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OurTimes

N HA E T R MO T A JUS ORD L ND LA

THE NEWSLETTER OF

SUMMER 2010

W W W. V I L L AG E S . O R G . U K

IN S I TH UE S IS

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SPRUCING UP SPRUCE GROVE

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School’s Out For Summer!

Oldham Carnival

This year’s Oldham carnival takes place at the later date of Saturday 7th and Sunday 8th August at Alexandra P a r k . O n c e again, Villages will be entering a float into the main carnival parade, so come along and give us a cheer! See page 24 for more details.

Following on from last year’s Summer Uni success there will be another fun packed FREE Summer Activities programme for children in the school summer holidays S e e page 13 for more details.

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Fruity Friday Success After a very big shopping trip to a local supermarket the annual Fruity Friday event was held on a very sunny and hot Friday 21st May at the Villages Community Shop in Fitton Hill. The event was a HUGE success’ with approximately 60 people attending on the day. See page 8 for more details.

2010 Tenants Conference

After the success of the 2009 event we are delighted to announce we will be holding a second tenants conference at the end of September. See page 3 for more details. YOU SAID ...

WE DID!!!

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OurTimes

A New Way To Report a Repair

Have you always wished you could report a repair to Villages without having to explain everything to the member of staff over the phone? Is it difficult for you to make phone calls during the working day? Well now, you don’t need to phone us to report a repair, you can do it via our website.

We have now launched a new part of our Villages website, “Open Access”. You can use “Open Access” to: • report a repair to us, • view or change your contact details, or • view your rent account. To register with the Villages Housing Open Access site you’ll need your Tenancy Reference Number - which you can find on the top of your latest rent statement and/or your Villages Housing Tenancy Agreement. Just go to www.villages.org.uk. You can choose your own

username and password. To make a payment online please go to www.allpay.net and go to "Make A Payment Online", then enter the long code on the front of your Villages Rent Payment card (without any spaces). You will then be asked to set up a password, and provide an email address for a receipt to be sent to you. When you make a payment online, it will appear on your rent account in Open Access within 3 working days. It’s that simple. So what are you waiting for? Stockbridge resident, Peter, says, “I tested out the new ‘open access’ part of the Villages website. I must say I was very impressed with it. It was really easy to work out so no more having to queue at the Villages office!”

We want to know what you think! TELL US WHAT YOU THINK ABOUT ‘OUR TIMES’ AND OUR NEW WEBSITE

Our Times As most of you will be aware, we used to produce two resident newsletters, the ‘Fitton Times’ (in Fitton Hill) and the ‘Village Times’ (in Stockbridge Village). Last year we launched the new combined newsletter, ‘Our Times’. With a new look, and a new approach, Our Times has received lots of compliments from residents who have popped in to their local Villages office or who have given us a quick phone call about the newsletter. But we’d like to know what more of you think. Do you like the new combined Our Times? If so, why, and if not, then why not? What articles do you find most interesting? Is there anything about Our Times that you would change? Are you a community group in Fitton Hill or Stockbridge Village who would like to include something in an edition of Our Times? Do you think that we should change the times when Our Times comes out? (It is out around every 3 months, December, March, July, September) Do you think we should use the Villages’ website more? Would you access information from our website?

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Villages’ Website In July 2009 we launched a brand new Villages website. Now it’s been up and running for a year, we’d like to know what you think about it. Have you used the website for any reason? If so, what did you think, and if not, why not? Did you think it was easy to find the information you were looking for? Could you understand the language used? Do you think there is anything we could do to improve the website? We’d love to know what you think of the new Villages website and ‘Our Times’, so please let Elena Lloyd at the Stockbridge Office know. You can call

0151 480 1313 or email elena.lloyd@villages.org.uk or alternatively you can write to Sarah Bevan at the Stockbridge Office or at sarah.bevan@villages.org.uk MORE THAN JUST A LANDLORD SUMMER 2010


OurTimes

Tenants’ Conference 2010

After last year’s very successful Tenants’ Conference, we are delighted to announce that we are planning to hold Villages’ second annual tenants’ conference at the end of September. As with last year, the event will be a chance for you to let us know what you think of Villages’ services, let us know what your priorities are, hear about inspiring projects from other organisations and hopefully have some fun! Last year’s event was in Oldham so we are planning to hold this year’s event in Knowsley. The event is open to all Villages tenants and residents and transport will provided.

To help us make arrangements for the day we are asking that anyone who is interested in attending completes a form (enclosed with your rent statement or available from the Villages offices or you can download it from our website) and returns it to us. Alternatively you can contact Barbara Murray (Stockbridge Village) on 0151 480 1313, or Lisa Fowles (Fitton Hill) on 0161 633 4060 or send an e-mail to Ben Williams on Ben.Williams@villages.org.uk Some quotes from last year’s event: “I made a complaint on a recent survey so Villages contacted me to attend today because they wanted to know how to improve services.” “It was a really interesting and enjoyable day!” “It was extremely well organised and the food was excellent. The stalls were really good, and the presentations were excellent. I’m glad I came!”

Ramblers’ Diary

Another year is flying by, but it’s great to have the light nights back again. Our club has been able to go to further places like the Lake District, and we have had some great walks around Grassmere, Rydal Water, Rydal Hall (made famous by William Wordsworth) and Rydal Church with its millions of daffodils in Dores Field being a fantastic sight in the spring. We also went up to Patterdale, where we had great weather. It is nice when it’s not raining in the Lakes and we had our resident Lakes expert Tony Carden, pointing out all the names of the Lake District fells.

We now have a new secretary, Lynn Washington, and I am sure many of the readers will know her. I failed my MOT so they traded me in for a younger model! Lynn is doing a great job!

I know we should not complain, but it was too hot when we went for a walk to Bolton Abbey, so we all sat in the shade, under the trees, eating ice-cream, whilst we watched the kids having great fun in the river. We all felt like jumping in with them! Afterwards we enjoyed a nice cold beer in the country inn.

Regards to all

MORE THAN JUST A LANDLORD SUMMER 2010

The Ramblers still meet at St Albert’s at 8pm every 2nd Thursday, so if you are reasonably fit, why not come along and join us? This will be my last Rambler’s Diary and I would like to thank all who read it. Our clubs contact details are below.

Gwen Osborne New Secretary and contact person, Lynn Washington (0151 480 7914).

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OurTimes

Staff Page

NEW STARTERS AND RECENTLY PROMOTED AT VILLAGES JAMES LATHAM KATHERINE MASON KATIE MILLER Katie will be Villages’ Former Tenant Arrears Officer for the next 12 months, working across both Fitton Hill and Stockbridge Village. Kate will be responsible for contacting tenants who have ended their tenancies with Villages, whilst still owing us money for rent arrears. She will work with them to agree how they will pay back any outstanding payments.

James is the new ‘Environmental Programme Administrator’. He will assist the surveying team with administration and project management of the environmental works at Fitton Hill, and any other projects that he can help with.

Katie used to work in the Stockbridge Office as an Admin Assistant, and also helped to organise tenants’ annual Gas Safety Checks.

He previously worked at Arcon Housing Association in Manchester, in a Building Surveying role, and will now be with Villages for an initial 11 months.

She plays for Bolton Ladies Football team, and won the title in her first season there, and has also won two cup competitions and individual awards including “Players’’ Player” and “Managers’ Player” of the year in 2009.

He is a bit of a would-be guitar hero, and plays in a band in his spare time.

Multis Open Day Winner In the spring edition of ‘Our Times’ we told you about the multi storey apartments open day, held in February, and how all attendees were entered into a prize draw. The winner was Ken Jones. Mr Jones was delighted with his prize, which Multis Project Leader Colin Lafferty presented to him in his new home. He said, “I really enjoyed the open day. It was well organised and gave me a chance to see the showflat, which was useful because I was able to visualise how the flat I had been offered would look once I had moved in. It was only 6 weeks from me filling out the form, to being offered a flat! The decorating vouchers I was given came in handy, now I can choose how I want my home to look. I’m really glad I moved to Stockbridge, the staff have been really helpful, and my neighbours all seem really nice.”

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Kate is the new Machine Operator for the Landscape Team. She will help maintain the green landscapes around Stockbridge Village Befor joining Villages, Kate worked for ast 2 years as a Volunteer Officer for BTCV (British Trust for Conservation Volunteers) where she gained a chainsaw licence. Kate has a little boy, Adam, who's 6.

RICHARD MCILROY

Richard is the new Team Leader for the Villages “External Landscape Team”. The team provides landscaping services to Cosmopolitan Housing Association who own properties across Merseyside. He has been a self-employed garden designer for ten years after working as a store manager for Kwik Save. Married with 3 children, Richard is still a keen skateboarder in his spare time!

MORE THAN JUST A LANDLORD SUMMER 2010


OurTimes YOU SAID

You Said... We Did!

We want new furniture Roughsedge House day room

in

We want new CCTV around the sheltered blocks as the old system is out of date

WE DID

Villages has now invested in new furniture for Roughsedge House day room. The scheme managers tell us that the response has been overwhelmingly positive. Following a consultation exercise with tenants at Stockbridge Village sheltered accommodation, we have now installed new CCTV systems which cover Brandearth House, Roughsedge House and most of Spruce Grove.

New EMO Areas

Do you know who your Estate Management Officer is? Do you have a housing problem you would like to talk over? Following a recent ‘shuffle’ here is an updated list of who you need to contact if you have a problem with your rent, Housing Benefit or any other tenancy related issues.

