Page 1

2015/2016 31,622,400 seconds 527,640 minutes 8,784 hours 366 days 52 weeks 12 months


Corporate Annual Report

2015/16 1 April 2015-31 March 2016

‘Our time to make a positive difference’



Contents Page Message from the Chair Message from the Chief Executive Time to celebrate

RSPH National Award It’s bronze for The Pavilions Landlord Accreditation from TPAS

“Making a positive difference to people’s lives and our communities.”

3 3 4 5 5

Time is money Financial Performance


Time for development and assets Our new homes Our development programme £1.2m refit at Beech Court

8 8 9

Time for Value for Money


Time for social value


Time for being an exemplar employer Health, well-being and Team Treats Staff family fun day

12 13

Time for performance Tenant Involvement & Empowerment Homes Tenancy Neighbourhood & Community Value for Money

14 14 15 15 15

“There are 86,400 seconds in a day and every day provides us with the opportunity to make a positive difference to people’s lives.”

Time for residents Axiom go ape with foyer residents Residents’ Conference

16 16

Time to learn

Time for new beginnings New contracts for supported housing Floating support contract re-awarded


17 17

Axiom Academy Liam’s Story

21 21

Time to save the planet

Time to care Axiom Care


Time to help Axiom Homeless Action


Time for partnerships Blue Skies Consortium Placeshapers

20 20

Investors in the Environment Turning papers back into trees

22 22

Time for governance


Time to meet the board


Time for equality

26 27

Disability User Group (DUG)

“Axiom retains a regulatory top rating for achieving the highest standards for governance (G1) and Viability (V1).” 2

Message from the Chair “This is my first opportunity to introduce our Corporate Report since taking over as Chair at the AGM in September 2015. I would like to begin by thanking my predecessor, David Fowler, for his fantastic contribution as Chair over the previous six years. He has been instrumental in ensuring Axiom remains as well placed as possible as we steer our way through the undoubtedly choppy waters the social housing sector is facing. Uncertainty abounds. What will be the impact of the introduction of universal credit? For how long might there be a 1% rent cut? How much funding will our more vulnerable residents receive? Everyone at Axiom has responded so well to all these challenges. During the year we have become even more efficient; we have continued to ensure our properties meet the needs of

residents, as demonstrated by the refit at Littleport (see page 9); we have continued to develop new properties (for example those at Eye in Peterborough) and we have fully integrated Axiom Care into the Axiom Group. Most importantly we have continued to show that people matter in everything we do.

Dr Hilary Lindsay chair MBA FCA FMATT

This report is full, not only of heart-warming stories, but also of external awards where we have been recognised as leaders in our field. Awards for how we work with our residents, for how we look after the health and well-being of our staff, and for our contribution as an investor in the environment and in diversity. In these challenging times Axiom continues to be committed, caring and creative. I would like to thank Axiom’s staff, residents and my board colleagues for their commitment and enthusiasm for everything relating to Axiom. Axiom is an organisation of which we can all be justly proud.”

About Dr Hilary Lindsay: Hilary joined the Board in 2009. She is a chartered accountant and academic co-ordinator, doctoral supervisor and researcher with the Open University. Hilary is President of the ICAEW and past president of AAT (the professional body for accounting technicians).

Message from the Chief Executive “This year we welcome four new members to the Axiom board, following our governance review in 2015 and the appointment of Hilary Lindsay as Chair.

I would like to express my thanks to the board and staff teams that navigated our way through this review, resulting in improved efficiencies and no reductions in frontline services.

The need to ensure Axiom continues to have highly skilled and knowledgeable board members, in an increasingly complex and fast moving environment, is vital and has led to the creation of a fully remunerated board.

We also gained over 100 new colleagues from care providers as we implemented our fully integrated care and support services in all of our extra care schemes, confirming our position as a leading provider of care and support services.

2015/16 also saw the introduction of the first of four years of the national rent cut, shaving millions off our business plan assumptions and requiring a review of our services and employment offers. Alan Lewin Chief Cxecutive

Our fourth Elderly Accommodation Counsel (EAC) award in three years and our excellent STAR survey results confirm our customer’s appreciation of our homes and services. As we move towards Axiom’s 50th anniversary we shall continue our focus on providing high quality, integrated housing, care and support services. 50 years on from Cathy Come Home, they are needed even more.”


Time to celebrate National Award On 20 October 2015 Axiom celebrated winning a national award for its approach to promoting good health and well-being within Axiom.

“The Healthy Body, Healthy Mind, Healthy Axiom programme has been running for 71 months and is still going strong.”

The award is given to organisations that demonstrate a cross-organisational approach to embedding their health improvement strategy (which must be measurable, effective and efficient), enabling individuals and communities to improve their health. Axiom won the award for its Healthy Body, Healthy Mind, Healthy Axiom programme, which aims to improve employees’ health, well-being and engagement through a programme of team-based initiatives. Shirley Cramer, CEO, of Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) said: “The RSPH has a long history of promoting good practice in public health and we’re proud of our Health and Well-being Awards, which provide a stage to celebrate the great work of organisations across the country regardless of their sector, size and setting.

“Axiom’s Healthy Body, Healthy Mind, Healthy Axiom programme aims to embed employees health, well-being and engagement through a programme of team-based initiatives.

It was an extremely competitive field this year and I would like to congratulate our 2015 winners who are all exemplars of innovative, progressive programmes to improve the health and well-being of individuals and communities.

Axiom was one of only 26 organisations nationwide to have been recognised for the work to promote health and wellbeing.”

I hope that their effective programmes will be adopted and celebrated elsewhere.” Alan Lewin, Axiom CEO added: “I was very proud to be able to receive this award on behalf of Axiom. As a gold standard Investor in People our commitment to the development, health and well-being of our staff is paramount to the ongoing success of our Healthy Body, Healthy Axiom, Healthy Mind programme”.

