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Paragon Asra Housing Ltd

Asra and Paragon have recently joined together to form Paragon Asra Housing Ltd (PA Housing). PA Housing is a leading provider of housing for people and communities across central and southern England. We support more than 50,000 customers who live in more than 24,000 homes.

200 young people set business challenge by asra

2016 - August, Latest news

asra colleagues have led a ‘Business Challenge’ involving 200 young people with the aim of helping the students pool their ideas and increasing their understanding of the business world. 



The young people were split into teams of 15 at De Montfort University and then tasked with picking one of four challenges to base their presentation on, which included recruitment, online services, younger tenant involvement and bringing multiple locations to unite as one.


Group Chief Executive Matt Cooney; Director of Corporate Services Amit Patel; Learning & Development Training Partner Helen Hastings; Head of Financial Operations Kalpesh Mehta and HR Operations Manager Debra Lewis supported the teams by shadowing their ‘break out’ sessions and offering advice on career paths and opportunities within asra.


The teams then pitched their ideas to asra colleagues, with Group CEO Matt Cooney announcing the winning team based on their presentation and teamwork throughout the day.


The winning team received Love2Shop vouchers provided by asra, although the colleagues who attended were impressed with every team saying “the presentations were of a high standard and asra colleagues were impressed with the efforts of all involved”.


People Development Manager, Kate Lee, said:


This is the first year that asra has taken part in this event but something that we hope to continue. It is a fantastic opportunity for the young people who have volunteered for this programme, something to boost their CV and build their confidence, and it is also a great opportunity for asra to help to give something back and gain a different perspective on key issues.

Kate Lee (People Development Manager)


Matt Cooney commented: “It was great to be part of the NCS scheme and I was bowled over by the enthusiasm and tenacity of the young people taking part. The challenges that we set produced some fantastic responses from the school leaver teams. Some of the ideas will be used for real by asra. I was proud that asra could play a small part in helping these young people.” 


The event was organised as part of the National Citizen Service (NCS) run by Leicestershire Education Business Company (LEBC). 


The National Citizen Service (NCS) is a programme open to all 16 and 17 year olds in the UK. It aims to develop young people into effective local citizens by taking them through several phases of personal and team development.


NCS believes in the power of young people to change the world if only given the tools and opportunity.


The course runs throughout the summer holidays and in the Autumn half term and was held at the Hugh Aston Building at De Montfort University as part of University Week last week.


Over the last three years 2,765 young people have taken part in the NCS programme in Leicestershire and have achieved:


  • Over 150,990 hours of social action in Leicestershire
  • A fundraising total of £117,267.42
  • Thousands of beneficiaries in the local communities