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SPRING 2014

The Heart of Coastal Housing

Be inspired by our tenant stories

GET ACTIVE get on your bike!

Go on-line

and get connected

Coastal Network

Coastal People

Coastal Life

Making it happen

A journey into work

Road to recovery


Spring 2014 COASTAL PEOPLE

COASTAL LIFE

4 My Life - Debbie Green 10 Journeys into work 20 In the Spotlight Maintenance Team

8 18 24 28 34 35 40

COASTAL NETWORK 6 12 14 16 33 33

Development News HomeSwapper Digital Inclusion Out & About - Townhill Send us your photographs Social media

Geoff Phillips - painter Stories to inspire you Road to recovery Get on your bike Garden ready for summer What’s on? Social Circle

COASTAL MONEY 22 Free debt advice 32 Upcycling with Kirsty

COASTAL COMPETITIONS 8 Geoff Phillips - Chocolates 28 On your bike - 10 essential riding packs 30 Food File - Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood book 36 Readership Survey win up to £50 vouchers of your choice 40 Social Circle £20 M&S vouchers

COASTAL REGULARS COASTAL VIEWS 26 Your views 36 Readership survey

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TENANT STORIES TO INSPIRE YOU

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30 Food file 37 Dave’s dilemmas 39 Insider Information

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JOURNEYS INTO WORK

28

GET ON YOUR BIKE


The

achievement issue Front Cover photograph by Viki Spooner

220 is designed and published in-house by Coastal Housing Group Ltd 3rd Floor, 220 High Street, Swansea, SA1 1NW www.coastalhousing.co.uk Data protection Coastal Housing Group reserves the right to use competition participants’ personal data to inform them of future promotions. Once you have entered a competition you may receive other related promotional offers. If you do not wish for your personal data to be used for this purpose then you ‘opt out’ by contacting the promoter in writing by email. The Promoter may not always be Coastal Housing Group and could be any one of a number of companies associated with providing prizes. Accuracy We try to make sure that the information printed in 220 including prices and availability is correct at time of going to press, but readers should still seek independent advice before relying on any content. We cannot be held responsible for any changes. Colours may vary slightly due to the printing process. We reserve the right to edit any material submitted. We cannot accept any responsibility for errors in articles or advertisements. Copyright No part of 220 may be reproduced in any format without prior permission from Coastal Housing Group. Circulation 6,000 readers Tenants, Staff, Partners, Contractors and Consultants, Councillors, MPs, AMs together with a wide range of people and organisations who have regular contact with Coastal Housing Group.

This spring, we introduce a 220 which is jampacked with inspiration. With so many people achieving, we just have to share some amazing stories! Young men Dean, Rhys, Eliott and Jon let us in on their journeys into work. Painter, writer and Dylan Thomas enthusiast Geoff Phillips shares his passion for his successful career. We interviewed Nigel Lewis about Digital Inclusion and he tells us how anyone of any age can join in, just like 90 year old Gwladys! Tenants Muriel, Jayne and Coenrad all boast stories to inspire our readers, and read about how June has turned her life around on her Road to Recovery! Finally, meet Debbie Green in My Life who has recently been appointed as Coastal Housing’s new Chief Executive - I’m sure you will all be with us in wishing Debbie all the best in her new role! Also in this edition, see Steph’s latest development news, find out about our next HomeSwapper event, and Get on your Bike with Bike Ability Wales! You’ll find the Readership Survey on page 36, please complete this when you have a moment and be in with a chance to win vouchers - your opinion really does count! There are plenty of opportunities to win prizes throughout the magazine, look out for the ‘WIN’ star. Remember, you’ve got to be in it to win it!

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Team 0 2 2 e h T

WHAT’S ON?

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My Life Debbie Green

Meet Debbie Green, Coastal Housing Group’s new Chief Executive. Despite a very busy schedule, Debbie ensures she has a good work life balance. Here she tells us about some of the things that have shaped her life...

The thing I love in my home is... THE BEST VIEW IN THE WORLD IS... from the top of Cader Idris. When I did the Welsh Three Peaks Challenge last year, the view took some beating not just because it was so clear and you can see so much of North Wales but also because I was so glad to make it to the top!

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my family and my dog – as George Harrison once said the rest is just ‘stuff’.


I’m so proud that...

I once tried...

I got the job as Coastal’s next Chief Executive.

jumping off the top board in the swimming pool when I was ten. It was very scary as I hate heights.

I love the smell of... buttered toast (with proper butter!)

THE BEST PIECE OF ADVICE I’VE EVER BEEN GIVEN WAS... don’t be afraid to ask for help.

I’ve learned that... the things you regret are the things you don’t have the courage to do. It’s usually the things outside of our comfort zones which are the very things we should do.

My favourite remedy is...

I CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT... I’m not very materialistic. I once spent 18 months travelling and living out of a small rucksack. When I came back I thought - ‘why do I need all this stuff when I’ve been quite happy with very little’.

fresh juice especially with ginger in it – it’s a natural antibiotic.

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Steph Radford, Project Engineer, tells us what’s going on in...

Development News The start of a new year is an exciting time! We are looking forward to the schemes that will be started and completed during the year and any new opportunities that may arise. But, it’s also always a busy time for the team, February is the deadline for us to submit our proposed schemes for the year to the Welsh Government for grant approval. To do this there is a lot of information that we need to gather to provide to them.

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Pendarvis Terrace, Port Talbot We have just bought the former Ty Afan School on Pendarvis Terrace from the Local Authority and are planning to demolish the former school building to build 12 new homes on the site. These will be a mix of one bedroom walk up flats and two and three bedroom homes. Each unit (including the flats) will have their own garden area to enjoy as well as private car parking which will be provided within the site. Swansea based, Huw Griffiths Architects have done some great designs incorporating several original features from the former building into the new development. We have submitted our planning application and are just about to appoint a contractor with a view to starting work before Easter. We’ve also met with local councillors and groups to see what we can do to help the community during the development.

Morfydd House, Morriston This site is adjacent to our existing Clos Camlas site in Morriston. The former Local Authority Social Services building will be demolished and 26 new one and two bedroom flats built in its place. The site is very challenging in terms of access and shape but Rio Architects from Cardiff have developed some very attractive designs. The plans fit in nicely with the existing buildings but at the same time have an individual and quite continental feel to them with raised external corridors and by retaining the mature trees which are currently on the site. The scheme has been submitted for planning and we are hoping to start work on site in the summer.

Castle Quarter Work on our Castle Quarter scheme by local contractors Dawnus is progressing well and if you walk past the site you can now see the building growing up above the hoardings and really taking shape. During construction Dawnus have worked closely with the team and so far we’ve created seven new local employment and training opportunities and helped some great community projects. The scheme is a mixed use development incorporating 26 one and two bedroom general needs flats and four duplex apartments which will be available to purchase through Pennant. There are commercial spaces on the ground floor on both the Strand and Wind Street and a private rooftop garden area for the tenants. We’ve already had a lot of interest in the commercial units and have a couple of very exciting and new restaurants interested in taking the space. At the moment we can’t disclose anything more, but watch this space and we’ll let you know!

