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Keeping you in the loop

March 2013

Hayley’s pride in our values Pages 6 & 7

FROM THE TEAM It’s hard to believe that we’re already into March. Plenty has been happening since the last issue of The Loop landed in your offices. Our Cover story London Pride looks in on the London Region Away Day to give you a flavour of what the day held and then in Values in Action we home in on the eight London Region staff who received a Pride of London award in recognition of how they make a lasting difference in their everyday work. There’s news too about Welfare Reform in Benefits are changing and we learn more about Gilbert Stowe, the man who’s leading the project for Hyde in 20 Questions. The OHOV3 Project team provide us with an update about what stage the project has reached in Get set and in Time to act there’s further news about the actions that have so far been taken both locally and at a Group wide level based on the Your Shout 2012 feedback. Our colleagues in the Post Room talk about their work for the business in Opening the Post and in A Day in the Life of we find out what’s involved in the work of Andre Verazzo who works as an Agency Services Officer. Ever heard of WISH? If not Maxine Gordon explains what it is in Spotlight on. For those who are struggling to get a good night’s sleep or to make the most out of working from home, there are some wellbeing pointers in Sleepless in slumberland. There’s news too about a great donation from ICT which has helped Martlet Miracles raise money for Cancer Research in Fruity Boost for Charity Chums in Chichester. Finally, Sudoku is back for those number puzzle lovers amongst you who’d love the chance to win £100 of Very vouchers in the Competition on page 19.

The Comms team

March 2013

Contents 3 Word on the street


News from around the Group


4 Welfare reform

Benefits are changing

London Pride

6 Cover story


8 Values

Values in action

10 OHOV3

Get set


11 A day in the life of...


Agency Services

12 Behind the scenes

Opening the post

Time to act


Sleepless in slumberland


14 Staff survey 16 Spotlight on



17 Date for your diary Conference coming 18 Wellbeing


Media moments Charity

Fruity boost for Charity Chums in Chichester



Competition 20 20 Questions

Gilbert Stowe, Income Business Manager and Welfare Reform Project Lead

Produced by Communications

19 18


The Hyde Group 30 Park Street, London SE1 9EQ 020 3207 2701

Cover Pic: Hayley Stafford displays her award at the London Pride event.

2 The Loop The Hyde Group staff magazine

© Hyde Housing Association

Do keep sending us your story ideas and feedback about your magazine to

Word on the street



Group In January, our Hyde family of residents grew when we welcomed residents of the 581 homes we’ve acquired in Gosport, Hampshire, from A2Dominion Group. These homes which include a mix of social rent, leasehold and shared ownership properties complement our existing stock. This business decision to acquire these properties supports our ambition to continue growing as a business.

Deputy Mayor and local resident, Joyce Melican, with staff ready to take on the litter challenge at the start of the week.

Love is all a Roundshaw Roundshaw residents enjoyed a five day ‘love-in’ around Valentine’s Day this year with a whole host of “I Love Roundshaw” community events held from 11 to 15 February. “I Love” themed sessions that were designed to inform and entertain, covered a range of subjects including health and fitness “I Love to be Healthy”, careers advice “I Love to Work” and money matters “I Love Money”.



Hyde’s Hero calls for Help

Zuber’s zooming off

Hyde Hero and Special Projects Officer at Partners for Improvement (PFI) in Islington, Emma Burnham is looking to expand her green-fingered force. Emma heads up a gardening project provided for residents in Islington who are unable to look after their own gardens for health or age-related reasons and she’d love to hear from any Hyde staff who live or work in the North London area who would be keen to join her in her quest to keep making a lasting difference in Islington. Simply drop her an email at or give her a call on ext 7737 (020 7288 7737)

Congratulations to Zuber Ahmed, Management Accountant, who correctly matched the new values to the correct icons: 1.Valuing People 2. Being Innovative 3. Behaving with integrity 4. Working together 5. Taking responsibility Enjoy choosing how to use your £100 Love2travel gift card and don’t forget to send us a postcard!

The Loop The Hyde Group staff magazine 3

Wefare Reform CASE STUDY Hyde resident Mr S is disabled and needs an overnight carer but faced a 14% reduction in housing benefit under the new rules. Understandably distressed at the thought of the financial impact of this on the household, Mr S turned to Hyde. The benefit support office was able to work with the local authority and get Mr S an exemption so he could keep the full housing benefit allowance. Headlines about under occupancy, also known as the ‘Bedroom Tax’, have been fast tracked onto January’s front pages, via Prime Minister’s Question Time, and firmly to the front of the public awareness of and increasing concern about some of the most radical changes to the welfare benefits system in the UK in over sixty years. It’s clear that, although the government’s covered a lot of the groundwork developing these changes, the tasks are complicated and there’s yet more to be done, and so like all other housing providers our response has had to be flexible enough to respond to changing circumstances. The reforms will have far reaching implications for everyone who receives benefits of any kind. For Hyde, changes to the welfare system means rising to the challenge of supporting residents to sustain their tenancies, improve the quality of their lives and protect Hyde’s financial future.

