In July 2016, we published a report which shared the journey of twelve Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) housing associations who had initiated a series of joint working projects. The projects have covered joint procurement; learning & development initiatives (such as mentoring and shared training sessions); and a pooled employment service.
Their core objective has been to deliver enhanced value for money for their residents, communities and organisations. This includes providing their customers with the opportunity to access services that they would not otherwise be able to deliver alone, as well as sharing and learning from best practice. Our previous report reflected on the lessons they had learnt along the way to make collaboration the ‘art of the possible’.
Since this time, the group have developed small working groups for these specific initiatives; shared ideas and challenges on operating in a more complex environment; and taken each of the projects forward. Each project aims to have a positive benefit to the group. For example, by joining forces on procurement, they anticipate savings on their legal fees of up to 30%, and savings in the region of 5 – 10% for electricity supply and an estimated 20% for gas. They have also co-ordinated pooled training sessions which is enabling direct sharing of experiences and mutual support.
Their achievements have meant that they have also grown their membership, which now stands at fourteen London BME housing providers. Their work has extended beyond the group of CEOs and now involves engagement and collaboration at different levels within their organisations.
The group continue to work collaboratively, recognising that as a collective there is greater strength in numbers, but that they can still retain their distinctive individual voices. This report therefore highlights how the group has worked together to multiply its success, in an environment where collaboration as an option for achievement has never been more relevant or necessary.
The full report is available to read or download below.