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Freebridge joins Independent East


Freebridge Community Housing has joined four other leading social housing providers in Norfolk and Suffolk to form a new informal alliance to support each other in delivering better services to their tenants and local communities.

Freebridge, alongside Broadland Housing Association, Havebury Housing Partnership, Orwell Housing and Saffron Housing Trust have formed Independent East, with the aim of sharing knowledge, experience and good practice, and creating a collective lobbying voice for social housing in the region.

The group describes itself as being ‘made up of independently minded, and individually sustainable, housing associations with similar and complementary values and business objectives based in Norfolk and Suffolk, which are willing to share knowledge and experience; to support each other in the delivery of our individual corporate strategies; and to explore opportunities to work better together.’

The five organisations will establish a number of operational senior management forums to explore the potential for common approaches – although the bodies will continue to operate independently of each other.

James Francis, chief executive at Saffron Housing Trust, said, “When you are part of a large and complex system that works to reduce inequality and create a fairer society, being great organisations to work with is just as important as being great organisations to work for.

“We are currently working together on some exciting projects for tenants and colleagues to get involved in which we hope will show how we all become better when we collaborate.”

Wendy Evans-Hendrick, chief executive at Orwell Housing Association, added, “We are very much looking forward to collaborating with our Independent East Partners over the coming months and years.

“We will be working together on new projects, sharing ideas and best practices, and supporting each other to have the biggest possible impact on the communities we serve while driving innovation and change within the housing industry.

“This ambitious partnership fits well with our long-term customer-focused objectives, and we are proud to be a part of it.”

Freebridge Support Adviser Hollie Blyer, Miroslav Poupa, and Florence Poupa