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WIN

Free Prize Draw Win Chocolates from Simple Confectionary Send your name and address to: Freepost Plus RSXA-CJHX-XUXE, Coastal Housing Group, 3rd Floor, 220 High Street, Swansea, SA1 1NW or by email to: ask@coastalhousing.co.uk Closing Date: 30th April 2014. Only one entry per household

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G

eoff’s professional career as an artist started in 1983 when he opened his first gallery in Uplands Swansea concentrating on portraits and landscapes. After 1983 Geoff took over a stall in Swansea Market which he had for twelve years painting and selling pictures of old Swansea.

In 2000 Geoff received a Lifelong Fellowship from the Millennium Commission for the Environmental Educational Project which resulted in working at the Environment Centre in Swansea alongside outside agencies The Princes Trust and Communities First, which lead to working in local schools raising awareness of the environment and encouraging art in the curriculum. In 2001 The Mumbles Development Trust asked Geoff to paint the history map of Mumbles which is still displayed outside The Ostreme Centre in Mumbles to this day.

Jeff Phillips of Henllys, has been a professional artist for 32 years. Originally from Waun Wen in Swansea, and having a career in Engineering and in particular the draughtsmanship side, he has always had a keen interest in art.

Geoff Phillips Painter & Writer Celebrating Dylan Thomas Centenary Year

Geoff’s passion for art means he is always involved in various projects promoting Wales and the local area. His current project is based at the No Sign Wine Bar Swansea where his paintings of old Swansea will be displayed in the bar area.

Five years ago Geoff started getting involved in the project ‘The Life and Times of Dylan Thomas’ as the centenary of Dylan’s birth would be in 2014. The project involves telling Dylan’s life story through art work from his childhood right through to his life in Swansea, Laugharne, London and New York. The exhibition launch of the artwork will be on the 1st March in Laugharne at the Millenium Hall and it will then move to the Swansea Grand Theatre and will be displayed between the 8th - 24th April and there are plans for it to be displayed in London. Geoff’s artwork will also be displayed on confectionary throughout 2014 which will include chocolate bars and Welsh fudge promoting the life and times of Dylan Thomas in partnership with Michelle O’Rourke manager of the The Grand Hotel in Swansea.

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Stories of four young men Here at Coastal we’ve got a lot going on that you may not know about. We care about our tenants and communities and do what we can to support them. One thing we do is create training and employment opportunities for local people. Every time we build a new housing scheme or take on new maintenance contracts we make sure our contractors provide training, apprenticeships and jobs for local people.

Journeys into work Eliott Dean & Rhys Apprentices Dean and Rhys started with us in September in our Maintenance Team. We have as many work placements as we can throughout the year for both school pupils and people seeking work. Dean and Rhys are part of the shared apprenticeship scheme called Cyfle (opportunity in Welsh) and spend their time between college and working in our maintenance team. They get great hands on experience and really are treated as part of the team. In the coming months they’ll be out on site on our new build projects to give them an insight into how carpenters work in a different setting. Their team leader Kevin said: “I’m delighted with how the boys are getting on; both their confidence and skills are developing day by day.”

Eliott approached us after we went to one of the careers events at his university. He was already aware of Coastal as he lives in one of our properties but had never thought to connect the two things. We had already allocated all the placements by the time Eliott called in but we kept his details and a month or so down the line another opportunity came up in our development department. Eliott is studying Construction Management and has been spending the last few months with us on various projects and also has chance to visit our new sites. Recently we supported Eliott and two of our other students to apply for some funding through Asset Skills to help them undertake a research project which will be presented to a national conference later in the year. All three managed to get some funding and are now known as Asset Skills Ambassadors. Speaking of his time so far at Coastal, Eliott said “I’ve got to see so much that I wouldn’t have done by just studying, it really helps bring things to life”.

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“It really helps bring things to life.”

Jon We met Jon after a chance conversation he had with one of our staff. Jon was being made redundant and feared he wouldn’t get another job as he hated interviews and could never put across what he was trying to say. Jon has learning difficulties and had got his current job through a scheme run by Remploy which no longer operates. We met with Jon to see if we could support him. His lack of confidence and nerves were obvious but through a few sessions of simple interview preparations he started to gain confidence. We were just starting a new build project in Swansea and knew that the contractor would be taking on local people so we worked up to the interview date with Jon and even accompanied him to help calm his nerves. Jon has now been in his new job for five months and we’re told he is an excellent employee. Jon enjoys his job and even though he is still very shy in nature got through that all important interview.

If you want to know more about any opportunities then call Clare Watkins on 01792 479221 SPRING 2014 220 COASTAL MAGAZINE

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Join HomeSwapper and they will automatically match you to possible exchanges and home swaps, nine out of ten members get home swap direct matches in seconds.

I

f you want to move home, but have not been able to attend this event, you can still join HomeSwapper. When you join, they will AUTOMATICALLY MATCH you to possible exchanges and home swaps. 9/10 members get home swap direct matches in seconds. As a Coastal tenant this service is completely FREE for you to join. It will enable you to find properties from Housing Associations and Councils across the UK, as well as more local exchanges in the Swansea, Neath and Port Talbot areas.

It only takes four simple steps to get started: 1. 2. 3. 4.

A previous HomeSwapper event held in September, 2013 was a great success. When we asked tenants what was the most useful part of the event for you?, they told us:

g at “Lookin ctive prospe ties.” proper

Log on to www.HomeSwapper.co.uk Enter your details and the type of home you want HomeSwapper matches you to likely home swaps You will receive an e mail or text with details of your matches.

So if you are living in a home that is no longer right for you - then register with HomeSwapper.

“Num be willin r of people g to s wap.”

Need help getting on-line, or just want to find out more about HomeSwapper? Give us a call on 01792 479200 and we will be happy to help you.

To put you in touch with other like minded tenants who are keen to swap a HomeSwapper ‘speed swapping’ event will be held on: Thursday 10th April 2014 1pm - 6pm at Coastal Housing 220 High Street Swansea SA1 1NW The event is in partnership with other local Social Housing Landlords and Council. 12

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er on regist l, o t e l “Ab asta ith Co line w Family & a, ” Gwali tions. ng Op i s Hou


Universal Credit is the new benefit that will replace: Income Based Job Seekers Allowance, Income Support, Housing Benefit, Income Based Employment Support Allowance, Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit

Are you ready for

Universal Credit? Louise Bolam, Support Services Manager, keeps you up-to-date with information about Universal Credit

It is not expected that it will be introduced in the Swansea and Neath Port Talbot area before 2016, but you need to start getting ready now!

Claim online It is expected that most claims will need to be made on-line. Do you have access to the internet?

Receiving your money Universal Credit will be paid in one large monthly payment into a bank or building society or Post Office account. You will then be responsible for making your own rent payments.

Do you know how to use the internet? Do you have an email address? If you don’t, call Nigel our Digital Co-ordinator on 01792 479274 (meet Nigel on page 14)

It is important that you are able to budget for the month as you may be used to receiving payments at various times throughout the month or weekly. More advice on budgeting can be found on Money Matters on page 22.

Setting up a Credit Union account If you don’t have a bank account, think about setting up an account with a Credit Union. A budgeting account will enable your bills to be paid directly and any money left is transferred onto a card for you to spend. You can use the card or withdraw cash, safe in the knowledge that your bills have been taken care of. Coastal will pay your joining fees to set up a budgeting account with Neath Port Talbot Credit Union - call 01639 632100.

