One such company is the centre of this paper.
Look Ahead Housing and Care is a charitable housing association that offers specialist housing, care and support. It was first established in 1973 by Mary Jones and a group of concerned individuals. Jones was a retired senior civil servant from the Department of Health and Social Services. Jones and the group envisioned a company that would provide good quality and cheap accommodations for the needy and most vulnerable in the society.
From a humble beginning of its first property acquisition in 1974, Look Ahead is now able to support 5000 people across more than 60 projects. The company owns a several properties that provide different types of accommodations. These include hostels for single homeless people, registered care homes, flats and studio-type accommodations for families with support needs. Customers receive support though guidance regarding benefits, budgeting, training, employment, education and general life skills to equip them live their lives fully and become independent contributors to the society. The annual income of the company is in excess of 29.5 million. Currently, Look Ahead employs around 600 staff providing service and care.
In 2008, the company was recognised in the prestigious Sunday Times as part of the "100 Best Companies to Work For." It has made the company proud as an employer of choice. It is an achievement that acknowledges the passion and commitment of the company in delivering first-rate service to the society and to employees. Through the dedication, commitment and hard work of management and staff, Look Ahead Housing and Care has developed to become a leading housing and social care provider to vulnerable people in London and the South East.
Look Ahead's mission is to enable those with particular needs to live ordinary lives within the community. They aim to become enablers of vulnerable people through positive transformation of their lives, and empowerment of individuals in order for them to become active participants in the community. In order to achieve the organisation's goals, Look Ahead has established several strategic objectives in the whole organisation.
As a member of the charity-service sector, their first objective is to promote customer involvement, choice and citizenship. This can be achieved through supporting and enabling customers to participate in a wide range of involvement activities; using feedback mechanisms from customer survey to improve services; and implementation of a social inclusion strategy.
As part of the community, their second objective is to build and maintain strong partnership. This can be attained by raising and strengthening the company's relationship with purchasers, funders and the local community. Mapping the stakeholders' relationships with the company across all services is made possible by means of local business plans, specialist forum and borough liaison meetings.
As an organisation, their third objective is to achieve growth through excellence. The company aims to meet or exceed targets for new business growth and design innovative services. The company also prioritise seeking opportunities for service expansion while delivering efficiency gains. They also commit to deliver ongoing improvements in service quality and performance.
As an employer, the fourth objective of Look Ahead is to enable staff to excel in their roles. The