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Spring 2014

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TAKE A LOOK INSIDE On Friday 7 February, the latest part of the Parc Peulwys vision was realised as 1625 native trees were planted all in one day to create the Parc Peulwys community woodland. Cartrefi Conwy staff joined members of the community, school children from Ysgol Tan y Marian, volunteers from Chester Avenue Estate, and even 3 rugby players from RGC1404 to tackle the immense task. With the sun shining, the volunteers braved the cold and winds to plant the mixture of trees ranging from birch, cherry,

maple, walnut and lime to oak, hornbeam and rowan. Under the guidance of Matt Stowe, Cartrefi Conwy the trees were planted in a way that would reflect a native woodland, which will be fully realised in the next 15-20 years, as this lasting legacy of the Parc Peulwys project becomes a rich habitat for animals and a learning and play space for the next generation! A huge thank you to everyone who took part on the day.

Date 14 26 March 20 30 April 2014 28 May 2014 25 June 2014 30 July 2014 14 27 August 20

Time 10:00 15:00 15:00 15:00 15:00 15:00 15:00

Are Llansannan & Fron E Penmae Y Berllan, Hely Glan To Br yn Eglw Tan y L

Wednesday Walkabouts

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Want To Move Home? Need To Down Size?

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Cartrefi Conwy’s Respect Agenda At Cartrefi Conwy our colleagues are our biggest asset and will be valued, supported and will have development opportunities throughout their career. All colleagues treat tenants in a courteous and friendly manner. We understand and respect our tenants and communicate at the right level. In delivering services colleagues must demonstrate respect, fairness, integrity, consistency and effectiveness.

Silent Cinema Comes to Llanrwst!

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Cartrefi Conwy takes the safety and wellbeing of all colleagues seriously and we will not tolerate threats or violence against our employees. Where such behaviour can be proved to the satisfaction of Cartrefi Conwy then an appropriate order will be obtained, which could lead to the tenant being evicted, either straight away or if the behaviour re-occurs. Our policy objectives and standards will ensure that: • Perpetrators of threats, intimidation or violence against Cartrefi Conwy colleagues will be prosecuted and action taken against them under the terms of their tenancy agreement that could lead to eviction. • Colleagues are trained to ensure compliance with legislation and policies including health and safety.

Community Learning Pays Off!

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• Colleagues are required to report all incidents of verbal abuse, threats and assaults. • Preventative and protective action will be taken dependent on risk assessment of task or where perpetrator is known or perceived to be at risk.


Customer Service 0300 124 0040

Audio copies of this newsletter are available Call 01745 335345 to request a copy.

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Make a difference in your community – be a Community First Responder The Welsh Ambulance Service is appealing to the people of Conwy and Denbighshire to make a difference to family, friends or neighbours in distress by becoming a Community First Responder.

Job Club at the Community House in Kinmel Bay has been re-launched and is every Wednesday 11am – 1pm. Pop The Trust is appealing in and see Vicky Welsman for for volunteers in any help you may need getting Denbigh, Llangollen, back in to work or to find Abergele and Llanrwst out about suitable and to give something training opportunities back to the people in their available. communities - a fighting chance of survival. First responders are volunteers who give up their spare time to attend appropriate 999 calls and give first hand emergency care to people in their own community.

All volunteers will be trained by the Welsh Ambulance Service to administer basic first aid, oxygen therapy, cardiopulmonary resuscitation and the use of a defibrillator. First responders do not replace the normal response of a paramedic in a rapid response vehicle or an emergency ambulance, but support the patient until it arrives. Call Claire Hurford on 01248 682028 or visit for more information on becoming a Community First Responder.


ity Chest

Urgent Up Update date As of the 1st April 2014 the tot total al amou amount nt an application can appl apply y for is nimum of 10 minimum 10% match funding. £2,500 which must include a mi % mat ch fundi ng.

Kinmel Bay Heart Foundation annual fundraising event Tenant Norma Roberts, who has a special interest in the Heart Foundation, organised, planned and set up the fundraising event which took place on 6th February. Norma and volunteers prepared, cooked and served a healthy lunch of tuna or cheese and beans jacket potatoes for 20 tenants and residents. They also held a raffle to win one of the weekly FareShare hampers, won by tenant Kay Redhead. Through their determination and efforts they raised £68.06 for the Heart Foundation charity. Well Done!

No match funding will be required if the grant applied for is under £500

In the Communities… The Community Chest project aims to ssupport upport small-scale projects that will improve the quality of life for our tenants in local communities or where we have homes.

A pot of £50,000 has been alloca ted for the 2014/15 financial allocated year. Some projects that have benefited are:  Dyffryn Amateur Boxing Club Billiard  Cerrigydrudion Billiar d & Social Club Community  Chester Avenue Com munity Action Group  Friends of Queens Park

For your chance to win one of five family tickets (each family ticket admits 5 people) to attend an RGC home match of your choice or a ‘WRU/RGC Gift pack – which includes Mug, Pen, ball, poster, DVD and much more...

 Colwyn Bay Football Club  Llandudno Cricket Club

The next deadline deadline to to return return the application form is

30th April 2014 For an application form please contact Sarah Jones on: Phone: 01745 335527 Email: get.involv


Please answer the following question: Where is the RGC1404 home ground? Answers can be emailed to or posted to Morfa Gele, North Wales Business Park, Cae Eithin, Abergele LL22 8LJ no later than 1st April 2014. Winners will be picked at random.

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Coming soon to an area near you: Wednesday Walkabouts

Launch of ‘We don’t want to come dine with you!’ campaign in Conwy

Cartrefi Conwy colleagues from Neighbourhood Services and other departments will be having a ‘walkabout’ in selected areas of our neighbourhoods on the last Wednesday of every month. The Neighbourhood Co-ordinator for the area, the Neighbourhood Manager, Cartrefi Conwy Board Members, colleagues from Building Maintenance and other internal departments will be available so that you can raise any issues you might have about the area in which you live.

