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coming soon New customer scrutiny panel See page 4

touch Issue 04 June 2011

SUMMER HOLIDAY FUN ON A BUDGET me o c e B ur o d& frienIN! W

1Future WIN a top goes ahead day out! Your Flagship - Your News Your Flagship - Your News


Contents

hello I’m delighted to announce that our plans to become a single Flagship organisation were approved and took effect on 1 April. You can find out more about what’s changed, as well as details on how to get involved on our new Customer Scrutiny Panel on pages 3 to 5.

With the summer holidays almost here, why not check out our top tips for how to keep the children entertained on a budget on pages 8 and 9. We’ve also teamed up with some top local attractions to offer some fantastic days out for you and your family. We hope you have an enjoyable summer. Enjoy your read! Emma King Customer Services Director

page

Flagship news All the latest goings on here at Flagship

3

Your money Summer holiday fun on a budget

8

Customer engagement Find out how you can get involved

10

Competition time WIN some fabulous days out!

12

Your safety Beware of distraction burglaries

14

Is shared ownership for you?

15

Leaseholder

16

How are we performing?

17

Contact us

20

To contact in touch, write to: in touch, Suite 4, Keswick Hall, Norwich NR4 6TJ. Email: intouch@flagship-housing.co.uk.


1Future goes live Following receipt of all consents and final approval, the amalgamation of the Flagship Group completed on 1 April and the single Flagship organisation is now in place.

As part of the consultation process, you told us that out of all the proposed 1Future benefits, a new 24/7 freephone number was most important to you.

We are delighted to announce that Flagship Response is now contactable 24/7 on:

Freephone 0808 168 4555 This number is now live

and replaces the old 0845 number. Although it’s free to call from a landline, some mobile providers may charge. Please visit flagship-housing. co.uk for ‘call me back’ and other web-based services.

New housing management structure in place Flagship is pleased to announce that Don Evans has been appointed as our head of operations. Reporting to the customer services director, Don is responsible for leading the housing management team in delivering exemplar customer service. Don says: “1Future has given us a real window of opportunity to review and restructure the way we work. As a result, I am confident that we now have the right structures to enable our motivated and committed staff to meet the challenge.

“You’ve told us that a common cause of frustration is inconsistency in the quality and availability of our services. This is often due to a lack of clarity about what work we will or won’t do and what services we will or won’t provide you with. “Most of you accept that the work we do and the services we provide will change over time, but you said you want to be told about those changes and asked for your views in good time. I would like to

Flagship news

The first of the benefits is delivered.



reassure you that the message has been heard and understood and will underpin our approach in the future. “We honestly believe the route to providing you with exemplar customer service is by getting the basics right. The housing management team is committed to being clear about the services we provide and delivering them on a consistent basis.”


Want the chance to really influence our services? We’re committed to ensuring our customers are genuinely involved in shaping our services.

Flagship news

To add to the ways you can get involved, we have been working with the customer board to put in place our new Customer Scrutiny Panel.



services are designed and delivered.

Importantly, although the panel will work in close partnership with Flagship, it will be independent of Customer scrutiny is supported current decision-making arrangements. by our regulator, the Tenant Services Authority and is designed to give customers the Who will be on the panel? opportunity to really influence We expect to be recruiting to the level and quality of services the panel in the autumn and we will be looking for people we provide. who are able to: We are aiming to have our Keep an open mind. panel set up later in the year Understand reports and and will be inviting views about statistics. how this will work over the Work well with others. coming months. Be able to challenge What will the Customer Scrutiny Panel do? The panel will check on our services in a detailed way and help set priorities for improvement. It may be looking at a service that has not reached the standards we have set or one where customers have raised concerns. Working closely with other customers, the Flagship team and our board, the panel will make a real difference to the way key

confidently. Work well as part of a team.

Most of all, you will be committed to helping ensure Flagship customers get the best possible service. We will be advertising for panel members over the summer but if you would like to register an initial interest we would be delighted to hear from you. Why not send your contact details to intouch@flagshiphousing.co.uk today!


Meet the new board of directors Following a rigorous recruitment process, the new single Flagship board of directors has now been appointed. They are: Non-executive directors Independent Independent Independent Customer Independent Independent Independent Independent Customer Customer Customer Independent

Executive directors David McQuade Tony Blewitt

Chief Executive Finance and IT Director

Flagship news

Peter Lakey (Chair) Mark Sargeantson (Vice chair) Don Ayre Brenda Canham Andrew Egerton-Smith Ros Finon Kate Gordon Rosemary London Josephine Makepeace Bernie Soer John Taylor Ted Vallance



Reminder We recently sent you a free fridge magnet to keep as a handy reminder for when you need to contact us. If you haven’t received yours, please give us a call on 0808 168 4555 or email intouch@ flagship-housing.co.uk.