Gilbert Stowe, Income Business Manager and lead for the Welfare Reform Project Group.

Gilbert Stowe, Income Business Manager and lead for the Welfare Reform Project Group said: “We’ve been working hard to update our financial modelling to develop a better sense of the potential impact of Welfare Reform on our residents

and our business and to provide a robust response which includes; investing in additional staff, extensive publicity, policy reviews, staff training, and the development of resident champions who can support our Welfare Reform interaction at a local ‘ground level’.

CHANGES COMING FROM APRIL 2013 There are five main areas of change that we need to concentrate on: ■ Under Occupancy ■ Universal Credit ■ Discretionary Housing Payments ■ Benefit Cap ■ Council Tax Support

4 The Loop The Hyde Group staff magazine

Diana Wade’s staff training schedule.

We’re currently focusing on helping residents affected by ‘under occupancy’, the ‘benefit cap’ and changes to the Council Tax Benefit system. Colleagues from Income Support, Allocations and Lettings, Hyde Plus and Housing Management are out and about talking to individual residents about their options and working with them to find the right solutions to their specific circumstances. Diana Wade, Lead Benefit Support Officer recently met with members of the Somali Women’s Group in Brent. She said: “Our experience of the

welfare system and how to calculate benefits is doubly valuable during this crucial time of change, but it’s only when we start applying what we know to real life situations that we begin to see the impact of the changes on individuals. Speaking to residents about their individual circumstance at events like this one is great, especially if we can help as a result.” Diana is part of the Welfare Reform Project Group. As well as supporting residents she and her benefits team have taken a lead in training staff. Information for staff is also available through Core Brief, Hydewide, Briefing Managers’ events and team briefings. A special information video is available on Hyde’s external website.

HYDE FAST FACTS preparing for Welfare 50k ofReform in 2012/13 250 plus staff trained 62 Resident Champions 14 new staff roles created

committed so far in support

Diana Wade, Lead Benefit Support Officer, in conversation with a Somali interpreter.

The Loop The Hyde Group staff magazine 5

Cover story Pride was the theme of the day when over 150 of the London region staff descended on the hallowed turf (not literally) of the Emirates stadium for the first London Region away day. The event provided an opportunity for staff from all over London to meet, greet and get to know each other. Opening the event, Regional Director Shaun Holdcroft gave a strategic overview of the region, the size and scope of the work involved in providing resident services to 21,500 homes for circa 45,000 residents. Shaun also explained the challenges which the London region presents both in terms of geography and resident mix and how the work of our staff contributes to the success of the region. Later on in the morning, the results from the recent Your Shout survey were shared with the audience who also had an opportunity to help to devise the action plan which will be implemented in the future. Pride took many forms during the day and one of the most memorable came with the Pride of London awards which recognised those staff who had gone above and beyond and truly demonstrated that they “lived the values.” After a hearty lunch and an opportunity to have their photos taken on the terraces (close to a religious experience for all the gunner fans present), the afternoon session saw presentations from managers on the challenges of providing excellent services consistently, our plans for tackling the impact of Welfare Reform and managing our stakeholders. The opportunity for all present to input into the way forward , highlighting those things which we could “Stop start, continue” rounded off a lively, informative and above all memorable day. 6 The Loop The Hyde Group staff magazine

Pride of London aw ar back row: Victoria d winners: Left to right Akiwowo Hayley Stafford Tina Edoja. Middl e ro Grant Agnes Wrig w: Kathy Croucher Valerie ht. Front row: Co lline McLeod Jackie Morton. Find out over the page why these eig pride of London. ht are the



180 staff 10 offices 7 local authorities £97m revenue £35m costs

Check out the next issue of The Loop for a full report of the day’s events at the third and final regional away day held in Chichester on 6 March.

The Loop The Hyde Group staff magazine 7


Values in Just before Christmas we launched our five new organisational values

VALUING PEOPLE ■ Putting all our residents and customers at

the heart of what we do ■ Supporting staff to do their best,

recognising everyone’s contribution ■ Treating people with respect and

At the London Region’s Away Day on 6 February, there was plenty of evidence of the values in action when eight staff received a London Pride Award for the contributions that they make towards making a lasting difference in their everyday work. Administrator Agnes Wright

promoting a diverse and inclusive culture

TAKING RESPONSIBILITY ■ Taking personal responsibility and

ownership for our actions and for getting things done ■ Being prepared to see things through and resolve issues, asking for help if needed ■ Making sure our customers and colleagues can rely on us to do what we say we’re going to do

An excellent team member who is always going the extra mile. Agnes has very good working relationships with both residents and contractors. Making full use of TED, she takes ownership of issues and always sees them through to their conclusion.

