Alok Sharma, Member of Parliament for Reading West, met apprentices and spoke with Sovereign residents as they moved into their new homes at Hawkswood, Calcot, today.
On Friday 8 June, the Employment Minister visited the new 45-home development in Mill Lane from Bellway, which includes 12 new homes for social rent and five for shared ownership from Sovereign Housing Association.
Yvonne Birks, who works as a care assistant, showed Alok around her new Sovereign home.
Alok Sharma said: “Having visited in January, I was delighted to come back to Hawkswood and meet Yvonne, and her very friendly dog Lottie, as she makes one these new houses a home. And, as well as these much-needed new homes, with almost 40% affordable, it was great to see Bellway and Sovereign creating job and apprenticeship opportunities for local people too.”
With nearly 1,000 affordable homes, Sovereign is the largest housing association in Reading West. And, as well as building more than 1,200 new homes a year to rent and buy, Sovereign also provides specialist employment services to help residents into work or to progress their careers.
Heather Bowman, Sovereign’s Chief Operating Officer, said: “We know the difference a quality, affordable home can make, so it was great Alok Sharma MP could hear first-hand from new residents and homeowners. We’re committed to building more affordable homes, to rent and buy, working closely with quality housebuilders such as Bellway.”
Alok Sharma also met four Bellway apprentices, who worked on the site in both trades and management roles.
Ricky Jonhstone, Contracts Manager at Bellway, said: “Our apprenticeship is designed to attract young people to construction and give them the skills and experiences they need to make it a long-term career choice.”#
Photo: Alok Sharma MP with Bellway Homes apprentices, Yvonne Birks and Lottie, Ricky Johnstone, Contracts Manager at Bellway and Heather Bowman, Chief Operation Officer at Sovereign Housing Association