Dr Karen Prince (Head of Axiom Academy), Lord Patel (member of the NHS Sustainability Committee), Alan Lewin (Axiom CEO)

71 months and still going strong! “Axiom’s Healthy Body, Healthy Mind, Healthy Axiom programme has been operational and making a difference to staff for 71 months”. 4

Time to celebrate, continued

It’s bronze for The Pavilions In December 2015 Axiom’s extra care scheme The Pavilions, was shortlisted for an award by the EAC (Elderly Accommodation Counsel) and residents were thrilled to hear in February 2016 that Axiom had been awarded a Bronze Award. The award was given following strong evidence given under seven specific categories:

   

Activities, outings, consultation Convenience of location Number/size of facilities Practicality of apartments and privacy/ lifestyle

The Pavilions, extra care scheme, Peterborough

  

Quality of the building, facilities and garden Space standards of apartments Staff role and interaction

Stuart Fort Axiom Operations Director said: “This is yet another year when The Pavilions has been recognised as a great building with great care and support services provided by Axiom for frail older people.”

Landlord Accreditation awarded by TPAS In October 2015 Axiom were awarded ‘Landlord Accreditation 2015 -2018’ in recognition of the way Axiom works with its residents. The award was made following evidence being submitted against seven strategic themes:

1. Strategic commitment to involvement and empowerment 2. Opportunities to involve and influence 3. Use of residents’ intelligence 4. Accountability and performance 5. Community development 6. Support and resources 7. Governance

LtoR: Sareeta Sharma Resident Involvement Manager, Alan Lewin CEO, Brian Harris chair Axiom Residents Forum, Jenny Osbourne TPAS

The TPAS Panel said: “The TPAS Accreditation Panel is very impressed with the outcomes of the Axiom assessment and in particular the diverse approach to engaging residents in the delivery, development and monitoring of services. This is the first time Axiom has been subject to the TPAS accreditation process and has been found to meet the stringent standards to a high level”.

Time to celebrate: TPAS Landlord accreditation for 156 weeks 5

Time is money Financial Performance

“Axiom commits through its corporate objectives to being a value-driven housing association.”

Turnover Compared to the previous year, group turnover increased by 9.2 % to £17.09m which is attributable to both rent inflation, shared ownership sales, added rental from the previous year’s housing unit growth and growth in turnover of Axiom Care.

Operating Surplus The operating surplus of the group for the year was £3.158m.

Operating Margin In 2015/16 a drop in operating margin occurred for the first time in five years as the association undertook changes to improve future efficiency, meet added regulatory requirements and incorporate the accounting impact of new reporting standards.

Axiom Housing 2015/16 £000s

Income and expenditure at a glance

Group inc Axiom Care 2015/16 £000s




Cost of sales



Operating costs



Operating surplus



Surplus on sales of fixed assets



Net interest



Surplus before exceptional



Exceptional item *



Surplus after exceptional item



* Transfer of engagement of subsidiary

This is a decrease of 16.03% from £3.6m last year due to increases in operating costs from our care activities, one off restructuring costs and new pension deficit charges.

The successful addition of three new contracts to Axiom Care in 2015/16 added valuable income to the group, albeit at a higher cost of delivery compared to traditional housing and support services, leading to a modest dilution of group operating margins of 1.7%.

Group overhead costs

The group operating margin was 19.7% and the Association margin was 21.4%.

Operating margin performance





Budget operating margin





Actual operating margin










Overhead costs as a % of group turnover




Overhead costs as a % of group direct revenue costs




3 year trend


Time is money, continued Sales of housing assets The voluntary disposal of vacant properties and shared ownership staircasing 1 generated receipts of £637,000 and a surplus of £420,000. Turnover includes £46,000 for final staircasing of a property at Raedwald Court in Peterborough.

Net Interest Net interest costs increased during the year as a result of additional loan borrowings (£2.7m). The average rate of interest incurred during the year fell slightly to 4.85% (2014-15: 5.2%). The proportion of fixed interest loans at 31 March was 75.8% The Association has continued with its comprehensive programme of Value for Money initiatives during the year realising actual gains and cash savings in 2015-16 of 6.4% of the Association’s annual operating costs (net of depreciation) which is £52,800 better than anticipated in last year’s report.

Net Surplus and Revenue Reserves The group recorded a net surplus for the financial year ending 31 March 2016 of £834,000 having benefitted from £420,000 of surpluses from the sale of uneconomic housing assets, but adversely impacted by new accountancy reporting requirements obliging us to recognise past pension deficit liabilities of £576,000.

Capital Investment The Association invested £3.234m (2014/15: £2.914m) on major repairs and improvements to its housing stock during the year. At the year end capital expenditure of £16.82m has been authorised by the Board of Management, but not yet contracted. A further £57,000 of capital expenditure has been contracted, but not yet provided for in relation to the development of one unit of housing that was under construction at the year end.


Summary balance sheet

Group 2015/16 £000s

Housing properties at historic cost


Less public grants


Other fixed assets


Current assets


Current liabilities


Total assets less current liabilities


Loans and creditors due over one year


Capital and reserves

6,623 62,010

A copy of our group financial statements for 2015/16 is available upon request from either the Company Secretary or Communications Manager.

Shared ownership schemes allow buyers who meet the eligibility criteria to secure a mortgage to buy a stake (usually between 25% and 75%) in a property, while paying rent on the remaining share to the housing association or private developer that own the building. The rent paid on the remaining share is charged at a discounted rate. The properties are usually leasehold properties and therefore a monthly service charge as well as contribution to major maintenance works is usually paid. More of the home can be bought by staircasing i.e. increasing the share. Shares can be bought in 10% increments which in return reduces the rental element. 7

Time for development and assets

“Our 2015-18 development programme will bring 109 much needed new homes.”

Our new homes In July 2015 we were delighted to take ownership of our 12 new homes as part of a new development in Millport Drive, Eye, Peterborough. Built by Larkfleet Homes, three of the new homes were for shared ownership and nine for intermediate rent. These new homes provided an excellent opportunity for our Housing Management Team to add their own ‘value for money’ style approach by undertaking all the ‘sign ups’ in one go. Leona Evans Housing Operations Manager said: “Instead of individual one to one meeting with residents in our offices, which can be time consuming, we decided to arrange a mass meeting at our extra care scheme, The Spinney, which is very close to Millport Drive. This new approach was also a perfect opportunity to introduce residents to their neighbours and promote community cohesion. All of the ‘sign ups’ and tenancy terms and conditions were complete within 2.5 hours instead of potentially much longer.

