Together Spring Newsletter

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Spring 2021

Spring makeover

Have you spotted our new logo? We hope you like it as much as we do!

What’s inside? Tenant Satisfaction Survey – a new approach to listening 3 Bin it – don’t fling it! 7 My Home contents insurance – are you covered? 10 Read Jared’s story on finding work with Creating Futures 13 / Customer Service: 0300 124 0040 All calls with Customer Services are recorded. Audio and print copies of this newsletter are available.

Meet your Housing Officers We now have ten new housing officers (you might already know them as Neighbourhood Coordinators). It’s their job to: • Support you with any issues • Work with you to improve the community you live in

We sent you a letter letting you

know who your Housing Officer is but if you have any questions please get in touch. Your Housing Officer will phone you over the coming weeks to introduce themselves. They will also be out and about in your community so please stop by to say hello.

They will be holding drop in sessions near you so you can pop in and have a chat and a brew (when it’s safe to do so). To get in touch with your Housing Officer call 0300 124 0040 or email

Alexa Boase

Stephen Bowling

Emyr Hughes

Lynda Johnson

Llinos Jones

Danielle Mason

Christine Mockridge

Sophie Owen

Kelly Williams

Nia Williams

New grass cutting contractor Mancoed are our new grass cutting contractor. They will cut the land that we own within our communities. The grass will be cut 16 times between March and October 2021. They will work Monday to Friday between 8am and 5pm and the teams will mow and strim the areas. We haven’t asked Mancoed to collect the cuttings, except around our sheltered schemes. Leaving the cuttings encourages better grass quality, growth and biodiversity. Mancoed will also be looking after our trees. 2

They will soon be out and about surveying the trees and putting together a programme of work to care for and maintain out trees over the next few years. If you have any questions about the service or if you think an area has been missed please get in touch with our Customer Service Team. Thanks to tenants who have already been in touch with feedback about the new service where you live. This is helping us to get this service up and running to the standard we expect it to.

Tenant Satisfaction Survey

A new approach to listening

Knowing that you are satisfied with the service we provide is very important to us. We’ve looked at the way we collect, analyse, and use your feedback on our services, and we’ve made changes to improve how we do this. We’ve partnered with an independent market research company called Acuity who specialise in working with the housing sector. Acuity will make calls to tenants on our behalf to ask how satisfied you are with Cartrefi Conwy’s services.

Trust in Acuity Acuity is bound by the market research society code of conduct. Any information you give them will be treated in confidence and will only be used by us to improve services. We have also worked closely with Acuity to make sure the data we share is secure and meets our Data Protection responsibilities.

0300 124 0040

You may also get a call • after a repair on your home

Why is there a change? We used to send a paper survey to every tenant once a year, this needed a lot of paper and a lot of time to input and analyse the results. This new approach will help us reduce waste and give us more up-to-date information, more regularly. It means we will know more about what is important to tenants and what is working well, and what we need to do more work on to improve services.

When can I expect a call? Acuity will make calls Monday – Friday from 8am – 8pm. Acuity will make sure the sample of tenants called is a fair representation of all tenants who live in our homes. Calls will be made throughout the year – we’re sorry but we cannot say exactly when or if you will be called.

• when you move into a new home • if you have reported an anti-social behaviour incident • or, if you have made a complaint

Acuity will ask you a few questions that will help us know what you think of those services and if you are satisfied with the service, or not.