North Wales Fire and Rescue Service launched the ‘We don’t want to come dine with you – Think Safe, Cook Safe!’ campaign in Conwy county on Valentine’s Day to help drive down the number of cooking related fires in the area and educate local residents about the importance of cooking safely.

So far, we’ve walked about in Mochdre, Llanrwst, Llandudno Junction and Llandudno Below are just a few of the issues we were able to identify and rectify: • Pathways that are uneven allowing water to collect in them. • Overgrown gardens and shrubbery. Did • Littering you know???? • Fencing that has become loose and dangerous. Jobs Growth Wales are Look out for the flyers we deliver to each area about a week offering paid work placements before we’re due, but so that everyone’s aware, our for 18 – 25 year olds. which are time-table for the coming year is also included below. guaranteed for 6 months, with the possibility of extension or We’re also looking for help from our tenants! apprenticeship. For more Because we can’t be out in your area as often as we would information please visit like, we’re looking for tenants who would be interested in the Careers Wales becoming a Tenant Champion to advise us of issues that need website. attention. We will provide you with training and you would then be invited to accompany your Neighbourhood Co-ordinator while they carry out their Estate inspections and accompany us on Wednesday Walkabouts. If you are interested in becoming a Tenant Champion contact Glyn Jones, Neighbourhood Manager on 0300 124 0040 Schedule of Wednesday Walkabouts April 2014 to March 2015 Date 26 March 2014 30 April 2014

Time 10:00 15:00

Area Llansannan & LlanfairTH Fron Estate Penmaenmawr Y Berllan, Gilfach Rd Helyg Rd Glan Clwyd Towyn Bryn Eglwys/Maes Glas Tan y Lan Estate Llanfairfechan Pen y Bryn, Llwyn Ysgaw Nant Y Felin Llandudno, Tre Creuddyn Christmas Period Llanddulas

28 May 2014


25 June 2014 30 July 2014 27 August 2014 24 September 2014

15:00 15:00 15:00 15:00

29 October 2014


26 November 2014 31 December 2014 25 January 2014


25 February 2015 25 March 2015

Officer Stephen Bowling Lynda Johnson

Christine Mockridge Alexa Boase Stephen Bowling Lynda Johnson


Minafon/Parciau Close/Pentre Newydd

Stephen Bowling


Glyn Estate

Lynda Johnson

Emyr Hughes

Gwyn Jones from North Wales Fire and Rescue Service has provided top tips for safety in the kitchen: • If you leave the room take the cooking off the heat • Don’t use matches or lighters to light gas cookers. Spark devices are safer • Always make sure that any handles are turned away from the edge of the cooker • Keep the oven, hob and grill clean – a build-up fat and grease can easily catch fire • Never hang anything to dry above the cooker • Take care if you are wearing loose clothing as it can easily catch fire • When you’ve finished cooking make sure everything is turned off • Turn off electrical appliances when they are not being used • Never use a chip pan – use a thermostatically controlled deep fat fryer Don't forget - smoke alarms save lives. For a free home fire safety check call their 24 hour freephone number on 0800 169 1234.

Calling on young people in North Wales!

The team look forward to your company.

Do you want to make a difference in your community? Do you have a good idea for a crime prevention project that will help make your community a safer place in which to live? If so Crimebeat want to hear from you. Crimebeat is looking to support youth groups aged 5 to 25years-old with grants of up to £500 to help make your idea come to life. • Think of a problem, such as bullying, vandalism, graffiti or other community issue and an activity you can do that will reduce it • Complete our simple application • Send your application by email to:

In November last year we conducted a walkabout in Llanrwst and the table below shows just a few of the issues we were able to identify and rectify:

The High Sheriffs Committee will consider your application and will let you know if you’ve been successful.



Emyr Hughes Christine Mockridge No Walkabout Alexa Boase

Action Outcome Neighbourhood Tan y Craig, Llanrwst-Water Has now been identified and is Co-ordinator needs to collecting on path and drain Cartrefi Conwy’s land. Job establish ownership whether covers not covered. request has been placed. path is adopted by highways. Cllr Edgar Parry will contact Emyr Hughes followed this up on Tan y Graig - Main thoroughfare Highways to power wash 4/12/13 and Cllr Parry has now has build-up of moss on pathway. this area. reported to Highways. Ed McSweeney reported issue back to Customer Service team. 1 Victoria Terrace - Loose Reported back to Loose rendering has been taken rendering on rear boundary wall. Customer Service. care of and the area was completed with a dash finish. Scotland Street Garage Park - Pot holes and ruts need filling with Job request made. Completed 10/01/14. overspill.

If you are, the rest is up to you to make your project happen. Further information regarding Crimebeat is available on their website

Gas servicing Sure Group have been awarded the gas servicing contract for the next 2 years. It is essential that you work with us to ensure the Sure Group engineers are given access to carry out these important gas safety checks. Sure Group carry out these checks on our behalf for the safety of you and any other people living in or visiting your home. Cartrefi Conwy will take legal action if necessary to gain access to your home so that these checks can be made.


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Register your spot at the North Wales Choral Festival 2014! Everyone knows how popular all your choirs are and how quickly your calendars can fill up, so ensure that the North Wales Choral Festival has the pleasure of your company in 2014. Entry forms and rules and regulations are now available! You need to be fully registered by June 6th 2014 so get booking your place now so you can get rehearsing that all important repertoire. On Friday 7th November, North Wales primary and secondary school choirs will wow us with their talents in the first of the competitions. The weekend will showcase male, ladies and youth choirs, all competing on Saturday 8th November and the mixed and barbershop will take to the stage on Sunday 9th November. Timings are subject to change Thanks to the ongoing and generous support from sponsors we still have an amazing total prize fund of £4,000. Whoever is placed 1st will be lucky enough to receive £500, then £200 for the runners up and £100 for those in 3rd place.

