Over the past few challenging months, I have been incredibly proud of the work that has been done to make sure we continue to achieve our purpose – to make a real difference to people’s lives, at a time when it was needed more than ever.
I have seen our staff work together provide food, support, care, comfort and safe refuge to the thousands of vulnerable people in our communities. I have also been impressed by how colleagues from across the Group have helped each other to rapidly developed new ways of working, so that they can deliver services as safely and effectively as possible.
That’s what makes The Calico Group unique: how each of our specialist companies are able to collaborate and innovate together so they can have a greater impact than they could alone.
As we start to understand what the future looks like, it is clear that our work is only just beginning; recent events have exposed and deepened many of the inequalities that already existed in our communities and Calico will have an even bigger role to play in the days to come.
There has been a significant increase in cases of domestic abuse – so we will continue to develop new refuge and support services across our region, and promote domestic abuse awareness and training in each part of the business. Our latest SafeNet refuge is now ready to open in Lancaster, and this has been an incredible achievement form all the services involved.
The need for our homelessness services has never been greater – as the economic impact of the crisis continues to take its toll, we will remain focused on people who are homeless, fleeing their homes, or are at risk of losing their homes. We will continue to provide support and employment opportunities to help keep a roof over people’s heads, and a safe place to stay wherever it’s most needed.
We have an ongoing role to play in creating local employment opportunities and apprenticeships – we are only just beginning to understand the enormous impact the crisis is having on jobs across the North West. As an organisation that has always been proud of our reputation as an employer and our track record as a training provider, we know that we can play a vital part in helping our communities to access employment and new skills.
We will continue to invest in new and expanded care, wellbeing and support services – we know that our care and support services are in greater demand than ever as a result of the crisis, and there is definitely a role for The Calico Group to play, working alongside local authorities and health care providers to create even more person-centred care and supported accommodation.
We will also invest even more in our housing, as well as continuing to build much-needed new homes – the pandemic has dramatically highlighted the links between housing and health, with less affluent areas being hit the hardest. As we slowly recover, it is clear that our role in providing good quality accommodation is as important as ever.
Looking back, the passion and commitment of our staff and partners has been a real strength – and we have shown Calico at its very best.
Looking forward, I am confident that we will continue to approach new challenges with the same passion and commitment, and can continue to make a real difference to people’s lives.