For more information on Universal Credit go to www.yourbenefitsarechanging.co.uk The UK Government is making changes to the amount of benefits some people receive and the way benefits are paid. This site keeps you up-to-date with all the changes that are taking place. You can also call one of their Your Benefits Are Changing Advice Team on 0300 303 1073 339 SPRING 2014 220 COASTAL MAGAZINE

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Digital Inclusion... Meet Nigel Lewis Coastal Housing’s Digital Inclusion Co-Ordinator. We asked Nigel some questions about Digital Inclusion...

What is Digital Inclusion? In a nut shell it is keeping tenants informed and engaged with the wider community and the rest of world, by using digital technology including computers, tablets and smart phones to communicate with people and organisations. My role is to engage with our tenants, in Neath and Port Talbot under the umbrella of GET NEATH PORT TALBOT ONLINE project partly funded by the Welsh Assembly, and show them how to access the internet, set up an email account and fill in online application forms. I particularly target the tenants whom require internet access for welfare benefits, as Westminster and the Welsh Government have a long term aim for ALL claimants to make claims online.

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What are the benefits? Tenants can benefit by accessing online information, from help with filling in online welfare benefit forms; finding out about hobbies; researching their family history; saving money by shopping on-line; improving education, life chances, employment and skills; talking to long distance family and friends. I think of the internet as accessing all the libraries in the world at once. One tenant I trained saved ÂŁ50.00 by shopping on-line for a television. Another accesses his Job Club on the internet and saves his CV on-line for potential employers to see.

Do I need a computer to join? No. When I am working with a local community, I don’t need an IT suite, just a basic empty room to fit in at least four or five people. If there is no equipment, I come fully loaded with the IT equipment to carry out the training.

How much computer knowledge do I need? None whatsoever. Digital Inclusion is for all ages, irrespective of ability. My example and one of my favourite customers is Gwladys, who is 90 years old and had the courage to attend my Digital Training session at Ysbryd Y Mor, Port Talbot. Gwladys had no idea of what a computer looked like before coming along. After a few sessions, starting with mouse motion movement training, Gwladys is now surfing on the internet! She is keen to book a cruise for herself, so I showed her on the internet to search for cruises, to get the best prices. Gwladys also has a passion for history, and wanted to know more about the first world war. Again she researched this on the internet herself. She is still a novice, but after a few sessions she is now confident enough to turn on the computer herself and is away on the internet herself before I look around to ask her how she is doing! Gwladys has said she’s had a new lease of life since, and really looks forward to coming to the classes each week.

If you are interested in finding out more, or would like Nigel to hold a session in your local community, please call: 01792 479274, or email: nigel.lewis@coastalhousing.co.uk Tweet @nigel_coastal. SPRING 2014 220 COASTAL MAGAZINE

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Out & About...

Townhill Swansea

Townhill is one of the oldest and biggest housing estates in Wales. It is located just outside Swansea and has a fabulous location with great views of Swansea City Centre, Swansea Bay and Swansea Docks.

D

esigned as part of the ‘Garden City Movement’ in the early 20th Century when in 1912 schemes were put forward for the construction of 500 houses in the area. The outbreak of WWI meant that only six houses were completed - still standing today in Islwyn Road. The area of Townhill as we know it today being built up in the 1940s and 1950s.

“Townhill has a very strong community spirit and is a Communities First area. Neighbours are always happy to lend a hand to each other.”

Townhill and Coastal Housing Facts:

111 HOMES

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80 FLATS

31 HOUSES

OUR FIRST NEW BUILD SCHEME IN TOWNHILL WAS TOWER COURT COMPLETED IN JUNE 1993

TOWER COURT COMES OF AGE IN JUNE 2014 WITH 4 OF THE ORIGINAL TENANTS STILL LIVING THERE


Gardens Many residents in Townhill are keen gardeners and we regularly have entries into our garden competition where beautiful plants and vegetables have been grown and prizes awarded.

Gordon the Caretaker Retires

Community Spirit Townhill has a very strong community spirit and is a Communities First area, neighbours are always happy to lend a hand to each other. Tower Court, one of our over 55s development, is an excellent example of this where residents regularly meet up in the communal lounge for coffee and a chat, bingo is held weekly, fish and chip suppers, quizzes and many other group activities are arranged by the residents themselves.

Gordon Morgan, Caretaker, maintained all of Townhill’s properties and gardens to an exceptional standard. Well known to all of the residents of Townhill and always happy to help. Sadly for Coastal Housing Group, Gordon retires in April 2014. He will be sorely missed by tenants and colleagues. A massive THANK YOU GORDON for all your hard work.

Meet Nicola, Area Housing Manager Area Housing Manager Nicola Gibbons holds a monthly surgery for all residents of Townhill on the first Monday of each month in Tower Court communal lounge. This gives all the residents of Townhill and the surrounding area a chance to speak to Nicola about any tenancy issues that they may be facing or any ideas which they want to put forward.

Tower Ball Room The Tower Ball Room was a much-loved and iconic building which was a centre point in Townhill. There are tales of the Tower Cinemas during the 1941 Blitz and its 1958 revamp when it became one of the most glamorous ballrooms in Wales with a sprung dance floor ‘similar to that of the Dorchester Hotel’. From the early 1960s the rock bands gradually changed the scene with jivers, boppers and rockers hitting the dance floor. Sadly the Ballroom burned down in 1993 but the memories still remain with many residents in Townhill who remember many Saturday nights enjoyed there.

Local Facilities Townhill has many facilities that are all well used and which include an excellent library within the Phoenix Community Centre which also has a community café, a nursery, conference rooms, all weather floodlit sports pitch and playground. There are many local shops which are in easy walking distance and a local Post Office. Townhill has excellent schools and the west of Townhill is home to one of the Swansea Metropolitan University campus where around 6,000 students study many who are from the Swansea bay area.

If you would like to live in Townhill, call us on 01792 479200. SPRING 2014 220 COASTAL MAGAZINE

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Stories to Inspire You

STORY ONE...

The Volunteer – Muriel

B

ritain’s volunteers carry out a huge range of activities whether that be through a group, club or as an individual. People volunteer for many number of reasons. Coastal tenant Muriel Birmingham decided to volunteer for the Stroke Association after losing her husband. Muriel and her husband had received a lot of support and care following his stroke and Muriel felt that she wanted to give something back, whilst also giving her something worthwhile to do. Muriel attends Hazel Court for two hours every week, sitting with people who have suffered a stroke and helping them to regain the ability to talk and write again. She says that she has learnt a lot about the causes of strokes through the training that she and other volunteers have received. It has also been an opportunity for her to meet a lot of new friends. Information for volunteering with the Stroke Association is available through Gorseinon Hospital. 18

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As well as being rewarding, volunteering can also open doors to finding employment in areas of work that you may not have otherwise considered. If you are between 18-25 years of age and interested in volunteering check out www.volunteerics.org Alternatively, if you think that you could give some of your time to offer a befriending service www.royalvoluntaryservice.org.uk

“As well as being rewarding, volunteering can also open doors to finding employment in areas of work that you may not have otherwise considered.”


Volunteering or spending unpaid time doing something for the benefit of others has been receiving Government support for the past twenty years and is viewed as an essential act of citizenship.

STORY TWO...

The Entrepreneurs – Jayne and Coenrad

E

ver thought of a good idea or thought you could do something better than someone else? Tenants, Jayne and Coenrad are ex-pats from South Africa and missed certain foods that were not available in Britain. This gave them the idea of filling the gap in the market and setting up their own business.