ASB Officer Hayley Stafford

BEHAVING WITH INTEGRITY ■ Doing what is in the best interests of the

customer and the organisation ■ Behaving honestly and openly ■ Conducting our business in a transparent


TEAM WORK ■ Working as an effective team ■ Delivering together as The Hyde Group

Through her hard work and dedication Hayley has helped to combat Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB) on the Hyde Islington estates. The excellent working relationships that she has also managed to develop with Brent Safer Neighbourhoods Teams (SNT) and senior Police officers has helped to build Hyde’s reputation as a leader in this field.

■ Working effectively with customers and


Housing Officer Kathy Croucher

INNOVATION ■ Being open to change, new ideas and

making suggestions for improvement ■ Proposing creative solutions ■ Learning from others, seeking out and

implementing best practice

8 The Loop The Hyde Group staff magazine

A dedicated team player who since taking on two sheltered schemes 12 months ago, has been able to engage with residents who had previously had a negative view of The Hyde Group. Kathy faced many challenges along the way, but her positive attitude has always been a shining light.

n action Administrator Colline McLeod

Development Officer Jackie Morton

Colline is always going out of her way to help others and has provided administrative support in other offices across the London Region, sharing her expertise to enable performance monitoring systems to be set up and completed across the region.

A respected, much valued and experienced member of a team who love her, Jackie has excellent rapport with not only her team but with a number of external agencies. She has assisted the housing management team in a number of tasks and often works late in the evening so that she can attend a number of forums.

Housing Officer Tina Edoja It’s great to recognise people for a job well done and to see our values in action in our everyday work. Tina epitomises what you want in a colleague and officer. She’s an excellent team player and welcomes all new staff in helping them to settle in quickly and feel part of the team. Her same welcoming manner is used to good effect with residents too.

Lettings Officer Valerie Grant

Valerie has forged good relations with support providers, getting them onside and working to the lettings’ processes and importantly providing excellent customer service. Her hard work has helped her to build a network of contacts for referrals.

Customer Services Officer Victoria Akiwowo Victoria, with her positive attitude, constantly goes the extra mile for customers and staff alike, and is the perfect example of what a front facing member of staff should be. Colleagues already recognise her as an excellent asset to the Customer Service team: she received five separate nominations from her colleagues for the Partners’ staff recognition ‘Star Partner’ Award. Victoria then went on to scoop the overall Annual ‘Star Partner’ Award.   

When noticing and congratulating individuals for a job well done, don’t forget to think about whether they’ve gone above and beyond what’s expected of them as part of their role in the business. If that’s the case, why not send in a nomination for The Hyde Group’s official staff recognition scheme, Hyde’s Heroes either by filling in one of the nomination cards available at all of our offices and send it to Communications, The Hyde Group, 30 Park Street, London SE1 9EQ or click on the Hyde’s Heroes banner on Hydewide and fill in the online version. Alternatively you can send your nomination by email to

The Loop The Hyde Group staff magazine 9

OHOV3 Max Girard OHOV 3 Project Manager

“After huge efforts from the Team and colleagues across the business, the OHOV3 projects and work streams have progressed steadily into the next phase of the programme. With the milestones hit for the procurement project and the tender now out to the market, we’re placing increased focus on the operational elements of the programme. The way that the revised service will be provided (the target operating model) is continuing to be developed as are the supporting systems and processes that will be required. Attention is also being focussed on making sure that we have a robust organisational design to complement it.” Supporting Systems and Processes Systems Systems Clare Johns, Systems and processes

Get set Systems Policy

Ben Mearns Policy and Procedures

“Three new high level policies Responsive Repairs and Voids, Cyclical Maintenance and Servicing, and Stock Investment, have been approved by the Operational Management Team (OMT) and are now ready to be launched as part of the mobilisation phase. A full review of all policies for the Property Services function is well underway”. Systems Processes

“The design for the system requirements for OHOV3 is almost complete. However, the approach for OHOV3 needs to evolve as we progress the process, so over the next month detailed planning will start on meeting the requirements to deliver the service for mobilisation, and what further work needs to be done during the life of the contracts. This will all be in aid of helping to deliver smarter ways of working”