Millport Drive, Eye, Peterborough

We have had some great feedback from our new residents who have told us that they are extremely happy with their new homes.”

Our 2015-2018 development programme

366 days “During the 366 days of 2015/16 we invested over £5,755,000 in existing and new homes.”

Melton Mowbray Foyer

27 units

26x1 bed flats and 1xstudio

Bassenhally Extra Care Scheme

60 units

8x2 bed flats and 52x1 bed flats.

1 unit

1x2 bed bungalow


20 units

A mix of 2 and 3 bed houses

Crowland 1

10 units

4x1 bed houses, 1 x 2 bed houses (rent) and 5x2 bed houses (shared ownership)

Crowland 2

12 units

3x1 bed houses, 2x2 bed bungalows, 2x3 houses (rent), 3x2 bed houses and 2x3 bed houses (shared ownership)



130 units 8

Time for development and Assets, continued

A £1.2m re-fit at Beech Court, Littleport In late spring 2016, Beech Court (originally built in 1985) re-opened its doors to stakeholders and key guests, following a £1.2m re-fit as part of Axiom’s Asset Management Refurbishment Programme.

Cllr Clive Webber

Special guests went along to mark completion of the works including: the Mayor of Ely, Cllr Elizabeth Every and Chair of Littleport Parish Council, Cllr Clive Webber who formally re-opened the scheme. The complete modernisation of the sheltered scheme included new kitchens and bathrooms to all 64 flats, as well as the refurbishment of communal areas and the upgrading of electrics. The transformation has taken months to complete and boasts a brand new courtyard area as well as a new assisted bathroom and a fabulous new main entrance. Alan Lewin Axiom CEO said: “It was so good to see how fantastic Beech Court now looks. It has a real air and feel of one of our extra care schemes and is now

Left: Mayor of Ely Cllr Elizabeth Every with Pat Jewby (resident)

able to fulfil its potential as a scheme that offers both high-quality housing as well as care. The accommodation is first-class and via Axiom Care, residents can receive care in their own home. It’s an ideal solution and really does make a positive difference to the lives of older people. I would like to thank all those who have been involved especially Fosters Property Maintenance”. Elsie Flack (aged 103) said: “The work team knew their job and they did it so well. They were very friendly and I’m really going to miss their company. They’re welcome back any time for a cup of tea!” David Haynes of Fosters added: “We were pleased to be able to work on yet another successful scheme refurbishment for Axiom and it’s great to see the positive impact this has had on the residents.”

“229 working days to re-fit Beech Court, making a real and positive difference to older people’s lives.” 9

Time for Value for Money

“Axiom has identified efficiency savings of £123,600 and cash savings of £576,000 totalling £699,600.”

In accordance with the regulatory standard on Value for Money (VFM) which came into effect on 1 April 2012, we have written our fifth annual self-assessment of how we are achieving value for money in delivering our purpose and objectives. Following a robust assessment of our performance the Board conclude that the Association has good evidence to support compliance with the expected outcomes of the VFM standard. Below is a summary of our self-assessment assurance rating arising against each section of the VFM standard. Meeting our objectives:


 Revised and updated our VFM Policy  Investigated the cost of our services compared to peer organisations and identified areas for improvement Use of resources:

A copy of the full Value for Money Report for 2015/16 can be found on our website or available upon request.


 Reviewed our business plan and prioritised objectives in light of the light of the rent cuts introduced from April 2016  Identified and delivered savings targets  Regular monitoring of identified efficiencies by the Finance & Audit Committee  Taken action to exit from non-viable activities Ensuring delivery:


 Report on the outcomes of our VFM service reviews and programme of procurement and impact assessment reviews  Embedded VFM into our corporate strategy and staff competencies  Monitor performance and targets Measuring/knowing the value of outputs:


 Reported on our second social value report around care leavers, illustrated with case studies  Analysed outcomes from our Huntingdon Outreach service over the last five years How the board has gained assurance:


 Through benchmarking comparisons  Via peer assessments within internal audit reports and from published sector accounts  Via analysis and comparison with the 2016 HCA unit costs report

Optimising returns from assets:


 We have expanded upon our financial analysis of return on assets across all of our housing stock into areas of energy efficiency, tenant satisfaction, stock turnover and expanded our analysis of relative social value  Examined our findings and reported to the Development & Assets Committee on options appraisals  Established a new target financial return (average 4% rental yield) on new developments Achievements:


 Reported efficiency gains of 1.1% (target 1.0%) and cash savings of 5.3% (target 5.9%): a total of circa £700,000 gains, £53,000 ahead of target  Reported performance across eight benchmarked service areas, demonstrating good performance and low cost in five of the areas  Challenged our Q3/Q4 benchmarks Plans for next year:


 A target cashable savings of circa £310,000 to be monitored by the Finance & Audit Committee  Review procurement activities (internal audit, data services and disaster recovery)  Undertake an evaluation of a potential merger by the Board  Produce a further social value report in July 2017 10

Time for social value We have continued to make progress in our approach to social value, building on the successful work already completed. Social Value is now a core part of our work and sits alongside Value for Money as one of our corporate objectives; we have a diverse range of services that positively impact on the lives of residents or service users. The social value journey we started in 2014 demonstrated both the value we provide and how we generate that value to

Our VFM Social Value priorities  We will continue to generate social value for our commissioners and stakeholders through our wide array of services to vulnerable people.  We will continue to contribute to stakeholder priorities in delivering service that offer social value and make the best possible return on the investment of scarce public resources.  We will continue our work in analysing and monitoring the social return on investment we create, particularly in the work we do with care leavers, and with frail older people.  We will continue to develop our long term approach of looking at the social value derived over the long term and how our interventions can elicit real and sustained change in behaviour and aspirations.  We will report annually on our social value achievements as part of our Value for Money report.

commissioners, individuals and the public purse. We first did this in Axiom Academy focusing on the value generated by the delivery of our learning services; we were able to show that for every £1 spent by Axiom Academy it generated £8 of social value. The work we have done in 2015/16 has focused on young people and care leavers whilst we have also started work to look at the impact our holistic housing and care service has on the residents of our extra care schemes in Peterborough.

