Reflections on an unprecedented year at Kingdom Housing Association’s AGM

Reflections on an unprecedented year at Kingdom Housing Association’s AGM

Freya Lees

Kingdom Housing Association members, board members and staff gathered online on Monday evening for the Annual General Meeting to reflect on the successes of the association during an unprecedented year.

For the second year in a row, the event was held virtually and guests heard about Kingdom’s response to the coronavirus pandemic as it supported tenants, customers and staff while maintaining service delivery.

Kingdom’s £100,000 Coronavirus Assistance Fund was established to support tenants experiencing financial difficulties as a result of the pandemic and a further £100,000 was made available through the Supporting Communities Fund. Connecting Scotland funding allowed Kingdom to tackle digital exclusion by providing devices, internet connections and training to vulnerable people in the community.

Housing staff expanded and enhanced support services to customers and increased tenant engagement and participation while Kingdom Works, Kingdom’s employability project helped 278 people into employment.

Those in attendance also heard how Kingdom invested over £55 million in its ambitious development programme and started on site with 484 new homes as well as learning that Kingdom secured a Revolving Credit Facility with Lloyds bank of £10m as part of the Kingdom Group of companies overall funding strategy for the next five years.

Freya Lees, Kingdom’s chair, said: “Kingdom’s mission is to provide more than a home and despite all the challenges we have faced throughout an unprecedented year, I’m proud that we were able to do just that. Kingdom continues to evolve, to embrace change, to refine its systems and processes and to deliver on our objectives while keeping our customers and communities at the heart of all we do.

“On a personal note, my time as chair of Kingdom is coming to an end after five years in the role. Looking back over that time, there have been many highlights that I’m particularly proud of including seeing the team develop such a successful project in the Naumann Initiative, continuing the development programme and securing the finance required, strengthening the board through new members and the creation of the apprenticeship scheme and trainee programme.

“I have really enjoyed my tenure as chair and would like to thank my fellow board members, the management and the staff for their support and dedication not just over the last 12 months but over the last five years. I am certain Kingdom will go from strength to strength under the leadership of the next chairperson.”

Bill Banks, Kingdom Group chief executive, added: “This has been another hugely successful year for Kingdom. Despite the many challenges of Covid-19 we have managed to deliver on all of our strategic objectives. We have demonstrated agility and resilience and many of our processes have been reviewed and improved which has resulted in more efficient and effective ways of working. Ultimately allowing us to deliver better services to our customers.

“On behalf of the board, management team, staff and membership I would like to thank Freya for her services to Kingdom as chair over the last five years. We have achieved a great deal while she has held this role. I’d also like to thank Freya for all the support she has provided to me during her times as chair. I’m glad to say that Freya has agreed to remain on Kingdom’s board after her appointment as chair ends and I look forward to continuing to work alongside her.”

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