2014 was a year of change and with a General Election on the way this year, the only thing we know about the future is that it will be different. But how different will in part depend on housing associations themselves and how they adjust to a rapidly changing world.
Life for the sector is going to get harder and more complex with issues like welfare reform, a dwindling grant regime, and increased expectations to demonstrate value for money all combining to put pressure on our business plans.
It’s only right that social landlords should stretch themselves to do more. Tomorrow’s housing associations will have to be more resilient and adaptable. However my hope is that they will hold true to their values and do the important job of continuing to offer what others can’t.
In the same way that 2015 will be a significant year for housing, it’s also a big year for me as I’ve just turned 50. I thought it only right to mark this milestone by doing something that stretched me, so having roped in some of the Executive team and other colleagues at City West, we’ll be running a daunting 130 miles over five days in May to raise money for our spotlight charity, the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital. Our warm-up (if you can call it that) will be the Brathay Windermere Marathon on 17th May, which we’ll follow with a further four marathons in the Lakes and a final stretch in Salford back to head office, to reach our target.
With only 12 weeks of training left, the scale of the task ahead is beginning to hit home. I’ve always been a keen jogger but I’m under no illusions about the physical impact of what lies ahead. The terrain, while incredibly scenic, is probably as tough as it gets. So it’ll be important for the team to keep in mind that our fundraising will be going directly to a fantastic cause providing specialist healthcare to so many children and young people across the North West.
Right now, with my training having just started I feel as though I still have a long way to go so I suppose I’d better sign off and get a few more miles in!
Tim Doyle, Group Chief Executive at ForViva