Called Southern 360, the strategy integrates the Group’s award-winning community investment, care and support services and specialist independent living for later life.
Alan Townshend, chief executive of Southern Housing Group said:
“The launch of Southern 360 comes at an exciting time for Southern Housing Group. Southern 360 supports the Group’s three-year corporate plan, which we launched in January 2020, to grow our capacity for community investment and amenities for local communities”.
One of the hallmarks of Southern 360, is its approach to innovation, backed by high-quality research. A good example of this is the use of virtual reality headsets for older and more vulnerable residents, to give them opportunities and experiences that they would otherwise struggle to access.
Working with residents at Byrnhill Grove and Furze Brake on the Isle of Wight, the Southern 360 team found the virtual reality headset helped increase social interaction and improved memory recall for people suffering from dementia.
The use of virtual reality in care settings has been proven to help reduce depression and anxiety as well as tackle loneliness and isolation. Southern 360’s pilot project has been so successful that the virtual reality headsets will now be rolled out this summer to Southern Housing Group’s sheltered housing and extra care schemes across the south of England – with the help of exchange students from Northeastern University in Boston.
This will enable residents to benefit from a more personalised experience of care, as the students discuss the memories, thoughts and feelings the virtual reality headsets help to evoke.
Naomi Keyte, Southern Housing Group’s Head of Sheltered and Care Services commented:
‘The introduction of the Southern 360 brand reflects the changing landscape of social housing, and in particular, specialist housing with care.
“Southern 360 allows us to show that by working with partners, with our combined skills and expertise and our shared goals and values, we can make a real difference to the communities in which we are all a part”.
“Southern Housing Group has always been more than a simple housing provider. The Group has a long history of investing in communities, matching a range of services and amenities to help people get on with their lives, thrive and live as independently as possible”.
To find out more about Southern 360, visit www.southern360.org.uk.