New local charity set to empower communities as the cost-of-living crisis bites

The Aster Foundation, a newly registered charity of local housing association, Aster Group will be offering a range of programmes to help those who may be finding it hard in the current economic climate. 

 Nearly half* of the neighbourhoods local housing association, Aster Group works across, fall into financially stretched categories. The Aster Foundation is focused on reaching its target of empowering and enabling the lives of 40,000 people in those communities, by 2030.

 The recently granted charity registration will give people the chance to donate funds, fundraise and support the work delivered across Aster’s communities. This will include supporting people into employment, tackling homelessness, helping people to have a healthier relationship with money and supporting local organisations through its volunteering programme.

 Cam Kinsella, director of the Aster Foundation, said: “Since the conception of the Foundation in 2016, we have strived to enable the better lives of the people who live in and around Aster communities. This is an exciting next step for us, and we know that by working together with partners and developing our charity further, we can help people to connect in ways which enrich their lives and provide greater access to opportunities.”

 Overseen by a board of trustees, the charity will now also benefit from the wide-ranging advisory experience and first-hand insight of its newly appointed independent chairperson, Amanda Wiggan.

 Amanda joins the Aster Foundation having championed the interests of consumers and service users for over 25 years. Amanda has worked at senior levels having served as a government appointee within the rail industry and also as a lay inspector for the Social Services Inspectorate. She has also previously served on the board of a housing association, becoming lead member for housing as well as equality and diversity champion.

 Amanda, said: “As someone who has benefitted from the work of housing associations in the past, I know first-hand the importance and significance of the work they do. For people in our society, having a home and an address is crucial – without this it’s simply impossible to apply for work, benefits or build the foundations for a better life.”

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*Through using the Acorn segmentation tool (2021), Aster has found that 28% of its customers are striving families, 13% are poorer pensioners and 9% are in difficult circumstances.

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