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Renowned social housing activist to headline conference

One of the UK’s most high-profile social housing campaigners is calling on Scottish sector leaders to address the housing emergency.
Kwajo image - Higher res

Making his first speaking appearance in Scotland at the upcoming Share Annual Conference in Glasgow, Kwajo Tweneboa wants to reverse the stigma around social housing that he believes is partly responsible for huge swathes of the population living in slum conditions.

Kwajo first rose to prominence following the death of his father in a squalid and vermin-infested flat in the Eastfields estate in south London, where Macmillan nurses were unable to effectively provide care due to the poor state of the property.

It led the 25-year-old to expose Clarion, Europe’s largest housing association, on social media. Since then, he has become a champion for those living in terrible conditions, created a Channel 4 documentary on the housing crisis and given evidence at Westminster and to Cabinet Ministers.

Kwajo, now a full-time campaigner after graduating from De Montfort University, said: “I’ve spoken to thousands of tenants from all corners of the UK, including Scotland, and they feel forgotten about.

“While there have been recent scandals around individual deaths resulting from inadequate housing, a stigma still persists that prevents most people from giving much thought to the scale of the real world impact for those living in slum conditions.

“Social housing hasn’t been prioritised for years. We need to look at housing and rental as a necessity, not just a way of accumulating wealth. People should not be living in destitution in Scotland in 2024.

“We must shift the focus on building housing to social housing, reforming from a bottom-up approach to make sure we are improving the lives of those suffering worst, first. The reality is, housing in the UK is built on terrible foundations.

“I’m really grateful to Share for giving me this opportunity to speak to some of the housing sector’s leading names, and to tell my story.”

Taking place on 15 and 16 March, the Share Annual Conference will see Committee/Board and staff from the housing sector in Scotland gather. The conference ran by Share, the sector’s leading provider of training courses and development opportunities.

The conference at Glasgow’s Grand Central Hotel will also feature sessions by senior staff from the Scottish Housing Regulator, investment experts and damp and mould specialists, the past President of the Chartered Institute of Housing, Lara Oyedele, as well as leaders from across Scotland’s housing associations.

A number of hands-on workshops will be provided, along with valuable networking opportunities.

Daryl McIntosh is Chief Executive with Share which was founded in 1985 and works across Scotland, providing training courses and qualifications accredited by a number of awarding bodies including CIH, City & Guilds and SQA.

He said: “Kwajo has real first-hand insight of the damage that unsafe, inadequate housing does. His experience brings everything home and I’m sure he will have delegates captivated.

“The reality is housing associations are under immense pressure. That places increasing demands on a workforce that is often being required to wear many hats. Adequate training and meaningful professional development have never been more vital.

“That can range from the more physical elements of looking after homes to the softer skills required to support tenants to overcome their challenges.

“All of these areas will be explored in depth at our annual conference – and we’re really looking forward to having the leading lights in this sector together to share experience and wisdom.”

Share’s membership model offers housing professionals and organisations discounted training, qualifications, e-Learning and networking to enhance skills and governance.

As a registered charity, Share invests all profits back into the services it provides, and has three key values, to be supportive, passionate and excellent in all that it does.

 

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