What if I want more information? We will share what we learn from these surveys in future editions of Together, and on our website and social media channels. All the information will be anonymised, and we won’t share individual feedback or comments. If you want more information on this new approach, please call Customer Services on 0300 124 0040 or email 3

Our Here to Help Heroes campaign is promoting our local heroes that have gone above and beyond over the last year, truly making a difference to our tenants and the wider community. Meet some of our fantastic heroes. And if you know someone that deserves a thank you, please get in touch. Mr & Mrs Hargreaves, our tenants from Cerrigydrudion have been praised by their neighbours for their hard work and tireless support in helping others over the last year. “They have never stopped helping throughout this pandemic, always making sure the old ladies are ok in our community with daily phone calls or calling on them. They go out shopping for us to the main supermarkets, and nothing is too much for them.” One of Creating Enterprise’s Wellbeing Volunteers, Jon regularly braves the supermarket and pharmacy queues in order to collect and deliver groceries and medication to Cartrefi Conwy tenants who are unable to leave their homes as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. He has developed quite a reputation for going above and beyond, recently completing six trips in one day! We are so grateful and proud to say that Jon is a part of our team of fantastic volunteers. 4

Colin Mathews has been nominated for being “invaluable to his community on the Fron during the Pandemic, helping people with their shopping, making wellbeing calls, helping to report repairs as well as doing gardening work. He has transformed the garden area outside Ffordd Pandy flats and created a beautiful space for tenants to enjoy.”

When COVID-19 struck, Jill was unable to continue volunteering on the reception desk at Creating Enterprise’s Mochdre office or with Cartrefi Conwy’s Community Involvement Team. Instead, she signed up to become a wellbeing volunteer, and now makes regular phone calls to fellow Cartrefi Conwy tenants to ensure that they are safe and well and to offer a listening ear. Jill’s dedication and enthusiasm are commendable, and we are grateful and proud to have her on board as one of our valued volunteers.

He has also volunteered his time as a councillor helping the wider community with shopping and collecting prescriptions. “Nothing is too much trouble for Colin and is always on hand to help out.”


It’s amazing to hear how our communties are pulling together to support each other during some really difficult times. 0300 124 0040

If you know of anyone who has made a difference and you think someone’s story deserves to be celebrated, please do get in touch with the Communications team and let us share their stories. 5

Do you often think I wish I had someone to help me with my weekly shopping, meet up with for a cuppa and a chat, go out for walk with or perhaps to the cinema or visit local attractions with? Or maybe you’d like someone to help you do things online or give you emotional support when you’re not feeling your best or just be there to help you day to day. If you are reading this and thinking yes please, then look out for our new ‘Independent

Me’ Service which we are launching in September 2021. This service offers tenants and residents of Conwy County a safe and friendly support service. You can choose the type of help and support you need and how often you use it. The payment of this service can be covered by some benefits that you may already receive, for example Attendance Allowance and PIP. If you are not sure what benefits you receive or if you are eligible, we can help you check this.

For more info on our Independent Me Service, please get in touch. Call 0300 124 0040 or email or visit our website and social media pages for all the latest updates.


Bin it – don’t fling it We all have a responsibility to keep where we live clean and tidy by not fly tipping and to get rid of our rubbish and recycling items in the right way. We are working with the council to make sure our bin stores have enough bins for general rubbish and all the recycling. If there is not enough, we will ask for more to be added.

Get it right Our caretakers are continuously having to clean our bin store areas as they are being left in a filthy state. If you are struggling to manage your waste and recycling please let us know. And a big thank you to everyone who is disposing of their rubbish correctly.

Talk to us Fly Tipping – if you see it, report it! We also know there are some issues with people fly tipping in areas in our communities. If you see this happening report it to us or Conwy Council on 01492 574000. Try to give as much detail as possible so together we can stop this happening. Love where you live and let’s make Spring 2021 the time to change bad recycling habits to good habits. Thanks to tenants in Maes Glas for taking part in a survey that’s helping us find solutions to fix issues with waste and recycling. We will also be rolling out this survey in other areas in the coming months.

Responding to repairs during Covid As you know we have not been able to carry out some of our repairs service due to the risks of entering people’s homes.

in your home. We will be following very strict health and safety guidelines to keep you and our colleagues safe.

Thanks for being patient!