STOCKBRIDGE VILLAGE EMO: DAVE WEBSTER Bakers Green Road (shared ownership) Blackthorne Crescent Blakeacre Road Calgarth Road Camdale Close Cartmel Road Chalfont Way Custley Hey Danette Hey Fox’s Meadow Holden Road Hollow Croft Pool Hey Roswell Court Brandearth House Roughsedge House Spruce Grove Bungalows Portland House

MORE THAN JUST A LANDLORD SUMMER 2010

EMO: JOHN HUGHES Apple Tree Close Bakers Green Road Boydell Close Brandearth Hey Buckthorn Close Cremorne Hey Juniper Close Little Moss Hey Marled Hey Midway Road Mossbrow Road Orange Tree Close Paxton Road Plum Tree Close Quickthorn Drive Reeds Road Rosewood Close Spruce Grove Houses Terret Croft The Birches The Spinney Wellcroft Road Whitethorn Drive Woodfarm Hey

FITTON HILL EMO: KAREN HELLIWELL Beechwood Road Fircroft Road Hawthorn Crescent Hill Farm Close Lichens Crescent Marland Avenue Park Lane Riversdale Drive Snipe Road Sportsmans Drive Sutherland Close Timperley Close Wester Hill Road

EMO: KELLY NICHOLSON Broad Oak Crescent Chestnut Crescent Dowry Street Greenhurst Crescent Saint Martins Road Springwood Hall Road Tanhill Lane Tanners Fold Woodpark Close EMO: FIONA BARDEN Bankfield Drive Crossways Fir Tree Avenue Kelso Close Keswick Avenue Marland Fold Lane North Croft Reins Lea Avenue Rosary Road Rosary Close South Croft The Green The Spur Tuns Road Wildbrook Crescent

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OurTimes Is Your Home Too Big?

Sheltered Homes

Do you know someone who is over 55 or who is under 55 but with a long-term disability? Villages is working with Oldham Council and Would they like to move to sheltered housing? other housing associations in Oldham to help tenants who are under-occupying their home by two bedrooms or more, to move to a smaller home.

There are over 140 bungalows on Fitton Hill, most of which are covered by one of 2 Scheme Managers (Dana and Leslie) who make daily contact with the tenants Monday to Friday and arrange activities for Downsizing benefits the individual but has the residents. Most have a Helpline system installed for added value of freeing up family-sized use in the event of an emergency. In the last 6 years accommodation, which is in very short supply in almost every bungalow has benefitted from a new Oldham, kitchen, new bathroom (many with walk-in shower), that can new heating system, and new gas fire with modern then be surround. o ff e r e d to those t h a t need it most.

How would the Downsizing scheme help me? If you qualify for the scheme, there are a number of ways which the scheme can help you: • You will be given a very high priority on the housing waiting list • Try and re-house you in an area of your choice in Oldham. • You will be considered for housing association plus FCHO accommodation, subject to availability of properties. • They will also offer you a cash incentive between £250 and £1000. The amount will depend on the size of your property. Who is eligible? To qualify for the Downsizing scheme you will have to be a tenant of a social landlord such as Villages. Tenants who switch landlords through downsizing will be given either a secure or assured tenancy appropriate to the landlord. For more detailed information, you can pick up a “Downsizing” leaflet from the Villages Office or you can call Villages on 0161 633 4060.

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If you would like to move in to one of these bungalows please contact the Villages office on 0161 633 4060.

Get Smart

Knowsley Council have teamed up with British Gas to offer all Knowsley residents two useful products, free of charge, (normal retail cost £60) that allow you to monitor and reduce your electricity use. 1) The Standby Saver – can help reduce your electricity bill by up to £33/year. 2) The Real Time Electricity Monitor – shows approximately how much electricity you use in real time. You can check how much appliances cost to use or the savings you could make by switching off lights. Both products are easy to use and come with full instructions. To apply for these appliances you need to complete a simple form. You can pick this up from our reception or download a copy from our website www.villages.org.uk. On receipt of the form British Gas promise to deliver them to you within 28 days (while stocks last). However these products are also available nationally to people over the age of 60 or who are on income-based benefits such as Income Support, Disability Living Allowance or Pension Credit. For more information on whether you can receive these products free of charge call the British Gas Essentials Department on 0800 072 7100. Steph from Stockbridge says, “I think everyone should get one you can see how much you’re using, so you get accurate bills, and the man doesn’t have to come out to read the meter.” MORE THAN JUST A LANDLORD SUMMER 2010


OurTimes Villages in the fight against Hate Crime FITTON HILL

Villages’ Fitton Hill housing office is now officially a Hate Crime Third Party Reporting Centre. What is a Hate Crime/Incident & Harassment? A hate crime or incident (not all will be criminal offences) or harassment occurs when anti-social behaviour or nuisance is deliberately or persistently targeted on an individual or a group and is motivated by the offender’s hate of someone because of race, sexuality, disability, age, religion etc and can include the following: • Race: on the grounds of a person’s racial or perceived racial group. • Disability: on the grounds of a person’s disability. • Age: on the basis of a person’s age. • Religion: on the basis of a person’s religion or perceived religion. • Sexuality: on the grounds of a person’s sexual orientation or gender. We would urge anyone affected by a hate crime incident or harassment to come forward – and we mean anyone, not just Villages’ tenants. How do I report a hate incident? Even if you’re not sure if you’ve been a victim of a hate incident it is still important to speak to someone. You can report a hate incident in the following ways: • In an emergency always call 999, • Call the Greater Manchester Police on 0161 872 5050 or go to any police station, • If you don't want to call the police, or if you want extra support call the 24hr Stop Hate Helpline on 0800 138 1625. The helpline is a confidential hate crime reporting service and provides independent information and support for anyone affected by hate crime. Report all hate incidents and help stop hate crime. Please speak up, don’t suffer in silence!

KNOWSLEY

A Knowsley family are urging victims of hate crime to seek help after they received support to get away from a life of abuse.

Mrs J and her family suffered a barrage of verbal and physical abuse in and around their home initially after giving evidence against perpetrators who stole their family car. Threats of violence, damage to property and racial abuse were just some of the ordeals the family of five had to endure. Forced to flee their home in fear, the family took refuge in a local social club as they searched for help. The family turned to Knowsley Council who immediately began working with partner agencies to provide them with the support and relief they urgently needed. A full partnership response was arranged, with the council, the police and their landlord all working together to offer practical help. They provided access to a doctor, help with financial management, replacement clothing and help from victim support services. They also arranged for a mentor to support the children, as well as providing transport for them to and from school. The family now live a happier and more normal life away from violence and abuse. Mrs J says, “At first we didn’t know where to turn for help. We eventually approached the council who responded immediately and put us in touch with agencies who could offer us other support we needed. “We want people to know that there is help out there. If there are others who are going through what we did, please don’t suffer alone. Like us, a lot of people don’t know where to turn, but there are people there who can offer support and help you escape the abuse. Help really is only a phone call away.” If you are suffering from hate crime or are a victim of domestic violence, call Knowsley’s Hate Incident

and Domestic Violence Helpline on 0800 953 4433. All calls are treated in complete confidence and the number will not show on an itemised bill; or you can call the Villages Housing office on 0151 480 1313.

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OurTimes

Fitton Hill Gets Fruity

Once again it has been that time of year for our annual Fruity Friday event. Fruity Friday is an annual awareness and fundraising campaign by the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF UK) which aims to increase public awareness of the links between diet and nutrition to cancer prevention. The Skills Swap Shop group received £279.00 from OMBC’s Health Matters grant fund to promote health and wellbeing to residents over 50 years of age on Fitton Hill. This was promoted by Villages and the Skills Swap Shop by delivering leaflets to all qualifying tenants, and posters and leaflets in the Villages office and the local library. After a very big shopping trip to a local supermarket the event was held on a very sunny and hot Friday 21st May at the Villages Community Shop.

Before the group had chance to blink people began making their way through the doors. There were all sorts of fruits available for them to ‘taste’ including melon, strawberries, blueberries, mangos, bananas, oranges, pineapples- the list goes on and on!!! They were also given freshly made smoothies, fresh fruit juices, healthy recipes for fruit, badges and keyrings to promote Fruity Friday, as well as a bag of fruit to take home.

The event was a HUGE success; it was fantastic to see so many smiling faces. Approximately 60 people attended on the day (including a local PCSO) and many took fruit to give to neighbours who couldn’t make it to the event. Dana Murphy and Lisa Fowles (Villages staff ) delivered fruit to tenants who were unable to attend due to ill health or poor mobility.…… and the children did not miss out either!!! At the end of the day the group called in local children, with their parents, on the way home from school to take their pick of the fruit and goodies which were left. A thank you must go to Morrisons Supermarket for donating the fruit juices, and to their staff (Sharon, Gail and Chris) for giving their time to help pick the fruit. In all, just over 100 people benefited from the day, thank you to all those who made it the fun afternoon that it was. What a fantastic result for the Skills Swap Shop for their hard work and efforts. Well done, and don’t forget….we’ve got to beat it next year!

A Great TESS Open Day

The TESS Team, based in Stockbridge Village, held another successful open day.

Three times a year T.E.S.S. hold open days in Stockbridge Village. This last event in January, attracted over 58 people. T.E.S.S. work in partnership with other professional organisations such as the NHS, Fire Brigade, Welfare Writes, IKAN, Roy Castle Fag Ends and United Utilities to deliver these events and 15 local organisations gave information about their services whilst residents were able to take part in a free raffle prize draw, everyone received free low energy light bulbs and a free lunch was enjoyed by all. Guest speakers from The Stroke Association and Optimal Renal care addressed the audience about

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health related issues, while representatives from Knowsley NHS Trust talked about the benefits of gentle exercise.

The open day was an outstanding success. Residents that attended were given the opportunity to comment on the open day, and they said: “TESS are very good at what they do. Thanks” “The TESS team are a true lifeline and make difficult circumstances more bearable. Thank you!”

MORE THAN JUST A LANDLORD SUMMER 2010


OurTimes

Fitton Hill Allotment Awards

The annual presentation evening for the Fitton Hill Allotment Association was held at the Hathershaw Hotel on Wednesday 7th April. Over a 12 month period four inspections were completed on the Eaves Street and Wildbrook Crescent Allotments to judge who would win the prizes of first, second and third for each site, and additional merit awards. The overall winner award was presented to Eaves Street members collectively in recognition of their hard work and team work to such a high standard.

On a bittersweet note there was a special award made in memory of Laszlo Farkas, who recently passed away. Laszlo was an integral member of the Allotment Association for more than 15 years, in addition to being a Villages tenant and resident for over 20 years.