Social Value—Case Study Mr B entered the Foyer in May 2015. In the words of the staff, Mr B broke every rule in the book in the first two weeks; he also had a history of self-harming, involvement with the police and substance abuse (drink and drugs). Drinking solidly for a week was a common occurrence. Our staff team worked hard to engage with the individual – investing time in seeking to gain his trust and confidence. Mr B engaged with Axiom Academy and achieved Entry Level 3 in Maths and Entry Level 2 in English. He started to attend a breakfast club and prepared a CV; he applied to start a college course in performing arts. Mr B’s involvement with the police stopped and he started to engage well for long periods; there remained occasions where he would drink, but these incidents became less frequent. Self-harming reduced dramatically and he has now moved into his own tenancy with a local housing association.

Stock photo

Case Study - savings: Mr B in foster care - £722 per week = Level 2 Qualification (Benefit to treasury) Level 2 Qualification (Benefit to individual) Relief from drug/alcohol problems Feel in control of life Total Cost saving:

£37,544 per year £641 £1,059 £25,616 (one off cost*) £10,975 (one off cost*)

Cost Saving Cost of accom. and support: Social Return on Investment:

£75,835 £15,183 £60,652

* one off cost HACT (Housing Associations’ Charitable Trust)


Time for being an

exemplar employer Health, well-being & team treats!

“Axiom commits through its corporate objectives to being an exemplar employer.”

In 2010 Axiom launched its Health & Well-being Programme and each year staff are given the opportunity to get involved in all sorts of activities over the year. In 2015 and 2016 the programme was revisited and actions included:     

Team building competitions Weekly chair-based exercises Xbox fitness challenge Health and well-being library Team treats

 Badminton club  Relaxation classes  Mindfulness sessions  Mental health first aid training

Each staff member/team are able to bid for funds towards their own work based events which have been hugely popular, with every bidder receiving some sort of financial reward to fund their own health and well-being activity—better known as team treats. Here’s just a couple of examples of what Axiom’s teams got up to:  A BBC ‘The Apprentice’ style treasure hunt where members of the sheltered, care and older persons services teams were split into three groups with the aim of solving riddles and clues. They even had to bargain with local shopkeepers to buy specific items from a list as part of the challenge was to return with the most amount of money in their pockets.  Staff from Peterborough Foyer went along to the greyhound races for their Team Treat which was their chosen event made possible by the Axiom Staff Consultative Group.

ONE second

Every single second of spending time together is invaluable

Google Images


Time for being an exemplar employer continued

Staff family fun day In August 2015 Axiom held its 4th Family Fun Day event as part of its commitment to well-being in the workplace. The event was open to staff and their families, across the whole of Axiom, spending an afternoon together enjoying events such as:      

Inflatable assault course and slide Play bus for younger children Surf simulator Speed goal competition Human table football Traditional family games (egg and spoon, sack races, three legged races etc)

Tommy Hirel (Fay Moore’s son) in the speed goal competition

Alexa Armstrong Management Accountant said: “It was a lovely day and great to catch up with everyone. Isla looks forward to when she can join in with the egg and spoon race!” Alexa and Isla Armstrong

Sareeta Sharma Resident Involvement Manger said: “As a carer for my mother, it was an absolute delight for me to be able to take her and my younger sister to the staff family fun day.

Caterpillar races

Tonisha, Sareeta and Mumma Sharma

All three of us thoroughly enjoyed the afternoon and had such a good time. I was so happy to be able to introduce ’Mumma Sharma’ to my wonderful colleagues so she could see what a great organisation I work for”. Mel Groom Senior Income Officer said:

Human Football Table

“It was great to see so many colleagues and their families having so much at our fourth family fun day. They are so much fun and thoroughly support Axiom’s commitment to being an exemplar employer”.

Axiom staff from LtoR: Bob Quinton, Peter Matthews, Sat Sahota, Angie Noble, Mel Groom

300 minutes of organised staff and family fun!


Time for performance Tenant Involvement and Empowerment Residents and service users are at the heart of Axiom and we are strongly committed to involving them in everything we do. Working alongside Axiom Residents’ Forum (ARF) we continue to build on our resident and service users’ involvement journey to ensure that we deliver continual improvement and deliver services that meet resident and service users’ needs and Back LtoR: Leslie Bailey, Charlie Gillmore. expectations. Seated LtoR: Brian Harris, Howard Bell During 2015/16 we saw more residents involved than ever before. Numbers rose from 338 to 367 which is an increase of 8.6% on the previous year. The Responsive Repairs and Gas Servicing Panel Group (pictured left) meets monthly to review repairs, scheduled and period works Tenant Involvement & Empowerment Percentage of tenants satisfied that their views are being taken into account Number of LIKES achieved on Facebook Axiom Involved









No. of involved Volume Controllers *

carried out. The group aims to review and improve on the repairs response time, the scheduling of voids works and gas servicing, improving services provided by Axiom and its contractors. Panel members’ objectives: • • •

*A group of residents who feed back information on their local neighbourhoods

Home Quality of accommodation and repairs and maintenance

To offer a representative and objective assessment of the standard of work carried out. To review how well the service meets users’ expectations. To recommend how the service can be improved. To monitor the implementation and impact of these changes from the users viewpoint. TARGET






Repairs completed on time



Responsive repairs satisfaction levels



Responsive repairs completed right first time





Percentage of responsive repairs where appointment made was kept



Planned works satisfaction levels



Grounds maintenance satisfaction levels



Average SAP rating of homes Gas certificates: all properties have valid certificates (as at 31.3.16)

Responsive repairs completed second time


Time for performance, continued

Tenancy “Taking everything into account 88% of residents are satisfied with the service provided by Axiom.” Re-let times



New Lets




Total lets


General Housing


Extra Care










Number Average No. of days

Rent Collection, Management & Maintenance Costs

Above: NEW Tenancy sign ups : Millport Drive, Eye, Peterborough


Rent Arrears of current tenants (as a % of annual rent)


Bad debt charge (as stated in the Statutory Accounts 2015/16)


Average Rent & Service Charge per week


Service Charge

General Housing



Supported & Sheltered



“100% of Axiom properties reach the Homes Standard.”