Silent Cinema comes to Llanwrst!

Cartrefi Conwy tenants joined Clwyd Alyn tenants at Hafan Gwydir Extra Care housing scheme in Llanwrst for a ‘Silent Cinema’ event. This proved to be a great way to get local people together for a chat and to share their views on public services. This event was organised as part of Conwy’s Big Community Voice Project which aims to give citizens of Conwy the chance to have their say about the services that matter to them through taking part in fun and inclusive community events. A mobile cinema was set up by TAPE Community Music and Film, who are based in Old Colwyn, to run the silent movie ‘The General, staring Buster Keaton with the accompaniment of an organist. Do

The tenants enjoyed this 1920’s comedy as well as taking part in you want to get some consultation activities and having some well-deserved your CSCS coffee and cake. (Construction Skills Everyone that took part in our Festival Celebration Certificate Scheme) card to “The event was a great success, it was lovely to see old Concert or the Cartrefi Conwy Community work on construction sites? If you friends meeting again and reminiscing about the past. It Performances will agree that it was a huge success and a or someone you know is was also a great opportunity for us to work on encouraging lot of fun! The fun will continue and include both interested in receiving this FREE people to gain confidence and directly influence the elements once again for 2014, so be sure to tick to take training contact Vicky Kelly on provision of services affecting them.” said Megan Taylor part on the entry form! 07990507550 (text or phone) Rose, Community Development Officer for Cartrefi Conwy. or through our Facebook So, for a jam packed, musical weekend in the lovely Tom Roberts, Extra Care Manager at Hafan Gwydir said: “The page. Places are Victorian seaside resort of Llandudno, North Wales get filling tenants here really enjoyed the event, and also enjoyed welcoming limited! in an entry form! Forms can be completed online, or please residents who live in nearby Scotland Street and Tan Y Graig. It contact the festival if you would prefer to receive one by post. was a great way to build on our links with the wider community.” Don’t miss out – you’ll regret it! Conwy’s Big Voice is a Big Lottery funded initiative supported partly by a For more information please get in touch at Collaborative Housing Association Project made up of Clwyd Alyn Housing or call 01492 575943 Association, Cartrefi Conwy and North Wales Housing Association.

Want to move home? Need to downsize? HomeSwapper is a website for social housing tenants in rented property who are prepared to move home (house or flat) by swapping with another tenant, rather than waiting for an alternative through the Transfer process. This is called “mutual exchange”. Cartrefi Conwy are now full members of Homeswapper, which means our tenants can access and use the site for free!! We’ve also now launched ‘My Cartrefi’. This is a tenant portal on our website which allows tenants to view their personal rent account from home so they can always stay up to date. Visit and have a look - you will need Kinmel Bay to register with your tenancy number and your personal details. Neighbourhood surgery We are hosting FREE training events for tenants so that we can will start on Tuesday 18th show you around the Homeswapper site, help you to build a great February 10am – 12noon and profile to entice potential swappers and show how you can make the fortnightly thereafter. most of the My Cartrefi resource. To book your place please ring Vicky Kelly, Community Involvement Coordinator on 01745 335531 Community House surgery at text 07990507550 email Peulwys is every Wednesday 11:00am - 12:00noon Friday 4th April 10am – 12pm Chester Avenue Community House, Kinmel Bay For more information please Thursday 10th April 2pm – 4pm Peulwys Community House contact your Neighbourhood Thursday 24th April 2pm – 4pm Peulwys Community House Coordinator on 01745 335359 Friday 25th April 10am – 12pm Chester Avenue Community House, Kinmel Bay Tuesday 29th April 10am – 12pm Cartrefi Conwy Offices, Abergele Tuesday 29th April 2pm – 4pm Cartrefi Conwy Offices, Abergele If you are interested in learning more but unable to attend one of these sessions please contact Vicky Kelly to register your interest.


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Older Person’s Press

Interesting fact

"Ageing is not lost youth but a new stage of opportunity and strength." Betty Friedan (1921-2006)

Did you know that 48% of Cartrefi Conwy properties are occupied by someone over 60!

My name is Nerys Veldhuizen and I am the Older Person’s Engagement Coordinator for Cartrefi Conwy. I started this role in October last year, but previously worked as a Senior Independent Living Co-ordinator and as an Independent Living Co-ordinator at The Fron in Colwyn Bay. During this time I learned how important it is for older people to be involved in their community and in the shaping of the services they receive. I believe my role is to empower our older tenants to have a strong voice to ensure that they are heard and that they are given the right opportunities to develop their skills and knowledge to enable them to become more influential.

Hi, I am Ceri and I am here on a 9 month secondment from Conwy County Borough Council. I began my journey with Cartrefi Conwy on the 2nd of December 2013 as Supported Housing Manager. I look forward to visiting all the Schemes and meeting the tenants through social gatherings. You are more than welcome to contact me directly to discuss any aspects of the ILC (Independent Living Coordinator) service, as we aim to continually improve the services we provide.

Contact Nerys on 01745 335572

Contact Ceri on 01745 335533

St David’s Hospice A staggering £651 was raised in sponsor money for St David’s Hospice by our sheltered tenants during the Fun Run in November! 15 of our sheltered tenants participated in the mile long run. A celebration lunch will be served up at Bryn Castell in Llanfairfechan to award them as the scheme that raised the most money. WELL DONE!