Improving your home Flagship’s asset management team has published its planned works programme online.

Flagship news

The programme, which covers kitchens and bathrooms, central heating replacements and windows and doors can be found on our website (flagshiphousing.co.uk).

If you see your area listed, your community manager will be able to confirm if your home is scheduled for works. However, in order to maximise value for money, we will be replacing the oldest kitchens, bathrooms or the central Although it will not give you heating systems with the exact addresses for privacy highest levels of repairs first. do not have access to the and security reasons, you’ll internet, speak to your be able to see the street and We will be sure to publish community manager who will town where we will be working updates to the planned have a copy of the programme and when we’ll be there over works section of the website and can advise you if work is the next three months. planned in your home. throughout the year. If you

Digital switchover



You probably know that TV in the UK is changing to digital. This means the existing analogue TV signal is being switched off and is being replaced with a stronger digital TV signal. When is this happening? People living in Essex and the majority of Suffolk will be switched over at the start of July, while people living in Norfolk and north Suffolk will be switched over in November.

to receive digital before your area switches over. If you are a Flagship customer living in a sheltered scheme or live in a Flagship flat with a communal TV aerial, we will do all the modifications on your behalf.

What do I need to do? To keep your TV service you will need to convert your TV

Am I eligible for help? Digital UK run a Help Scheme which can provide anyone

aged 75 and over, or those who are eligible disabled with everything they need to switch to digital. You can find out more by visiting the website digitaluk.org.uk or by calling 08456 50 50 50.


Flagship gets award for being green Flagship has been recognised as one of the greenest housing associations in the country.

SHIFT were particularly impressed by the environmental team’s

‘turn it off!’ campaign - an interactive road show taken out to local primary schools, which teaches children about the importance of looking after the planet and the implications if we do nothing.

lower energy costs, our customers also benefit from an environmentally-friendly standard of living – a win-win situation.”

David McQuade, Flagship’s chief executive said: “This award is excellent news. We are committed to environmental sustainability and reducing the carbon footprint our homes leave on the environment. With

Did you

know Flagship raised over £7,500 for its charity 'Help for Heroes' during 2010/11.

?

Do you need somewhere to park your car? Then why not rent a Flagship garage! From time-to-time garages become available to rent. But you don't have to be a Flagship customer to rent a garage from us - we let garages to the general public too.

Prices start from just £6.07 per week! Existing Flagship customers can rent a garage from us for £6.07. If you are not a Flagship customer you can still rent one of our garages, although the price is £6.68+VAT (this includes a discount for paying by Direct Debit.) If you are interested in renting a garage from us, please contact Flagship Response on 0808 168 4555 - we are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Flagship news

We were recently awarded bronze in the highly challenging SHIFT Index, a sustainability benchmark for housing associations. The index was developed with the support of WWF-UK, the Tenant Services Authority, Homes and Communities Agency and the UK Green Building Council.




Summer holiday Your money

With the summer holidays almost upon us, you may be dreading the cost of keeping the children entertained.



However, there’s plenty for families across East Anglia to do without having to break the bank. If you’ve got access to the internet here’s just a few ideas to help get you started… Check what’s on near you Most local authorities advertise fun and free family days out on their websites. Be sure to check out the interactive events calendars at onesuffolk.net, visitnorfolk. co.uk and visitessex.com - you may be surprised at what’s happening on your doorstep. Make the most of our countryside We’ve got some incredible countryside here - from forest and woodlands to coasts and beaches. Why not take a walk with the wildlife, picnic on a beach or search for marine life in rock pools? Natural England’s website (cwr.naturalengland. org.uk) has details and maps for more than 1,800 walks, rides and open spaces.