Eva Lam, Business Analyst

being held with the Heads of Service and staff across the business that they’ve identified as needing to be involved. The aim of the workshops is to review 49 of our existing processes to determine how they need to be altered to reflect the changes.” Systems HR Emma Christie, HR and training

Systems Service Mobilisation

“Consultation with affected staff began on 15 January 2013 for Property Services and 16 January for Martlet Build. The 90 day consultation period is due to end in April and the aim is to commence mobilisation from summer 2013 in line with the reprocurement of contracts.” Systems Procurement Audrey Li, Procurement

“Following a considerable amount of work to produce the processes that will be required to support the new way of providing our repairs and maintenance services, a series of workshops are now

companies through to the next stage of the procurement process. Over 40 staff and residents from all areas of the business contributed to the PQQ* evaluation and the creation of tender documents. By the rules of the tender process, staff mustn’t discuss the procurement with external suppliers or accept hospitality from bidders.” *Pre Qualification Questionnaire

“After months of hard work, Hyde has invited a shortlist of 50

Dawn Reed, Service Mobilisation

“At the tail end of last year I held a number of feedback sessions with staff which provided valuable input into this major piece of work for the business. The mobilisation part of this project is in the information collecting phase at the moment. Meetings will be taking place with Heads of Service and Regional Directors to gather views about how they see mobilisation working in their part of the business.”

Visit the OHOV3 pages on Hydewide for more information by simply clicking on the OHOV3 banner. If you have any queries or comments email the project team at 10 The Loop The Hyde Group staff magazine

A day in the life of... The Agency Services Team manages 240 properties, working in partnership with 50 external partner agencies. The team manages the relationship between Hyde and partner agencies to ensure that they deliver a high quality service to the 1350 residents, who are either Hyde tenants or licensees. The properties are spread across London, Kent, Hampshire, Surrey and Sussex. 9 am I arrive in to be greeted with some good news from my colleague Vanessa – a large outstanding rent payment has been received from one of the agencies who provide support to our tenants. It’s good to know that we’re playing our part in helping the Group to meet their rent arrears target of 4.2%. 10 am After replying to my emails and making a number of ‘phone calls, a colleague from another agency calls me to let me know that at 6 am the police had raided a tenant’s property and Class A drugs had been found. They ask me to agree to an application being made for a Notice Seeking Possession (NoSP) and we then plan the steps that will need to be taken to regain possession of the property. 10.30am I chair a telephone conference call with two managers from an agency in connection with a local authority contract to provide support and housing management at a mental health scheme in one of Hyde’s properties. We plan the steps required to make sure that the

Agency Services Andre Verazzo is a member of this team. He’s an Agency Services Officer who is based at our Lewisham Office. As with many jobs, no two days are ever the same, but here’s a flavour of some of the varied aspects of the work that can make up his day... hand-over runs smoothly and then discuss what information the tenants will be given, how to address disrepair and renewal issues at the property and negotiate the timescales. 12.00pm Some lunch combined with some e-learning (Meeting the threat from fire). The fire laboratory robot, Sparky, showing what could happen if you tackle a fire without knowing what you’re doing was really informative. 1.30pm I visit a young people’s scheme in Greenwich to follow up on a previous issue of Anti-Social Behaviour. I meet with the agency team leader to check the current situation and ensure the neighbours have been kept informed of progress. There’s been a great improvement in terms of the ASB and a public meeting is scheduled for the end of the month to ensure all local people have a voice. 3.00pm I confirm some property inspection dates with two agencies and then head off to the official opening ceremony of a hostel that over the last six months has been refurbished for Thames Reach (one of our partner organisations).

3.50pm I arrive at the hostel in Stamford Street in Southwark where the scheme is based. It’s a pioneering project which will provide a home for 19 former rough sleepers with two full time psychologists as part of its team (one of a few in the in the UK that do). Jeremy Swain, the CEO* from Thames Reach, James Stone. Supported Housing Property Services Manager, and Lee-Anne Smith, Communications Business Partner from Hyde, have to endure me going on about how the word “hostel” is full of negative connotations. Jeremy shares the same view which is why Thames Reach has taken the decision to re-name the scheme “The Waterloo Project”. Around 30 professionals arrive and then Jeremy gives a speech thanking everyone including Hyde and talks about the great hopes for the project. He takes a breath during the speech and a service user in the room softly speaks...“Will there be pies? I like steak and onion pies”. I call that perspective! 5.00pm Time to head home and collect my son. Top of my list for tomorrow is writing up some minutes from last week’s London Agency Forum. *Chief Executive Officer

To find out more about Agency Services call Ingrid McDowell, Agency Services Manager on ext 7607 (0208 297 7607) The newly refurbished kitchen at The Waterloo Project

The Loop The Hyde Group staff magazine 11

Behind the scenes

Openi Post

Our Group Post Room team recently invited their colleagues in the Corporate Services Directorate to pop in to get the inside track on the work that they do. As well as dealing with all of the incoming post for the Group, they also scan the documents received relating to tenancies, properties and leaseholds for Core Operations. All four members of the team were on hand to explain how things work and answer any questions that their colleagues had.

d Compliance Carmichael, Risk an er and Gerry hn Jo ) ht rig to ft (le ance Manag Goody bags for ice Delivery Compli rv Se , rch Bi sie Su Director; ess Partner. McGinty, HR Busin

Charmaine shares

a day in her life.

