News & Events

Cornwood Parish Council Councillors and Planning Officers from Dartmoor National Park Authority

As a Partner of the Devon Communities Together SWHS were requested to show some of its new developments to members of Cornwood Parish Council and also Planning Officers from the Dartmoor National Park Authority.

A visit was arranged for the 2nd April 2019 with Sue Southwell and Janice Alexander both Rural Housing Enablers with the Devon Rural Housing Partnership to show the Councillors and planner around several SWHS schemes.

The visit included Pepperd Close in Othery, Church View and Chesnutt Close at East Huntspill, Tuckers Close in the village of Mark and the also the properties around the Society’s Offices at Rooksbridg, Clare Court and Josephs Pound. The Operations Team and the Asset Manager were located around the schemes to provide a short brief and answer any questions our visitor’s may of have.


Lunch was provided in the Board Room and the CEO Dona Johnson, Catherine Davies Gallagher the Finance Director and Sue Sparks, Corporate Services Manager joined with the Operations Team to discuss the work that has to be gone through to provide affordable rural housing.

SWHS Housing Assistant Alex Smith, presented a cheque for £240.00 to the Weston Night Assessment Centre in Weston Super Mare. The donation came from monies collected by staff members ‘Dress Down Friday’ contributions, which was matched funded by the Society.


The Weston Night Assessment Centre is a twelve bed facility that offers rough sleepers and homeless individuals with a local connection to the area a safe and warm bed overnight. The Night assessment centre is currently applying for permission to be a permanent fixture due to a high demand.


If you would like to find out how you can help the Centre and for information on volunteering, please e-mail:

On the 7th November 2018 South Western Housing Society hosted a Chartered Institute of Housing training event covering the Introduction to Social Housing.


The day was opened by Jill Allcoat the CIH South West Regional Manager and the training was  provided by Sharon Nandoo.


The event was attended by 17 people from 7 Housing organisations throughout the South West and provided a very good introduction and knowledge base covering all aspects of the Social Housing Sector.

Parents and children living in Ambrosia Close, Lapford have come together to organise a street litter pick and clean up with the help of the Society.


Steve Austen (SWHS Housing Officer) organised safety equipment and suitable tools for the residents and children,  the parents are now organising a weekly litter pick to keep the surrounding areas where they live clean and tidy.


The photograph shows some of the children getting to grips with their tongs to collect litter.


South Western Housing Society are pleased to be sponsoring one of the historic "cast iron" finger posts located in the Parish of Mark, Somerset. Mark Parish Council are seeking organisations to “Sponsor” a finger post of which there are 14 within the Parish.

Donna Johnson, CEO of the Society presented a cheque for £300.00 to Geoff Francis of Mark Parish Council along with Martin Carney, SWHS Operations Director and Jan Horn from Mark Parish Council.

The Society recent reviewed the first year of it’s contract with Gregor Heating who provide the service contract for gas, renewables and oil heating/hot water systems across the portfolio. All agreed at the July contract meeting, that there is a good team working by all those involved with the delivery of this contract and we are sure that our tenants are getting to know the Gregor engineers. The Society holds regular meetings with their service contractors to monitor progress and customer satisfaction responses.


Pictured from left to right:

Martin Carney, SWHS Operations Director

Lee Belcher, Gregor Heating Renewable Technical Manager

Scott Northcott, Gregor Heating Senior Operations Director

Dean Haines, Gregor Heating Operations Manager

Steve Gregor, Gregor Heating Managing Director

Matt Parker, Gregor Heating Contract Administrator

Toni Nash, SWHS Business Support Apprentice

Neil Buckland, SWHS Asset Manager

Rob Newton-Allen, Gregor Heating Gas Service Manager

Alex Smith, SWHS Housing Assistant.

The Housing Market in the South West

The National Housing Federation produces the publication South West Home Truths each year which is very popular with MPs and local stakeholders.

It is a snapshot of the housing market in the South West of England, and there are nine reports in total covering each region. Please click here for further information



SWHS former tenants, Martyn Desborough & Catherine Wookey who lived in one of our 2 bedroom chalet style houses at Josephs Pound, Rooksbridge, Somerset have recently purchased their own home in Burnham-on-Sea as first time buyers.

Martyn & Catherine became tenants of the Society on the 16th June 2014 having previously living with a parent along with their 6 month old daughter Lilly; they now have a son called Archie who will be 2 in September.

Martyn & Catherine said that “ being able to rent the Society’s property at an affordable rent, helped us to save the money required for the deposit on our new home. We will always be thankful for the help and assistance provided by the Society over the last 3 years”

The National Housing Federation have posted a blog on their website regarding SWHS celebrating working with local communities. Please click here to read Chloe McLaren Webb's blog






We are pleased to announce that DALE BUILDING MAINTENANCE LTD has been awarded the Repairs and Maintenance Contract for the Society.

Dale operates throughout the South West of England and South Wales with operational offices in Bristol, South Brent (near Plymouth), Southampton as well as Cardiff and Swansea.  They have been in business for nearly 30 years and celebrate this achievement in October this year.  Dale are very proud of the high standards they provide to their customers and are committed to delivering an efficient and reliable service to our tenants.  They look forward to building a strong relationship with the tenants and management of the Society and their focus will be to deliver a high quality responsive repair service to include day to day repairs, empty property repairs and emergency call outs outside office hours.

South Western Housing Society wins New Apprentice Employer of the Year Award 2016

South Western Housing Society won the New Apprentice Employer of the Year award at the Weston College Business Awards evening held on Thursday 9th June 2016. Employers, apprentices, key college partners and Governors attended the glittering awards evening  hosted by Weston College’s Principal and Chief Executive Dr Paul Phillips, OBE, held at Cadbury House Hotel in Congresbury. The Society employs 2 apprentices Will Lloyd - Jones who is in his 2nd year and Alex Smith who joined in September 2015.


The keynote speaker for the evening was, Sally Gunnell OBE (Olympic gold medallist) and Dr Phillips, OBE said “It was a fantastic evening and I feel very proud of all our apprentices and business partners. Congratulations to all award winners!”

Martin Carney the Operations Director and Sally Williams the Finance Director represented the Society and jointly collected the award on the Society’s behalf.

The Society's Finance Apprentice Will Lloyd-Jones and Housing / Business Apprentice Alex Smith holding the presentation that the Society was awarded.

Benefit changes - how they could affect you?

You will probably have heard in the news or read in the papers about the proposed changes to the benefit system. If you are currently claiming Housing Benefit you need to know how these changes will affect you and know what choices are available to you, otherwise you may find it difficult to pay your rent. You need to think through the impact of the changes and plan for the future. Please follow the link to the government website below for detailed information about the proposed changes.