Get active Did you know children can get free tennis, football, and swimming coaching sessions? Check and see if there’s a venue or a free coaching session near to you by visiting tennisforfree. com and tescoskills.thefa. com. Also visit suffolksport. com and activenorfolk.org for other free sports and activities. Get down to your local library Libraries offer a huge range of mostly free services you probably wouldn't expect - from internet access to magazines and newspapers to DVDs and games. And of course, you can still borrow books for free. Fun and learning You don’t have to travel far to take a tour of exhibitions and museums. For young children the websites show. me.uk, e2bn.org, funbrain. com and bizzikid.co.uk will get them learning, while older children are bound to enjoy what’s on offer at

collectbritain.co.uk and makingthemodernworld. org.uk. Cheap days out If you can afford a small treat, the website moneysavingexpert.com is a great place to find vouchers for cheap cinema tickets, cut-price entry to theme parks and attractions – not to mention hotel sales and discounts on travel. The deals available are always changing, so why not log on and see what’s on offer.


fun on a budget We recently made some important changes to how you can pay your rent to us. We have stopped taking rent payments through Standing Orders and no longer accept rent payments over the counter at our offices. There are still lots of ways you can pay your rent to us:

Competition We’ve teamed up with Bressingham Steam Museum and BeWILDerwood to offer some fantastic days out for Flagship customers this summer. See pages 12 and 13 to find out how you can win!

By weekly or monthly Direct Debit. By swipe card using the Allpay service. By Debit card on our website (flagship-housing. co.uk). By calling Flagship Response on 0808 168 4555. If you are having trouble paying your rent, please contact us – we are here to help. You can ring us day or night on 0808 168 4555 or email us at info@flagshiphousing.co.uk.

Your money

Paying your rent




Mystery shoppers needed!

Did you know Flagship’s Facebook profile has over 670 friends? Here’s your chance to join the fun and win. Everyone who logs on to Flagship Facebook between now and July 31 and writes “Hello Flagship, I’m in touch!” on our wall, will automatically be entered into a prize draw to win a £20 Love2Shop voucher.

Customer engagement 10

Visithip Flagsbook Face WIN! and

Because we're always looking to improve the services we offer you we have our own mystery shopper project and need your help! Whether it’s calling Flagship Response to see how helpful we were to looking for information on our website – we’ve got lots of projects in the pipeline. Would you like to become a mystery shopper and rate our products and services? In return for your time we will give you all the training

and support you need. This could assist you in your future career development, build your confidence and develop your organisational and interview skills too! For more information on our mystery shopping project and to sign up, contact Jackie Howard on 01603 255870 or jackie.howard@flagshiphousing.co.uk.

We hope it will encourage new people to join our evergrowing community and existing friends to drop by and just say hello. So what are you waiting for? Visit our profile and write that message today!

Congratulations Jennie won a £10 Love2Shop voucher simply by filling in a recent survey about our website advertised on Facebook.

p Love2sho voucher street gift The high


You said, we did! While it's our vision to get 'service right, first time', we need you to tell us when and where things go wrong so that we can improve for the future.

Following a residents’ meeting in Manwick Road, Felixstowe, our community ranger secured a new bike rack in the car park and also painted the communal laundry room. W  e helped a customer who wanted to downsize to a smaller property but remain living in the same area by organising a mutual exchange. A customer with a disability was finding it difficult to manually turn on his outside light. We instructed our electricians to install a photo cell to the existing light to turn on when it detects motion. O  ne of our community managers in Brandon paid personal visits to neighbouring properties to explain about designated parking spaces for visitors. Car parking in the area is no longer an issue.

Our trained energy advisors visited new-build properties in Ravenswood, Ipswich to help customers adapt to their new ground source heat pump system. We handed out free energy monitors and gave advice on how to save money.

T wo disabled elderly customers in Kingsfleet Road and Coronation Drive, Felixstowe were having problems gripping handles and getting in and out of their bath. We fitted new door handles and handrails. Customer engagement

Here are some of the ways that we have improved our services by listening to you:

A customer in Ipswich was unable to cut back an overgrown tree in his garden due to his bad back. As it was obstructing a pathway and had received complaints from neighbours, we arranged for a community ranger to help do it for him. Recent ‘door knocks’ with community managers and Brandon’s Safer Neighbourhood Team have highlighted issues surrounding street lighting, parking and general maintenance. These have been reported to relevant agencies to be resolved.

11

Did you

know

?

Our energy awareness advisors can help you cut your energy bills? Why not contact us on 0808 168 4555 and we’ll get an advisor on hand to help you save money.


Competition time!

Competition time!

12

All aboard for Bressingham! How would you like to take a trip on one of the four railways at Bressingham, the unique collection of working locomotives? A trip to Bressingham’s locomotive sheds brings the power and the glory of mighty steam engineering up close. The National Dad's Army collection lets you wander through Walmington-on-Sea looking at original props and vehicles from the series, while

mums and dads can enjoy a stroll in the magnificent gardens and woodland. So whether you have a passion for steam engines, gardens, exhibits, rides or even a mixture of them all, we’re confident that Bressingham has something for all ages.

Competition prizes 1st prize is a season

ticket, which offers unlimited visits to Bressingham for up to five people until December 2011.