On the suggestion of Janet Taylor (former Community Development Officer for Villages) the Laszlo Farkas Memorial Trophy was created as a lasting memorial to Laszlo’s contribution to Fitton Hill. This award

was presented to Tony and Chris from Oldham Social Services Learning Disability Service for their outstanding efforts to their plots on Wildbrook Crescent.

The group received funding from Villages Community Budget Grants to purchase the trophies and shields for the presentation evening. In addition, they also used the funding to buy 25 tonnes of topsoil and hire machinery to rotavate, level and dig over wasteland to create a new allotment space. Bob Anderson, the Chairman of the

Association, “would like to express gratitude on behalf of the group for the help provided by Villages from the community budget grants; and offer special thanks to Janet Taylor for suggesting the memorial to Laszlo”. In

recognition of the funding the g r o u p requested that Villages present the prizes at the awards night; this was one of Lisa’s first jobs as the new Community Development Officer for Fitton Hill. Lisa wants to take this opportunity to thank the group for the lovely bouquet of flowers she received that evening.

Complaints & Compliments Stockbridge in Bloom Please feel free to tell us if you think that we or our contractors have let you down. Alternatively, if we or our contractors have done something that has pleased you, we would love to know about it.

If you would like to make a suggestion as to how we can improve any aspect of our service to you, please let us know.

Your Choice

Villages Housing is supporting twenty environmental projects entering the Royal Horticultural Society’s Neighbourhood Awards for this year’s North West in Bloom. The estate will again enter the Urban Regeneration Category.

The judges will be visiting the Primary school pupils in Year 6 from Brookside and St estate on Monday 19th July and Tuesday 20th July so Brigid’s schools, Stockbridge Village, were taken to St John we all need to help by ensuring the fronts of houses Bosco High School on Friday 11th June to join in the YOUR are clean and tidy. Please report any grot spots so that we can ensure everywhere is presented well. CHOICE full day of events for children. Good luck to everyone involved! The event and the workshops are specifically tailored to support children about making the transition from primary STOCKBRIDGE VILLAGE GARDEN COMPETITION to senior school and to teach the children about behaving responsibly. The day was funded by Connecting Judging will take place on Thursday 22nd July across Communities and Villages Housing and transport was the estate. Entry forms are available at reception in Villages Housing Office. provided by Merseytravel. MORE THAN JUST A LANDLORD SUMMER 2010

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OurTimes Villages Gardening Competitions

Summer is here, and with it (hopefully!) the good weather. It’s that time of year again; your chance to enter the Annual Villages Gardening Competition. Categories this year are: • Best Community Space (SV Only) • Best Garden • Best Pensioners Garden • Best Communal Garden • Best Container Display

In Fitton Hill Villages will once again be working in partnership with the NDC to promote and judge the entries. A winner from Fitton Hill and a winner from Hathershaw will be chosen for each category. The big difference this year is that our winners will be invited to attend a presentation evening on Tuesday 2nd November at the Queen Elizabeth Hall. Winners of each category will be invited to the evening telling them they have won a prize, but they will not find out which one until the night!

The presentation evening is being organised by FCHO under the title of “Growing Together”. This will be the first time there will have been a borough-wide presentation evening for the gardening competitions of local housing providers. Villages will be represented alongside FCHO, Regenda, Contour and Housing 21, as well as the NDC. In addition to individual category winners there will also be an overall winner for the whole of Oldham. This will be independently judged and the winner will get the Emmanuel Whittaker trophy and £100 cash prize. The closing date is Friday 16th July 2010, so you still have time to get your entry in for the Fitton Hill Competition!! In Stockbridge Village the closing date is Tuesday 20 July, and judging will take place on Thursday 22nd July across the estate. Pick up an application form from the Villages offices or download them from our website

www.villages.org.uk

Fitton Hill Dandy Man New Youth Forum A clean and green borough is one of the top priorities for Oldham Council. On Fitton Hill this commitment is now the job of Owen Arthurs, who as local dandy man, is out every week keeping the neighbourhood tidy. Owen covers a route that takes him from Hathershaw to the Oldham boundary keeping the pavements clear of litter, and at the same time identifying ‘grot spots’ and any unsightly, illegal and dangerous flytipping that needs to be removed quickly. He said: “This is a great job and I very much enjoy keeping Fitton Hill a clean and tidy place. People regularly stop me on my round and they tell me about problems on the street we should know about. These can be quickly reported and dealt with by my colleagues. We all want Fitton Hill residents to be happy and live in a clean and green neighbourhood.” If you know of any grot spots or any public areas on Fitton Hill that need cleaning then please call Oldham Council 0161 770 6644.

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Over sixty young people attended an event at St Albert’s club , Stockbridge Village, earlier in the year to discuss community facilities for teenagers on the estate. There was a model of the plans to regenerate the centre of the estate, which will house specific space for youth activities, available for people to have a look at. The young people were asked to complete a survey and were consulted on the types of activities they would like to take part in. This information will be used to develop a programme of activities over the next twelve months and beyond. Young people were also asked if they were interested in being involved in a proposed Youth Forum and the response was good. If you did not attend this event but would like to join the Youth Forum please contact Rose, Area Youth Worker for KMBC, on 07810054134. MORE THAN JUST A LANDLORD SUMMER 2010


OurTimes

Landscaping Q&A WITH MIKE WORTHINGTON Welcome to the first Landscaping and Gardening Q&A with Villages’ Landscaping Manager. Here he gives you some handy hints and tips, and answers to some common gardening questions. If you would like Mike to answer your gardening questions, then please contact Elena Lloyd. Email elena.lloyd@villages.org.uk or phone 0151 480 1313 or write in to the Stockbridge Village office. What should I be doing to take care of my garden during the summer? In these summer months, you should be concentrating on weed control, cutting your grass and dead-heading your annuals (flowering plants) to prolong their flowering period. Regular watering is also necessary when the weather is warmer, even when it rains. Start to get your spring flowering bulbs ready for being planted in Autumn. Buy them in now, and start to plant them around October time; Flowers such as daffodils, crocuses and tulips. Tip 1 :-Don’t cut your grass too low, unless you have the correct type of grass. ‘Bents’ grass can be cut low, to around 5-6mm, but this is usually found in areas such as bowling greens. But if you have ‘Rye’ grass you should leave it to grow to around 15mm (two thirds of an inch) or you risk it turning brown. Weed Control Mares tail is a very difficult weed to get rid of. It’s the one that looks like a little Christmas tree. You need to cut it down to try to weaken it, or if you’re using a Glyphosate Based weed killer, such as Round Up, you should bruise it first by walking on it, which will allow the chemicals in the weed killer to enter, otherwise the liquid will just run off it. Tip 2 :- Any new plants that you do plant in summer will need plenty of water in order for them to develop. Containers and hanging baskets require regular watering - even when it rains; at least once a day. You should ideally do this in the evening, out of direct sunlight. This is because the water droplets will magnify the sun’s rays which can burn the leaves. Tip 3 :- For the vegetable growers amongst you - Potatoes - Keep your eyes open for ‘Blight’ - a fungus disease that can be identified by brown marks on the leaves. If you see it, cut the infected leaves away to slow it down, but the only way to really control it is with a fungicide. Tomatoes - Did you know tomatoes are from the same family as potatoes? You can even grow tomatoes in hanging baskets, but you’ll need a specific plant that hangs down. Always feed your tomatoes, even with a regular feed you can buy in garden centres. What are the landscaping teams up to over the summer period? We will be cutting shrubs to maintain walkways, and their shape. We’ll also be cutting the grass regularly, and we’ll be starting our second weed control spraying of the estates. Plus we’ll be helping out where we can with the North West In Bloom entries.

MORE THAN JUST A LANDLORD SUMMER 2010

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OurTimes

Sprucing Up Spruce Grove AND BRANDEARTH AND ROUGHSEDGE! A “Big Plant Up” day has been held in Stockbridge Village, where residents of the sheltered accommodation in Spruce Grove and Villages staff worked together to make the area look more vibrant. To bring in some colour, raised flower beds and flower boxes were planted in communal areas and individual residents also had their hanging baskets planted. Resident Geraldine Jones helped out all day, doing a brilliant a job even though she admitted she was never much of a gardener before! Geraldine said, “I really enjoyed today, it’s really good what everyone has done, it makes the place look really nice”. Brandearth resident Ron Smith, even got his 3 year old grandson Jack Smith to help out. Ron said the event “got people motivated and involved”. Helping out on the day were a number of Villages’ Trainees, from the Future Jobs Fund. The FJF is a scheme that gives employees an opportunity to gain

invaluable work experience. It was the last week of the placement for some trainees and they were sad to be going. One trainee said how he had enjoyed the day and how the work he has done with Villages has always been varied and interesting. Villages’ Scheme Manager, Marie Morgan, said “I was overwhelmed by the support that was shown on the day and I would like to thank everyone involved”. Special thanks go to the volunteers from the Social Services Resource Centre and to all the local volunteers for making the day a huge success. This project will also be entered for a Neighbourhood Award under Stockbridge in Bloom. The money awarded was part of the Knowsley Lord Mayor’s Fund and the Participatory Budget from the Home Office.

Stockbridge Kickz!

Lads from Stockbridge Village were recently part of a team of young footballers who won a prestigious Kickz football tournament held at Goodison Park, home of Everton Football Club.

Everton FC hosted the friendly 6-team tournament made up of teams from Hull City, Derby County, Wigan Athletic, Sheffield United and Liverpool and Everton Football Clubs’ Kickz programmes. Boys from Stockbridge Village were part of both the winning side and the runners up. The Kickz programme has been running nationally for nearly 3 years and was started to create safer, stronger, more respectful communities through the development of young people’s potential. The scheme was designed to

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break down barriers between the police and young people, reduce crime and anti-social behaviour and give opportunities to young people.