They went to their local Jobcentre with the idea and were put in touch with Business Connect. They were allocated a Business Advisor who gave them all the help and guidance they needed to start up their business and were able to access a grant and assistance from the local authority as well as a low cost start up loan through Business Connect. They have just completed their first year in business and Jayne said that they have learnt a lot and have adapted their business through the lessons learnt. Jayne advises anyone contemplating starting up their own business should not to be surprised if the first year’s business plan or anticipated earnings targets are not achieved. Instead, use the experience as a learning curve to progress the business. Their original idea of Hampers filled with products from specific parts of the world has developed into a gift basket business for any special occasion from birthdays and anniversaries to wedding and new baby celebrations. They also make bespoke baskets and have expanded their range to 120 gifts and baskets. Gifts start at £6.50 and gift baskets from £20. If you are interested in their products find them at www.worldofhampers.co.uk or the World of Hampers on Facebook.

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Maintenance in the

Spotlight Meet Coastal’s Maintenance department. There’s the Repairs team, the Schedulers, Administrators, Surveyors, Inspectors, and Planned Maintenance - 26 members in total.

T

hey offer a fast, professional and friendly service when it comes to carrying out repairs. From fixing windows and toilets to installing new kitchens and bathrooms, we are Jack of all trades! We mustn’t forget those behind the scenes who make sure everything runs smoothly, ensuring your appointments are kept and organising your annual Gas Safety checks. Without these honest, hard working, stubborn, friendly, witty, multifaceted, creative, crazy, considerate, experienced, innovative, normal, perfectionist, laid back, quiet (really?!), tall and short people, your homes just wouldn’t be the same! This lot are all vital in maintaining the high standards of Coastal’s properties. Here are some of the best bits about working in Maintenance - the friends we’ve made, the great teams we’re lucky to be part of, the people we meet, the variety, payday, spreadsheets and database queries, resolving tenant’s maintenance issues and working with Matthew!

WE’RE A TALENTED BUNCH... With many hidden talents among us – we’ve a rally co-driver, a violinist, superb cooks, a singer, an arm wrestling pro, a black belt In taekwondo, a man of many accents, a horse rider, an expert at walking handstands and one with an unusual party trick!

SOME OF OUR MOST USEFUL TOOLS: Power drill, laser measurer, tape measure, screwdriver, hands, Stanley knife, hammer, knowledge, multi-tool, a hair slide and the all essential hair straighteners!

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Between us... -

THE PERFECT NIGHT IN FRONT OF THE TV WE WOULD WATCH:

Our height ranges from

5ft - 6ft 3”

Mrs Brown’s Boys, The Wire, Breaking Bad, Eastenders, Sex and the City, Top Gear, Celebrity Big Brother and MOTD. Plus some good old classics including Red Dwarf, Last of the Summer Wine, Dads Army and Only Fools & Horses!

Our average foot size is

7.5 Collectively we have WE’VE MET AN INTERESTING ARRAY OF FAMOUS FACES:

1014 years

From Prince Charles, Ioan Gruffudd, Richard Wilson, Gareth Edwards, Jeremy Austin, Phil Bennett, Anthony Hopkins, Katie Price, Roy Keane, Ayrton Senna, Stevie Wonder, Kevin Bacon, Jimmy Carr, Jimmy White, Nicky Butt, Shirley Bassey and The Queen!

of life experience

IN OUR LUNCH BOXES, YOU WILL FIND SANDWICHES OF ALL KINDS:

We’re 50/50 when it comes to loving rugby v football.

You’d be far more likely to find us in the pub than in the gym!

Our most common bad habit is biting our nails! SPRING 2014 220 COASTAL MAGAZINE

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Money

Matters

If you are struggling to pay off debts or have money worries that you never seem to get rid of, then you would probably benefit from getting some proper debt and money advice. There are a number of good, free, services where you can seek advice over the phone, in person or on-line.

Shelter Cymru

Debt Panic Button

www.sheltercymru.org.uk Shelter Cymru is the people and homes charity in Wales. Experts on housing and debt problems and providing free and specialist advice to people who need their help.

www.debtpanicswansea.org.uk Debt Panic Button is a partnership led by Swansea Council as they were worried that people did not know where to go for genuine, free debt help. The Debt Panic Button won’t destroy your debts, but it will help you to take control and get some proper free support.

Free Debt Advice - 01792 469 400 Advice & Support - 0845 075 5005 Email: advice@sheltercymru.org.uk Help with - housing arrears, rent arrears, gas, water and electric bills, bailiffs, court fines and Council Tax arrears. They hold advice surgeries at venues in Swansea, Pontardawe, Neath and Port Talbot. To find out where and when visit their website or give them a call.

National Debt Line www.nationaldebtline.co.uk Tel: 0808 808 4000 Provides free and confidential advice on how to deal with your debt problems. They can provide information packs on personal budgeting, sample letters to write to creditors, fact sheets and guides on different subjects related to debt.

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Money Advice Service www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk Tel: 0300 500 5000 Money Advice Service helps people manage their money through their own free and impartial advice service. Set up by the Government, they offer an independent service. Sign up for their free online newsletter.


r ards fo nity’ her Edw p Commu er to e is th r h to C n ph to o o ti d arde Dedica t, Christ ship Aw g Tenan ution & ath n e ib si N tr u Citizen n y o o b H Award’ nding C 2013, Coastal ta ip ts sh in u n ‘O ynfi of itize utumn ith a ‘C Blaengw s In the A as presented w ha ris, from , h e C tr r. n e e w h s Town C aren Fis Edward th K ctor in a , e se ss N y re ayo oluntar ving in v li e w Town M o th ce and n li ot, but ales Po others in Port Talb lessly helping South W anding e st th g h n tire ing wit s is a lo rk ri o h in worked w C . m s y e nts th s well a Strateg s is also Neath a d represe isability ri n h D a C g . st y 1 in tl arn People penden s e e le d k their Le a li in W s ts Wale tenan r of All all over senting membe g re in p ll re e t v tra emen rtium. forums, manag es Conso oard of on the b Community Liv in himself

Charity at Coasta l Here at C oastal we like to do to our lo cal our bit to give bac Coastal st community. So th k aff took p roughou t 2013 art in ma in the off ny fundra ice and ra ising eve ise Alzheime nts rs Society d £1,900 for loc al chariti , Llys Nin Chemoth es – i, Singleto erapy Un n Hospit it and Ty al Olwen.

Supported People Our Supported Housing section provides support to a number of our tenants through our Solutions, Independent Living and Extra Care teams to those aged 55 and over. In addition, our Tenancy Support team and Learning Disabilities team support those residents under the age of 55. We also engage with several Managing Partners to provide residents with a variety of services. You may already know that part of this service is funded by ‘Supporting People.’ Supporting People is a government programme for funding, planning and monitoring housing related support services. Its aim is to improve the quality and effectiveness of the support services at a local level. Ideally, in the first instance, Coastal would like you to make any comments, compliments or complaints regarding the service to managers within the Supported Housing team in order for us to respond to problems as quickly as possible. However, you can also contact your local Supporting People team if you feel that we haven't adequately dealt with your issue.

Swansea

Neath Port Talbot

Supporting People Team 17 - 19 High Street, Swansea SA1 1LF Telephone: 01792 533700 Fax : 01792 533704 Email: supportingpeople@swansea.gov.uk

Supporting People Team First Floor, Civic Centre, Neath SA11 3QZ Telephone: (01639) 685209 Email: supportingpeople@npt.gov.uk

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The Road to

Recovery June’s story of how she turned her life around - from street drinker to community volunteer

June, originally from Kent, had a very traumatic and abusive childhood and she started drinking heavily when she was just 18 years old.