Meet the Team Eileen Cornuaud Post Room Team Leader I joined Hyde in June 2011 (just before the launch of Core Operations). My first job was to put together procedures for handling incoming post that would mean that staff could meet the response times for different situations given in our Service Promise. The Group Post Room started life at the Lewisham Office, but moved to Long Lane in September 2012 because Royal Mail was unable to provide a timed delivery. Another part of my work is leading on the archiving project. At the start of the project we had 11,000 boxes stored in12 locations in the South East of England, as well as huge amounts of paper work in each of our offices. This project is all about sorting out what we need to keep; storing it in boxes labelled with unique numbers to make it easy to recall to the office if/when it’s needed, storing it all in one secure off-site location and arranging for the confidential destruction of any information that we no longer need to keep. So far, we have cleared 9,000 boxes of archiving (nine times the height of the Shard!). Thank you to those of you who’ve helped this to happen. There’s still more to be done though. 12 The Loop The Hyde Group staff magazine

Matthew Basham Post Room Assistant I’ve been with Hyde since February 2012 and it’s my job to send out all mail in the most economical way possible. I’m also in charge of the Franking Machine and am the point of contact with Royal Mail. When staff at any of our offices have a query about their franking equipment or redirected post I’m the person they contact. I’m keen to put a face to the voices of staff that have called me since I joined, as well as to meet more staff, so during the next couple of months I’ll be visiting all of our offices. It will be great to find out how things are working, answer any questions that staff may have and share tips about how to keep our post costs as low as we can.

ing the Charmaine Morgan Post Room Assistant

ersation with Matt deep in conv T 1st & 2nd David Sheehan (IC Manager). t or pp Line Su

I’ve worked for Hyde for six years now and joined this team just over a year ago. Reception is my responsibility, so if you call in to Long Lane, it’s me who will meet and greet you. I’m also responsible for issuing temporary swipe cards at Long Lane. In terms of the work done by the post room team, it’s my job to make sure that I scan all the Priority One* items that are delivered. Before scanning each of the Court documents I have to identify who the income officer is. When I scan the documents, I identify which department needs to process each one and after an internal check by another member of our team the scanned documents are then forwarded on to the appropriate team to process. Sometimes, the information given on a document is incomplete and when this happens I have to telephone the Courts to get more details before I can scan it. *Court Documents; Complaints; End of Tenancy Forms

Nuggets of knowledge l Each week around 2,000 pieces of

incoming post are received in the Post Room

l Every day around 5kgs of paper and used

envelopes (that’s the weight of around 2 bags of sugar) are recycled

l In its first year of operation, the Group saved

£16,000 in stationery costs by implementing value for money procedures

l Every letter sent out second class in an A5

envelope costs13p less than if it’s sent out first class

l Using A5 envelopes rather than A4

Gary Mills Post Room Assistant I record the stats about handling of the post so that we can monitor whether there’s a constant flow of post or whether there are peak days or times of the year. That way we can effectively plan our work flow and also monitor costs to the business. When Eileen is away from Long Lane at another office, I’m the point of contact for people around the business if they have any post-related queries. I’m also involved in the archiving project and it’s me who is arranging for the confidential destruction of information that no longer needs to be kept. I also deal with emails that come in via the Facilities help desk , issue visitor passes and handle the incoming deliveries. Finally, I’m also the Health and Safety Committee Rep for Facilities so it’s my responsibility to record problems or safety issues when they arise and then highlight them at our monthly team meeting.

whenever possible and using second class post instead of first class saves as much as £2.05 on each item.

l Each day, at least 10 individual court

documents for tenants who have fallen into extensive rent arrears arrive in the post

The Loop The Hyde Group staff magazine 13

Staff survey Keeping it local Since the Your Shout 2012 staff survey, discussions have been happening in each area of the business to identify the most important issues to take action on at a local level. Here’s a sample of how survey feedback is being turned into action...