What have our older tenants been up to? Congratulations to the tenants listed below who have recently passed their Level 2 Award in Food Safety in Catering – Elaine Davies – Parkway, Rhos on Sea Philip Batty – Parkway, Rhos on Sea Marjorie Hughes – Bryn Castell, Llanfairfechan Norma Roberts- Bryn Castell, Llanfairfechan Dilys Roberts- Maes Cwstennin, Llandudno Junction Diane Wright – Maes Cwstennin, Llandudno Junction If you are interested in completing a food safety course or any other training please get in touch with Nerys or your Independent Living Co-ordinator.

‘Hair and Beauty pamper afternoons.’ – Y Fron Community Centre, Old Colwyn. Cartrefi Conwy are working in partnership with Llandrillo College and are delighted to be offering hair and beauty treatments for our older tenants. Students from Llandrillo will be pampering our tenants with treatments such as manicures, pedicures, head massages and hair styling. To book an appointment on either March 13, April 10 or May 8, please phone Kelly the Independent Living Co-ordinator(ILC ) at the Fron on 01745 335325.

Upcoming events Passion for Life provides a framework for older people which enables them to make incremental changes to move them from where they are now to where they would like to be in their lives, and not let their age (or anything else) affect them, their independence or their quality of life.’ This March, Cartrefi Conwy are very excited to be piloting the ‘Passion for Life’programme in Conwy. Each course will be held over approximately 6 months with 7 sessions centred on 5 themes; 1. Health and Wellbeing 2. Safety in the Home 3. Social Networks 4. Movement 5. ????????? – The topic of this session will be chosen by the participants and they will have the opportunity to discuss this in earlier sessions. All sessions can be tailored to the group’s needs and desires, remembering that ‘Passion for Life’ puts the participant in the driving seat!! If you are interested in being part of this new exciting programme or would like more information please give Nerys a call on 01745 335572.

Bingo Sessions’ – Maes Cwstennin, Llandudno Junction

Hot off the press – date for your calendar

Eyes down for Bingo at Maes Cwstennin on the last Wednesday of each month at 7pm, all welcome. Please contact Lynda (ILC) on 01745 335332.

Cartrefi Conwy’s Older Person’s Day will this year coincide with the national Older Person’s Day and will fall on Wednesday 1st October. This will be a day of celebration and recognition of the older people of Cartrefi Conwy. We are very excited to announce that this year Sarah Rochira, ‘The Older Person’s Commissioner for Wales’, will be a guest speaker at our event.

‘Brunch Club’ – Parkway, Rhos on Sea Catering students from Llandrillo college will be cooking and serving brunch at the Parkway community centre on 13 March, 17 April and 22 May. If you would like to join in, Please contact Chris Bradley on 01745 335328.

More information will follow in the next newsletter and by post closer to the time.

‘Digital Inclusion’ Cartrefi Conwy are aware of the importance that all our tenants, regardless of age, have the opportunity to be digitally included. We now work with Llandrillo College as well as Conwy Voluntary Services Council, and are delighted to be able to offer computer courses to our older tenants. The classes cater for all abilities from complete beginners to those that would like to simply improve their IT skills. Please give Nerys a call for further information on 01745 335572.


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Tenants’ Forum Events

Shopping Online

If, like me, you prefer to shop online, there’s one thing to be aware of – Tenant Forum events are open to there’s always a site to help you find the cheapest price from biscuits to ALL TENANTS. By attending SAVE utilities. You can compare deals and prices on various comparison these events tenants have the THE DATE! sites. The advantage of this of course is you can do it from the opportunity to influence the The Next Tenants’ comfort of your armchair rather than wearing out your shoe services that Cartrefi Forum Event will be leather searching the shops. Conwy provides, as well as held on access information and 16th April 2014 in Just by visiting a price comparison site and tapping in what free advice about housing Glasdir, Llanrwst you're after, you can start comparing dozens of prices in issues, volunteering, Keep an eye out for minutes. training and employment more information Always check more than one site to be sure you're getting the best opportunities and lifestyle. closer to the date deal, and don't forget about postage and packaging costs. These events have included a drop in day at Venue Cymru supported by over 15 organisations offering a range of advice from money Comparison sites are a great way to save money on your supermarket advice and computer support to training and employment opportunities. There were shopping too. several prizes and goodies with one lucky You can compare the price of your weekly shop across many of the big tenant winning a £100 ASDA card! There stores and see when your favorite items are on offer. was also an interactive evening at the new Comparison sites aren’t just limited to food shopping - you can often use Cartrefi Conwy head office (Morfa Gele) in them to compare the cost of health and beauty products as well. Abergele with free refreshments during which tenants were asked to tell us why and how they want to get involved, whether it was to set up a new bingo club or wanting to help shape the services you receive from us. There were plenty of aeroplanes flying around with your activity ideas hitting the bulls-eye. While in the other corner tenants were working together to try and break down the Jenga wall barrier which was covered with examples of what could Special offers can be a great way to save money, but not always - you can stop tenant’s getting involved... sometimes end up paying more than you normally would. If you would like more information on our tenant events please Make sure you work out whether a deal really is as good as it looks and if contact Sarah or Laura on 01745 335347 a '2-for-1' or '3 for £1' offer will actually save you money.