Recognising the programme’s impact on challenging communities, the Kickz programme recently won the prestigious 2009 Sport Industry Award for ‘Best Community Programme’. Paul Nagle from Everton FC’s ‘Everton Foundation’ said, “The lads from Stockbridge should be really proud of themselves, they all did brilliantly! I know that they loved playing on the turf at Goodison, even the ones who weren’t Everton fans!” MORE THAN JUST A LANDLORD SUMMER 2010


OurTimes New Gardening Service at Fitton Hill

Flytipping

Are you an older person or do you have a disability which means you struggle to look after you garden?

Bulk rubbish is being left in the areas where the skip is provided, before the skip arrives. This is considered fly-tipping which is illegal.

If the answer is yes to the above then Oldham Council have introduced a gardening scheme which may be able to help you.

If this continues we may be forced to remove the skip service.

Once you have contacted the council to enquire about the service, an assessment will be carried out to see if you are eligible. If you are, then a gardener will visit your property to look at the job, discuss your requirements, give you a price, advise you how to pay and arrange a date for the work to be done. The charge for up to one hour’s work is £5.

If you have any more information about who may be responsible for this please contact Villages Housing.

All types of gardening work are considered including re-potting plants and baskets, and regular garden maintenance can be arranged.

If you have any bulk items that need to be removed before the skip arrives, please contact KMBC on 0151 443 2400 or OMBC 0161 770 6644, and they can remove these items for you.

Are you interested? Contact 0161 770 8777 for more information.

Please note that the skip cannot take fridges, freezers, gas bottles or tyres.

School’s Out For Summer

One Stop Shop

Following on from last year’s Summer Uni success there will be another fun packed FREE Summer Activities programme for children in the school summer holidays.

The activities will take place in various venues in Hathershaw & Fitton Hill under the banner “Schools Out For Summer 2010” and will be incorporated into the “GO! Oldham” borough-wide summer programme. Many of last year’s favourites, such as Ready, Steady, Cook, Rugby & Multi-sports etc., will be in this year’s programme with new activities, such as Drama, Soccer School and many others. Villages will be sponsoring the Face painting tuition, Ready Steady Cook and the First Aid training activities. Schools Out For Summer 2010 will run from 26th July 2010 to 27th August 2010 and the programme will be available from the Villages reception. MORE THAN JUST A LANDLORD SUMMER 2010

A One Stop Shop service is now Open at the Knowsley Works shop at The Croft, the first desk as you walk in, on Tuesdays and Fridays from 9.15am until 12.45pm Just drop in, there’s no need to make an appointment. They can give you help with: • Housing Benefit enquiries • Council Tax enquiries • Blue Badge application • Environmental Services request • General advice on all council services For more information, please contact Knowsley Council on 0151 489 6000.

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OurTimes

Performance: How Are We Doing?

We want to improve the services we offer you, so we keep a constant check on how we are doing.

The tables below show you how we are performing against our targets. This information is gathered on a Monthly basis using information provided by our tenants and our contractors. The information is cumulative. Key

Performance for the year to date is at or better than target

 for the year to date  Performance is around the target figure for the year to date  Performance is below the target figure

trend over the previous  The three months is improving Performance is steady or there no significant trend over the  isprevious three months trend over the previous  The three months is worsening

Villages Housing Association has around 2600 properties, covering both Fitton Hill in Oldham, and Stockbridge Village in Knowsley.

Villages Housing Association Average re-let Times (The number of days it takes us to let out homes) % Emergency Repairs completed on time % Urgent repairs completed on time % Routine Repairs completed on time % customers satisfied with their repairs % properties which have had their annual gas safety check % rent collected as a % rent charged The average number of seconds it takes to answer a phone call

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March

Target

April ‘09 to March 2010

26

37

Sept

Dec

32

28

97.8%

98.5%

98.8%

98.9%

100%

98.6%

97.7%

98.2%

98.2%

98%

98.8%

98.9%

99%

98.6%

98%

96.3%

97.6%

98.2%

96.36%

95%

98.9%

99.9%

100%

100%

100%

106.3%

101.6%

100.6%

10

9

10

June

39

100.4% 100.2%

-

10

Trend

 

           

MORE THAN JUST A LANDLORD SUMMER 2010


OurTimes Villages Community Housing Association (VCHA), is the charitable subsidiary of Villages Housing Association and has a portfolio of 165 properties.

Villages Community Housing Association

June

Sept

Dec

Average re-let Times (The number of days it takes us to 77(*) let out homes) % Emergency Repairs 100% 100% completed on time % Urgent repairs completed 95.2% 93.9% on time % Routine Repairs completed 98.9% 96.9% on time % customers satisfied with 100% 93.8% their repairs % properties which have had 98.1% 99.4% their annual gas safety check % rent collected as a % rent 113.8% 105.5% charged The average number of seconds it takes to answer a 10 9 phone call * = 1 specialist needs property

_

March

Target

50

77(*)

67(*)

96.4%

97.1%

100%

94.8%

94.8%

98%

97.6%

98.3%

98%

94.4%

96%

95%

100%

100%

100%

106.1% 10

103.4% 106.2%

-

10

April ‘09 to March 2010

       

Trend

       

Sorry You’re Leaving Us

If you decide that you want to end the tenancy on your current home with Villages, you will need to fill out a "Notice Of Termination" form, giving 28 days notice of your intention to leave the property.

You can either download the form from our website, or you can pick one up from your local Villages office. If you choose to download the form, please fill it in by hand and post it back to us for FREE, by marking the envelope with Villages’ address and FREEPOST NW1401A. Remember to keep a copy for your own records. Your views are very important to us, therefore you will be asked to complete an Exit Survey and tell us what you think of the services you have received whilst living in a Villages property. Your answers will help us to improve our service in the future. You may be eligible for our Golden Goodbye Scheme where you could be entitled to £70 when you end your tenancy. MORE THAN JUST A LANDLORD SUMMER 2010

Golden Goodbye Scheme

You can qualify for a Golden Goodbye reward of £70 when you end your tenancy if you: •Give 4 weeks’ notice and allow accompanied viewings while you are still in your home. •Leave your home in excellent condition. •Allow a pre-termination inspection and minor repairs to be carried out to your property during your notice period. •Garden should be left in acceptable condition. •Property (including loft space) is completely cleared and items properly disposed of •Property should be left in a clean condition ready for the next tenant. Golden Goodbye applies to tenants who give notice, and leave to go to live in another property and who have not breached their tenancy. The Golden Goodbye payment is subject to an Estate Management Officer's visit and their decision is final.

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OurTimes

Pay Your Rent By Direct Debit AND YOU COULD WIN £50!!!

A simple way to pay your rent and/or service charges is by Direct Debit. We believe that payment by direct debit is the most efficient, reliable and customer friendly method. Direct Debit payments can be paid on the 1st or 15th of each month or weekly on a Monday. However, sometimes we can make exceptions to the dates when we take the Direct Debit payment from your account. Please speak to the staff at your local Villages office for more information on this. What are the advantages of paying by Direct Debit? • No need to pay in person at the rent office or pay point • The amount can be changed at any time • Villages take responsibility for making any alterations therefore, no need for you to go to the bank • Any alterations have to be agreed at least 10 days in advance of the change • If an error is made by Villages or your bank you are guaranteed a full and immediate refund from your branch of the amount paid • You can cancel a direct debit at any time • Villages can only request the amount agreed with you • Most current accounts accept direct debits, also some special deposit accounts also allow them • Direct debits can be set up from another persons account not just the named tenant • You will be entered in to a quarterly prize draw to win £50 (see Terms and Conditions below) Prize Draw Every quarter (3 months) one winner will be drawn from a list of eligible tenants to win £50. In order to qualify for entry in to the draw, you must be a current tenant of Villages Housing Group ( f o r m e r tenants are not eligible) and pay your rent for your Villages home by Direct Debit (people who only rent garages form Villages are not included). For full terms and conditions please call your local Villages office or see the Villages Rewards page of our website www.villages.org.uk. Ask at Reception or the rent office about how you can start paying your rent by Direct Debit.

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N A !! ZE I PR

WI

Mrs Wilson from Fitton Hill recently won the £50 prize draw. She says, “I was over the moon to win the £50 prize. I couldn’t believe I’d won money, just for choosing to pay my rent by Direct Debit. I wouldn’t do it any other way. It’s so easy to set up and it means I don’t have to worry about getting to the Villages office to pay my rent.”

Villages Has Promising Prospects AUDIT COMMISSION PUBLISH FINAL REPORT You may remember that in the past edition of ‘Our Times ’we told you about the recent Audit Commission inspection at Villages. The Audit Commission has now published its final report of the inspection and has declared that Villages has promising prospects for improvement This is a major step forward for Villages and we are delighted that all of the hard work by our staff, shared with our tenants, has been recognised since our last inspection three years ago. Most importantly for us, this is an independent assessment that confirms that we have put right a number of weaknesses of the past, and have robust plans to develop further as an organisation, into the future. Andrew Greenhill, Chair of Villages Housing said, “We are very firmly focused on improving our services further, with our tenants, for our tenants, and are confidently looking forward to the challenges that lie ahead.” You can see the final report by logging on to the Villages website www.villages.org.uk MORE THAN JUST A LANDLORD SUMMER 2010


OurTimes Target Rent

How We Set Your Rent

In 2002 the Government said that all housing associations and £ councils should work out their rent in the same way. The aim is that by 2012 similar homes owned by housing associations or councils in the same area will have a similar rent, no matter who the landlord is. This is known as the ‘target rent’. Under these government rules, all housing associations and councils should be charging the full target rent for each of their properties by 2012. Since 2002 we have been moving your rent towards the target rent for your home. We work out the target rent for your home using a government formula. This formula takes into account the: • current national average rent for a property; • number of bedrooms in your home; • average wage in the region; and • value of your home.

How do you decide how much to increase my heating charges by each year? If you pay heating charges, we have negotiated a 25% reduction which will be fixed for two years. This reduction will eventually be passed on to all tenants, but when you receive a reduction will depend on whether you are an assured tenant or a fair-rent/secure tenant. If you live in Cliffs or Craigs, you are paying different amounts for heating because some of you are fair-rent tenants and some of you are assured tenants, and the reasons for this are as follows. From April 2010, if you are an assured tenant your heating charges will have reduced. This is because we have negotiated a reduction in the price charged by the power company. However, over the last two years you were paying a much higher rate than fair-rent tenants (see below) because we were paying much higher heating prices to the power company.