Time to

Workload and working hours Workload and working hours is an issue (47%). A number of reasons You said were suggested including our email culture, our mobile working technology, role changes and staff turnover and inconsistent approaches to flexible working. Corporate Services will: be looking into ways of smarter working both in terms of how we work and what equipment we have to help us do our jobs

You said

I can do my job without regularly working excessive hours (53%). 33% % of staff across the business either disagreed or strongly disagreed with this statement while 16% weren’t sure. Resident Engagement Team will: Create an email protocol. South Region will: Consider having a Friday afternoon email curfew. The Income Team will: Review officer patches. HR will: Make sure that managers understand how our flexible working arrangements can be used. EMT will: Make sure that they don’t send out routine emails during weekday evenings or over the weekend. 14 The Loop The Hyde Group staff magazine

Hyde Plus staff said

We don’t have a way to raise our concerns (This was a point raised in the Hyde Plus focus groups held to develop a local action plan. ).

Hyde Plus Senior Management Team will: Invite a staff representative along to each Senior Management Team meeting to raise issues.

East region staff said: London Region staff said:

We don’t see how senior managers take day to day issues into account when making decisions (70%).

London Regional Senior Management Team will: Set up a ballot system to enable members of staff to attend quarterly Regional Senior Management Team (SMT) meetings. They will also ensure people from London housing teams are represented on Group-wide projects.

Corporate Services, Finance and PFI staff said:

We don’t have career opportunities (55%; 53% and 62%).

Corporate Services, Finance and PFI will: Explore work shadowing opportunities .

We think our induction process could be better (64%).

East Regional Senior Management Team will: Develop and implement a regional induction for new starters.

Getting to Grips with Group wide issues As well as the local meetings that have taken place, the Executive Management Team (EMT) has met with around 80 staff from different areas across the business to gain further insight into key Group wide issues highlighted in the survey:

Very good session – thank you for inviting me. Moses Soussis, IT Supplier Manager

act Members of the staff survey action group discuss the revamp of Hyde’s Heroes with Nigel Dorrington, Communications Co-ordinator.

I felt the session was really useful and it was good to have all the Executive Management Team there. Tamara Williams- Harding, Resident Engagement Officer

Speaking out to challenge how things are done

You said

Health and safety

I don’t feel that it is safe to speak up (55%).

The EMT did: Set up a staff survey action group with eight members. This group is tasked with making recommendations to EMT on the most Hyde doesn’t take important actions for the Group including what can health and safety be done differently to help more people feel able seriously enough (28%). to speak up. You said The discussions SMTs are also exploring what can be done locally, highlighted a number of for example Resident Engagement will include a concerns with Guardian “gripes” slot in their team conference calls. 24, lone working and the visibility of the Health and Safety team. Actions have already been taken: The Health and Safety team: l Has established a dedicated email address ( l Is actively reviewing the market for alternative suppliers as the G24 contract is up for review in May.

Valuing staff The Hyde Group values the You said contribution of its employees (69%). The remaining 31% of staff selected the ‘neither agree nor disagree’ option which means that they’re not sure. The discussion explored what more could be done so that people felt that their contribution as employees is valued. A number of suggestions were made, ranging from a simple thank you to a revamp of the Hyde’s Heroes staff recognition scheme. Local SMTs have been tasked with considering what more they might do locally, for instance recognising contributions at team meetings or away days. The staff survey action group is considering what could be done differently Group wide. They will be presenting their recommendations to EMT in March.

So what next? Frontline Forum

The opportunity to talk face to face with members of the EMT was welcomed by those who attended their session. This opportunity will now be offered to more staff over the coming year. Each month, starting in March, 20 people from around the business will be invited to join Steve White and one other Executive Management Team member to discuss business issues . The Loop The Hyde Group staff magazine 15

Spotlight on Maxine Gordon, Head of Customer Services, is a member of Women In Social Housing (WISH), a unique business networking and support group set up by women working in the affordable housing industry. There are over 300 members from many different professions including architects, engineers and lawyers, to name just a few, but all have social housing as their common interest. We asked her to tell us more about it. How long have you been involved with WISH? Since 2008 when a former colleague (who was also one of the founding members of WISH) invited me to join. What are the benefits of being a part of it? I’m able to engage with other women working in the many different roles within the affordable housing industry and gain on-going support from them. The meetings are always a great source of information and support. Presentations are interactive and topics covered are many and varied. I’ve also made some good friends along the way. Do you think there are good career opportunities for women in this sector? Whilst there are a large number of women in social housing, still only a handful are in director level roles. WISH seminars have highlighted to me that women and men approach applying for senior roles quite differently. I’ve also discovered that from a

housing management perspective, certainly, most women who enter social housing ‘fall into it’ rather than choosing it as a career. Groups such as WISH want to change this and make social housing a career of choice by promoting it to young women. What kind of qualities do you think women need to be effective in housing? And how can being a member of WISH help? Business acumen, tenacity, excellent communication skills, an awareness of risks and a social heart – just the same qualities as for men in this sector. WISH can help women to recognise their strengths and contributions and guide them in how to aim for the top. What do you think about the opportunities for women at Hyde? At Hyde, we’re lucky in that two of our six Executive Management

