Local MP sees MTVH’s commitment to supporting resident enterprise

03 September 2021

Summary: MTVH welcomed Elliot Colburn MP to the Roundshaw Estate to see first-hand the work that we do in supporting resident's businesses.

At MTVH, we are committed to supporting residents and communities to have a home and the chance to live well. Part of this work is through our ‘Empowering Futures’ team who have supported residents on the Roundshaw Estate in Sutton, South West London, to start their own enterprises. In August, we were delighted to welcome Elliot Colburn, the local MP for Carshalton and Wallington, to the estate to see first-hand the work that MTVH do in supporting resident’s enterprises.  

Through Resident Connecters, the Empowering Futures team focuses on listening to residents and addressing the issues that matter to them most. The team works holistically with residents to impact not only their current quality of life, but also their longer-term goals and aspirations as individuals and communities.

Elliot was given the opportunity to meet with two MTVH residents, Babar and Shen, who have been supported to start their own enterprises on the estate. Babar is a tutor who provides maths tuition to students from the estate every Saturday. This has been particularly useful after children have missed school after successive lockdowns. MTVH supported Babar by providing him with the space and support in gaining his qualifications, so he could teach in the Vanguard Community Centre on the estate.

Elliot was also able to meet with Shen, a local resident who has set up a food truck on the estate and has a thriving business. MTVH supported this enterprise by providing Shen with the space for the truck to be parked and helped connect her into further support to develop her business.  Shen said, “my housing association and neighbours have been so supportive, nobody objected my plans, they were approved and here I am.”

Ensuring we are connected and listening to our residents is absolutely critical to our work at MTVH, and one way we do this at Roundshaw is through a monthly community poll, which has been signed up for by over 200 residents. This survey is sent to residents to understand what is most important to them and to inform MTVH on how to best support residents. The Resident Connectors then follow these questions up with phone calls to residents, offering person-centred one-to-one support to those who need it most.

This runs alongside the ‘You Said, We Did’, report which ran between April 2020 and March 2021. The report was built on listening to residents’ concerns and thoughts, which MTVH colleagues then used to address the issues that mattered to residents most. This included putting on activities for children during school holidays, actions to address fly tipping, and support for young people. It was through both the community poll and ‘You Said, We Did’ that both Babar and Shen were able to set up their businesses .

Julie Shuter, Regional Director for South London and South at Metropolitan Thames Valley Housing, said:

“It is vital that we listen to our residents and support them in a variety of ways, not just by providing good quality homes. I am glad that we were able to support both Babar and Shen to establish their successful businesses which have been real assets to the local community. We are committed to supporting people through our Resident Connectors and community polling ,so we can work in partnership to set up businesses, services and activities that will benefit our residents and the local community.

It was a real please to welcome Elliot to Roundshaw as the local MP, so he was able to see the businesses our residents have established and also to talk about the estate more generally, which we know is a top priority for him, as it is for us.”

Commenting on the visit, Elliot Colburn MP said:

“It was great to join MTVH for a walk around Roundshaw Estate. I spent much of my childhood on the estate and live by it now, so I know the great community spirit that is felt on Roundshaw. It was fantastic to see the work that is going on to support local residents, not just with housing, but much more, and I will be working with MTVH and other local partners to deliver even better services for Roundshaw residents.”