How do you decide how much to increase my rent by each year?

From April 2010, if you are a fair-rent tenant your heating charges will have increased. This is because over the last 12 months we have been paying much higher heating prices to the power company. However, as we only review your rent every two years, we were not able to pass this cost on to you last year, and so you were paying a much lower charge compared to the assured tenants. Your heating charge will reduce when we next review your rent.

Each year we compare your current rent to the appropriate target rent, or the rent set by the Fair Rent Officer. If you are not paying enough rent, we will increase your rent. Each year, the most we can increase your rent by is the rate of inflation plus £2 a week.

Based on rents for 31 March 2009, our average weekly rent was 22% lower than other local housing associations. We continue to provide good value for money.

70% of your rent is based on the number of bedrooms in your home and the average wage in the region, and the other 30% is based on the value of your home in 1999. This government formula determines the maximum rent you can pay.

How do you decide how much to increase my service charge by each year? We increase your service charge based on how much we think our costs will be. We will spread these increases over the next two to three years, but your increase will not be more than £2 a week. MORE THAN JUST A LANDLORD SUMMER 2010

If you would like more information, please contact your local Villages Housing office.

Phone: 0161 633 4060 (if you live in Fitton Hill) Phone: 0151 480 1313 (if you live in Stockbridge Village)

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OurTimes

Stockbridge Regeneration Update

The project to regenerate Stockbridge Village Centre and provide new facilities for residents is continuing to progress well. The council has now officially appointed a contractor – Morgan Sindall – to complete this project and already the proposals are beginning to take shape. The demolition of Heatwaves is now complete and the new Play Pathfinder facilities are already being well used by local young people. In the coming months work will continue on the extension to the health centre and to prepare the wider site for the new primary school, neighbourhood centre and other facilities to be built. Cllr Bill Weightman from Knowsley Council commented: “It’s a really exciting time for the residents in Stockbridge Village. After months of hard work and planning, this project is now really beginning to take shape and hopefully people will be able to start seeing the progress for themselves. The council’s work to improve the physical appearance and facilities available in the area is only one part of a wider initiative with Villages Housing and other partners to make real improvements to Stockbridge Village, for the benefit of the community both now and in the future.” Updates on the project will be provided regularly through this newsletter and via the council’s Knowsley News magazine.

Community Messaging

The Safer Knowsley Partnership is working with the local community to make Knowsley a safer place to live, work and visit. We are committed to reducing crime and disorder and to improving communication with the Stockbridge Village community. We’ve introduced ‘Community Messaging’ in Knowsley. This is a message alert system which links the Safer Knowsley Partnership and the community by providing up-to-date, relevant and timely information to our members. If you join Knowsley Community Messaging we can inform you by email, text, fax or voice message to your mobile or landline telephone about local crime issues, crime reduction advice, appeals for witnesses and other specific information relevant to where you live or work. If you have any information about crime in your area, the Community Messaging system will allow you to reply to the messages confidentially, from the comfort of your own home. To register or to find out more visit www.knowsleycommunitymessaging.org or call 0151 777 6217. To report crimes or incidents please contact Merseyside Police on 0151 709 6010 or in an emergency dial 999.

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MORE THAN JUST A LANDLORD SUMMER 2010


OurTimes

Fitton Hill Environmental Improvement The Environmental Improvement Programme is progressing well with very positive feedback f r o m tenants w h o h a v e a lrea dy had the

works completed.

To ensure the programme is completed by March 2011 we have appointed two contractors. Caseys are working on Phase 1 (Areas 1, 2, 3) and Emmanuel Whittaker’s are working on Phase 2 (Area 4).

Throughout the duration of the contract every tenant affected will be consulted individually and residents who live close to large grassed areas (where it is intended to provide parking bays) will be consulted in groups. Look out for an invitation to attend these sessions which will take place on the grassed areas under our gazebo! Works on the final phase (Area 5) will start in the Autumn.

Well Done The Famous Grapes FC

Our first season started with us not knowing what to expect from our under 17’s. The talent was there for all to see, but the question was, would they gel as a team? The answer would be a resounding “Yes!” We won our first game 9-0 and after that the lads never looked back. They went on to win the league at a canter, with several games to spare, as well as reaching the cup final. To say we weren’t welcomed with open arms by many long serving teams within the Tuebrook League, would be an understatement. However, this just made the lads even more determined. With that kind of desire, quality and belief, the title was never in doubt. The Grapes would like to thank all our volunteers and sponsors for their continued support throughout the campaign. With the addition of another Grapes team this coming season, we may need an extra page in ‘Our Times’ this time next year. Thanks Lads T Davies (Capt) K Ambrose L Williams J O’Loughlan

E J L E

Blayney Spittle Donnelly O’Donnell

J Dillon D Moffatt T Abbott M A Whittick

L Connor P Coburn D Shacklock A Turner

Training/Trials for the upcoming season for Under 16s & 18s will commence on Pool Hey Field on July 21st at 12.00. All welcome. Any Queries, contact The Famous Grapes FC on Facebook .

Roma FC

We are currently looking for players in your area for football teams in the age groups: Under 7s, Under 9s , Under 12s, Under 13s, Under 14s. Training is on Tuesdays at different locations. The contact for the age group you phone will have more information. Under 7s & Under 12s = Ian 07776333204; Under 9s = Mike 07863163528; Under 13s = Paul 07591065389; Under 14s = Peter 07523444540. We look forward to hearing from you.

MORE THAN JUST A LANDLORD SUMMER 2010

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OurTimes FRUITY FRIDAY

News From The Multis

Stockbridge Village celebrated Fruity Friday on 28th May this year in the Craigs Community Centre. Residents were advised about healthy eating and reminded to eat 5 a day for a good life style. Fruit tasters were available and all residents left with a couple of pieces of fresh fruit, all provided by Villages.

BREAKFAST CLUB AT THE CRAIGS This coincided with the launch of a Friday Breakfast Club at the centre from 9.30am to 11.30am. Our new chef is Ken who is ably assisted by Bern, and bacon butties are very much back on the menu! Pop in any Friday morning for a bite to eat and a chat – tea and coffee are free.

HANGING BASKET WORKSHOP Residents from Boydell and Brandearth gathered in the Craigs Community garden and worked hard making baskets for their areas as part of Stockbridge in Bloom. They received help from Villages gardeners and the Environment Team working with Mark Shrimpton across the estate. Many thanks to everyone for all their efforts to make Stockbridge a better place to live.

HAIRDRESSER AND PAMPER SESSIONS A hairdresser now comes to the Craigs Community Centre on Fridays from 10.30am until 12.30pm (last appointment is around 12 o’clock). Pamper sessions happen once every 3rd Monday of the month from 6pm until 8pm, where you can have treatments such an Indian Head Massage, Reflexology, Reiki and beauty treatments such as waxing, eyelash tinting and you can even get your nails done.

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MOSSCRAIG REFURB WORKS

As reported in the last Our Times - Mosscraig refurbishment works were due to start April / May but have unfortunately been delayed due to some unforeseen technical issues. The Tenant Steering Group members are currently in the process of selecting the contractor for the Mosscraig works which are now due on site June / July 2010. Mosscraig residents will shortly be informed about the selected contractor and the bathroom / kitchen choices.

HEATING COSTS

As discussed in a previous article, our communal gas supplies costs at the multis have reduced. These saving have been passed on to "Assured" tenants from April this year as a decrease in the heating charge. Unfortunately, "Secure/Fair tenants service charge levels are calculated and reassessed differently - every two years, rather than every year with "Assured" tenants. We are therefore unable to pass on these savings to "Secure" tenants until the next rent review, when cost savings will be of a similar level to savings made to "Assured" tenants. Villages apologises for any confusion that our previous article made. If you have any questions regarding your service charge level at the multis, please contact the Project Team at 6 Whincraig on 0151 449 1788.

COMMUNITY CENTRE

Bernie is working hard at bringing new Community Groups into the centre as well as a mobile hairdresser and also the re-establishment of a Breakfast Club. We are also keen for multis residents to have access to the Craigs Community Garden over the summer months please pop in and see Bernie for more information at the Centre most mornings, Monday to Friday. If you would like more on anything to do with the centre, please speak to Bern on 07841145858 Remember, anyone can join activities at the centre, you don’t have to live in the multis.

CITIZEN’S ADVICE

Staff from the Citizen’s Advice Bureau will now be able to offer you help and advice at The Craigs Community Centre on Friday mornings from 7.30am until 9am.

SLIMMING WORLD

There is now a Slimming World Class at the centre every Thursday night from 6pm. MORE THAN JUST A LANDLORD SUMMER 2010


OurTimes

Sad News

With sadness we announce that two of our former residents and work colleagues from the Cliffs have passed away. Recently Margaret Kelly, a long serving tenant and employee of Villages, passed away. Margaret lived in Merecliff and worked as a cleaner in the Cliffs complex for 13 years. Margaret contributed greatly to the upkeep of the blocks with her commitment to providing the best possible service to the residents of the Cliffs. She was also a regular at the Wednesday coffee morning over in Tarncliff, and also liked a game of bingo in the St Albert’s club in Stockbridge Village. Margaret will be sadly missed by us all at the Cliffs, Villages Housing, the ladies at the coffee morning and Heather & all her friends at the bingo. Gerry Nixon, also a former work colleague and Cliffs resident, also recently passed away. Many people will remember Gerry for his involvement in the youth football, as a coach for Boode Croft during the 70s & early 80s, and for his involvement with the bowling; but most people will remember Gerry for his work as a Caretaker in the Cliffs complex, especially Tarncliff (‘Gerry’s Block’) where he worked for 11 years. Gerry’s commitment to the blocks was second to none and he would often be seen before 6am cleaning lifts or litter picking around the blocks, such was his dedication. Gerry will also be sadly missed by us all at the Cliffs and at Villages Housing.