We may take a little longer to get to you as we have a But we are really pleased to back-log of repairs to get let you know we are now able through. Thanks so much for to do non-urgent repairs being patient with us. 0300 124 0040


New developments

We have grand ambitions to build 1000 new homes over the next 10 years. Here’s just a flavour of what we have been up to.

Cwrt Ysgol Maelgwn This is one of our most ambitious developments so far. We have totally transformed the old Maelgwn school building in Llandudno Junction. The classrooms in the main building have been converted into 10 independent living apartments for people with learning and physical disabilities and we have also used the playground space to build new social homes. We think it looks great!

Gloddaeth Street, Llandudno This development provides 16 new Intermediate rent apartments in the heart of Llandudno. We are also building new homes in Rhyl, Llanddulas and Llanrwst. Visit the development pages on our website to see all our latest developments, take 360 tours inside some of the homes and read how building new homes is leading to successful employment for many tenants.


What is…

Social housing?

Social housing is housing provided by Local Councils and Housing Associations at rates that are affordable to those on low incomes. There is high demand for social housing and you will only be accepted onto the social housing register if you are in ‘housing need’.

Intermediate Rent

Intermediate rentals are a more affordable way to rent a home (usually around 20% less than private sector rentals) and aimed at key workers with a yearly household income between £16,000 - £44,000. This scheme gives you the opportunity to save for a deposit if you are thinking of purchasing your own home in the future.

How to apply for social housing You can apply for social housing by contacting the Homefinder team on 0300 124 0050. Our Homefinder team are really busy at the moment and receive hundreds of calls every day so may take a little time to answer so please be patient. They use a process called SARTH (Single Access Route to Housing) which means you only have to make one application to go on the Housing Register for all housing associations across the county of Conwy.

Coming soon

Rent to Own

This scheme allows you to save 20% of the rent you pay in order for you to buy that home later on. Its a great way to get on the property ladder. You must be working to apply for this scheme.

How to apply for Intermediate Rent and Rent to Own housing schemes

You can find out more and register for Intermediate and Rent to Own homes by visiting

It’s great things are opening up We’re working towards opening our community centres and tenant lounges again soon. We’re making sure we’re following Government Guidance and starting to prepare our buildings to welcome tenants back to events. We’ll share more information soon. 0300 124 0040

We’ll still be running online activities too like Lydia’s Dealing with Stress sessions on Zoom. Join Lydia for live sessions on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 10.30 am. Keep an eye on our Community Involvement Facebook page for more information on activities in your area. Not online? Give the team a call to ask them what’s going on – 0300 124 0040. 9

Service charges

Caretaker Review Project We know how important it is to keep our rents affordable and fair and at the same time make sure we look after our homes and have the right services and standards in place to do this. Last year we reviewed our rent charges to make sure they were fair and affordable. This year we will continue to look at our service charges. We are starting with the caretaker service. It’s really important that the people who pay service charges tell us what they think. We will be getting in touch with you over the coming weeks to get your views so please take a couple of minutes to reply.

Have you got cover?

No matter how careful you are there’s always a risk that your belongings could be broken, damaged or stolen! If you don’t have home contents insurance, then we recommend the My Home Contents Scheme. This scheme specialises in low-cost contents insurance for tenants and covers furniture, carpets, curtains, clothes, bedding, electrical items, jewellery, pictures, keys, ornaments and more… 10

Plus, you can pay as you go, stop, and start your cover, there is no excess and premiums don’t go up when you make a claim. Don’t delay, take out cover today. Call My Home and apply for cover today on 0345 450 7288 or visit where you can request someone to call you back.

Staying safe Communal spaces

Remember if you live in a home that shares communal spaces and exit and entry routes these areas need to be kept clear at all times, including outside your front door and landing!


If your home has a balcony here’s our advice to reduce fire risks and help keep you, your family, and neighbours safe.

