Walsall residents enjoyed their own slice of the seaside this week, when whg hosted its annual customer open day.

More than 600 people dropped into the By the Sea event at the housing association’s Hatherton Street offices on Wednesday to enjoy a day of sandcastle making and ice cream.

The event gave visitors the opportunity to find out more about whg, with more than 20 stalls showcasing the services and support that the leading Midlands landlord offers to its customers.

Families were able to pick up advice on managing their money, find out about the training and employment opportunities available, and learn about community safety and how to get more involved in their neighbourhood.

This year the event was themed around digital skills, with people encouraged to sign up to Click Start, a Black Country project aimed at helping vulnerable people make the most of the internet to manage their money and find training, volunteering or employment opportunities.

Organisations including Walsall College, South Staffs Water, O2 and Cancer Research were also on hand to give out advice and information to visitors.

The event was officially opened by Cllr Marco Longhi, Mayor of Walsall, and Gary Fulford, whg’s Group Chief Executive, who all participated in a ribbon cutting ceremony.

Kate Pearce, who visited the event with her daughter and grandchildren, said: “It’s great that whg put on events like this for their customers – we’ve had a really good day.”

Gary Fulford said: “This event is always one of the highlights of the year for both customers and colleagues and I’m delighted that so many families dropped in to enjoy our annual open day.

“It’s really important to us that we work with our customers and encourage them to get involved in what we do. Events like these are a great way to promote the wide range of services we offer that can make a real difference to the lives of families.”

Donations from the event went to whg’s charity of the year Cancer Research, with £360 raised in total.