BOLTON at Home has been hailed as one of four organisations transforming the lives of thousands of people across Greater Manchester.

The organisation has won through to the national finals after qualifying through the regional heats of the National Housing Federation’s (NHF) Community Impact Awards.

The awards celebrate the difference England’s housing associations make through creating opportunities and bringing local communities together.

Bolton at Home’s Urban and Neighbourhood Care Centres were held up as examples for providing employment support through work clubs as well as access to computing facilities, financial and budgeting advice and health advice and services.

Its six UCAN centres link up with other agencies, such as the NHS, the police, Citizens’ Advice Bureau and other voluntary organisations.

During a 12-month period — September, 2012 to August, 2013 — 929 people took part in work clubs and 391 attended money advice sessions.

Nearly 180 organisations across the country have entered and more than 60 projects were shortlisted.

Other organisations in the Greater Manchester area to go through to the national final are Rochdale Boroughwide Housing’s Our Choice scheme, Southway Housing Trust’s Smart Energy Team, and Wythenshawe Community Housing Group’s Real Food Wythenshawe.

“Congratulations to the winners,” said NHF’s chief executive David Orr. “They each deserve a place in our awards finals.

“Whether it is helping people into work or training, inspiring people to grow and cook their own produce, or tackling fuel poverty and reducing our carbon footprint, housing associations do so much more than simply offer a roof over their heads.

“Projects like these help create a strong sense of community, giving residents the power to get involved and make a difference in their local area — that is what these awards are all about.”

The overall Community Impact winner will be announced at the national finals in London on June 12.