It was the height of the pandemic, back in April 2020. David MacKenzie knew he had a challenge on his hands. As the CEO of Craigdale Housing Association, his fear was that both he and his team would lose touch with their tenants.

Craigdale staff have a great relationship with tenants, built up over a number of years however many were housebound and in need of support. With all the restrictions being introduced staff were worried about their tenant’s mental health. But at the same time, they knew there was a great deal of creativity within the community.

David had heard of The Lens when he worked at the Wheatley Group. We had run one of our Intrapreneurship Programmes where front-line staff had the opportunity to develop an idea they had and pitch for investment. He thought, what if we could do something similar but engage Craigdale’s tenants?

Fast forward to a beautifully sunny day at the end of June and John Masson and Pat Main were awarded £2,500 each for their ideas, partly funded through Craigdale and also from a Scottish Government Addressing Future Need grant. John is going to create a camera club, and Pat a community garden. Both want to offer opportunities to local residents to help improve their mental health.

They had previously pitched their ideas to Craigdale’s Board and were helped to do so by the staff team including Lisa Campbell, Samantha Morton, Jaclyn McMahon and Daniel Murray. Pat and John had attended workshops facilitated by the staff team on business storytelling, value propositions and pitching. They were, in turn, supported by Susan Perry, one of our Developers. She had taken Craigdale staff through a series of workshops that built their facilitation skills, knowledge of business development tools and their confidence.

The programme delivered what Craigdale needed – it engaged tenants and provided staff with a transformative development opportunity. The Board were delighted and proud that Craigdale Housing Association had offered a sector leading programme to their tenants.

The team are now planning their next programme and will use Pat and John’s stories to engage more tenants. They are excited about the possibility of what new ideas will come forward in the next round.

If you are interested in talking about how we can help you engage your tenants through intrapraneurship then drop us an email via