Creating Opportunities for a Brighter Future!


Links Service – Wirral

Forum Housing are thrilled to have received recent notification from Wirral Council of their intention to award the new contract for accommodation and support for 16 and 17 year olds to the Association.

Following a (very) competitive process, Forum have been busy mobilising the new service which has a number of exciting aspects to it. Our offer includes  a new 24 hour seven bed Super Hub at one of our bases which integrates a Health and Wellbeing facility, Reflection & Counselling Room and a Training Flat to help our young people get ‘move on ready’.

As part of our continued work on resident engagement, Forum have provided the resources to employ a young person with lived experience who will act as the ‘eyes and ears’ of the new service and ensure our young people consistently get high quality service delivery and where they don’t, we know about it quickly!

The service provides an additional 18 units of supported accommodation across three sites and all provision is supported by dedicated, professional staff 24 hours per day.

Check back for a future update when we’ll take you inside the walls of our Super Hub and a chance to hear more through the lens of a day in the life of a Forum Super Hub staff member … watch this space!




Community Entrepreneurship Programme

In December 2017, Forum Creative Enterprise launched a ‘Community Entrepreneurship Programme’ with 5 young people from Forum Housing Association’s projects across Wirral and Cheshire.

Dave Wood, founder of Metanoeo CIC, and Forum’s Amy Butterworth lead the programme, which includes developing a participant’s vision and skills for self-employment, accessing the relevant resources and building their confidence and self-esteem.

There has been positive feedback from attendees following their first day on the programme;

“It met my expectations fully” …
“I enjoyed exploring concepts and ideas in a relaxed setting”.

Participants are partnered up with life coaches, trained by Metanoeo CIC, including students from Edge Hill University and people who have experienced their own period of unemployment.

The participant’s ideas for businesses have varied widely, from a wellbeing life coach consultant for young people, by young people to developing a bespoke furniture business.

The first programme will be running until the summer by which time we hope to have an alumni of graduated young people running their own businesses.


Carol Concert

Forum’s Carol Concert was held on Wednesday 13 December 2017, and was generously hosted by the Salvation Army Community Church, Old Chester Road in Birkenhead.

There was a warm and positive atmosphere throughout the evening. The Right Reverend Keith Sinclair, Bishop of Birkenhead delivered a thought-provoking message, and a range of festive and traditional carols were sung to music played by the Salvation Army’s brass band.

We would like to extend our thanks and appreciation to all who helped to organise and support the event, and to all who attended to make the evening so special.


National Housing Federation visit to Forum

On 30 November we were delighted to receive a visit from senior officers of the National Housing Federation.  The National Housing Federation (NHF) is the voice of affordable housing in England, believing that everyone should have the home they need at a price they can afford.  The NHF represent the work of housing associations and campaign nationally for better housing.

Baroness Diana Warwick, Chair of the NHF; Katie Teasdale, National External Affairs Manager; and Jordane Shaw, Policy Officer valued the opportunity to better understand the essential work Forum undertake with young people in the region.

After an initial meeting with Debbie Thompson, Chief Executive, and Sue Elliott, Chair of Forum’s Board, the party visited a number of our accommodation sites where they met both residents and staff teams.

We were delighted that our Patron, The Right Reverend Keith Sinclair, Bishop of Birkenhead and our honorary President, Chris Allen BEM were also able to attend the delightful buffet lunch at the Bridge which concluded the successful visit.


Feedback received following the visit was extremely positive, and we look forward to continuing our work with the National Housing Federation.

I wanted to send a personal note to say how much I appreciated the special effort you made not only to give us such a wide-ranging view of your terrific work but also to give us several opportunities to meet with your very special tenants. It was so moving to hear their stories and to see first-hand how they were turning their lives around because of the support and encouragement Forum is able to give them.

It was also lovely to meet several of your team members and staff and, through them, to see how the special ethos of Forum underpins everything they do. It was truly inspirational.

Baroness Diana Warwick


Diana, Jordane and I were so impressed by Forum- from your inspiring tenants to your dedicated team and innovative services. It was a wonderful day and an amazing insight into one of the most precious parts of our sector. The work you do is such a credit to you all and it is a privilege to understand that better. I know Diana is determined that the Federation does all we can to help you flourish and yesterday’s visit reinforced to us all why that matters so much.

We were overwhelmed by our welcome and grateful for you organising such a thought provoking tour and amazing lunch celebration- please do pass on our thanks to the whole team.

Katie Teasdale




Charity Shop news

Another happy customer!

Customer A started coming to our Just for You charity shop located at 72 Market Street, Birkenhead about 6 months ago after making friends with another young mum locally who told her about the shop.

Her visits to the shop have enabled her to identify a big change to the services on offer.  The Pay as You Feel section has enabled her to give her daughter a weekly treat when she is well behaved at school.  This incentive has not only had a positive impact on her daughter in school but “has also taken the pressure off a little at home” as both Customer A and her partner are trying to manage their mental and physical health issues, and most importantly, maintain a happy family.

Since the shop is now open 5 days a week Customer A has dropped in more frequently and spent more time with the Community Asset Team members, our volunteers.  She enjoys a walk to the shop after a cup of tea with her friend as she finds that everyone is welcoming.

When asked what makes this shop different she replied that there is a difference in being able to walk out with a bag of food knowing it was affordable and having been able to make a choice of the items she wants instead of receiving a hand out.

Customer A now recommends the shop to friends at her daughter’s school.  “It just makes sense to stop food going to landfill…just because a cereal box is bashed up, rich or poor we don’t eat the box but we all still eat cornflakes with milk don’t we?!”

