Eastlight announced as Founding Partner of disability organisation, Purple

Nationally renowned disability organisation, Purple, has declared Eastlight Community Homes as its ‘Founding Partner’.

The announcement comes just three years into Eastlight’s partnership with the organisation, which sets about improving the overall disabled customer experience.

The 12,500-home resident-led housing association joins fellow partners – including Boots UK, Landsec and Standard Chartered Bank – in a bid to boost representation and inspire organisations to positively change the environment for those living with disabilities.


Since 2020, we have leant on our relationship with Purple, harnessing their experiences, expertise and data, to help drive disability inclusion and equality for our residents, housing employees and the wider sector.

Through a shared vision, we believe that we can better understand the challenges that many of our residents with disabilities face and create an environment and community in which diversity is embraced and celebrated.

Our relationship with Purple and Essex Cares has helped us build our neurodiverse recruitment programme to increase the diversity of cognitive abilities at Eastlight. We have also hosted webinars on the future of accessible homes for our employees and other housing associations across the East of England, as part of the BuildEast consortium.

And, most importantly, we have continued to put employees at the centre of our inclusion journey: we have introduced sunflower lanyards for all colleagues; improved disability disclosures across our systems; and enhanced our ‘Just Being You’ reverse-mentoring programme, which invites our employees to mentor Eastlight’s Leadership Team and Board members around protected characteristics, including disabilities.

Eastlight’s Chief Executive, Emma Palmer, said: “To be a Founding Partner of Purple this year is a huge honour for us.

“Our journey together started just three years ago, and I’m very proud to say that we have made some incredible achievements within our organisation which wouldn’t have been possible without the advice, expertise and support of this inspiring organisation.

“As a community gateway housing association, it’s critical for us to understand the needs of those living in our homes and communities so that we can deliver an accessible, authentic and personable service. It’s equally important for us to build a positive working environment that enables all our people and residents to thrive.”

Purple CEO, Mike Adams, said: “We are delighted to have developed a robust working relationship with Eastlight, enabling them to enrich the lives of their disabled customers and promote a positive and progressive workplace culture.

“This continuing partnership means that we can drive lasting change which seeks to rebalance the inequalities between disabled and non-disabled people.”

Eastlight will celebrate Purple at its annual celebration on Tuesday, 7 November 2023. This year, celebrations for Purple Tuesday will be held globally, with celebration events taking place in the UK, United States, United Arab Emirates and Malaysia.