Please don’t


Use or store barbeques

Use or leave candles or naked flames

Use plastic netting or screens

Dry clothes or store clothes horses

Store any combustibles for example paint, gas cannisters or chemicals

Leave electrical portable devices on it, for example – laptops, tablets, e-cigs

0300 124 0040

Our caretakers and other staff carry out Fire Risk Assessments and report when they come across safety hazards. We then collect and store these hazards for you to pick them up. We thank everyone who understands why we need to do this – it’s to keep you, your family and others safe if there is a fire or other emergency. Our tenants have the right to be heard, understood and respected. Our colleagues also have the same right, so we ask politely that you keep this in mind and treat Cartrefi Conwy staff with respect.


It’s back – the Community Chest fund!

Are you part of a community group? Did you know the Community Chest fund helps to support projects that benefit our tenants and the communities they live in.

gs our Some of the thin t fund helps Community Ches to support are: ents Activities and ev aterials Equipment and m ts Gardening projec and more If you have a project in mind for your group, get in touch with us for an application form. Email, call 0300 124 0040 or visit Next closing date for applications is the end of July. 12

Come out to play

Summer has just arrived and we are busy planning play days in our communities during the summer holidays. We’re kicking off our play days in Chester Avenue, Kinmel Bay and Peulwys, Old Colwyn. We plan to roll out our play days in other areas in your community. Let us know if you want us to organise a play day where you live? Call, message or email our community involvement team.

Our play day scheme is supported by the Government’s Kickstart initiative. The Kickstart Scheme provides funding to create new jobs for 16- to 24-year-olds on Universal Credit who are at risk of long-term unemployment. For more information get in touch with the community involvement team.

Creating Futures Jared’s Story Real People, Real Stories

Our Job Search Coordinators are still here to help

We understand that times are tough right now, and so we are keen to remind you that whoever you are, whatever your circumstances, our Job Search Co-ordinators are still here to help. Even if you are already in employment or on furlough, we can offer support to update your CV, fill in application forms and brush up on your interview technique.


Job Search Support

Interview Preparation Live in Conwy? Need help?

Application forms

Advice & Guidan ce

Links with local employers

Looking for work?

Whatever your circumstances, we can offer 1:1 support to get

Real people, real stories

Jared’s story

you wherever you want to be, whenever you're ready. You Having been a stay-at-home

parent for nineteen years, Cartrefi Conwy tenant, Jared, was keen to 01492 588 980 return to work and focus on his own development. He successfully applied for a position within our Employment Academy and has since received a stream of glowing feedback from his supervisors.

choose how you want to be supported: in our offices, on the Jobs Bus, online or over the phone.

Jared has completed training in Working at Heights and Asbestos Awareness and has gained a CSCS card. He has already made an excellent impression on our painting team, with his supervisors complimenting the standard of his work and his ‘can-do’ attitude. Jared says: “I’m really enjoying being back in work after a long period out. I’m learning and improving every day. Everyone has been so supportive and willing to show me new methods and techniques. I’m feeling more confident, I’m enjoying the routine and I’m proud to be supporting my family.” 13

Paid work opportunities for 30 young people Creating Enterprise are thrilled to be a gateway organisation for the Government’s new Kickstart scheme. In partnership with Cartrefi Conwy, Brenig Construction, Clwyd Alyn Housing Association and PF&S Ltd, we have created paid work opportunities for 30 young people aged 16-24 who are claiming Universal Credit. All of the roles which are currently open for applications can be found on our website’s Virtual Jobs Board.

If you are aged 16-24 and are claiming Universal Credit, please talk to your Work Coach about these roles or get in touch with us for more information.

Shop local and save money

Have you downloaded the Creating Loyalty app yet? Creating Loyalty is all about bringing local businesses and working families together through mutual loyalty. We already have 54 fantastic businesses offering some amazing discounts through the app, including cafes, shops, gyms, family activities and much more. Download the app to any Apple or Android device free of charge, then follow the simple instructions to get set up and start saving!