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The Ebenezer Baptist Church asked people living on the streets to come to church and June started attending regularly, and on 5th May 2010, June was taken into a rehabilitation unit by a Christian Charity.

I

n 1995 June moved to Wales to live with her partner who was originally from Wales. Their relationship broke down and she was told to leave. June secured a Council flat but was attacked by her ex-partner’s friends. She fled to a refuge in Cardiff and after a while, she was offered a Council flat in Swansea. June lost her Council tenancy through the behaviour of street drinkers in her flat, and in 2008, June found herself homeless again and living on the streets. June had temporary accommodation with help from the Shoreline Project and Cyrenians Cymru but she kept getting evicted as her drinking was out of control.

“I used to get arrested a lot and spend nights in a prison cell. I didn’t like my lifestyle, I was having fits because of the drink but I wanted to change.”

“It was the first time that I stopped drinking in a very long time. I couldn’t do it on my own.” After 10 months, June left rehab and secured temporary accommodation with The Wallich at the Gorwelion Project. This project specialises in supporting people with complex needs and substance misuse issues. “I liked it there. There was always someone to talk to if I had any problems. Nigel was my support worker and he helped me set up direct debits, pay bills and open a bank account. Sue was there to support me when my mum and grandson passed away.“ When June was ready to live independently, Coastal offered her a permanent home in February 2013. “I love my flat. It’s really cosy. I get on with the neighbours. It’s in the city centre but it’s quiet.” June has completed training and counselling courses and she’s a regular volunteer for organisations such as The Wallich and Cyrenians Cymru helping with the soup runs for homeless people. She also helps to look after people with dementia at Ty Conway Day Centre and gives talks to the recruits at South Wales Police about street drinking. “I have not drunk a drop of alcohol since 5th May 2010. The fits and shakes have stopped but I have a lot of memory loss which makes me struggle with everyday tasks. I feel good about my life now. I’ve helped other drinkers and I would like to be a proper support worker. Most of my street drinking friends did not make it but I’m a survivor.”

Coastal Housing Group works in partnership with The Wallich to provide accommodation and support to vulnerable people. The Wallich is a charity who has been working with the homeless for over 30 years. They specialise in providing services for people with complex needs and people who, because of their high support needs, are often banned or excluded from other services and have difficulty in accessing any other accommodation. The Wallich have a number of projects in Swansea such as Gorwelion and Shoreline, where they provide temporary and permanent accommodation for those who are addressing issues such as alcohol and substance misuse. They support individuals in developing life skills and to re-establish themselves in the community. To find out more, visit their website: www.thewallich.com

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You Said... We are always out and about talking to tenants, finding out what they are up to on their schemes and just generally finding out different ways to connect and communicate. Having fun... We had some Halloween parties which were spooky, scary and full of laughter with tenants from Llys y Felin, Gerddi Alexander & Weavers Mill. Children of Harrington Street and Cwm Road had a Hair raising time at Waun Wen Community Centre that was decked out like a Ghostly Grotto. In Ynys Lee children enjoyed activities as they cut out pumpkins; made some creepy masks and went on a ‘halloween hunt’. There were Christmas get togethers at Harbour Quay, Birchgrove Road, Ivy Bush Court, Clos Coed Nant & Llysyfelin. Children got up close and personal with reindeer when they paid a visit to Ynys Lee and when the families of Harrington Street and Cwm Road went to visit them at Folly Farm.

Digital Inclusion... Our digital inclusion IT courses have been really taking off as we encourage tenants to get on-line and get ready for the changes which will come in Universal Credit.

The Social Circle for tenants over 55 have been busy with their monthly coffee mornings in Neath and Swansea; attending their Annual Christmas dinner at the Aberavon Beach Hotel; enjoying an afternoon at the Pantomime “oh yes they did...”

Meeting tenants at our local housing surgeries... We’ve been out talking to tenants at schemes and on estates by holding regular open surgeries with Area Housing Managers at Tower Court, Waunceirch and Hanover Parklands.

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Tenant Survey... We surveyed tenants at Cwm Road to find out what it’s like to live there. Tenants told us they were either satisfied or very satisfied when we asked them what they thought about the upkeep of the grounds, general cleanliness and how much they liked living there. Comments included “I am happy here”. “I like living in Cwm Road”.

Reviewing how we do things to make them better for the customer... We do this by looking at the ‘demand’ coming in from customers, finding out what matters to the customer and then adjusting our way of doing things so it reflects what people want from us. Recently we have been looking at how we deal with requests for Adaptations; how we collect and manage rent; how people can access our housing register. In all of these reviews we gained tenant opinion, by asking what it felt like to be on the receiving end of our services. When we take demand we look at the type of things we are being asked - for example in the rent review we noted that we are always asked “How much rent do I owe”. It would be much easier if they could find out themselves by going on - line, so in the near future we will have a facility via our web site that will allow tenants to find this information out for themselves.

Paint Packs... Our maintenance department are now able to offer tenants moving into properties that need to be redecorated, a paint pack so that they can choose the colour scheme for their new home.

We did...

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On Your

Bike! We are teaming up with Bike Ability Wales and Wheelright to run a number of cycling events, starting this spring.

W

e want you to get on your bike and get active with the aim of setting up small cycling groups within your communities in Swansea, Neath and Port Talbot. There’s no need for lycra or an expensive bike with mega gears, all you need is a basic bike, a water bottle and a waterproof jacket... just in case!

With the recent British success at the Tour De France and the Olympics more and more people have been inspired to give cycling a go. The ever increasing cost of running a car, along with all new roads having to include a cycle lane, cycling, as a mode of transport, is now a real option. Cycling is not only a cheap way to get about from A to B, but it can also be a very sociable activity with health benefits! With so many off-road cycle routes in South Wales it is also a great way to explore the miles of beautiful forests, historic canals and coastal paths we are very lucky to have nearby. It’s easy to take part, just contact Janet Gange, our Community Inclusion Manager, by email janet.gange@coastalhousing.co.uk or by telephone on 01792 479259 Follow us on Facebook for updates about the ‘Get on your Bike’ campaign.

For more information about cycling in your area visit: www.bikeabilitywales.org.uk www.wheelrights.org.uk www.sustrans.org.uk 28

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Did you know? By raising your heart rate through exercise just five times a week means that you are 50% less likely to suffer from stroke, heart disease or typetwo diabetes.

Most of the cycle routes, particularly around the Neath & Port Talbot valley areas are old coal railway lines.

By cycling to work you could reduce your carbon footprint by around 1.8 tonnes per year and help reduce global warming


“Cycling is a very sociable activity with health benefits.”

Our boss on his bike Our outgoing Chief Executive, Tim Blanch, is a cycling enthusiast and cycles almost every day. He often parks his car just outside Swansea and cycled into work to avoid the queues of getting into the city and the hassle of finding a parking space. Tim is also a volunteer ranger for Sustrans covering a seven mile section of the National Cycle Network, which runs between London and Fishguard. His duties involve riding his route every couple of weeks, checking that signs are still in place and watching out for obstacles along the way e.g. fallen branches and brambles.