Save money on your food shopping

Supermarket special offers - buyer beware

Your Benefits

You owe it to yourself and your family to find out what financial assistance you’re entitled to and how to claim the benefits you’re owed. Every little helps! The government are regularly promoting the importance of catching ‘benefit cheats’ and reducing fraud. This is important and the most recent report by the Department for Work and Pensions stated that the total overpayment of all benefits due to fraud or error in 2012/13 was £3.5billion. However, there has been less publicity for another DWP report that estimated that in the same period over £20billion of benefits went unclaimed! There is no denying that our benefits system is a complicated one and with regular changes and renewals (just to keep you on your toes) it means that many people are missing out on money because they don’t know what, or how, they can claim. Don’t let that person be you! For all its faults our benefit system does still provide substantial support for people who may find themselves in a challenging situation. For example, those who are temporarily out of work (Job Seekers Allowance / Employment Support Allowance / Income Support) or for someone with an illness or disability (Disability Living Allowance / Personal Independence Payment etc) Leaving aside pensions, there are over 30 working age benefits available for people who qualify. Therefore we cannot emphasise enough the importance of making sure that you are aware of what you are entitled to and claim it! We can help. There is a dedicated welfare benefits and a financial inclusion advisor within the Incomes Team at Cartrefi Conwy. This team is not just there to make sure that Cartrefi Conwy gets as much income as possible, they are also here to make sure that YOU get as much income as possible. CONTACT US ON 01745 335341.

! e t a D Save the

rmation the Job’ Info st u ‘J e th g hostin nities First is u on m m o C y w Old Colwyn Con in e g n a h rc Inte Event at the 014. from th March 2 to attendees n o ti a rm Monday 17 fo vide In rk. vent is to pro ing people back into wo e e th f o im The a t gett that can assis s n o ti a is n a org 1pm – 3pm. m o fr ld e h ill be The event w


For example, you see your favorite cereal on a ‘3-for-2’ offer, when each box is normally £1.50. Three boxes will cost you £3 so you’ve saved £1.50, right? Not necessarily. If another supermarket is selling the cereal for 80p a box you’d actually get 3 boxes for £2.40 – a saving of 60p by buying it there and ignoring the offer.

Save money on your home appliances It can be all too easy to buy on impulse when you're in a shopping centre or out on the high street, especially if you spot something on offer. However, next time you're tempted to buy something which seems like a good deal, take a few minutes to see if you could get it for less somewhere else. Price comparison sites - all usually accessible by phone - let you compare the cost of anything from fridges and washing machines, to digital cameras and TVs. Also handy is the fact that these sites often contain user reviews from other customers to help you separate the wheat from the chaff.

‘Mobile Library Service’ Conwy mobile library service will be calling at the Fron Community Centre, Colwyn Bay from 10am until 10.45am on the following Wednesdays: • 05 March • 02 April • 30 April • 28 May • 25 June • 23 July • 20 Aug Please call Kelly (ILC) on 01745 335325 for further information. They will also be calling in Llandudno at Ffordd Dulyn between 2:40pm – 3:10pm, and St Andrew’s Avenue on the following Fridays: • 28 March • 25 April • 16 May • 13 June • 11 July • 08 Aug

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WELFARE RIGHTS AND FINANCIAL INCLUSION What does it mean? Welfare rights involves helping tenants claim the full range of benefits they are due. These might be Job Seekers Allowance for the unemployed, Personal Independence Payment for those with disability or health issues that affect their day to day living, Housing Benefit to help with rental and so on. Financial inclusion is about ensuring everyone has access to an appropriate range of financial services such as bank accounts and affordable credit. To make the most of these services people need some basic skills, such as numeracy, product knowledge and understanding. Increasingly, they also need to be able to use the Internet. Our aim is to make people aware of what is out there and assist in supporting our tenants.

Who is affected? Some people at risk of financial exclusion and who are not receiving the correct level of Benefit entitlement could be: • The elderly • The sick and disabled • People with mental health problems • People with learning difficulties Many of our Cartrefi Conwy Tenants might not be receiving the correct level of income and could be at risk of financial exclusion in some form. What does Cartrefi Conwy do about this? We have a Welfare Rights/Financial Inclusion team who are made up of Mike Thomas (Financial

ON YOUR ESTATE WITH SYLVIA DUXBURY What’s happening in your Community Centre? By Linda Humphreys Last summer Y Fron Community Centre in Colwyn Bay underwent a major refurbishment, transforming the centre into a modern, vibrant, warm and comfortable meeting place. Over twenty groups use the centre including tenants and residents who meet up for a chat at their weekly coffee morning, they also regularly get together to celebrate key events and public holidays. But it’s also used by the wider community and provides a warm home to a weekly stroke therapy group, weekly sewing, quilting and craft groups, weekly religious services and more… We caught up with members of the Y Fron Craft Club in early September 2013 as they celebrated their first anniversary and also revisited them a few weeks later to find out what they get up to when they meet up. We put some questions to one of the founding members and chair of the Craft Club, Sylvia Duxbury, as she reflected on the first year of the craft club. As you celebrate your 1st birthday what have been the highlights for you? The cake (laughing)! Overall it’s been a good experience, making friends and helping others. We swap and share ideas and teach each other different skills. But we also do a lot of talking, laughing and reminiscing as we craft away. What type of items do you make? Many different items made from quilting, beadwork, card, knitting, jewellery & crocheting. Generally all things craft. We’ve done bunting for Cartrefi Conwy’s Family Day and visited other centres to share what we do here at the craft club. When did you get interested in crafts? I got interested in sewing at school and knitting from my mum and it just continued from there. How many people on average come along to sessions? We’ve had 31 people participate over the last year and have on average 8 -10 people at each meeting. Was it difficult to set up the club? It wasn’t difficult but it was hard work at the beginning as we sent out hundreds of invitations to residents advertising the start of the craft club. But now it’s set up and established it’s easy to run. We all pay £1 at each meeting and this money goes towards buying tea, coffee, cakes and also craft making items. The Craft Club meet regularly at Y Fron Community Centre and if you’re interested in learning or sharing a craft please contact Sylvia Duxbury on 07826 620792 Cartrefi Conwy is encouraging new bookings within the newly refurbished centre. If you would like to book the centre for an event please contact Cartrefi Conwy by ringing 0300 124 0040. What’s happening at your Cartrefi Conwy Community Hub? We’d love to hear more about your club or group’s activities so please get in touch to share your stories. Contact the Communications Team on 01745 335345

Inclusion Adviser) Lisa Jones (Financial Inclusion Adviser) and Katy Roberts (Welfare Rights Officer). We aim to Increase our tenants’ income and decrease their outgoings How is this done? This involves carrying out a full benefit check and applying for unclaimed benefits where appropriate. (This is carried out by Katy) and contacting creditors such as loan companies to negotiate reduced debt repayments, look for best energy deals for tenants and encourage tenants to pay bills by Direct Debit as this is the cheapest option. (This is carried out by Mike and Lisa).