Team (EMT) members are female and I’m sure that their male colleagues really value the insight and balance that they bring to the team. I also feel encouraged when I see the good mix of female senior managers at Hyde. Who else at Hyde is a member? Can any women in housing join? There’s just me from Hyde at the moment, but any women in social housing can join. What are your future plans within WISH? I look forward to working closely with WISH in the future to develop young women’s awareness of social housing. I’ve already done one presentation at Eltham Girls’ School where we took young girls through the whole housing process, from the acquisition of land to housing management – I wish I’d had something like it when I was at School.

If you’re interested in finding out more about WISH either email Maxine at or visit the WISH website It costs £50 to join for a full year.

16 The Loop The Hyde Group staff magazine

Date for your diary

Conference coming

After the success of last year’s first Residents’ Conference, the second one is now only a matter of weeks away.

This year involved residents from across all of our regions will be heading to the Emirates Stadium in London on Friday 22 March. Organised by the Resident Engagement team, the conference will not only mean that Hyde can share information, but more importantly can gather residents’ views and opinions to help shape our plans for the future. The conference will be an interactive day with a mix of presentations, workshops and feedback sessions as well as having a variety of information stalls about different areas of the business. Food is being provided and where possible travel for residents is either being organised or costs are being reimbursed. Although places are limited on the day, please contact your local Resident Engagement team if you know of any residents in your area who might like to attend. As night descends the venue will be transformed to host Hyde’s first Resident Awards’ ceremony. The “Making a lasting difference awards” will recognise the achievements and contributions of our

residents who go the extra mile to make their community a better place. Over 60 nominations were received for the six* award categories. The winners will be toasted in a special ceremony hosted by Group Director of Housing, Carol Carter.

And the judges are... Julia Johnson (Director of Resident Engagement and Communications)

Caroline Benford (Hyde resident and winner of TPAS Tenant of the Year 2012)

Lee Robinson (Hyde Resident and Chair of Hydewide Residents’ Voice). Tom Gardiner, (Hyde Plus Regional Manager, East Region).

Be sure to check in to the next issue of The Loop to catch up on news from the Conference.

*Community Excellence Award; Effective Resident Scrutiny Award; Excellence in Hyde Training or Work Placement Opportunity Award; Young Person Award; Working in Partnership Excellence Award and the Val Taylor Award

If you’d like to attend the conference or are interested in having a stall there, please contact Sarah Hyde, Resident Engagement Strategy Adviser (Comms & Consultations) on ext 8767 (0203 207 2767). The Loop The Hyde Group staff magazine 17


Sleepless in slumberland or Wrestling with Working from Home? Oakdale provides Hyde’s Employee Assistance Programme (EAP). In addition they provide us with articles covering all types of Wellbeing matters, the two most recent articles provided are ‘Strategies for Improving Sleep’ and ‘Making Working from Home Work for You.’ Both provide handy hints; if you wish to view them please go to online documents on Hydewide. As well as providing us with articles, Oakdale also provides free, confidential counselling services which are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to employees and any of their family members aged 16 years and over who live in the same home. So whether it’s support or advice you need call Oakdale’s assistance line on 0800 027 7844. Their trained and experienced counsellors can deal with a wide variety of matters including financial problems, sexual or racial harassment, domestic violence and bereavement.

Media Moments It’s really important to make sure that the good work we’re doing continues to reach the media. Please play your part by sending your stories through to Here’s a flavour of some of our work that has been picked up in the press

Trade Press Mention was made of our shortlisting in two categories of the UK Housing Awards 2013: l Business transformation of the Year for One Hyde One Vision l Community-led initiative of the year for Hyde Youth Bank The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony taking place on16 April.

Local Press Kim Isbell a Hyde resident is very active in her local community. She was approached by her local 18 The Loop The Hyde Group staff magazine

paper to write a regular piece. So far, three articles have appeared. Mention was made of the half term holiday sporting activities available for young people aged 6 to 15 years old that Hyde would be helping to fund. Opportunity for dog chipping, bike marking and safety advice from the police during the week-long ‘I Love Roundshaw’ event received coverage.