Neighbourhood & Community Neighbourhood management and anti-social behaviour (ASB)

2015/16 Target


Neighbourhood Management: Satisfaction from volume controllers quarter 4 survey with local housing management service



Anti-social behaviour (ASB) Satisfaction on how we dealt with reported instances of ASB



Satisfaction with result of an ASB instance



Value for Money Avg wkly net rent for general housing tenants Average


Service Charge



4 bed



3 bed



2 bed



1 bed






2013/ 14

2014/ 15

Actual 2015/ 16

Budget 2016/ 17

Responsive Repairs & Void Works





Tenancy Management





Cost per property per annum


Time for residents In partnership with The Foyer Federation and following some Big Lottery Funding, Axiom has been able to conclude the roll out of a programme of ‘healthy conversations’ across all of its Foyers.

“367 residents were actively involved during 2015/16.”

Life changing, gaining skills and breaking social barriers is what Healthy Conversations is all about. Although the programme has now come to fruition, Foyer residents continued to benefit from the heritage and life long lasting effects of the programme.

Axiom ‘go ape’ with foyer residents Peterborough Foyer residents celebrated winning first place in a nationwide Foyer Federation competition as part of Healthy Conversations in the spring of 2015. Their prize was a trip to ‘Go Ape’ at Woburn Safari Park. In April, residents went along and undertook the ‘Go Ape Tree Top Challenge’ which took them just over two hours to complete. Andrew M (resident) said: “I really enjoyed my day and saw animals up close that I had only seen on TV before”. Aimee H (resident) said: “I had a great day and would love to do a ‘Go Ape’ trail again”.

Residents’ Conference

Living in Harmony!

Planned by a committee of residents, led by Sareeta Sharma, Resident Involvement Manager and Axiom Residents’ Forum (ARF) Axiom’s twelfth residents’ conference was held in September 2015 which saw a fantastic 95% satisfaction rating and over 100 residents in attendance.

Every single second counts

“95% satisfaction achieved for the 2015 residents’ conference”.

when working with residents 16

Time for new beginnings New contracts for Supported Housing Axiom were delighted to be awarded three new contracts within the Lincolnshire area as part of a partnership tender submission with NACRO, Leap and NCHA. The new accommodation based support contracts started in July 2015 at Bala House Grantham, Gainsborough Foyer and Market Rasen House. Market Rasen House (previously a Foyer) now provides accommodation for single homeless adults and offers six rooms for emergency access with up to a three month stay and 14 rooms for non-emergency access where residents can stay up to six months. Bala House service now offers emergency access accommodation for single adults for up to a three months stay.

Gainsborough Foyer provides six rooms, funded through the Children’s Services Commissioning team, for young homeless people between the ages of 16 and 17. There are an additional six rooms for other young people facing homelessness up to the age of 25 and is funded by West Lindsey District Council. The contracts are in place for three years with an option to extend at the end of this period.

Floating Support contract re-awarded In November 2015 Axiom was delighted to be once again awarded the floating support contracts we deliver in Huntingdonshire until 30 June 2018. Based within Paines Mill Foyer, the Axiom Floating Support Service originally commenced in July 2011. It provides a free confidential service for people over 16 years of age that are homeless or are at risk of being threatened with homelessness in the Huntingdonshire area.

A Case Study A woman, we will call Sarah, who has a degenerative condition and is therefore unable to work, was struggling to manage financially and ended up in a cycle of debt.

Having taken out pay day loans to try and pay off outstanding debts and rent arrears, she ended up in financial crisis. With her tenancy at risk, Sarah contacted Social Services who put her in touch with Axiom’s Floating Support Team in Huntingdonshire. Within just a few months, staff had helped her get on top of her finances; high focus was given to prioritising her limited income, setting up regular payments and sorting out a new bank account. Sarah was also shown how to budget and staff supported her with applying for the benefits she was entitled to. Without the help of the team, who investigated incapacity benefits with her, Sarah was able to secure money every two weeks as well as a backdated sum which now means she is no longer at risk of losing her home. Amanda Davies Adult Social Care Cambridgeshire County Council said: “This case study is a fantastic example of the value of the floating support service.”

Paines Mill Foyer 17

Time to care Axiom Care now employs 130 staff and delivers over 100,000 care hours a year.

“Axiom Care1 was rated 95.2% in May 2015 by commissioners from Peterborough City Council”.

2015/16 was a landmark year, in that Axiom Care (formerly Axiom Crossroads Care) was formally absorbed into Axiom Housing Association. Axiom Care is now a brand name for our care service as Axiom Housing Association is now the registered care provider with the Care Quality Commission. The Axiom Care Board no longer exists; our care activities now sit underneath the Care & Support Committee in Axiom’s governance structure. In July 2015 Axiom Care won the contracts to provide care on Axiom’s three extra care schemes in Peterborough. We started the new contracts on time and TUPE transferred over 80 new staff into Axiom Care overnight increasing the number of care hours we deliver by over 1,800 a week. Axiom Care now operates six services:

Extra care contracts in Peterborough 1. 2. 3.

Friary Court Peterborough The Pavilions Peterborough The Spinney Peterborough

Extra care contracts in Cambridgeshire 4. 5. 6.

Willowbank (Chesterton) and Bircham House (Sawston) A hub and spoke service at our newly refurbished sheltered scheme at Beech Court, Littleport.

The Axiom Care Team at: Friary Court Beech Court


Axiom Crossroads Care at the time

Unfortunately we are no longer able to offer a hub and spoke service at our other sheltered schemes. Stuart Fort, Operations Director said: “2015/16 was a significant year in the short lifetime of Axiom Care. Our care company is now firmly established with Commissioners and is setting increasingly higher standards in the delivery of high quality care for our service users”. Angie Morris, Chair of the Care & Support Committee said: “The integration of Axiom Care into Axiom was an important step in the evolution of Axiom Care. We now operate more defined services and the emphasis is on high quality care and really making a positive difference to people’s lives”.