Peter Caine, Villages Housing

Become a mentor Do you live in Stockbridge Village? Having difficulty finding a job? Need work experience and training? Want to put something back into the community? Why not become a Volunteer Family Mentor?

To find out how you can help families, call the Opportunities for Families team (KMBC) on 0151 443 3277 or 0151 443 3207 MORE THAN JUST A LANDLORD SUMMER 2010

The House Party on Tour On 17th June 2010 the Oldham Housing Investment Partnership (OHIP) brought together tenants from several housing providers, including Villages, to promote community cohesion. The event was held at Royton Youth Centre and actors from The Peoples History Museum in Manchester performed a play based on a Matchbox girl and her experiences. This was followed by workshops where the tenants could swap their own experiences of how their life and roles have changed over the years with people from different cultural backgrounds. The day was finished off with a relaxing buffet lunch giving chance for more discussions and bonding within the group. Eileen from Fitton Hill says, “It was a very good event and I had a great time. We really enjoyed being with people from different communities and cultures. I was amazed to find that, despite our differences, we all had things in common, how we saw our roles in our family and lives.” Would you like to be involved in future House Party events or other tenant/resident events? If so, please contact Lisa Fowles on 0161 633 4060.

Test Your Boilers

To make sure that your boilers work efficiently in winter, please turn them on for 15 minutes once a month. If boilers are not used for long periods of time they may become clogged with sludge or they may stop working altogether. Statistics show that there are twice as many boiler breakdowns in mid-October when everyone starts using the heating, than there are during a week in winter when they are used regularly. Our advice is for tenants to turn their boilers on for a short period of time during July, August and September, perhaps when you are not at home so you don’t feel too uncomfortable, just to keep them in working order.

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OurTimes

Goodwill In Fitton Hill

In Friday 28th May’s edition of the Oldham Evening Chronicle a Fitton Hill resident sent the following Letter to the Editor. I would like to thank the four gentlemen that came to my aid (on 21 May). I was going up to Fitton Hill library, on my electric wheel chair, when near to the youth club, I suddenly veered to one side and ended up on a grass verge. A man coming out of the shop managed to get me off the grass and onto the path and pointed out that one of the tyres had come off. He went into Villages offices and asked for some help. Three gentlemen came and got me a chair to sit on while they managed to refit the tyre. It really helped as I was completely stranded. I forgot to ask their names so could you please extend my heartfelt thanks – they really did get me back on the road. It really does you good to see how much goodwill there is on Fitton Hill. Mr Taylor, Fitton Hill The three gentlemen from Villages office mentioned within the letter were Villages’ own Paul Swan, Gary Taylor and Rod Perkins - another example of Villages’ staff commitment to ‘going the extra mile’. Thank you to Paul, Rod and Gary for being our knights in shining armour! Are you the fourth gentleman mentioned in the letter that came into Villages office? If so, please contact Lisa Fowles on 0161 633 4060 so we can offer you our personal thanks, and pass your details to Mr Taylor.

Tackling ASB During the last two months in Fitton Hill, one Villages tenant has been evicted and a further tenant left as the application to court was being made. Both of these tenants were within the first 12 months probationary period of their tenancy. Both had been involved in anti-social behaviour, including the involvement of drugs. As soon as we had sufficient evidence from our partnership working with the police, an application was made to the County Court for possession of the first property. This was granted without any hesitation by the court. As a result of our success the second tenant gave up his tenancy whilst the court application was being completed. These successes were a result of the hard work and commitment of Villages’ staff and local residents who were no longer prepared to put up with their behaviour; and were determined to ensure that peace and quiet and a friendly atmosphere returned to the area.

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The Face of Fitton Hill

A New Media/ Video project is in development that will tackle the negative press of Fitton Hill; a chance for local people to tell their positive stories of what life is really like on the estate! The face of Fitton Hill is often seen as scary by the media, but this hides the truth of the real Fitton Hill. The negative face presented by the media hides the joy and the happiness we see on the estate every day. It is time for people to see the true face of Fitton Hill, the reality that lies under the scary face shown by the press. This is your chance to join us and help out. We want your stories about the joy and happiness you have experienced whilst living in Fitton Hill. The aim of this project is through different media, such as internet videos, to project a positive image of Fitton Hill for all to see. This is a chance for everybody to get involved. And don’t worry if you’re not used to computers/technology, as full training and support is available free of charge. Give Lisa Fowles a call at the Villages Fitton Hill office on 0161 633 4060 or call Chris on 07876402947 MORE THAN JUST A LANDLORD SUMMER 2010


OurTimes

Good Neighbours In Knowsley

Nominations are now open for the Good Neighbour in Knowsley awards, after their successful launch last year. The awards are set up by the Knowsley Partnership so that residents can acknowledge and thank the people who make their community a better place to live. Having such people in your neighbourhood helps to build community cohesion, which is a measure of how well different members of the community get on with one another. It is important to recognise the significance of people who make a positive contribution to the local community. As well as the fact that they deserve recognition for their efforts, it serves as a reminder to everybody else that we all have a role to play to make the community stronger. Anybody who lives in Knowsley can be nominated for the Good Neighbour awards, and it can be for any reason which makes your life, or that of your community, better. The awards have been expanded this year so that there will be an award for four age categories in each of the six areas in Knowsley.

The age ranges are 0-11, 12-21, 22-49, and over 50 years. Cllr Ron Round, Leader of Knowsley Council, said “The awards are a fantastic opportunity to say thank you to the many people who make Knowsley a great place to live. Last year’s awards were a great success and, given the strength of our local communities, I’m looking forward to seeing the nominations which will come in this year.” To make your nomination please go to www.knowsley.gov.uk/goodneighbours, or pick up a nomination form from Villages Housing office, Stockbridge Village, or you can get a form out of the Knowsley Challenge. Nominations close on 1st September 2010, and the winners will be announced at a ceremony in November 2010. Doreen Hope was the overall winner in 2009. Doreen, from Westvale in Kirkby helped her new neighbour, Maureen Essien settle in the area. Mrs Essien is originally from Trinidad, and was made to feel unwelcome by some people in the community. Doreen stood up to this minority, and helped Mrs Essien and her family through a difficult period. She also cooks meals for some of the elderly people in her street when they are poorly, and looks after people’s houses when they are away. Villages will be looking to further develop the idea of a Good Neighbours Award at the tenants’ conference in September. See page 3 for details.

European Neighbours Day 2010 The Tenant’s Forum welcomed residents from Page Moss and Cantril Farm as well as those living on Stockbridge Village to join in celebrations for this year’s European Neighbours Day in the SPACE Building on Waterpark Drive on Friday 4th June. Everyone enjoyed a range of European foods prepared by the Village Farm Cooks and Squash Nutrition. Activities on the day included cage soccer and games with sports coaches in the sunshine for young people and a hanging basket workshop for adults, as well as a wide range of craft activities inside the hall. Several partners attended on the day including the PCSOs, Collage Marketing, Surestart, Knowsley Works and Knowsley Council who were also taking nominations for the prestigious Good Neighbours Awards to be held later in the year. MORE THAN JUST A LANDLORD SUMMER 2010

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OurTimes Community Budget The Community Budget exists to give financial help to any community group or individual who is committed to improving the quality of life for our residents. Whether it’s a fishing club, a gardening project, a dance group, a day out – the list is endless – why not see if we can help? We will also try and help support you if you have an idea or project that you would like to get off the ground. The process is simple and applications for funding are considered regularly by the local Estate Management Committee for your area. Some recent successful applications have been from schools, community groups such as the Fitton Hill Allotment Association and the Skills Swap Shop/Intergenerational Group, football clubs and youth activities. For more information on how to apply for a community budget grant of up to £500 please call Lisa Fowles (Fitton Hill) on 0161 633 4060 or Barbara Murray (Stockbridge Village) on 0151 480 1313.

Oldham Carnival

This year’s Oldham carnival takes place at the later date of Saturday 7th and Sunday 8th August at Alexandra Park. Once again, Villages will be entering a float into the main carnival parade. Now the question is….can we win best in parade again this year??? The carnival parade is the highlight of the weekend and the start of the activities at Alexandra Park. There will be live entertainment provided on the main stage from local performers and community groups, as well as the headline act 1980’s pop duo Black Lace. The Oldham Carnival organisers promise that this year will be bigger and better than ever before with plenty of stalls, fairground rides, and new this year FREE camel rides throughout Sunday. Oldham’s Indian community are taking part with colourful costumes and dance in the large marquee and at the Lion’s Den.

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Fitton Hill Needs You!

Come along to our issue solving meetings TO HELP US TO HELP YOU.

Whether it is youths causing annoyance, neighbour nuisance, Council issues, environmental problems, Anti-Social Behaviour and any other local issues…or just to meet us and see what is going on in the local area, you will have the opportunity to talk in confidence to a PCSO from your local area. The surgeries will be held twice a month at Villages Community Information Point (on the parade at the side of Villages housing office) on the first Monday of each month between 6pm and 8pm and on the third Thursday of each month between 9am and 11am.

Friends & Neighbours EXCITING NEW SCHEME The scheme is for anyone over 50 living in Oldham and is directed particularly towards those who are socially isolated, lonely and find it difficult to use or access those facilities most of us take for granted. For some, it is the opportunity to get out and about, maybe going for a walk, going to town or using a sport centre, for others it may be just having someone to visit at home. Interested in volunteering? If so we would love to hear from you, as a volunteer you could offer social and meaningful support to someone who has become lonely and isolated. If you have a few hours a week to spare, like meeting people, and would like to help an older person in your Neighbourhood then this is for you. Please contact Sue Scott Scheme Co-ordinator on 0161 -770-1437 if you would like to be contacted about the scheme in the very near future.

MORE THAN JUST A LANDLORD SUMMER 2010


OurTimes

Gordon Brown Visits The Honeywell FORMER PRIME MINISTER COMMENDS LOCAL COMMUNITY

In April, as part of his election campaign Gordon Brown and colleagues visited Fitton Hill and Hathershaw to see the good work that was taking place, followed by a meeting at the Honeywell Centre. Mr Brown thanked local residents for their part in reducing crime in their area. He said, “This area had one of the highest crime rates in Oldham and it now has one of the fastest rates of dealing with crime. This community is made up of thousands of acts of friendship and you should all be very proud of what you have achieved”. Chris Neilson, part of the Eden Project, was at the day’s events. Chris said, “There has been a lot done for Fitton Hill over the last few years, it was great to have our Prime Minister see this and meet the people that have made this happen.”

