News & Events

The Society held its anniversary party on 10 July, celebrating 75 years of building affordable housing throughout the South West. It was a true celebration of the power of working in partnership for the benefit of others and was attended by tenants, partners and colleagues who have contributed to the successful running of the organisation since it first built homes for people made homeless as a result of the Second World War.

Councillor Gill Slocombe gave a moving testament to her father, who came to the Society as a Clerk of Works, moving into one of the newly built affordable homes on the Co-Op estate in Bridgwater more than 50 years ago. He helped to shape the quality and design of new homes, which led to Cllr Slocombe devoting herself to public service for the benefit of others.

The Society held a drop in session on Thursday 27th June at the Denbury Village Hall between 2.30pm and 7.30pm to provide information to applicants, possible new Society tenants and shared owners. SWHS staff members attended, along with Alan Fox, Managing Director of Rural Homes Limited. Also at the event were Tammy Hayes the Housing Solutions Lead at Teignbridge District Council and  Mary Ridgway the Housing Enabling Officer from Teignbridge District Council,  with  four Parish Councillors attending during the afternoon/evening.


The event was a great success with over fifteen households attending and the next day the applicants registered on Devon CBL.


A second event will be held on Thursday 14th November 2019, 2.30pm – 7.30pm at the Village Hall.

Steve Austen (Housing Officer) and Angela Derry (Business Support Administrator) travelled to Lapford, Devon to present a cheque to Lapford AFC as a contribution towards their new football kit. The club have two teams in the Devon and Exeter League and are proud to be celebrating their 100th year.


Pictured, Steve Austen is seen presenting a cheque for £250 to Nick Tucker, Club Chairman with Club Physiotherapist Rob Tancock

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