The Pavilions

The Spinney


Time to help

Crisis Funded Private Rented Sector Initiative

Axiom Homeless Action (AHA) is Axiom’s inhouse charity, which is committed to breaking the cycle of homelessness through practical support and direct action, and by raising awareness throughout the wider community. As a registered charity (No. 1005310) AHA wants to be regarded as taking a lead on homelessness issues throughout the areas of Cambridgeshire, Peterborough and Lincolnshire.

Crisis, the national charity for single homeless people, work in partnership with local voluntary sector agencies throughout England to support Private Rented Sector access services for homeless people. Axiom Housing continued to provide the Crisis funded initiative based out of its New Haven Hostel, providing support to single homeless adults and working with private landlords to secure accommodation and provide ongoing support to enable people to sustain and manage their tenancies. The initiative ran for a period of 18 months until the end of March 2016 and supported a total of 94 people.

Chris Wood, AHA Chair said: “Over the last year, Axiom Homeless Action has continued to provide support to people facing homelessness, raise awareness of homelessness and fundraise so that we can continue to offer practical support to some of the most vulnerable people within our society. The trustees and staff of the charity have helped many local people get back onto their feet by donating items and goods. Axiom manages three homeless hostels in the region so we are familiar with the impact of homelessness on people’s lives. There are many misconceptions of what it means to have no home, and through our work we change perceptions and present our client group in a more positive light.

INCOMING FOR Axiom Homeless Action 01.04.15 - 31.03.16 Donations

We are committed therefore to helping vulnerable people regardless of what led them to become homeless”.

In every 24 hours, 117 families become homeless (source: Shelter).

No 20 8 4 3 1 1 1 1 1 40

OUTGOING FOR Axiom Homeless Action 01.04.15 - 31.03.16 Amount Category £3,099 Cookers £930 Washing Machines £540 Fridge/freezer £150 Food £69 Bed £70 Taxi £100 Clothing £120 Tumble Drier £64 Removal costs £5,142.00

Thorney Abbey


The Spinney Extra Care Residents


Kestrel Court Residents’ Social Group


Residents’ Family Fun Day

AHA work every second of every day to help raise awareness of homelessness issues.



Deepings Round Table




Staff fundraising events and donations

£1,071.60 £2,864.61


Chris Wood (Chair)

Karen Chambers

Stuart Fort

Louise Platt


Time for partnerships

“Axiom commits through its corporate objectives to be a strong and trusted partner.”

Consortium Axiom are proud members of the Blue Skies Consortium Innovative, experienced and ambitious, the Blue Skies Consortium, established in 2006, is one of the most respected developers in the Midlands. Since its inception, the consortium has been sharing best practice and values its strong relationships with the HCA, local authorities and contractors.

“With a focus on delivering highquality, affordable housing, the Blue Skies Consortium is committed to excellence.”

As a group Blue Skies stays close to its communities in order to meet localised housing needs with a mission to deliver homes on time, within budget and to the highest standards. Being well regarded by the HCA the consortium attracts grant through various funding schemes and the initial offer presented for the 2015-18 Affordable Homes Programme awarded us grant for 900 homes with a robust pipeline of schemes to be negotiated through the continuous market engagement route. Blue Skies is fully compliant with all EU funding regulations with a framework of consultants and contractors being available to all consortium members results in significant cost savings.

“25% of people in the UK live in a ‘Place Shapers’ home and more than two million people use the services of a ‘Place Shapers’ member!” Axiom is a member of the PlaceShapers national network of more than 100 community based housing associations. Described by Inside Housing as ‘one of the most high profile lobbying bodies in the sector’, PlaceShapers homes create and strengthen communities as well as creating communities of the future by developing new homes. Alan Lewin, Axiom CEO said: “Axiom is firmly committed to helping alleviate the UK’s housing crisis. Unemployment, poor health, low educational achievement as well as crime all take their part in creating a complex shortfall of affordable homes. I therefore believe that there has never been a better time than now to work in partnership to help make a positive difference to people’s lives and our local communities. As a member of PlaceShapers we commit to a core set of principles and commit to local focus. We are already working with the government, agencies and local authorities, but most importantly with our residents and service users who are the real reason for our being”. 20

“Axiom Academy delivers a 98% average success rate for its learners.”

Time to learn with Axiom Academy! Axiom Academy was born four years ago out of the success of Axiom’s Skills & Development centres which were in operation over a decade ago. The Academy provides quality learning, training and skills development from its community-based centres working with a range of learners aged 16 and over. All areas of the Academy therefore bring added value to residents, the local community, commissioners and Axiom staff. Our objective is to provide an innovative and quality learning experience for people to meet their own individual needs and aspirations.

Courses delivered 2015/2016


Maths and English


IT including ECDL (European Computer Driving Licence)




Community Learning Programme


Total courses achieve through Axiom Academy Skills & Development Centres

To provide excellent achievement and success rates.

An excellent reputation for engagement of learners that are hard to reach.

Social Work Student placements in partnership with Anglian Ruskin University and the University of Lincoln


Training sessions for Axiom Staff



The Axiom Academy vision:


Skills & Development Centres: Peterborough Foyer; The New Haven (Peterborough) & Paines Mill Foyer (St Neots)

Quality placements offering a variety of experiences for student social workers.

Flexible approaches to learners.

Supportive approach to ensure learners realise their full potential.

Axiom Academy working together and in partnership with:

Liam’s story Liam is a resident of Axiom’s Fair View Court (homeless project in Peterborough). In June 2015 Liam completed his City & Guilds Maths Level 2 qualification through Axiom Academy. Liam is one of 71 people who have achieved either a Maths or English qualification over the last year and was so motivated, he decided to sign up for his English Level 2 last summer.

