News & Events

First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, Endorses Happy to Translate

Glasgow, 15thJanuary 2016: First Minister Nicola Sturgeon met with Rohini Sharma Joshi at her constituency office in Govanhill to discuss Trust Housing Association's Happy to Translate mobile app. The innovative app assists organisations when communicating with those whose first language isn't English. Ms Sturgeon said: 'I'm very pleased to support this project and I think it can make a real difference overcoming barriers to communication. It's important that people are able to access information and services they are entitled to. Improving communciation will not only benefit service users, it will help service providers as well and result in a better experience for all.'

Ms Sturgeon represents an area of Glasgow city which has a rich tapestry of ethnic communities from diverse cultural backgrounds, speaking a multitude of languages. Ms Sturgeon told Rohini, who is Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Manager for Trust and Manager of Happy to Translate, that there were up to fifty languages spoken in her constitutency's local primary schools alone.

After the visit, Rohini said: 'It was  pleasure meeting with Nicola Sturgeon again, not in her role as First Minister, but as the public representative of her constituents, many of whom struggle with English, particularly when faced with complex issues. It's clear by Ms Sturgeon's response to Happy to Translate, that she and her staff are committed to equality and are willing to go the extra mile to ensure all members of her constituency feel they are valued and included in Scottish society.'

Nicola Sturgeon Launches Happy to Translate Mobile App

Scottish initiative places the power to overcome language barriers in the palm of your hand

Glasgow, 13th November 2015: First Minister Nicola Sturgeon unveiled the new mobile app produced by Happy to Translate, a Scottish initiative which helps organisations communicate with customers who face a language barrier.

The innovative mobile app helps to identify a customer's language and takes them through a series of simple steps and phrases in languages from across the world. The app also has the option to connect the organisation to their preferred interpretation supplier, providing a seamless communication and service delivery to customers whose first language is not English.

The mobile app, developed with funding from the National Lottery and Lintel Trust, is available to use by members of Happy to Translate, which is managed by Trust Housing Association.

'Happy to Translate has always been dynamic in its response to the needs of its members', said Rhona McLeod, Chief Executive of Trust Housing Association. 'This latest move towards the use of technology was the obvious next step in the growth of the initiative and the mobile app will prove to be a successful addition to the existing portfolio of Happy to Translate tools.'

Ms Sturgeon, said: 'This is a new and innovative approach from Happy to Translate. I'm delighted to launch it and I look forward to hearing how the mobile app is helping service providers meet the needs of people who face a language barrier.'

Pictured L-R: Heather Pearson (Chair - Trust Enterprises Ltd.); Rhona McLeod (Chief Executive - Trust
Housing Association); Nicola Sturgeon (First Minister); Rohini Sharma Joshi (Equality, Diversity &      
Inclusion Manager - Trust Housing Association);  Ian Crawford (Board Member - Trust Enterprises Ltd.);
Jack Marshall (Director of Business Services - Trust Housing Association)

New HTT Mobile App Arriving Soon

17th August, 2015: The long awaited HTT mobile app is undergoing a final review and is expected to be formally launched at the next Members' Forum Meeting to be held at Trust Housing Association, on 26 October this year.

HTT Members will have the opportunity to view the app for the first time and to try it out for themselves. The HTT mobile app is free to download to Happy to Translate members and will form a part of the existing HTT portfolio of tools.



Happy to Translate at Scottish Parliament  

Edinburgh, 7th November 2013: The Scottish Parliament has now joined Happy to Translate (HTT) – a national initiative that supports equal access to information and services by helping members to overcome language barriers.

The award-winning not-for-profit initiative is managed by Trust Housing Association and now has a membership of more than 75 public and private organisations. 

HTT provides member organisations with specialist tools and training so frontline staff can deal professionally with service users who are non-fluent English speakers. 

At the Scottish Parliament, HTT worked closely with staff to ensure the initiative could be adopted throughout their organisational reach. MSPs were invited to see the tools now available to their constituency staff that will enable them to communicate more effectively with members of the public who may have difficulties with English. 

These tools will make it easier for more people to contact an MSP, get involved in the work of the Scottish Parliament or ask a question about the Scottish Parliament. 

"We are delighted the Scottish Parliament has come on board and are grateful to Jim Eadie MSP for his support in this process," says Rohini Sharma Joshi, of HTT and Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Manager of Trust Housing Association. 

"The HTT logo serves to instil confidence in service users that they can approach the organisation in the knowledge and security that staff will be willing and able to engage with them. HTT's user-friendly tools assist frontline staff to bridge the gap between first contact and arranging for interpretation or translation services.


National Seminar on Dementia - Murrayfield Stadium

The Older People Services team hosted a national seminar on dementia on 3rd July 2013 at Murrayfield Stadium in Edinburgh, with over 280 people in attendance. The Happy to Translate team was on hand to raise the profile of the logo and to demonstrate the tools that service users might expect to use when in first contact with a Member organisation.



23rd May 2013: Happy to Translate co-facilitated a workshop at the Accessibility Day hosted by BrouseAloud in Jury’s Inn, Edinburgh.

30th May 2013: Information Event for Minority Ethnic Older People, Burnbank Centre, Hamilton.


Celebrating Investors in Diversity Accreditation – Scottish Parliament

The Equality, Diversity and Inclusion team has won numerous awards through its pioneering work, which includes encouraging the participation of BME communities in the housing sector and managing Happy to Translate. Trust has recently achieved the Investors in Diversity accreditation and has become the first Scottish housing association to attain this highly regarded status.

This achievement was marked with a celebratory event at the Scottish Parliament on 21st May 2013 where Margaret Burgess, Minister for Housing and Welfare, was the main speaker.

Happy to Translate attended the event and provided information on the initiative to guests including councillors, MSPs and various interested parties.


Information Event for Minority Ethnic Older People – Fairweather Hall

The Equality, Diversity and Inclusion team hosted an information event for minority ethnic older people on the 9th May 2013 at the Fairweather Hall in Newton Mearns, Glasgow.

With over 60 people in attendance the event gave individuals information on housing options specifically for older people, as well as good insight into the benefits scheme and gave guests an understanding of the level of service to expect from a Happy to Translate member organisation. The occasion was very much enjoyed by all with hot lunch, refreshments and entertainment throughout.





We’re very impressed with the Happy to Translate initiative and looking forward to working with the supporting tools and processes. The training session was an excellent introduction and all staff feel confident that they will achieve positive outcomes with tenants whose first language is other than English, as a result of implementing Happy to Translate.

Carolyn Hughes, Deputy Director, Manor Estates Housing Association

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