Customer A has recently had difficulties with her benefits being cut and is waiting for a Universal Credit claim to be processed.  She and her partner agreed that they don’t have much money, but when they do spend, they choose to spend it wisely in the shop.

They added that they would like to get involved in the shop one day once their situation is stable.


Working together to feed Birkenhead

On Thursday 9th November Forum’s Give and Gain Exchange teamed with Neo Community alongside other local organisations to offer support at Feeding Birkenhead’s latest campaign.

Feeding Birkenhead, which is chaired by Birkenhead MP Frank Field, has enabled local schools to both set up and maintain breakfast clubs through donations from the public.

Wirral Globe reported that 1,400 children will benefit from the generous donations made by members of the public and organisations such as HIS Church as breakfast clubs continue to offer this valuable service to children during their school term.  For further information, and the full article, please see the links below:

Feeding Birkenhead:

Feeding Britain:

Richard Humphrey – HIS Church:

Wirral Globe article:



Homeless Awareness Week 2017










As part of Homeless Awareness Week staff from Forum Housing Association took part in a rough sleep out on Saturday 21st October.

Adverse weather conditions on the night caused by Storm Brian meant that staff had to take shelter in Market Wells car park which highlights the plight suffered by rough sleepers.

Staff visited hot spots in the area where homeless people have been seen to offer support along with warm coats and hot food which had been very kindly donated.  We were also able to highlight the services provided by Forum and similar organisations in the area.

Thank you to everyone who came along to offer their support.  We still need donations of toiletries and towels so if you can help please see our appeals page for further information or get in touch in any of the ways detailed in our Contact Us section.



President’s Dinner 2017


Forum’s annual President’s Dinner was held on 12th October at the Hollins Hey Hotel, New Brighton. The event, which was hosted by Forum’s President Mrs Chris Allen BEM, provided the opportunity to celebrate another successful year.

Attendees included the Mayor, Mrs Ann McLachlan and her consort, husband Bill, the Association’s Patron, Bishop Keith Sinclair who was accompanied by his wife Rosie, as well as numerous Association Board members and Staff.

Guests were treated to a wine reception and four course dinner which was followed by a presentation by guest speaker Avril Devaney MBE who talked inspiringly about the work of the Jamie Devaney Memorial Fund, a UK based charity which supports mental health care in Uganda.



President Chris Allen then presented our staff with the Player of the Year Awards.  The six categories represent the core values of the Association and provide the opportunity to recognise the hard work and dedication of staff, Board and Association members.

Congratulations to this year’s winners!

Positivity, Passion, Optimism & Energy

Pam Rigby

Generous Heart

Clare Murphy

Patience & Understanding

Amanda Flynn, Annette Brown, Chris Jones, Kath Corrigan

Pioneering, Courageous, Resilient, Open to Change

Debbie O’ Connor

Integrity (Honest, Loyal, Committed)

Alison Jones, Clare Murphy

Inner Conviction, Outward Expression

Ben Shone, Garry Seddon, Heather Parry, Pam Rigby, Tania Minns

Learner of the Year

Georgina Dulhanty


Rachael Cousins, Sarah McGrady



Macmillan Coffee morning

World’s Biggest Coffee Morning ….

On Friday 29th September 2017 Forum held another successful coffee morning to raise money to support Macmillan Nurses and the work they do.

The main aim of Macmillan Nurses is to ensure that no one faces cancer alone.  They provide medical, emotional, practical and financial support as well as campaigning for better cancer care.  The work they do is vital as cancer affects more than just those who are facing it; Macmillan are there for friends and family too.

Thank you to all of those staff who put their baking skills to good use and also those who roped in family to do it on their behalf!

But most of all a big thank you to everyone who contributed by joining us.  We hoped you enjoyed the cakes!



Forum Creative Enterprise News


Working together in our Community….

On Friday 22nd September Forum Creative Enterprise worked collaboratively with Asda’s Community Engagement Employee Nichole and NEO Community to re-donate lots of household items and children’s toys to four neighbouring district charity shops in Rockferry, Birkenhead, Claughton and Tranmere.  We hope that by pooling our time and assets we are helping fellow charities raise funds for those in need as well as being better placed to develop new opportunities in the communities we serve such as a Pay-As-You-Feel shop and a new Social Supermarket at 72-74 Market Street, Birkenhead.


Neo Community Celebration

Thanks to Ema and her team at Neo Community for a fantastic evening on Thursday 28th September at Beaconsfield Community House.  Forum Creative Enterprise has been working hard with like minded community partners such as Neo Community to develop ‘Give and Gain’ exchanges such as this.

The evening saw Neo Community’s proud launch of the Wirral 50 Club.  This simple idea can make a big difference with businesses being asked to sign up as founder members of the club, each pledging a small monthly amount.  The money raised will secure the future of Neo Community’s Wirral wide offering as well as supporting an additional 12 projects each year with a grant of up to £2500.  For more information on Wirral 50 and how to sign up please email one of the Neo team at

Guest speakers on the night included Neo Community’s new patron, MP Frank Field, Mayor Ann McLachlan and her husband Bill. The evening was rounded off with a presentation by Ema who drew attention to the work Forum Creative Enterprise is doing to facilitate the new Community Social Supermarket.

Facts and figures presented on the evening highlight that deprivation has hit a new peak. However, with the combined passion of groups, businesses and communities the amount of food going to waste can be reduced.  Everyone is welcome to come and shop.

For more information about the new Community Social Supermarket or how you can get involved, please contact Amy Butterworth, Community Asset & Resource Developer on 0151 649 9718 or