WIN

Competition

We’re giving away 10 Essential Cycling Packs For you chance to win just answer this question:

By cycling to work every day, you can reduce your carbon footprint by how many tonnes each year? A) 1.5 tonnes B) 1.8 tonnes C) 2.1 tonnes

Please send your answer, along with your name, address & telephone number to: Freepost Plus RSXA-CJHX-XUXE, Coastal Housing Group, 3rd Floor, 220 High Street, Swansea, SA1 1NW or by email to: ask@coastalhousing.co.uk Closing Date: 30th April 2014 Only one entry per household

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For the

Love of food Spring Fresh Herbs Springtime soil brings forth fresh, leafy herbs like dill, chives, parsley and mint. Handfuls of these, together with spinach, lettuce, and freshly shelled peas make the perfect side salad for some of the other winners of the season, such as lamb and seafood.

Spring Strawberry Salad with Chicken Serves: 8

Strawberries Strawberries are low fat, low calorie; high in vitamin C, fibre, folic acid, potassium. They are the first fruit to ripen in the spring and the only fruit with seeds on the outside.

30

Ingredients: 2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts, cubed 2 tablespoons of olive oil 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinaigrette salad dressing 1 bunch of fresh spinach, rinsed and dried 1 pint of strawberries, sliced 4 ounces crumbled goat cheese 1 (5 ounce) pecan Handful of fresh mint

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Method: 1. Place the chicken breast meat into a skillet with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and two tablespoons of balsamic vinaigrette over medium heat; cook and stir until the chicken is browned, no longer pink in the centre, and the juice has nearly evaporated, about 10 minutes. Remove the chicken to a bowl and let cool. 2. Place the spinach into a salad bowl; scatter the strawberries, goat cheese, and candied pecans over the spinach. Drizzle two tablespoons of olive oil and two tablespoons of balsamic vinaigrette over the salad and top with the chicken. Serve slightly warm or chilled.


Blackberry Buttermilk Sponge

Blackberries:

Makes one thin 9-inch cake, serve up to 6 people

Blackberries contain a good amount of minerals such as potassium, manganese, copper, and magnesium.

Ingredients: 150g fresh blackberries 125g unsalted butter, softened 175g caster sugar ½ teaspoon vanilla extract 2 medium free-range eggs 100ml buttermilk 200g self-raising flour 1½ tablespoons Demerara sugar, for sprinkling Method: 1. Heat your oven to 180c/350F/gas4. Gently wipe the blackberries clean with kitchen paper – Blackberries only rinse them if they look very dirty, then contain Copper thoroughly drain and pat dry. which is required in 2. Put the soft butter into a mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually beat in the bone metabolism the caster sugar. Once all the sugar has been added, as well as in scrape down the sides of the bowl, then add the production of vanilla and beat for a couple of minutes longer until white and red the mixture looks paler and fluffy. Scrape down the blood cells. sides of the bowl again. 3. Beat the eggs in a small bowl with a fork, just to mix, then gradually add to the butter mixture, beating well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl from time to time as before. Add about a third of the buttermilk and gently fold in with a plastic spatula or large metal spoon, then fold in about a third of the flour. Fold the rest of the buttermilk and flour in the same way, in two batches each. 4. Scrape the mixture into the prepared tin and spread evenly. Scatter the berries over the top and gently press them into the mixture so they are about half-submerged. Sprinkle evenly with the Demerara sugar. Place in the heated oven and bake for 35 - 40 minutes until golden and a skewer inserted into the centre of the sponge comes out clean. 5. Set the tin on a wire rack. Run a round-bladed knife around the sponge to loosen it from the tin, then gently unclip the tin side and remove the cake. Leave it to cool a bit.

Spinach Spinach grows best in cool, moist conditions. Regular consumption of fresh, organic spinach juice has been shown to improve skin health dramatically.

Feta Cheese Feta is one of the world’s oldest cheeses. By Greek law, feta is cured at least three months in brine.

Butter Milk Buttermilk is low in fat and calories. It contains good bacteria called Lactic Acid Bacteria’ (LAB) that help in improving the general immunity of the body.

Mint

WIN

Free Prize Draw

Win a Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood Cook Book. Send your name and address to: Freepost Plus RSXA-CJHX-XUXE, Coastal Housing Group, 3rd Floor, 220 High Street, Swansea, SA1 1NW or by email to: ask@coastalhousing.co.uk Closing Date: 30th April 2014. Only one entry per household

Mint provides a cooling sensation to the skin helping to treat minor burns and skin irritations due to its anti-inflammatory properties and it can ease and unblock the breathing and respiratory passages as well as relieve headaches.

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Transform an old garment Unpick all the main seams of the garment and lay it flat on the floor. Using your cushion as a template, add an additional two inches and cut out two large squares from your material. Then simply sew around three of the edges (making sure your cushion cover pieces are placed the correct way for turning out later) and leave the other for the opening. If confident add a zip to the last opening, or thread ribbon, or sew buttons for fasteners. Here we used an old jumper, but you could use a t-shirt, sweater or even a denim skirt.

Re-invent your favourite quote! For around a £1 you can pick up a variety of foam letters and with their sticky backing they can be attached to a canvas, an old picture frame and wood etc, which when painted transforms the whole look – be warned though craft like this can become addictive!

Just happens to be lying around Shells and pieces of driftwood were collected from Swansea beach (take it from us it’s one of the best beach sources for driftwood) and left to dry out completely. Using a glue gun they can then be used to create your own designs. Here, we created a frame around a piece of mirrored glass (you could apply directly to an existing frame), and the shells to create the heart were applied directly on to glass.

Home Style on a Budget Coastal’s Customer Service Manager, Kirsty Walton, follows on from her upcycling advice, and tells us what she has achieved on a small budget. 32

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PHOTOGRAPHS COURTESY OF MIKE DAVIES OF RHODFA BEVAN, NEATH

Photographs Wanted Do you take photographs of what you see around you every day? ARE YOU A SNAPPY SNAPPER? AN INSTAGRAM ADDICT? A COMMITTED PHOTOGRAPHER? We want you to send us your photographs and show us what you have been up to. We’ll then use the shots to publish on our social media sites, use in our publications, put up on our web site. Any shots that are published we’ll send you some vouchers as a thank you. Entries to reach us by 30th April 2014.

Send us your photos in any format to: email: ask@coastalhousing.co.uk Or by post: Freepost Plus RSXA-CJHX-XUXE, Coastal Housing Group, 3rd Floor, 220 High Street, Swansea, SA1 1NW

TOP APPS Camera+ This app is fast and easy to use with loads of features that allow you to add effects, edit and enhance your pictures. It even allows you to set focus and exposure separately. So many features, it’s definitely worth having in your tool bag!

The best experiences

Flipagram

We thought for this edition we would research some of the best photo apps currently being used to allow you to get the best experience from your smart phone and achieve some amazing photo shots.

A cool free app where you can take multiple photos from your camera roll and set them to music of your own choice. Editing allows you to re-order and re-size, leaving you with a great slideshow that you can post to Instagram or Facebook, or simply use for your own viewing pleasure.

Over

Join in the conversation…

Want to express your thoughts with your photos? Over lets you add text, banners, clipart, logo’s and icons with customised fonts for practically every occasion. A fantastic idea that turns your photo’s in to stories.