Earn it, Claim it, Save it! The Earn it, Claim it, Save it! club in Tan Lan is a joint project between Communities First and Pennysmart which is funded by Families First. The aim of the club is to offer an informal meeting place in the community for residents to talk about issues such as checking benefits, paying bills, dealing with debt, saving money and getting the best deals on energy bills with qualified Pennysmart advisors. The club started out as ‘Money Matters’ in 2012 in Kinmel Bay and Colwyn Bay. A set timetable of Pennysmart money advice workshops followed by drop-ins from different agencies such as Citizens Advice Bureau, Nest, Credit Union and Cartrefi Conwy. Due to the success of the project, further funding was awarded by Families First to employ a project worker and continue running the project in Peulwys, Abergele and Pensarn and currently in Tan Lan which are new Communities First cluster areas. Although the original workshop structure of Money Matters proved popular, Communities First identified from monitoring the sessions and participants feedback that people would feel more confident to begin discussing these issues in a less formal setting. As well as continuing to offer incentives such as calculators and organiser files when signing up to the club, Sue Shingler (Project Worker) teamed up with Cartrefi Conwy on the latest phase in Tan Lan to offer a food hamper to participants who signed up in the first session, which has really added value to the sessions. Everyone is welcome to attend and find out more about what you could be earning, claiming Fay Hopkins Ffordd Elizabeth Llandudno, or saving! with her hamper. The project is due to finish in March this year but Communities First have been working on a new project to continue with an informal money advice model called the ‘Penny Pinchin’ Roadshow’ which is due to be run across the Conwy cluster over the next few months beginning with a Valentines Special at the Chester Avenue Community House in Kinmel Bay. Well done The Penny Pinchin’ roadshows will be to Elaine Fox who has just popping up across the area and been awarded a 5 year Communities First will be celebrating peoples thrifty ways by collecting certificate for volunteering for money saving tips from residents to Credit Union. Elaine manages the go in a Penny Pinchin’ handbook as collection point at Kinmel Bay well as offering valuable money weekly on Thursdays between saving advice, competitions, fun 10am – 11am. Children from budget cooking, craft demonstrations Ysgol Maes Owen also and mini energy best deal sessions. save with her weekly They will be working closely with other agencies and partners in Conwy. too. Further details will be released soon but to find out more please contact Jen Sharp, Communities First on 01492 338914/


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Young Knitterbugs win national award

5 money saving uses for a potato you may not know about! By Jon Highcock You know all that talk about super foods? Well forget about expensive berries and focus on the humble potato! Yes, that knobbly brown thing with mud attached not only tastes good roasted or fried but also has magical qualities. Here are five money saving uses for a potato. 1. Eye compress – Tired puffy eyes? Lie down for 10 minutes with a slice of potato over each eye. Take a look in the mirror and you’ll be amazed at how the potato has taken the puffiness away. Don’t know how it works, but it does.

We are pleased to announce that the Knitterbugs project mentioned in the last ‘Together’ edition won a national award! The group of youngsters from a Kinmel Bay housing estate who turned to pensioners for help in learning how to knit are celebrating after winning a national award. More than a dozen pupils of Ysgol Maes Owen joined members of the craft group at the Chester Avenue Community House in an effort to learn how to cast on knit one purl one. The Knitterbugs project is run by Chester Avenue Community House Volunteers with support from housing association Cartrefi Conwy and Communities First. The pupils designed and made a blanket which included their school name, along with older members of the craft group. As a result they were named as the winners of the intergenerational category at the Children and Young People Now Awards at the famous Hurlingham Club in London. Vicky Welsman, Chester Avenue Community House Development manager, was so thrilled with the project and the way the children worked and interacted with the older members of the craft group that she entered them into the Young People Now Awards. “It was a special night and they were all thrilled to have won this prestigious award. They are now starting a new project which involves making a

mosaic for the school.” Communities First Development Worker Jen Sharp is delighted Cartrefi Conwy continued supporting the Knitterbugs project stating, “We are in the process of supporting Tan Y Marian school in Peulwys with the setting up of their own Knitterbugs club and are looking into ways of engaging the wider community with the help of Cartrefi Conwy.” Cartrefi Conwy tenant, Kinmel Bay town councillor and volunteer Sharon Sadler, 44, attended the London award presentation with her daughter Jessica Mills, 10, who is also a Knitterbugs member. “Working with all the children has been fantastic. Knitting is an old skill we were able to pass on and the children picked it up really quickly. Seeing the two very different generations working together has been amazing and has resulted in a better understanding of each other.” Jessica said: “I could sort of knit before I came to Knitterbugs but not properly. It’s nice to do things with friends and it’s been nice to make friends with older people. They really helped us and made us laugh they have been loads of fun. I haven’t got grandparents that I can talk to so it’s been nice to chat to older people and learn from them.”

Tenants Mary Walker and Menna Thomas are sheltered accommodation tenants of Chester Avenue Kinmel Bay, both in their 80’s. They are attending digital inclusion and computers for beginners sessions held at the Chester Avenue Community House and are doing really well. They have both now received support in purchasing their own laptops and having broadband set up in their homes. Mike Thomas supported them in making their purchases and Vicky Welsman supported with the broadband connection and set up along with young tenant volunteer Lara Fox. When Vicky visited them recently in their homes they were happily searching the web and emailing friends, making the most of their laptops!


