COMMUNITY ANCHORS: Work with us to improve your estate

Words & pics supplied by The Pioneer Group

Do you have any concerns about your neighbourhood? Our Estate Walkabouts give residents the chance to work alongside Neighbourhood Officers to highlight issues in the local area.

Residents and officers walk the estate together, looking out for anything that makes the estate look untidy and unsafe and make a note of it. An action plan will then be created by residents and officers, determining what actions are needed to resolve the problems, a timescale for the actions and more.

Why not come along and join us on the next Estate Walkabout for your area and have a say in how you would like it to be improved?

If you are unable to come along on the day, don’t worry you can still be involved by contacting us on (0121 648 8100) or email us at [email protected] where you can highlight any improvements you think would enhance your estate and have an influence in any decisions we make.

The next Walkabouts are scheduled as follows:

Tuesday 1 August 10-30-12:30am:  Meet outside at Cost Cutters Store, Farnborough Road, B35 7JG (Sowrey Area).

Thursday 2 August 10-30-12:30am, Meet outside CVCH Reception Area, High St , B35 7PX (Fairclough Area).

We look forward to seeing and meeting you!

For more information, please contact Vik Mistry, Resident Engagement Officer on 07956 007696 or [email protected] 

For more on The Pioneer Group visit and for more on Compass Support visit

COMMUNITY ANCHORS: Pupils employability takes centre stage as Hippodrome showcases project

Words by Karen Graze / Pics supplied by The Pioneer Group

Youth Unemployment is stubbornly high in the city, greater than the national average.

So the Partnerships team at The Pioneer Group decided to take action on this in order to support our communities and the next generation.

Since September we have been working on an employability and pathways project with Year 11 pupils in East Birmingham, coaching and mentoring them and supporting them with their post 16 choices.

Now that the academic year is coming to an end, we are undertaking a Partnership for People and Place legacy project by staging a play – Antigone Rescratched at the Hippodrome in Birmingham.

The whole process has allowed young people to develop their employability skills through working together on the play through teamwork, presentation skills, creative thinking and following instructions.

The performance itself will provide them with invaluable work experience.

The aim of the legacy theatre project itself was to address the lack of work experience opportunities for some young people in a post covid environment and offer experience in the creative industry, something which is often overlooked as an option for people from certain communities.

Today’s performance will be the cherry on the cake of our successful project and hopefully inspire and empower those involved to dream big and consider working in industries they never thought possible.

For more on The Pioneer Group visit and for more on Compass Support visit

COMMUNITY ANCHORS: Homes project tackles housing shortage

Words & pics supplied by Castle Vale Community Housing

As the sector continues to battle a national housing shortage, Castle Vale Community Housing (CVCH) is delivering a project which aims to buck the trend and provide low-income earners with safe, affordable homes.

A partnership with Miller Homes has resulted in the acquisition and development of 42 properties in Sutton Coldfield – 24 affordable homes for rent and 18 for shared ownership.

Dave Livesey, Director of Development and Asset Management at CVCH, said: “As a community landlord we are very conscious of the lack of affordable housing in the area and are duty bound to provide as much support as we can.”

Since being established in 2015, The Pioneer Group has built a nationally recognised reputation for community regeneration that is resident led, delivering homes for CVCH.

This latest project on Rectory Road in Sutton Coldfield follows similar CVCH successful schemes on Station Road in Stechford, Webster Court in Erdington and Farnborough Road in Castle Vale. The initial rental properties will be let through Birmingham City Council.

“Our plan is to increase our stock number by over 10 per cent by 2027,” adds Dave.

“This represents the single biggest development programme for the Pioneer Group since its creation and affirms our commitment to doing our bit to addressing the housing crisis.”

Alastair Parsons, Area Sales Director for Miller Homes Midlands, said: “We are delighted to work with The Pioneer Group to deliver affordable homes in the desirable setting of Sutton Coldfield.

“Once the location of a former Ministry of Defence (MOD) office building, we are proud to have regenerated the site into a range of energy efficient new homes.

“Building communities is at the heart of what we do at Miller Homes and we hope the new residents will enjoy their new homes for many years to come.”