2nd prize is one of five

family tickets - these admit up to five people for one visit on a day of your choice.


To be in with a chance of winning one of these fabulous prizes, simply find the words in the word search. Once you’ve found the Bressinghamrelated words, cut out the wordsearch and send it to In touch, Suite 4, Keswick Hall, Norwich, NR4 6TJ by no later than 30 June. All correct entries received will be put into a prize draw, with the winners picked and notified on 1 July. Please note the competition is only open to Flagship customers and only one entry per household is allowed. Name: Telephone: Address:

A M W E R A I L W A Y L

S U L R O S M U E S U E

Trains Steam Engine

Postcode: Email:

Fancy a family day out at

N E I A L N Q H B E D S

E S A G L I O O L V C U

D U R D E A P C O D R O

R M O E R R R A O V L R

A E R A S T E A M L S A

G Y E N I G N E S R A C

Loco Blooms Rollers Railway Carousel Gardens Museum

#

?

Flagship has teamed up with BeWILDerwood to offer three families the chance to win a magical day out this summer. Nestled in the heart of the Norfolk Broads, BeWILDerwood is a family adventure park like no other. It’s a huge forest of wild family fun and adventure with treehouses, zip wires, jungle bridges, boat trips, storytelling, marsh walks and really yummy food! To win one of three BeWILDerwood day passes (worth £69 each and can be used by up to six people), all

you need to do is answer the following question: Q: “What is the name of BeWILDerwood’s Crocklebog?” You can find the answer by exploring the website bewilderwood.co.uk.

Competition time!

Here’s your chance to win…

submit it to us by no later than 30 June. All correct entries will be entered into a prize draw and the winners will be notified on 1 July.

Full terms and conditions of this BeWILDering competition can be found online. The competition Then, once you’ve found the is only open to Flagship answer, simply visit our website customers and only one entry (flagship-housing.co.uk) and per household is allowed.

13


Your safety

Distraction burglaries

14

There has been an increase in distraction burglaries across East Anglia over the past few months. This is where a lie, a trick or a distraction is used by someone calling at your door to try and gain access to your home in order to carry out a robbery. Who are distraction burglars? Distraction burglars are well organised individuals. They usually operate in teams and can appear on your doorstep under a remarkable array of guises. They can pose as local council staff, builders, gardeners, care workers, nurses and police officers. Usually working in pairs, one will often try to distract your attention while the other will gain entry to your property and steal any cash or valuables they find. Who is being targeted? According to Suffolk Police,

the biggest target group is the elderly, particularly those who live on their own.

Don’t keep large quantities of cash at home - put it in the bank where it is safe.

What can I do? All of our staff and contractors carry identification with them at all times – if you are unsure about who is at your door, call Flagship Response immediately on 0808 168 4555 and we will help confirm the identity of the caller. Do not use any telephone numbers they may provide as they could be false.

Keep your windows and doors locked and secure at all times.

Many utility service providers like gas, electricity and water offer password schemes for customers, so sign up to these.

If you are worried about distraction burglaries, you can download Age UK’s ‘staying safe’ booklet free of charge from our website (flagship-housing. co.uk) or by calling an Age UK help centre near you. Norwich (01603 496333), Ipswich (01473 257039) or Lowestoft (01502 586308).

When unannounced callers claiming to be from these utility providers call at your door they should know the password if they are genuine.

If somebody asks for your help (needs to make a telephone call, lost a ball in your garden or needs a pen and paper), refer them to a younger neighbour or assist them through a closed door or call a friend or neighbour to come and help.


Shared ownership properties are normally available to those with a local connection to the area – either you live or work nearby or have family located there. These homes are allocated based on specific housing need, with the highest priority reserved for current social tenants followed by first-time buyers. What are the monthly costs? For a two-bedroom property valued at £125,000, for a 50% share you would pay around £576 a month. This includes a mortgage payment of £410** with a rent payment of £146. **Based on

Is shared ownership for you?

re-sale. You can find more details of what we have on offer or to see if you qualify, visit us at flagship-homes. co.uk or contact the Flagship a 95% mortgage over 25 years, typical APR 6.2% with a 5% deposit Homes Sales Team on 01603 255444. of just £3,125. Where can I find out more? Although the number of new shared ownership properties available for sale in Norfolk and Suffolk is relatively small, there is a wide selection of shared ownership homes for

We also have a panel of Independent Financial Advisors and solicitors who can help you through the process of buying your new home. Answers to any questions you may have about shared ownership can

also be found on our website. Purchasing your own home does not have to be a dream, with shared ownership it could become a reality.