Social media Tweet Cred We’re a market leader in the Twitter stakes with a

following of just under 3,500 now and it keeps growing! We’re followed by residents, staff and local stakeholders and often get great feedback, like Patty who said “Very nice... Keep up the great work inspiring people!!!” If you’re on twitter, follow us and see what’s happening! Face2Face We’re loving the stories you’re sending through for us to share on Facebook and the feedback we’re getting from residents. Our stories are well received and we get some great comments. Laura had this to say about the new Welfare Reform video which was viewed by over 157 people in the space of a week: “Great little vid. Easy to understand and gives you the facts” Have you seen the video yet? If not, make sure to click on it through the banner on our refreshed website.


Fruity boost for Charity Chums in Chichester Hyde’s Chichester-based charity fundraisers known as The Miracles are constantly seeking ways to raise money for Cancer Research. Recently, ICT were able to help them out when they donated 186 BlackBerrys that needed reconditioning. Prior to the handover, the memory from each handset was wiped. Adrian Bealing (pictured left) Head of ICT Support, commented “It’s great to know that once they’ve been reconditioned they’ll find their way to new users in the name of such a fantastic cause.”

Competition Shoes to shirts to shimmering frocks... Cushions to curtains to wall hanging clocks ... Gardens to gadgets to games to play... Very vouchers can bring these your way….



Simply complete the Sudoku below for your chance to win £100 of Very vouchers. Enter a number from 1 through to 9 into each empty square so that: l Each horizontal row contains each number from 1 to 9 only once l Each vertical column contains each number from 1 to 9 only once l Each mini grid of 9 squares contains each number from 1 to 9 only once Good luck!



3 1

6 9


5 6







3 3





2 4





5 7


Email your answers to or post to Susan Moroney, The Loop Editor, 30 Park Street, London SE1 9EQ All entries for this month’s competition are to be received no later than Friday 29 MARCH 2013. The Loop The Hyde Group staff magazine 19

20 Questions Gilbert Stowe, Income Business Manager and Welfare Reform Project Team Lead on The Mummy and being a bandit. 1

What’s your role in the business and what does it involve? I joined Hyde in September 2012 to take on two roles: l Income Business Manager for the half of the Income Team who are based in the Chichester office. l Welfare Reform Project Team Lead


What’s the best thing about your role? That’s easy – l In my Income Business Manager role, it’s working with my team in Chichester. They’re always really pleased to see me and I them. l In my Project lead role, it’s being in touch with really talented individuals right across the Group, who are responsible for developing and implementing the organisation’s response to the impact of Welfare Reform on both our residents and the business.


What’s your favourite meal? It depends; if I’m feeling a bit down, it’s Pizza, but if I want to celebrate something, then it’s Thai food.


If you won £1million what would you do with it? Spend! Spend! Spend!


If you could visit anywhere you wanted in the world in 24 hours where would you go? Fort Jeudy in Grenada. My brother has a house there which has a special veranda (built especially for me!). It faces the sea coast and so gets great cooling sea breezes.


If you could have any job in the world (apart from with Hyde!), what would it be? Music DJ or an author of Science Fantasy!


Which month of the year were you born? August.


Where’s your favourite holiday destination? Negril Beach, Jamaica. It’s one of the best in Jamaica.


What’s your favourite film? ‘The Mummy’ and ‘The Mummy Returns’.


What’s important to you at work? Variety. Having worked in many different areas in Housing, I’ve gained lots of knowledge and experience and I like to be able to make use of these as often as possible.


What’s your favourite TV programme? It’s a close thing between The Big Bang Theory and Frasier.


What three things do you wish you’d known at 20? My Wife (OK, I know, she’s a person not a thing). That the internet would become a phenomenon. To invest in a computer company!


What’s the best advice you’ve been given? My Father used to say to me when I was a teenager “If you go out with a large group of friends make sure you’re the leader and not the follower.” (This piece of advice saved my bacon on more than one occasion!)


What did your school report say about you? I was Head Boy at my school (Stationers’ Company’s School in Hornsey North London) so I’m sure that it must have said great things, I just can’t remember what they were…



Which person would you most like to meet? Barack Obama.

20 The Loop The Hyde Group staff magazine

What’s your favourite song? Throw Down Your Arms – by Burning Spear. Sinead O’Connor also did a good version of this.


If there was a film of your life story who would play you? Denzel Washington. But I know one or two colleagues who would say it should be Alexander O’Neal!


Which one item couldn’t you do without? My Dr Dre Beats Mixr headphones. I take them with me everywhere. It really enhances my music listening experience!


What three words would your friends use to describe you? You’re a bandit! You golfers out there would understand!


If you could travel in time (forwards or backwards) where would you go? The Olympics in Brazil 2016! Feeling Hot! Hot! Hot!

Loop March 2013