A group of students from the University of Stirling visited Scottish Borders Housing Association (SBHA) headquarters for a learning and development session, and took a trip to the Association’s £10 million flagship Stonefield development.
The students, who are currently studying for the Postgraduate Diploma in Housing Studies, were welcomed at SBHA’s head office at Whinfield Road in Selkirk by chief executive Julia Mulloy, before heading off to Hawick to view the rejuvenated Stonefield estate.
The estate was originally built in the 1960s and consisted of 25 low-rise blocks, containing 205 flats. By the end of the 2000s, many of the properties were voids. Regeneration of the predominantly one-bed estate was therefore considered essential.
So far, 44 new homes have been built at Stonefield, and 53 existing properties have been refurbished. Work started in February on the latest phase, which will turn 12 flats into 6 family homes.
The trip was an opportunity for the students – many of whom are already working within the housing sector within either housing associations or a local authority – to speak to SBHA staff in a number of different roles. They were also able to discuss the Association’s change management programme, which has so far seen the creation of a Neighbourhood Model, as well as the implementation of a new CRM system, placing customers at the heart of the business. Students also heard about some of the Association’s future plans, including the move towards self service.
Student Gail Leonard said: “The visit to SBHA was very informative and most enjoyable. The staff were all very welcoming and the chief executive was so helpful.”
Rosemary D Murray added: “A heartfelt thank you to you and your staff for the visit to SBHA. It was interesting, helpful and we were well looked after!”