Did you

know

The Flagship Homes Sales Team helped 148 households onto the property ladder through shared ownership in 2010/11.

?

Shared ownership

For many people, owning their own home is often little more than a dream. However, shared ownership can help you get on the property ladder as it lets you buy a share in a property and pay a subsidised rent on the rest.

15


The Flagship homefile

Leaseholder

Our homefile has been updated and is now available as a download from our website (flagship-housing.co.uk). The homefile is relevant to both shared owners and leaseholders where property was originally sold under Right To Buy legislation. The homefile contains important information about the rights and responsibilities of both leaseholders and Flagship over matters concerning your home. It also gives useful advice on living in your home, as well

16

homefile a guide to

your new

home

service right

- ďŹ rst time

information on who to contact regarding repairs, service charges and debt advice. If you would like a printed version of the customer homefile sent out to you, please call Flagship Response on 0808 168 4555 and we will put a copy in the post.

Are you on

?

twitter

Every week we send out a special message for leaseholders on a whole range of subjects. Why not follow us today at twitter. com/flagshiphousing.


How are we performing? March 2011 Flagship Response 27 secs

% of telephone queries resolved at first point of contact Flagship Response

93%

Average time it takes us to re-let a property

Gas appliances serviced this year

Homes that meet Decent Homes Standard

Kings' Forest

99.84%

Kings' Forest

16 days

Kings' Forest

100%

Peddars Way

99.86%

Peddars Way

16 days

Peddars Way

100%

Suffolk Heritage

99.92%

Suffolk Heritage

16 days

Suffolk Heritage

100%

Performance

Average time to answer telephone calls

17 Overall customer satisfaction

Repairs satisfaction

(General needs/Sheltered) Kings' Forest

85% 88%

Kings' Forest

82%

Peddars Way

88.5% 92%

Peddars Way

86%

Suffolk Heritage

84%

Suffolk Heritage 86% 92%

Did you

know

?

We only have 20% of our customers' email addresses. Why not call Flagship Response on 0808 168 4555 to update your details.

Did you

?

In a recent survey, 80% of customers polled rated our website either ‘excellent’ or ‘very good’ in terms of content and information.

know


If you’d like ‘in touch, Your Flagship - Your News' in large print, Braille, audio format, or translated into another language, please call Flagship Response on 0808 168 4555.

Alternative formats

POR Se pretende este boletim informativo “in touch, Your Flagship – Your News” em letra grande, Braille, áudio ou traduzida num outro idioma, por favor contacte a Flagship Response pelo 0808 168 4555.

18

POL Jeśli pragną Państwo otrzymać niniejszy biuletyn ‘in touch, Your Flagship – Your News’ w formacie dużego druku, alfabetu Braille’a, nagrania audio lub w innym języku, prosimy o telefon do Flagship Response pod numer 0808 168 4555. RUS Если вы хотите получить данный информационный листок «“Flagship” на связи – ваши новости» крупным шрифтом, шрифтом Брайля, в аудио формате или в переводе на другой язык, пожалуйста, обращайтесь в службу «Flagship Response» по тел. 0808 168 4555. LIT Jei jūs norėtumėte gauti šį informacinį biuletenį „palaikome ryšį, jūsų Flagship – jūsų naujienos” stambiu šriftu, Brailio raštu, garso formatu ar išverstą į kitą kalbą, prašome paskambinti į Flagship Response tarnybą telefonu 0808 168 4555.

Designed and produced by Ett Brand Delivery www.ettbranddelivery.com

F22-0611


For less than ÂŁ3 a week!


Contact us Customer contacts: Framlingham Tenants’ Committee Chair: John Taylor 01728 747556 john.taylor@flagship-housing.co.uk Secretary: Donna Driver 01728 727552 donna.driver@flagship-housing.co.uk

Flagship 24hr Response 0808 168 4555 flagship-housing.co.uk

Mildenhall

Tenants' Assembly

Framlingham office Avocet House, Station Road Framlingham, Woodbridge Suffolk IP13 9EE

Chair: Chris O'Neill 01638 660500 oneill795@btinternet.com

Mildenhall office Cedar Lodge Chiswick Avenue, Mildenhall Suffolk IP28 7BD

Dereham

Dereham office Michael Chaplin House Station Road, Dereham Norfolk NR19 1DA

Customer Consultation Group Chair: Barry Winterburn 01362 687637 ccgpw@o2.co.uk Secretary: Annie Winterburn 01362 687637 ccgpw@o2.co.uk

service right - first time

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In Touch June 2011