New teams of local residents created to tackle big issues

Teams of local residents will be paid to spend a year improving lives in their community for a pioneering new programme.

Eastlight Community Homes are creating four teams who will each create a bold new solution to a big social issue before making it happen in their community.

Applications to join the teams, to be based in or near Colchester, Braintree, Witham and Halstead, are now open.

No qualifications are required to apply. Instead, applicants will write about a community issue that they are passionate about.

The teams will be a key element of All In, Eastlight’s major new community programme to put power in the hands of the local people who understand their communities better than anyone.

Emma Palmer, Eastlight’s Chief Executive, said: “As the UK’s largest community-led housing association, we know there are brilliant local residents out there with the passion and drive to make our communities even better places to call home.

“Our All In teams are a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for local residents to come together and tackle the social issues that impact on the lives of so many.

“Like everywhere, our communities have endured a tough two years, and I’m excited to see the amazing ideas they’ll develop.”

Free your passion and get paid for it banner, young girl in wheelchair

While Eastlight will employ the teams and provide expert support throughout, they will be given the freedom to decide what issues they want to address and how they should be tackled.

A recent survey by Eastlight and YouGov found the social issues that affected residents most in mid and north Essex were mental health, anti-social behaviour and opportunities for young people.

These issues were also voiced by residents Eastlight staff met during an ice cream van tour of Colchester, Clacton, Braintree, Witham, Halstead, Silver End, Sible Hedingham and Dedham last summer. The findings have been turned into a video exhibition at Eastlight’s headquarters in Braintree.

To apply to join an All In community team, visit