2. Cleaning silver – Next time that you have a saucepan of water in which you have been cooking potatoes don’t pour it away. Use it to clean your silver jewellery and other silver items. It’s really easy. Just put your silver into the warm water and leave it there for an hour. Then take your magically cleaned silver from the pan, give it a rinse and pat dry. 3. Soothing sunburn – If the rain ever stops, a potato poultice works wonders for sunburn. Just grate a handful of raw potato, wrap it in muslin or a thin tea towel and apply it to the sunburn. The soothing effect also works with regular burns so long as the skin isn’t broken. 4. Removing broken light bulbs safely – This seems to happen more often with the energy saving light bulbs as the thin glass is particularly fragile. When faced with the problem of removing a smashed light bulb simply cut a suitably sized potato in half, jam one of the halves into the broken bulb and twist to remove it from the socket. Ensure power supply is switched off first. 5. Saving over salted food from the bin – Easily done. Dinner simmering away and you go and ruin it by adding too much salt. Potato to the rescue again. Add slices of potato to the dish whilst it is still cooking and they will absorb salt. Might not restore it to its pre salted wonderfulness but it will save it from the bin.

What’s on at Chester Avenue Community House in Kinmel Bay? • New Basic Skills Numeracy & Literacy courses in Kinmel Bay on Thursday’s at 1pm being delivered by Llandrillo College. • Citizens Advice Bureau is also doing budgeting and debt advice weekly on Wednesdays from 12noon -2pm. • Job Club runs every Wednesday 10am -12noon. • Plus lots more… Watch this space for the new Chester Avenue Community House timetable coming soon!

What’s on at Peulwys Community House? • Internet Café/Job Search sessions are being run from Peulwys Community House on Thursdays between 2pm-4pm. • Digital Inclusion sessions run by Zara and Steph from Bus Stop, every Thursday 3.30pm – 5pm. • Plus lots more… Watch this space for the new Peulwys Community House timetable coming soon!

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4 1 0 2 e s a e r c Rent In e t a d p U t n a t Impor

. To date es has changed al W in s rd lo d has andlord rents y for social lan L al ci So r fo y The rent polic polic r, rnment’s rent +1%. Howeve I) P (R x e d the Welsh Gove In has the Retail Price y for 2014/15 lic o p t been to rise by n re sing ew n ment in its moved from u as h It . ss ce Welsh Govern ro p e r the rent ew rent increas as the basis fo I) P (C introduced a n x e d In ext sumer Price 1.5% for the n to d e as e cr RPI to the Con in as n top of that h and the uplift o 2 per five years. nts by up to £ re e is ra to d t levels. s are permitte ill below targe st e ar Welsh landlord ts n re re this, whe week to achieve

Leaseholders Service Charge Statements – As you will be aware we changed the format of the last statement to previous years with the intension of making things easier to read. Did this work? Some of you have commented on the statements and made suggestions to be considered Call Centre – Those that attended the Leaseholder Forum will be aware that the Customer Service Team are now able to take service charge payments from you, process repair requests for repairs to the block and deal with general enquiries. You can contact the Customer Services Team on 0300 124 0040. Grounds maintenance is changing. You will notice that as part of the grounds maintenance contract the trimming of edges to grassed areas will occur on every other visit for grass cutting. This will make monitoring the service easier and a full listing of the programme for grass cutting and trimming will be available on our website and other social media channels as soon as agreed with the contractor. This means during the cutting season grass will be cut 16 times a year and trimming done 8 times a year. If you have any comments on the above or have any other points please contact , write to us at Morfa Gele or telephone on 01745 335346

Tenant appointed as Cartrefi Conwy board member! A tenant from Colwyn Bay has recently been appointed to the Board of Cartrefi Conwy. Colin Matthews was appointed following application and interview by a panel including the Chair of the Board, the Director of Operations, and the Chair and Vice Chair of the Tenants Forum. Colin takes up his position alongside 4 tenants already appointed to the Board; Mair Jones

Colwyn Bay

Rob Redhead


Brian Horton

Kinmel Bay

Bob Hawkes


Further information about the Board of Management can be found on our website.

Keeping our Promises Those tenants who have been with us since we took over the housing stock from Conwy County Borough Council in 2008 will recall that promises were made at the time about what Cartrefi Conwy would do to maintain and improve the homes and the services we provide. 5 years on we have, after consultation with tenants, colleagues and Board members, reviewed and updated our commitments to our tenants and the local community to reflect the changing needs of our communities and on-going relevance to the business. These were signed by the Chair of the Board and the Chair of the Tenants’ Forum recently as the basis for continuing an open dialogue about Cartrefi Conwy’s progress.

Grounds Maintenance During the coming season (2014) the trimming of edges of grassed areas will happen 8 times a year rather than 6 as has happened in previous years. This means that every other time grass cutting takes place the edges will be trimmed. This year grass cutting will happen 16 times. A schedule is currently being arranged by the contractors so that we will know what week various sites are being cut and trimmed. When this schedule is received it will be made available on our website and other social media channels. It will also be published in the next newsletter (June 2014). Please note that if grass cutting or trimming is delayed by more than 5 days due to bad weather the contractor will let us know and immediately re-schedule works. This means that all areas will receive 16 cuts in the year and 8 trims. By having the trimming visits clearly tied to cutting visits we will be able to monitor the standard of service effectively. If you have any comments on grounds maintenance please e-mail call 01745 335346 or write to us at Morfa Gele.

Smoke Dectectors All Cartrefi Conwy properties should have mains hard wired smoke detectors. It is important if you do not have a smoke detector that you contact us straight away to arrange an appointment. Likewise, if your home has been identified as needing a smoke detector it is imperative that you keep the appointment to ensure the ongoing safety of your family and neighbours.