St Martins’ Trip After receiving a generous grant of £495.00 from Villages Community Budget Grant, the children from St Martins CE nursery were able to enjoy a fantastic day out at Smithills open Farm on 12th May. The children were able to experience a range of interactive events including pet’s corner, the milking parlour, donkey rides, animal feeding and tractor rides. They had the opportunity to see a variety of traditional farm animals as well as a wonderful range of different species, for example owls, llamas deers, alpacas and even snakes! The weather stayed fine and a lovely day was had by all.

Credit Union Oldham Credit Union offers a safe way to save money and you can save as little or as much as you can a ff o r d e v e r y week or e v e r y month. Oldham Credit Union is open to everyone who lives and works in Oldham. Once you have been saving for a while you can also apply for a loan - the interest rates are affordable and the Credit Union lends to members on the basis of their savings history with the credit union, and not their credit score. To find out more, ring Oldham Credit Union on 0161 678 7245 or visit them at their town centre shop in Albion Street, on the edge of Oldham Market Hall facing the Halifax Building Society. Opening hours are Monday to Friday 10:00am to 3:00pm. The Oldham Credit Union is a member of the Association Of British Cedit Unions Ltd, and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority, the same authority which also regulates all banks. The Credit Union comes to Fitton Hill Youth & Community Centre, Fir Tree Avenue, on Tuesdays 10.30am-12 noon.

MORE THAN JUST A LANDLORD SUMMER 2010

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OurTimes

Avoid a DIY Disaster! THE DO’S AND DON’TS OF HOME IMPROVEMENT

Villages is obviously keen for you to want to maintain and improve your home, you should be aware of the pitfalls and cost implications of not seeking our permission before you do any work other than routine decorating, or replacing things such as a waste plug, toilet seats and other items that are your responsability as a tenant, and as outlined in your Tenancy Agreement. You would need our permission if you wanted to: • Do anything structural (like knocking a wall down for example or installing patio doors) • Remove fixtures and fittings (the boiler, gas fire, radiators, kitchen units, bathroom fittings) • Undertake anything relating to electrics or gas You will also find useful information in the Tenants Handbook.

If you are considering some major work on your home you must first write to Villages requesting our permission. Your request will be considered, and you will receive a visit from one of our surveyors if this is necessary. Villages’ decision will be sent to you in writing within 10 working days of your request having been received in the housing office. You should also seek permission from us if you are considering putting up something like a green house in the garden, or carrying out additional paving etc. No reasonable requests will be refused as we genuinely want you to enjoy living in your home.

New Scrutiny Panel Parking Issues Tenant training is now well under way with the fourth session taking place in Stockbridge Village on 21st June. The joint group of tenants from Fitton Hill and Stockbridge have committed a great deal of their time and energy to ensure resident engagement means Villages Housing genuinely puts tenants at the heart of all we do.

The Tenant Scrutiny Panel will work in partnership with the board, estate management committees and staff to select and review areas of the Villages business to check that the services delivered to you are the best they can be and provide good value for money.

ACCESS TO THE STOCKBRIDGE HEALTH CENTRE Please note that the car parking facilities at the rear of the Villages office and at the health centre are for staff only. The road leading to the medical centre is a private road with no public access either in a vehicle or on foot.

The road is the main route for delivery vans, trucks and staff, which means there is a lot of traffic using this road, and it is not a safe Lily Earle, chair of Stockbridge Village Tenants Forum says “More tenants should volunteer to become pedestrian involved in this important work overseeing the standards route. achieved by our landlord. There are also loads of opportunities Visitors to for tenants to train and gain a range of skills which can prove the health useful in other areas of life.” centre are asked to park in the car park at the The Tenant Scrutiny Panel will start its work proper in October front of the shops and follow the signs for the 2010. If you would like any information about the Scrutiny pedestrian route to the entrance.

Panel contact Barbara Murray or Lisa Fowles.

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MORE THAN JUST A LANDLORD SUMMER 2010


OurTimes

Nine Tree School

On a beautiful, sunny February morning, teaching assistant Mrs. Palmer from Nine Tree School, climbed up ‘Ben Lomond’ in Scotland with four other members of her family. Ben Lomond is three and half thousand feet high and a very gruelling walk in the winter. Mrs. Palmer showed us photos of her journey from the bottom of the mountain to the top. What an achievement! The only aid she had was a walking stick from a branch from a tree that her husband Raoul made. We were so inspired by her journey to reach the summit in conditions, that to say the least, at times were so hazardous, that we wrote “re-count poems” and created a display of the magnificent mountain in the school hall. We are very proud of her and cannot wait for her next adventure. By Jack

Foster

The Climb

The Stick

Mrs. Palmer up the mountain looks like a beautiful water fountain, So high into the sky she is proud like a cloud of care and love.

The snow’s coldness tickles my toes as I am forced into the ground.

She has beautiful charm never caused harm with her walking stick that was like a brick. Now she is home with her comb, not even a broken a bone. But she fell like bell onto a rock shell. The legend flows and the legend goes and never came back. Mrs. Palmer the unknown harmer climbed 3000ft mountain on the 18th February 2010. What a wonderful woman, she should be so proud. By Edward Anderson year 5 Nine Tree School

Yes I am a stick, not just any stick; I am a stick that made a miracle happen. I was elegantly carved by hand, now I am held with pride by Mrs. Palmer. She relied on me to support her and take her up the mountain. I began to crack with the strain, sticks aren’t supposed to climb mountains. As the clouds drew in the snow got deeper on this, a never ending journey. Reaching the top, I am proud of myself, oh yes and Mrs. Palmer too. Is this my last adventure or just the beginning? By Rachel Moffatt

As part of their literacy work, some children from year 5 Nine Tree school have been studying stories from other cultures. They did some very colourful and interesting role play and presented it to the school. A North American Native Indian story called 'How the fire came to earth' was then presented to the school in a short play. They got very creative making masks and dream catchers and had lots of fun finding out about the North American Indians. MORE THAN JUST A LANDLORD SUMMER 2010

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OurTimes

Recipe OLD ENGLISH SUMMER SOUP Summer is coming and so is the hot weather. It could be that a cool, easy to prepare summer soup is just what you need. As the temperature starts to go up give this soup a try. If you like, you can serve this soup cold in chilled bowls in really hot weather. Either way, it's a lovely soup to serve on a summer’s day.

Ingredients

��� 12 oz (350 g) potatoes, peeled and finely diced • 4 or 5 spring onions, finely chopped (including the green parts) • 1 small, round lettuce, washed, patted dry and shredded • ½ medium cucumber, chopped (no need to peel) • 3 oz (75 g) butter • 1½ pints (850 ml)chicken or vegetable stock • snipped fresh chives, to garnish • salt and freshly milled black pepper

Method

1) First of all, in a medium saucepan, melt the butter gently, then add the potatoes, spring onions, lettuce and cucumber. 2) Stir everything round in the butter then, keeping the heat very low, put a lid on and let everything sweat for 10 minutes. 3) Now pour in the stock, stir, add some salt and freshly milled black pepper and bring to the boil. Then reduce the heat to low, put the lid on and let it simmer gently for another 20 minutes. 4) Leave the soup to cool a little, then puree the whole lot in a blender. If you need to do this in two batches, it is helpful to have a bowl to hand to put the first batch in. 5) Finally, check the seasoning, gently re-heat the soup and serve it with the freshly snipped chives stirred in at the last moment or sprinkle a few into each bowl.

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Easter Chocolate Cheer In a bid to deliver some Easter cheer to young people unfortunate enough to find themselves in the children’s ward at the Royal Oldham Hospital, Lisa, Jan and Rebecca from Villages, together with Sarah from Casey’s (currently working on the environmental improvement programme at Fitton Hill) delivered a selection of Easter eggs and craft kits to Ward F3. Rebecca of Shaw was in the Ward awaiting day surgery – but was expected to be home by tea time with her presents. We’re sure that they would have provided some much needed comfort!

5 A Side Football Tournament Would you like the chance to play football against the successful Kickz team (page 12) or the Famous Grapes Team (page 19) or even against the staff from Villages, Knowsley Council and the Police? Well, now is your chance! On Saturday 17th July the Safer Knowsley Partnership will be holding a 5-a-side football tournament at Pool Hey Playing fields for anyone aged 14 and over. Entry is free, but you must book your teams in in advance, if you already play in a team, or even if you fancy getting your own team together. For more information call Barry Lloyd on 0151 443 5894. MORE THAN JUST A LANDLORD SUMMER 2010


OurTimes Armchair Exercises Fun For All Ages

Villages provides armchair exercises in Stockbridge Village. They take place in Roughsedge House every Tuesday 2pm-3pm and are free as they are carried out by IKAN.

Armchair exercises have been held at Roughsedge House for nearly two years and provide activities that can improve your mobility without putting too much pressure on your joints, whilst having fun at the same time and you’ll feel great after just a few weeks. They are open to anyone to attend and are a great social activity.

The younger members of last year’s award winning ‘Fun for All Ages’ group have now moved on to pastures new. In their place is a new group of enthusiastic young people aged 12 to 17, ready to continue where the previous group left off! Continuing their hard work, the new intake of the “Fun for All Ages” group met up twice over the Easter Holidays to cement their growing relationship.

What’s On at Roughsedge House?

On 7th April, while the young people were on Easter holiday, the group got together for a cooking class in baking apple pies. As you can see from the photographs it was a very hands-on exercise, and the end result was enjoyed by all with a choice of hot custard and double cream.