Tweet us @coastalhousing Follow us on Facebook SPRING 2014 220 COASTAL MAGAZINE

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Get Your Garden Ready for

Summer If you want a great garden this Summer, whatever its size, it’s never too soon to start the ground work. Clean Up Your Patch Give your garden and your pots a good weeding so the weeds don’t flower and go to seed. Weeding is a job that needs doing constantly - little and often is better. Clean up all the leaves and debris from the winter and get rid of any dead plants. Generally dig/rake over the patch, replace any compost and clean up any edging and paving stones, etc.

Mix in Some Fertiliser Organic fertilisers are the best, but anything that will give your plants the best chance will do. The soil will probably have become compacted over the winter months, so loosening it up and then digging in the fertiliser before you plant. Plants like well-aerated soil, so digging it over will help.

Add some Colour Think about the colour scheme you want to see in your garden. Do you want cool blues, blushing pinks, fiery reds or just a riot of colour? Drawing up a plan of what you want in the garden before you start planting will makes you consider your plant mix. You may also want to think about which plants will attract bees and butterflies such as marigold, sweet William, cornflower and Buddleia.

Grow a Herb Bed Herbs look and smell great, are easy to grow and of course are good for you. Nothing adds to the taste of summer salads, than the addition of freshly cut herbs. Herbs will happily grow in pots or plant them in your borders. Herbs which like a sunny spot include rosemary, sage, thyme and lavender. More suited to shady and moist areas are parsley, mint and chives.

All garden photos were taken in tenant gardens in 2012 and 2013. We’ll be out and about during the summer looking at your gardens and running some competitions - like who can grow the tallest Sunflower. Send us your photographs of your glorious garden. 34

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n o s ’ t Whoaur Area in y

There is always lots going on in and around Swansea, Neath and Port Talbot throughout the year, so here’s just a little taster of what’s taking place from March until the end of May.

d, ilk Woo nder M U s t n e s ru pre beravon atr Cym MARCMHarch Clwyd TheGrand Theatre l Lido, Swansea / A a pil 18 - 22 Swanse e, Black elief Mil R s t r o Sp t Song, h rt Talbo tion of tr y Park a o n r P u b o r, le C e ie 23 Marc P oll AC rutt, Gn esents: Mutt St ghan Lewis pr m Castle h au , Marga le t s 23 Marc a David V C e h h yn Hall nch in t rfront Museum 29 Marc The Gw nday Lu u ate S W g l a in r n Mothe , Natio d u lo A h ys , 30 Marc Only Bo ichards h rc a M r John R 0 M 3 y B y be eath Ab al, ins of N ntre u R L e Music e I h T R AP g Ce Cats Th Talk: in s t in n a e r s T e r ath ol p 2 April Glynne tre Scho ct Thea Centre A s s la C s heatre awe Art Royal T s s e c in 12 April r Pontard tics, Plantasia le he P An th Cast work, T Animal stermou mas Centre lub Net y C O il y r , d y p e a A m sD Tho 15 - 17 The Co Dragon ansea , Dylan entre ns and o w e einon C S s g r ’s n o n u G 17 April la D y n a D lf o r an Tou stival, C 19 April Guided Food Fe n il o r in p e A s 20 Gor 26 April rdens lyne Ga C , all m o Blo unity H rom le, MAY ay Clyne in Neath Comm aP e s Ensemb n a , ir w t House n 1 - 31 M Craft Fa ay 5K Races, S ie r O The aB esents: 3 May Swanse t Time Pr ay z z M aterfron Ja 0 r 2 6& Amse tional W a N ll , a y H e yn urn 15 May The Gw mas Return Jo ark ho P T n Park n in k la n y mdo Singleto , w ay D ir C M fa n 1 u m 3 F 17 & Museu re and Car Fay Vintage 27 May

For more information on things to do in Swansea visit: www.swanseabayfestival.co.uk or call the Tourist Information Centre on 01792 468321. For more events taking place in Neath Port Talbot visit: www.visitnpt.co.uk or call the Tourist Information Centre on 01639 636674.


Readership Survey Please spare a few minutes to answer these questions. Your views are important to us and your feedback will help us improve our magazine. q Yes q No

1. Do you regularly read 220 magazine? If no, please explain why:

2. What do you like about the magazine?

3. Is there anything you don’t like?

4. Is there anything else you would like to read about or see more of in the magazine?

q Yes q No

5. Do you have access to the internet? If yes...

i. Would you prefer to have the magazine sent to you via email? q Yes q No ii. Would you prefer to read the magazine online?

q Yes q No

iii. Where do you access the internet from? q Home q Work q Friend/relative’s house q Library q Other iv. How do you access the internet? q Computer q Tablet/iPad q Smart phone/Mobile phone q Smart TV q Other v. Do you use any social media? q Facebook q Twitter q Instagram q Pinterest q Youtube q Flickr q Other q Don’t use social media

6. Are you?

q Male q Female

7. Age Group? q 18 – 25 q 26 – 35

q 36 – 45

q 46 – 55

q 56 – 65

q 66 +

Win 1st Prize £50 Vouchers of your choice, 2nd Prize £25 Vouchers, 3rd Prize £15 vouchers If you would like to be entered into a free prize draw for the chance to win please send your completed to us along with your contact details: Name: Address: Telephone:

Email:

Please return your survey to: Freepost Plus RSXA-CJHX-XUXE, Coastal Housing Group, 3rd Floor, 220 High Street, Swansea, SA1 1NW Alternatively you can complete the survey online at: www.surveymonkey.com/s/YGK2LHG Closing Date 30th April 2014 36

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Dave’s Dilemmas Dave The Sheep helps sort out your life

Q

I HATE MY KITCHEN! It’s in good condition but I’d like a more modern one. I don’t really like cooking but my sister has just had a new kitchen which looks lovely compared to mine. My parents gave me and my boyfriend some money when we got engaged and I want to spend it on new kitchen units but my boyfriend said that he’d rather we spent the money on a holiday as we’ve never been away together.

DAVE SAYS:

I’m glad you wrote in before going ahead as you need to make sure that you ask Coastal’s permission before you make such a big change to your home. Your Area Housing Manager will be able to advise you on whether you can go ahead with the improvement or not and you’ll need to fill in a form with the details of who is going to carry out the work. Your Area Housing Manager will also know when your kitchen is due to be replaced so, before you make a decision, find out whether it is due to be replaced in the next few years. How about a kitchen makeover with a funky new colour scheme rather than changing the units? Or check out Kirsty’s ‘Homestyle On A Budget’ ideas on page 32. That way you and your boyfriend may also be able to go away for a romantic weekend together. I wonder if your sister will have the same memories of her kitchen in years to come as you will have of a trip with your boyfriend.

Competitions In this edition we have five exciting competitions for you to enter: Page 8

FREE PRIZE DRAW

Geoff Phillips, Painter, Writer - Win Chocolates from Simple Confectionary

Competition Winners

Page 28 COMPETITION

Vue Cinema Voucher winner Andrea Sarsfield of Mount Pleasant, Swansea

Get on your bike - Win 10 essential riding packs

Page 30 FREE PRIZE DRAW Food File - Win a Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood Cook Book

Page 36 FREE PRIZE DRAW

Encyclopaedia of Genealogy winner Jean Sarsfield of Mount Pleasant, Swansea Food Hand Blender winners Glen Barnett of SA1, Swansea John Davies of Swansea

Readership Survey - Win £50 Vouchers of your choice, £25 Vouchers, and £15 vouchers

Page 40 COMPETITION Social Circle - Win £20 gift voucher for Marks & Spencer

SPRING 2014 220 COASTAL MAGAZINE

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Insider information HomeSwapper Who will you swap with? HomeSwapper is the biggest and best home swapping service in the UK for social housing tenants. Every year the service successfully helps thousands of people swap homes across the UK. As a Coastal tenant this service is completely FREE for you to join, and allows you to find properties from a variety of social landlords, as well as Coastal, giving you a much better chance at finding the swap you want. There is no limit to the number of refusals you make, and you can access the site to explore your options at your own leisure. It only takes four simple steps to get started: 1. Log on to: www.homeswapper.co.uk 2. Enter your details and the type of home you are looking for 3. HomeSwapper automatically matches you to potential home swaps 4. They will email or text you the details of your matches for you to look at.