Dr Karen Prince, Head of Axiom Academy said: “Liam has completed a Maths Level 2 qualification and has attended the Skills & Development Centre at Fair View Court on a regular basis over a five month period. His confidence has blossomed and he’s now interested in doing further qualifications through the academy. Working with our vulnerable residents gives us so much to be proud of, especially when many of them have had difficult personal backgrounds to overcome”. 21

Time to save the planet!

“Axiom commits through its corporate objectives to build on its community commitment : be a green team.”

Investors in the Environment As an Investor in the Environment Award Winner in 2015, Axiom has committed to measuring and monitoring its resources, implemented through a dedicated action plan so that staff can take forward, individually and collectively, the Axiom Green Team Agenda. As part of the Green Team Agenda, Axiom has implemented a number of environmental practices an initiative that enable staff to get involved environmentally. Initiatives carried out during the year include:

 A week of dedicated and focused re-cycling (15-21       

June 2015) Promotion of ‘carry a carrier and save 5p’ campaign Weekly car washing (bucket and sponge) Completion of moving our archive paper storage onto our electronic ‘Documotive’ filing systems Promotion of the Peterborough Energy Initiative Recycle battery boxes Revised business mileage to encourage car sharing Paper and plastic recycling bins in offices

Turning paper back into trees! One of Axiom’s biggest and best environmental initiatives came in January 2016 when we supported the M&S tree planting appeal. Axiom staff and residents managed to donate 9,972 old Christmas cards meaning that nine new trees were planted in our honour.

Celebrating the emptying of our largest archive store

Beech Court residents give rubbish the sack! In the early summer of 2015 residents from Beech Court, Littleport (older persons’ scheme) worked together with Debbie Crangle, Service Manager, Veolia and East Cambridgeshire Council to help reduce their back sack waste. After just a few short weeks, the housekeeping team noticed that the re-cycling bins were full to the top with Veolia advising that the ‘black sack’ waste had reduced by a massive two-thirds.

Beech Court residents give rubbish the sack!

Martin Norman (Veolia) has confirmed that because of the reduced amount going into landfill this will all help to reduce local council tax charges going forward.


Time for governance Achieving excellence in governance Each year the Board of Management undertakes a detailed assessment of its compliance with the adopted codes of excellence. In 2016 the Board assessed that it continues to deliver the excellent standards of governance expected from the 2015 NHF code whilst continuing to work towards the satisfaction of one technical deviation that has been acknowledged and accepted by the HCA (Homes & Communities Agency) our regulatory body. Specifically, this deviation relates to the recommended maximum term of office for one Board member, the requirement being that their office should be no more than three terms of three years (or nine years). Following a scheduled retirement at the Annual General Meeting in September 2016, the Association will have one member, for whom an extension of membership has been approved up to September 2017. As at 31 March 2016 the Association has nine members on its board. Three new members were appointed by the Board in May 2016 and will be proposed for election as shareholders at the Annual General Meeting in September 2016. The Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) governance standard requires regulated housing associations to comply with all relevant law, their own governing documents and regulatory requirements.

Membership policy Axiom adopts a closed system of shareholding membership for new applications. Shareholding admissions are reserved for individuals successful in applying for ordinary Board membership in accordance with our standing orders. Existing shareholders may retain their shareholding membership in accordance with the Rules of the Association, but retired board members between 2012 and 2015 joined the ‘Friends of Axiom’ network and elected to retain their shareholding for up to a maximum of five years. Board Members after 2015 have agreed to relinquish their shareholding upon retirement from the Board. No shareholder (other than Board members) shall have a governance role within the Association beyond the voting rights conveyed within the Rules of the Association in general meetings. All shareholders are informed of their role and responsibilities, including the obligation to act in the best interests of the organisation.

Conduct and probity The Board of Management is committed to maintaining the highest possible standards of openness, probity and accountability in the affairs of the Association, and although no longer required to do so, have included a statement of registered interests in this report for public inspection (see page 24). Continued on page 24

A full statement of regulatory compliance is given in our group financial statements which are available upon request from the Company Secretary. The Board has reviewed evidence from internal management reports, independent audit reports and has considered the scope of legislative and regulatory requirements across the Association’s sphere of operations and is satisfied that the Association has complied with the regulatory and legal requirements.

Board members visit Changemaker House during refurbishment


Governance; achieving excellence continued Recruitment and succession planning Board renewal is important for good governance and is reviewed annually as part of the Governance Review. Recruitment to Board vacancies is open and transparent, based on merit and objective selection and assessment techniques.

Remuneration and Out of Pocket Expenses In June 2015, Axiom’s Board completed a review of governance and agreed a full business case for introducing remuneration for board members. This remuneration policy was agreed by Axiom’s Board in July 2015 and applied with effect from 23 September 2015.

SUMMARY—register of interests, emoluments and expenses Emoluments 2015/16

Expenses 2015/16

Member H&G Civic Soc. Working Towards a Vibrant Huntingdon. Conservative Party. Union Jack Club London. Advisory Board member Senior Helping Seniors Canterbury. Treasurer Friend of all Saints Church, Huntingdon. Membership Ambassador Victory Services Club London





Memberships/other interests

Andrew Bish


Vanessa Connolly


Board member Cambs. & Peterborough CCG



Mervyn Cowdell


Member PCC adoption/fostering panel. Cambs. CC YOS referral order panel. Treasurer Harlequins Musical drama group. Peterborough Football Assoc. Life Member



Ken Fairbairn


Head of Procurement Cambridgeshire County Council



David Fowler


Law Society member



Brian Keegan


Chair P’boro U3A. Member P’boro IFC



Marie Li Mow Ching


Member of Swan Housing Group & North Herts Homes. Member of Audit Committee General Chiropractic Council



Dr Hilary Lindsay

Part time researcher OU

President ICAEW. ATT CMI



Vinny Logan


Undertakes minimal self employed part time work



Angie Morris


Parish Councillor. Goldhay Arts Trustee



Donald Sang





Brian Webster


Cross Country Trains (RMT member)



Chris Wood

Retired/ carer

Disability Peterborough




Council member. Assoc. Accounting Technicians Trustee, Railway Correspondence & Travel Soc.





