A year of challenges and achievements
Jim Ripley Chief Executive
“Although we’ll remember 2019/20 for how it ended, we also have to remember it as a year in which our community came together and achieved real, permanent and lasting change.”
This is an annual report unlike any we’ve produced before. And that’s because this is a time unlike any we’ve seen before.
The coronavirus pandemic – a global health and economic crisis – started to affect our community most deeply in March, right at the end of the 2019/20 year. In the months since, the world – and Phoenix – has changed.
Pride in our community
Although we’ll remember 2019/20 for how it ended, we also have to remember it as a year in which our community came together and achieved real, permanent and lasting change.
We strengthened our resident-led model. We welcomed some fresh new faces to the Board in Mike, Simon and Simone, all of whom are also graduates of the Phoenix Academy – our award-winning school of social housing.
We invested in our community and The Fellowship Inn reopened. Years of hard work by our brilliant residents and staff resulted in our friends at Electric Star opening a new pub and Lewisham’s first cinema in decades, as well as a community music hub run by Lewisham Music, our old roommates at The Green Man.
The Fellowship restored
We looked to the future and supported young people. We welcomed to our team six interns with learning disabilities and conditions on the autism spectrum from Project SEARCH. We worked closely with our friends at the YouthBuild academy. Our #BEin group continues to provide one-to-one mentoring to young people in Lewisham. We built new homes and improved our services to residents.
New homes at Woodbank Road
Smiles all round at our Community Links gathering, December 2019
This new year will bring huge challenges – to our residents and to Phoenix. And as a community, I believe we will come through them.
Since the coronavirus pandemic began, we’ve seen neighbours looking out for each other: staff and residents volunteering to help those in the community or just checking in.
As we face these challenges, I’m confident we face them together. We are here to help: to help you find new jobs and sources of income if you need them, to help you resolve issues around your tenancy, and sometimes even to help keep your family entertained with one of our free events (online or, hopefully soon, in person).
We want to help those in need find new homes, so we’ll continue to build them and work with you to make swapping your home easier. And we want to continue to provide great – and improving – services to our existing residents. When I write for our 2020/21 annual report, I’m certain I’ll be writing with just as much pride in our community as I feel now. And, in the meantime, I’m looking forward to seeing you again.
Jim Ripley Chief Executive