS, we offer customers work experience, apprenticeship and training opportunities. Trades ranging from bricklaying to plumbing, offer skills for life and provide a valuable opportunity for our customers.
We are delighted to have been recognised as a Sunday Times Top 100 Best Company (not-for-profit) for two consecutive years. We are a values-led business with an inclusive culture that promotes diversity and provides employees with the opportunities to develop and grow their careers. We offer apprenticeship and graduate schemes as well as several levels of internal training programmes, secondment opportunities and agile working.
Our employee offer aims to attract and retain the best people and our employee benefits package includes a contributory pension scheme as well as a range of other employee benefits including fully funded private medical insurance, employee wellbeing programme, enhanced maternity/paternity pay and up to 27 days annual leave.