TUESDAYS: Brekkie Club and Coffee mornings from 10am, Armchair exercises from 2pm, •Bingo at 7.30pm WEDNESDAYS: 9am-12.30: Hairdresser, •Ageing Well Plus: Advice and Activities for heathy eating THURSDAYS: 3rd Thursday in every month, the local vicar comes to give communion; •Bingo at 7.30pm FRIDAYS: Once a month: Luncheon club (3 course dinner £3) provided by volunteers SATURDAYS: Afternoon Tea SUNDAYS: Bingo at 7.30 pm

This event was funded by Villages’ Community Budget Grant which provided baking and cooking equipment for use on the day and future occasions.

For more information please call the Villages Housing sheltered scheme managers on 0151 480 3923.

Garages For Rent Do you need a garage? If so, at Fitton Hill there are a limited number available for rent on Fircroft Road and Tanhill Lane. The rent is £7.91 per week (plus 17.5% VAT where applicable). If you would like details please speak to Sasha on 0161 633 4060 or e-mail sasha.cutter@villages.org.uk

MORE THAN JUST A LANDLORD SUMMER 2010

The following week, as a reward for their hard work, Saeed and Liz from Oldham Youth and Integrated Services treated the members of the group to a carvery meal at the Chadderton Park Inn. The food was delicious (“especially the roast potatoes!” – Betty aged 91), and plates were cleared by all. The group are already looking forward to their next events during the summer holidays which may include a day trip to Beamish living history museum and a jewellery making session. For more information please call Lisa on 0161 633 4060.

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OurTimes

FUN PAGE

Sudoku Corner

5

Fill the grid with numbers 1 to 9 so that every row, every column and every 3x3 box contains the digits 1-9, without repeating any numbers.

2

2

1 3

Brain Teasers

4

9

1 7

2

3

8 4

Answers 1)Lounger 2)A River 3) A Rainbow

• What ends in a 'w' but has no end?

5

6

• What 7 letter word becomes longer when the third letter is removed?

• What can run but never walks, has a mouth but never talks, has a head but never weeps, and has a bed but never sleeps?

8

7

9

5

Hints & Tips

4

8 5

9

7

1

• Toilet bowls come up shiny when cleaned with old, flat Coke or Pepsi. Leave overnight to dissolve limescale. • To make a room smell nice spray a fragrance you like onto a light bulb and when you turn on the light bulb it will let off the smell with the heat. Caution - Only do this when the bulb is cold. • To remove ink stains from cloth or leather, spray hair spray on the area and wipe off with a clean rag.

Word Search

The best part of a million people attended an event last year and loved it. Join in for the second annual event and help put a smile back on Britain's face.

The Big what???

It’s a one-day get together to have lunch with your neighbours on Sunday 18th July 2010. The Big Lunch began life as “a wild seed” at The Eden Project in Cornwall, and can be anything from a simple lunch to a full-blown street party with DJs and a hog roast. It’s a chance for different generations and backgrounds to hear each other out and share stories, skills and interests. It's the start of a journey into rebuilding our communities. To find your nearest event or for more information go to www.thebiglunch.com

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Surf’s Up! Unscramble the letters below to find things you’d see at the beach - they all begin with an “S” Sandcrab Sailboats Sea Creature Surfers Seagulls Starfish

B H S X S S S E B Y S

J X U Y L H U R A W T

Y K R X L O N U R S A

T Q F U E V G T C R R

X P B V H E L A N E F

J V O B S L A E N F I

Sandals Sea Shells Sandcastle Surfbaord Shovel Sunglasses

F H A Z A A S R A R S

D H R K E R S C S U H

K E D X S Z E A X S G

S A N D A L S E J A D

S L L U G A E S B T Y

E S A I L B O A T S D

E L T S A C D N A S B

MORE THAN JUST A LANDLORD SUMMER 2010


OurTimes FITTON HILL

What’s On & Where

School’s Out For Summer - see page 13 for details Citizens advice - Every other Friday 9am- 12pm. - Villages Housing office Creative Movement and dance classes Every Thursday, from 11.30 am, at Fitton Hill Community Centre & Youth club. Admission £1. Keep Fit Classes St. Cuthbert’s Church, Tanners Fold, Fitton Hill. Tuesday and Thursday 7pm – 8pm. Admission £3. Fitton Hill Junior Youth Club For ages 8 -11 years old (under 8 year old with adult supervision) Friday 6 - 7.30 pm at Fitton Hill Youth Centre, Fir Tree Avenue. Admission 20 pence. Grasshoppers Football Team - Hathershaw College, Bellfield Avenue off Ashton Road, Thursday evenings from 4.30pm to 6pm. Admission is £1 per session. Space Hop Summer Reading Challenge, througout the 6 weeks of summer holidays Aims to get children between 5 – 11 years old to read 6 books over summer holidays. Space Hop Activities include: •Aliens Love Underpants – interactive story times at all libraries within Oldham; •Cosmic Creations – hands on activity sessions. Contact Fitton Hill Library on 0161 633 2011 for details. Party in Stoneleigh Park - Saturday 31st July 2010 1pm 4pm. Stoneleigh Park, Derker, Oldham. Craft activities, face painting, inflatable fun activity and lots more for families to enjoy. Free Admission - Some activities may have an additional charge. People’s Carnival Oldham Saturday 7th – Sunday 8th August 2010, Alexandra Park, Kings Road, Oldham. Annual Carnival Parade through streets of Oldham, Dancing Troupe competitions, fairground rides, charity stalls, food stalls, live music and entertainment provided on Tesco’s Big Stage Creative Family Fun at Gallery Oldham Monday 8th and 22nd August 2010 11am – 3pm. Craft activities, painting, drawing and creative fun for all of the family. Free admission, no need to book; drop in anytime!!

STOCKBRIDGE VILLAGE

Citizens advice Tuesdays from 10am - 12.30pm, Villages Housing Office

One Stop Shop Service Now Open at Knowsley Works Tuesdays and Fridays 9.15am until 12.45pm - drop in. In The Night Garden Live Saturday 17 July- Sunday 1 August First-ever staged event of award-winning BBC children’s TV show. World Premiere: Sefton Park, Liverpool L17 1AP. Performance times: 9.30am, 11.15am, 2.00pm, 3.45pm & 5.30pm. Tickets: £5-£20 Running time: Approx. 60 minutes. To book tickets visit www.nightgardenlive.com or call 0844 581 1251 Multi Sports Camp for children aged 8-13 23rd July and 6th August from 10am to 3pm, Christ The King school, Stockbridge Lane, £3 per day. Liverpool- Knowsley Mini Cup Saturday 24th July & Sunday 25th July King George V playing fields, Huyton 9am-5pm. The Liverpool-Knowsley mini cup attracts more than 1,000 players ranging for 7 to 10 years of age from all over the North West. Contact: Dave Mercer 0151 443 3627 Dragon Tales and other Fiery Fables, Stories of Flying Fairies and Whirling Witches Thursday 5 August and Thursday 12 August Fun storytelling sessions (aimed at ages 4-11) Dragon Tales and other Fiery Fables at 10:30 & 11:45 am Stories of Flying Fairies and Whirling Witches at 1:30pm & 3:00pm. To book a place (£2.50 per child, £1 adult) please ring Croxteth Hall Gift Shop on: 0151 233 6930 Holiday Club From 9-13th August & 16th-20th August Bowring Park Community and Visitors Centre 1.30-3.15pm. Fun and games including skipping, high jump, ball games, races, treasure hunts and much more. Enrol at the coach house before 1pm, Costs 50p per day or £2 per week. Contact Bowring Park Community and Visitors Centre 482 1116 or email friendsofbowringpark@googlemail.com Why not see what’s happening in the Space building next to St. Brigid’s school? They have lots of activities for all age groups, call them on 0151 477 8586.

Do you have an event you would like us to promote in ‘Our Times’ or on our website or in our reception areas? If so, call Elena Lloyd on 0151 480 1313 or email elena.lloyd@villages.org.uk MORE THAN JUST A LANDLORD SUMMER 2010

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OurTimes

Skip Dates The Skips will be sited on Thursdays, early morning, and removed around lunch time or when they’re full. Please note the skip service cannot take fridges, freezers, gas bottles or tyres. For removal of these items phone Knowsley Contract Services on 0151 443 2400, or Oldham Council on 0161 770 6644 . You may incur a charge for the council to remove these items. Thank You. 15 July 22 July

FITTON HILL

Southcroft (grassed central area)

Wildbrook Crescent (car park to front of Nos 59-85)

29 July

Rosary Road (opposite No 66) (grassed central area)

5 August

Woodpark Close (to the side of No 60)

STOCKBRIDGE VILLAGE

8 July– Car park to rear of the Barley Mow

15July - Car park opposite 8-10 Plumtree Close 22 July – Rosewood Close 29 July– Cliffs Car Park 5 August – Car Park to rear of 328 Boode Croft 12 August – Car Park adjacent to 135 Boode Croft

12 August

Fold View (on the grass across from The Ace)

19 August

Snipe Road & Bankfield Drive (grassed area at the junction)

26 August

Dowry Street (on the car park)

2 September – Car park adjacent to open space Marled Hey

2 September

St Cuthberts Church, Tanners Fold (in the grounds of the Church)

9 September– Car park 3 /4 Spruce Grove

9 September

Sportsmans Drive (in the parking bay on the left)

16 September

Reins Lea Avenue

23 September

Southcroft (grassed central area)

Fitton Hill Address: 2 Fircroft Road, Fitton Hill, Oldham, OL8 2QN Tel: 0161 633 4060 Fax: 0161 628 5920

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19 August – Car park opposite cul de sac Hollow Croft 26 August – Car park opposite 93 Custley Hey/ 64 Woodfarm Hey

16 September – Car Park on corner between 33 / 34 The Spinney 23 September– To rear of 180 Round Hey 30 September – Car park adjacent to 11 The Grove Dannette Hey

Contact Details email: info@villages.org.uk Website: www.villages.org.uk

Stockbridge Village Address: 16 The Croft, Stockbridge Village, Knowsley, Merseyside, L28 1NR Tel: 0151 480 1313 Fax: 0151 480 5189 MORE THAN JUST A LANDLORD SUMMER 2010


Summer 2010 Our Times