Remuneration is not intended to fully Arthur (Reg) compensate for the Wood time and commitment shown by board members. However, it does recognise the significance of the legal and business responsibilities of the Axiom Board. It also recognises the need for those board members to commit the time necessary to play a leading role to oversee and implement these responsibilities.


Total emoluments Total expenses inc. training reimbursed to board members, not charge-able to UK income tax











All Board members receive reimbursement for out of pocket expenses incurred as a result of their performance of their duties in respect of the Association’s affairs. During the 2015/2016 financial year the following emoluments and expense payments can be seen above. The aggregate emoluments paid to or receivable by non-executive Directors and former non-executive Directors £8,776. Total expenses reimbursed to non-executive directors not chargeable to UK Income tax £6,633.


Time to meet our Board The Axiom Board of Management is responsible for the good governance of the association. Board members below:

Donald SangR2

Dr Hilary Lindsay Chair

Brian Webster

David Fowler

Chris Wood

Brian KeeganR1

Vinny LoganR2

Mervyn Cowdell

Ken Fairbairn

Andrew BishJ

Reg Wood

Vanessa ConnollyJ

Angie MorrisJ

Marie Li Mow Ching


New member - joined 26 May 2016

Committee Membership as at 26 May 2016 Care & Support

Development & Assets

Finance & Audit


Resident Services

Angie Morris C

Reg Wood C

Marie Li Mow Ching C

David Fowler IC

Ken Fairbairn C

Chris Wood David Fowler Ken Fairbairn Mervyn Cowdell

Andrew Bish Brian Webster Hilary Lindsay Marie Li Mow Ching

Andrew Bish Brian Webster David Fowler Ken Fairbairn Hilary Lindsay Mervyn Cowdell Reg Wood

Hilary Lindsay Ken Fairbairn Marie Li Mow Ching Reg Wood

Brian Webster Chris Wood Mervyn Cowdell Patricia Dearnaley Vanessa Connolly

Patricia Dearnaley*



Chair Interim Chair


Retired: Resigned: R2 Resigned: R2

Brian Keegan Donald Sang Vinny Logan

22 Sept 2015 1 March 2016 26 May 2016

Patricia Dearnaley *Non-executive committee member (joined 26 May 2016) 25

Time for equality Axiom is re-accredited with Investors in Diversity and reached No. 20 in the Top 100 Index 2016 Following Axiom’s success in February 2016 of being re-accredited with Investors in Diversity Stage 2, over 600 businesses were considered for inclusion in the National Centre for Diversity’s Top 100 Index. We were therefore delighted to hear, in February 2016, that we had reach No. 20 out of 600 businesses. Eileen Neligan (Axiom’s Assessor) said: “Axiom has continued to improve and live its equality, diversity and inclusion values. It is consistent in achieving the IiD standard and uses it as a vehicle for driving improvements. Axiom demonstrated many examples of good practice in the way in supports staff and service users. It uses its influence to get changes for the good in local communities.” Female

Gender Tenants

















Board (as at 31.3.16) Staff UK population (ONS)

No. Tenants










Up to 25

Age (where provided)


“As an Investor in Diversity, by working together with occupational therapists, local Sexuality (LGB) authorities and council, Axiom has spent £50,823 No. % on specialist adaptations.” 21 0.73%


Information provided where known






















Lettings (2015/16)









Staff UK population (ONS) Ethnicity (where provided)

White British









Mixed/multiple ethnic groups

Black/African/ Caribbean/ black British

Asian/Asian British

Other ethnic group











All lettings











General housing lettings
































Board (as at 31.3.16)

PLEASE NOTE statistics have been provided WHERE KNOWN and excludes ‘refused to say’


Time for equality continued Axiom’s Disability User Group The Disability User Group (DUG) was established in November 2011 and is made up of residents and staff, all of whom have an interest in disability.

“Axiom is re-accredited with Investors in Diversity Stage 2.”

The primary purpose of the group is to act as ambassadors to help shape current and future accommodation needs. DUG’s aims include:    

Help to mould the way services are delivered. Look at communal facilities including car parking, lighting and buggy stores. Undertake Equality Impact Assessments where necessary on Axiom policies and service provision. Help to shape future and current accommodation needs.

The Disability User Group was grant funded £25,000 during 2015/16 which sits under Axiom’s umbrella of Community Improvement Grants led by a panel of residents. The funds are used for communal adaptations to ensure that Axiom’s schemes and projects are accessible to all. Some DUG members have strong links with the Peterborough Disability Forum and with Inspire Peterborough (accessible sport for the disabled). Disability User Group completed projects in conjunction with the Community Improvement Grant Panel Carl Hall Court

Upgraded communal lounge lighting

The Spinney

Dropped kerb to car park Automated door to laundry room

Phoenix Court

Yellow lines painted in car park

The Pavilions

Automated door to laundry room

Oak Tree Court

Automated door to laundry room Upgraded communal lounge lighting Excavated and paved shrubbed areas to allow easier access

Woad Court

Upgraded communal lounge lighting

Kestrel Court

Installation of light over door entry panel

Axiom House

Additional handrail to front entrance

For a copy of our Equality & Diversity Annual Report 2015/16 please visit our website

Axiom has undertaken to meet the following three main legislative aims of the government equalities office: Eliminate unlawful discrimination harassment and victimisation, and other conduct prohibited by The Equality Act. Advance equality of opportunity between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not. Foster good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not. New handrails outside Axiom House offices


Corporate Annual Report 2015/16 31,622,400 seconds 527,640 minutes 8,784 hours 366 days 52 weeks 12 months

OUR YEAR Making a positive difference to people’s lives and our communities #axiomhousing


Axiom Housing Association Limited Axiom House, Cottesmore Close, Netherton, Peterborough PE3 9TP  01733 347135



VALUE FOR MONEY: this report has been written, produced and designed in house Axiom Housing Association Limited a registered society under the Co-operative and Community Benefits Societies Act 2014 (No. 17971R) and is regulated by the Homes & Communities Agency (Registered No. L0395). 28

Corporate annual report 2015 2016  

Axiom Housing Association Corporate Annual Report 2015 2016

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