Making a comment or complaint If you have a problem with any of our services we’ll try our best to resolve it quickly and effectively. All complaints are logged and then passed on to the relevant person in the organisation to deal with it, who will become your named contact. You can also speak to the manager of the relevant team about your complaint. If the problem is out of our control to fix, we will let you know. If you are not satisfied with the outcome, then you can write to the Chairman of our Board of Management, Mr Francis Jones, at our Swansea office address.

Public Services Ombudsman The Public Services Ombudsman for Wales will look into any complaint from a member of the public about the way they have been treated by a public body, including a housing association. Public Services Ombudsman for Wales 1 Old Field Road, Pencoed, Bridgend, CF35 5LJ Phone: 0845 601 0987 Email: ask@ombudsman-wales.org.uk www.ombudsman-wales.org.uk

Address to Serve Notice Section 48(1) of the Landlord and Tenant Act 10987 requires that we provide you with an address at which notices may be served on Coastal Housing Group Ltd, your Landlord. Coastal Housing Group Ltd, 3rd Floor, 220 High Street, Swansea, SA1 1NW

Home Insurance for tenants “HomeSwapper made a tremendous difference to our lives. Following my hip replacement operation it meant that we could move straight into our bungalow.”

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Home contents insurance may be the last thing on your mind, especially when you have lots of other outgoings. But have you thought about how you would replace all your furniture and other possessions if the worst happened and you had a fire, flood or burglary? My Home Contents insurance offers affordable contents cover for leaseholders and tenants. Call: 0845 337 2463


Free Gas Safety Checks By law, all gas boilers and gas fires in housing association properties need an annual safety check by a Gas Safe registered engineer. This will include: • • •

Emergency repairs out-of-hours service

Annual servicing flue and ventilation check Carbon monoxide check Mains wired smoke alarms check.

You MUST allow the gas service engineers working for Coastal Housing into your home to do their work. If we try, and fail, to get access, we will take legal action against you. “Carbon Monoxide can KILL, make sure you get your FREE gas check”

Paying your rent Your rent and any service charges are due weekly in advance and are charged to your account every Monday morning. YOU must make sure that your rent is paid on time. There are lots of easy ways to pay: PayPoint: Use your Allpay card (up to a maximum of £124.99 in any single transaction) anywhere you see the PayPoint sign. Post Office: Pay by cash or cheque at any post office. Cheques should be made payable to: Post Office Ltd Debit or Credit Card: Call Allpay on: 0870 243 6040 or the 24hr service at: www.allpayments.net or pay via our website: www.coastalhousing.co.uk . Follow the link from ‘Tenant Services’ to ‘Pay Rent’. You can also pay by Debit or Credit Card, but NOT cash, at any of our offices. Direct Debit: Pay your rent weekly or calendar monthly in advance by direct debit. Please ask us for a direct debit form. By Cheque payable to: Coastal Housing Group Ltd Write your name and address on the back, send to: Coastal Housing Group Ltd, 3rd Floor, 220 High Street, Swansea, SA1 1NW. Your area Housing Officer or Support Worker can check if you are claiming all the benefits you are entitled to and also give free debt advice, speak to them if you have trouble paying your rent.

Communal areas As of March 2012 the Welsh Fire and Rescue Service Policy stated that no storage or the charging of mobility scooters is permitted in communal areas. The rubber tyres on bikes are also hazardous in a fire so bikes cannot be stored in communal areas either. Coastal is responsible for your communal areas and it is important that all exits leading out are kept clear in case of emergency. If you have any issues or questions about these guidelines or for all rules about communal areas please refer to your tenancy conditions or alternatively you can contact any one of our Housing Officers.

Coastal Housing contact details: Swansea Office: 3rd Floor, 220 High Street, Swansea, SA1 1NW Neath Office: 41-43 Windsor Road, Neath, SA11 1NH Telephone: 01792 479200, email: ask@coastalhousing.co.uk

If you smell gas: Call the National Gas Emergency Line on: 0800 111 999 Emergency Repairs We provide an Emergency Repairs service outside of our normal office hours – at evenings and weekends. Emergency Repairs telephone: 0845 680 8888 (24-hour) Emergencies are classed as: • A major leak • Total failure of electrics • Fire • Locking yourself out • Personal security • Sewage overflow • Complete failure of heating system between 1 November and 1 May. In an emergency we will visit within four hours and the repair will be completed, or made safe, within 24-hours. If the call out is NOT an emergency or it’s your own fault (e.g lost keys) then we will charge you for the work. For general repairs and enquiries: 01792 479200 or contact Coastal Housing Group Ltd.

Out-of-hours emergency office number: 0845 680 8888 SPRING 2014 220 COASTAL MAGAZINE

39


Coastal’s Social

Circle Coffee Mornings are back! Due to popular demand your Swansea Coffee Morning for the over 55s has moved to Cafe Nisse, Wind Street. The Neath venue is still Cafe Espresso. Join us at either one of these venues any time between 10am and 12 noon on the following dates and there'll be a free cuppa and a friendly chat waiting for you. Cafe Nisse Cafe Espresso

5th March, 2nd April, 7th May, 4th June 6th March, 3rd April, 8th May, 5th June

Coffee mornings are just a small part of the social circle meetings for the over 55s. We arrange a wide variety of excursions which have included a Brecon Canal barge trip, race day at Ffos Las and a visit to Longleat Safari Park to name but a few! There’s something for everyone whether you fancy just one or all of them…the choice is yours! So if you’re interested in what we’ve got planned this year and you fancy joining our mailing list then simply give us a ring on 01792 479266. Bookings are on a first come first served basis and are always very popular so make sure you get in early to avoid disappointment.

Competition

WIN

Win £20 gift voucher for Marks & Spencer As a result of moving to a new venue we felt a change of name would be a great idea too! We want to bring your ‘Coffee Morning’ into the 21st century so we’re looking for names to promote it in a fresh and vibrant style! Ideas we’ve had in the office so far have been ‘Coastal Crew’, ‘Time ‘n’ Talk’ and ‘Catch-Up Cafe’, but we’d love you to come up with the name instead. The winner will receive a £20 gift voucher for Marks & Spencer… so to be in with a chance of winning put on your thinking caps and send us your ideas. Send your entries to: Freepost Plus RSXA-CJHX-XUXE, Coastal Housing Group, 3rd Floor, 220 High Street, Swansea, SA1 1NW or by email to: ask@coastalhousing.co.uk Closing Date: 30th April 2014. Only one entry per household 40

220 COASTAL MAGAZINE SPRING 2014

220 Spring 2014 Edition  

220 Spring 2014 Edition

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