Priti Patel calls in for a tour of the new Eastlight Community Homes Hub
On Friday (22nd October) the Witham MP, Priti Patel, took a break from Westminster for a tour of the newly refurbished Eastlight Community Homes Hub which is close to Braintree Village. The housing association owns some 3,700 homes in Witham and plays a major role in working to bring local communities, volunteers and key stakeholders together.
Priti’s visit was hosted by Eastlight’s CEO Emma Palmer and featured a replica of an ice cream van which was used in August to tour local communities, including in the Witham area, to film video interviews with residents about their community experiences and hopes. The interviews have been used to develop Eastlight’s new All In project aimed at drawing communities together and introducing ideas to help to meet the aspirations of local people.
Priti was introduced to the new Community Solutions Centre where local organisations can work together to support customers and joined the All In project team for a discussion about key local issues and potential local heroes. Her tour ended with a visit to Eastlight’s new community café that will be opening shortly, for a coffee and a chat with CEO Emma Palmer, Michelle Baker, Chair of the resident led Customer Influence Committee and James Green Community Investment Director.
After her tour, Priti said: “I was very impressed with the newly revamped facilities and with the scope of the planning and preparation Eastlight are putting into their All In project. After the terrible pandemic we have been through, initiatives like All In are going to play a vital role in drawing communities back together after long periods of lockdown, which inevitably created increased isolation.”
Emma Palmer, CEO of Eastlight Community Homes said: “It was a pleasure to show Priti around our headquarters and to bring her up to date about our ambitious plans to support our customers and communities as we hopefully emerge from the pandemic. She is very supportive of our efforts and is keen to work with us in the future, as we seek to build better communities.”