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Investment of £20,000 strengthens Sheffield’s community groups  

Two local organisations, have received a cash injection, enabling them to help more people across Sheffield.  
From left to right) Project Director with Sheffield Housing Company, Steve Birch; Social Value Coordinator with Keepmoat, Siobhan Cooper; Partnership Manager at SOAR, Megan Ohri; Community Partnerships Manager at Great Places, Steven Gayle and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of MCDT, Debbie Mathews.

Two local organisations which support communities in the north and south east of Sheffield, have received a cash injection, enabling them to help more people across the city.  

Funding of £20,000 from Sheffield Housing Company (SHC) – which is Sheffield City Council’s joint venture development company with private sector partners Keepmoat and Great Places Housing Group – is supporting projects with Southey Owlerton Area Regeneration (SOAR) and Manor Castle Development Trust (MCDT).

SOAR is using the £10,000 to launch a Warm and Welcoming Spaces initiative this winter, which will help combat some of the challenges caused by the cost of living crisis. The community regeneration charity is working with local organisations, community centres and businesses to create safe, warm spaces where local people can come to work, socialise and access a wealth of information designed to improve health, wellbeing and employability.

From left to right): Project Director with Sheffield Housing Company, Steve Birch; Social Value Coordinator with Keepmoat, Siobhan Cooper; Community Partnerships Manager at Great Places, Steven Gayle; Partnership Manager at SOAR, Megan Ohri and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of MCDT, Debbie Mathews, with literature produced using some of the investment.
(From left to right): Project Director with Sheffield Housing Company, Steve Birch; Social Value Coordinator with Keepmoat, Siobhan Cooper; Community Partnerships Manager at Great Places, Steven Gayle; Partnership Manager at SOAR, Megan Ohri and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of MCDT, Debbie Mathews, with literature produced using some of the investment.

“We are acutely aware of the pressures that people are facing due to the cost of living crisis. We want our safe, warm spaces to provide comfort and a place where people can meet, to combat loneliness and isolation. Advice and sign posting to the appropriate agencies that can support with finances, budgeting and energy saving will also be available to those who might want to access it.

“All members of our community will be able to use these spaces – from those who fancy a change from home working, to the elderly and those with families and children.”

Megan Ohri, Partnership Manager at SOAR

Manor Castle Development Trust is using the £10,000 grant to support a range of additional activities in Sheffield. This includes sponsorship of seasonal events, funding towards a toddler play group, support of the local S2 Creative Arts Festival, rolling out a ‘Dark Nights, Positive Activities’ programme for children and young people over the October half term, upgrading local play equipment and improving communications aimed at crime reduction and anti-social behaviour.*

“Bringing the local community together and providing the services, activities and support that matters most to our neighbourhood is at the heart of what we do. The funding from Sheffield Housing Company has enabled us to extend our reach and provide more opportunities for local people of all ages and interests.”

Debbie Mathews, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of MCDT

To date, SHC has pledged over £50,000 to public art and community initiatives. £20,000 has been spent supporting local schools and backing for open pathways to work for students, while university links provide graduates with work experience. There has also been sponsorship for, or attendance at, dozens of community events.

Local community members making the most of the warm spaces initiative.
Local community members making the most of the warm spaces initiative.

“Our partnership is about much more than building houses, we want to have a lasting impact on the areas in which we operate.  Supporting charitable organisations like SOAR and MCDT ensures that the projects delivered are creating positive change and opportunities for local people and their communities.”

Steve Birch, Project Director at SHC

“We welcome the £20,000 funding put forward by Sheffield Housing Company as part of its corporate social responsibility and hope these initiatives will deliver a really positive impact, helping and encouraging people at a time when life is particularly hard. SOAR and MCDT are organisations at the heart of their local communities and we’re pleased to be supporting schemes in areas where so much of SHC’s new build activity has been focused to date.”

Cllr Douglas Johnson, Chair of Housing Policy Committee

Within Sheffield, Keepmoat has supported a number of organisations including SOAR and MCDT, to deliver a variety of projects which have helped promote training, employment, physical activity and mental wellbeing as well as improvements to the local area including the creation of wildflower meadows. Investment has totalled over £27,000. 

Looking ahead, SHC aims to complete up to 2,300 properties on 23 sites by the end of 2026 – delivering further economic stimulation, job creation and community investment for Sheffield. 

The partnership’s entire development programme is currently benefitting from over £3m in funding from Homes England and £3m from South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority.

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