Cartrefi Conwy New Developments We are pleased to announce that our latest large scale new builds will be commencing in the next couple of months. These will both be in Llandudno. The Maesdu Road new build will see the creation of 9 houses and the Llys Seiriol development will see the creation of an extra care sheltered unit to replace the existing structure that is no longer fit for purpose. Cartrefi Conwy tenants were also involved throughout the tender process. Keep an eye on our website for more information and pictures coming soon!


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Community Learning Pays Off! By Vicky Kelly

In the spotlight with Gemma Bowes What does your job involve? To support the development and implementation of Human Resources and organisational development strategies. Delivering effective and consistent HR Services to colleagues and Managers aligned to service delivery needs and the business plan. How would you describe yourself in 3 words? • Caring • Perfectionist • Dependable What did you want to be when you were younger? Solicitor What is your favourite quote? “Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever” (Gandhi) What would be your dream car? Range Rover Evoque Do you have any hobbies, if so what are they? Running and reading What was the last movie you watched? “We’re The Millers” Who is your favourite celebrity and why? Michael McIntyre as he makes me laugh! What is the most memorable moment of your career to date or your greatest accomplishment? Being a mum to two gorgeous boys! Who is your greatest inspiration or role model and why? My mum….she’s an amazing person! If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would it be & why? Travel America for a couple of months! Name one thing not many people know about you I love rats – I’ve had 5 pet rats

Relate Cymru Relate Cymru, "the Relationship People" have recently secured 3 years funding from " Families First Conwy " to offer free counselling to individuals, couples or families who are experiencing relationship problems. This free counselling will apply to anyone in receipt of benefits, not in work, or carers of a child with a disability, and who live in the Conwy County Borough Council area. Relate can help with issues such as , arguing or taking each other for granted, an affair, step families, managing different family groups, coping with separation/ divorce/a new relationship/ re-marriage. At the present time these free counselling sessions are being offered in Colwyn Bay and Llanwrst. For more information or to make an appointment to see a counsellor please contact Relate on 01492 533 920


From back row L – R: Steve and Nick. Front row L –R Danny, Tracey, Alwenna and Phyllis receiving their certificates from Coleg Llandrillo! Steve McLeod, 45 from Cae Glas, Peulwys has been part of the Horticultural course on Peulwys since it began in March 2013, having previously worked in landscape gardening with his father, he was keen to gain more experience and knowledge and decided to enrol when he saw the course was being run in his area. Steve, originally from Chester has been living in the area for 4 years and lives with his wife and 5 year old daughter, with another on the way. He is also involved in the Groundwork’s project running on the estate where he has gained more hands on experience. Steve has also secured employment with Brenig Construction who are currently working on the estate as part of the £1.3 million pound environmental programme. Steve advises everyone to ‘Get on the courses if they are in your area, they can really take you forward’ Phyllis 70 from Peulwys Lane has also enjoyed the course. Phyllis found herself struggling to cope with the large ‘jungle of a garden’ after her husband passed away and saw the course advertised so thought she’d go along to pick up some tips on how to manage it. She say’s “after my husband died I wanted to learn how to look after the garden, it had turned into a jungle and well, now I’m hooked!” Phyllis has lived on the estate for 30 years, “we have such large

gardens up here and they can be hard to manage but the course has really helped me take control of it, I thought it was a monumental task to begin with but if I can do it anyone can, it really doesn’t take a lot” “At first it was a little difficult getting back into learning but our tutor is excellent and she explains things until I have understood it. I was so thrilled when it started to sink in and when we went to get our first lot of certificates I was so proud of myself for passing, I didn’t think I had it in me! I really want to carry on learning what I can. I would advise anyone to consider taking a course in their area not just for the knowledge but meeting new people – it’s just been so much fun!” Since starting the course Phyllis has also joined the Go Green Gardening group who are looking to develop the Community Garden project on Peulwys. I am so proud of the students from Peulwys who have taken part in this course and are now working towards their Level 2 Certificate in Horticulture, there really has been a change in them as they’ve come along. We are looking to help tenants across the county get back into learning or training or help them to gain employment in these difficult times. Whilst I have been working in this role I have found how confusing it can be, trying to find a course that’s right for you – there really is so much out there but many courses and opportunities have different criteria for you to be able to take part, we are hoping to be a contact for people and make the pathway to learning and employment a little easier. We can help people with CV writing, finding work placements and work experience as well as courses for confidence, IT Skills, or interest courses such as photography and in this case gardening but we need to hear off people, so if anyone wants help with anything I would ask that they get in touch and we’ll see what we can do.

Job Clubs Cartrefi Conwy is now running two job clubs in our communities. We have staff on hand to help you with all aspects of looking for work. We can help you with; • Writing a CV • Filling application forms • Looking for jobs • Universal Job Match • Help with interviews • Computer skills We also hold themed sessions with partner agencies attending to give you even more help and advice – look out for the posters! • Chester Avenue Community House – Wednesday 10am – 12:30pm • Peulwys Community House – Thursday 2pm – 4pm

Other Job Clubs Mondays, 10am – 4pm, Golygfa Gwydyr, Llanrwst no appointment necessary just drop in, computers available. Wednesdays, 3.30pm – 5pm, Universal Job Match, Bay Learning Centre, Colwyn Bay with Communities First. Thursdays, 1pm – 3pm, Job Club Ty Llywelyn Community Centre, Llandudno 1-2-1 CV Writing by appointment, contact Jen Dutton, Communities First on 01492 338914

If you have any comments on this edition or suggestions for future editions of ‘Together’ please contact the communications team on 01745 335345 or email Please note all content is correct at the time of publication.

English newsletter feb 2014  
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