For more on The Pioneer Group visit and for more on Compass Support visit

COMMUNITY ANCHORS: Property upgrades will reduce costs

Words by Simon Wilson, Chief Executive Officer – The Pioneer Group

We are very pleased to announce that Castle Vale Community Housing is receiving help from a Government scheme to help reduce the environmental impact of our homes. CVCH will be matching the Governments grant on works that will help drive down costs to our tenants. This will result in a total of £1.4 million being spent to upgrade 77 homes on Castle Vale.

Works will include installation of underfloor, loft and cavity wall insulation, solar panels and ventilation systems. The wellbeing of our tenants is our priority and these improvements will not only support people through what is currently a difficult time financially but is part of our wider social responsibility to reduce our organisational carbon footprint – playing our small part in saving the planet.

The properties have been specially selected for energy efficiency works as they are some of our worst performing homes – meaning tenants energy bills can be greatly reduced. The works will ensure the homes achieve an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of at least a C – helping to reduce the carbon emissions, make them warmer and prevent damp and mould issues from arising.

It is becoming more and more important that homes are as sustainable as they can be with environmental issues and energy concerns having a far greater impact on daily life than ever before.

Work on the 77 properties is expected to start April 2024 and run until June 2025.

For more on The Pioneer Group visit and for more on Compass Support visit

The Pioneer Group and Compass Support are key partners in the Erdington Local COMMUNITY ANCHORS programme, supporting independent local and community journalism.

COMMUNITY ANCHORS: Compassionate Communities project will help break down death stigma

Words & pics supplied by The Pioneer Group

Compass Support, the charitable arm of The Pioneer Group, has been granted funding through BVSC on behalf of Birmingham City Council as part of its Compassionate Communities project to work with local individuals and groups to help break down the walls surrounding death, so people can talk more openly and constructively about dying by creating Community Connectors.

The Community Connectors help support residents who may otherwise feel isolated including people at the end-of-life stage, their carers and also those who may have recently lost a loved one.

The Compassionate Communities team have created an engaged, accessible route to go out into the local community to find these Community Connectors. So far, the team have delivered 8 training workshops, organised 13 awareness sessions and trained over 50 Community Connectors.

Isobel Hayward, Health and Wellbeing Project Organiser from Compass Support, said “The Compassionate Communities scheme was bought to us through Birmingham City Council, as facilitators of compassion, to bring it to anyone in the community that engages with people.

“We have loved running workshops on how to approach death and end of life, and going forward people will know who to call for help with bereavement, end of life, and financial support.

“Our awareness sessions on end of life are completely free and open to community groups and individuals.

“The people of Birmingham have been recognised for their compassion in the way communities have supported each other during some of the most difficult times, crowning Birmingham the UK’s first Compassionate City.”

If you would like more information on Compassionate Communities or think that you could be a Community Connector, please email us at: [email protected] or telephone 0121 748 8111.

For more on The Pioneer Group visit and for more on Compass Support visit

COMMUNITY ANCHORS: “Our volunteers are simply incredible” – a thank you to volunteers from Compass Support

Words & pics supplied by Compass Support

The teams at Compass Support have been paying tribute to the special and wonderful volunteers that continue to give their time and energy to helping those in need. Volunteers Week takes place 1-7 June every year and is the chance to recognise the fantastic contribution volunteers make to our communities and say thank you.

As part of Volunteers Week 2023, teams at The Sanctuary, Castle Vale have been recognising those who are dedicated to supporting the residents of Castle Vale and the wider community.

A special social media campaign showcased the efforts and contribution of volunteers in helping to deliver community activities across Castle Vale and surrounding areas.

Health and Wellbeing Project Lead for Compass Support, Leonie Hammond, said: “Our volunteers are simply incredible, they give valuable time each week to deliver activities and assist others to build new friendships and learn new skills.”

Volunteering has several key benefits for individuals, including better mental health, improved self-esteem and a greater sense of wellbeing.

If you would like to know more about volunteering opportunities with Compass Support please call 0121 748 8111.

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