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LuminusNEWS News and more from one of the Best Companies to Work For in the UK

Winter 2009 Issue 39

ROAD TO RENEWAL £70,000 INVESTED IN COMMUNITIES 7

MYSTERY SHOPPING

8

NEW LUMINUS DEVELOPMENT

15

OCTAVIA VIEW UPDATE

16

TAKING A STAND


LUMINUS, THE BEST HOUSING PROVIDER TO WORK FOR IN THE UK

MESSAGE

FROM THE GROUP CHIEF EXECUTIVE

Demonstrating a more excellent way of doing business As we move towards the end of 2009 I am truly pleased with the progress we have made this year, giving us confidence as we go into 2010. In January 2009, government inspectors looked at Luminus and praised us, saying we had, “very satisfied customers”. The next month independent judges from Best Companies said Luminus was the UK’s No.1 for employee well being. All through the year our residents representatives worked closely with us, sharing their views and contributing their ideas. We have greatly appreciated their support. It has also been a tough year as the effects of the world wide recession has begun to affect the UK. Sadly, some of the worst aspects of modern British life – such as disrespect for people and property, teenage pregnancies and abortions, sexually transmitted diseases – have not been halted even in these difficult times.

WINTER 2009 LUMINUS NEWS

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DEMONSTRATING A MORE EXCELLENT WAY OF DOING BUSINESS

CONTENTS Page 2 Transformed Lives and Excellent Outcomes Page 5 New Homes For Our Local Community Page 6 Voice Your Choice Page 7 Mystery Shopping Page 9 Unity in the Community

THE LUMINUS LIGHT SHINES BRIGHTLY

Page 10

Against this background the Luminus effect has been clear to see, and our light has shone brightly. Throughout the year many residents have continued to tell us how pleased they have been with the work that our people do for them, as Luminus continues to be the community anchor. We have evidence of many people’s lives really being transformed, and of excellent outcomes as we have looked after their homes, helped to make a difference where they live, engaged young people in social responsibility and taken a lead in encouraging other organisations towards excellence.

Page 13

Paying Your Rent Page 11 Using Customer Enquires to Improve Services Life After Debt Page 14 Ferry Project Celebrates 10 Years of Success Page 16 Respect – Taking A Stand Page 17 Spotlight on Tenancy Support

Our journey continues into 2010 as we seek to travel on our Road to Page 18 Renewal. Although Britain is badly “broken”, Luminus people have shown during 2009 that change is possible. We have done that Smoke Detectors Page 19 together and the results are inspiring. Let’s make 2010 a Year of Renewing Hope & Inspiration!

Winter Health – Colds and Flu

Tell us what you think Your views are important to us. Please tell us what you think about Luminus News. Call 01480 428707/8 or email news@luminus.org.uk 3

WINTER 2009 LUMINUS NEWS


LUMINUS, THE BEST HOUSING PROVIDER TO WORK FOR IN THE UK

AWARDS UPDATE

Over the past year Luminus has been awarded many external accreditations, including 12th place in the Sunday Times 100 Best Companies To Work For and three star ‘extraordinary’ status in Best Companies 2009.

Enterprise Business Awards. The award, sponsored by Cambridgeshire County Council, recognised HOPE as a business that was fervent about achieving social change and made a significant positive impact on the local community.

Luminus’ excellent health and safety record has been recognised by RoSPA with the Occupational Health and Safety Gold Award (fifth year running), RoSPA MORR Safety Gold Award and by the British Safety Council in the International Safety category.

Luminus is a finalist in the National Business Awards, Personnel Today Awards, Sustainable Housing Awards, UKHA Inside Housing Awards. Peterborough Evening Telegraph Awards and National Customer Service Awards. The results will be announced over the coming months and Luminus hopes to add to the successes of the past months.

HOPE Social Enterprises has been awarded the title of Social Enterprise of the Year in the Fenland

AD All MI wel SS com IO e! N FR E

E

Wednesday 16 December 2009 Conference Room, Brook House, Ouse Walk, Huntingdon

Mince Pies and Mulled Wine at 5pm With special guest - opera singer

Faye Hart

WINTER 2009 LUMINUS NEWS

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DEMONSTRATING A MORE EXCELLENT WAY OF DOING BUSINESS

NEW HOMES FOR OUR COMMUNITIES Luminus invited non-executives, employees and tenants to a training event looking at four housing sites in Huntingdon and Cambridge to see first hand what the company has been doing to tackle housing problems.

Great Shelford was noted for it’s ‘community feel’

It was a lively event and gave the opportunity to discuss a wide range of issues as well as to see how their work fits into the bigger picture both within Luminus and in our local communities.

THIS TOUR PROVIDED OUR EMPLOYEES, TENANTS AND NON-EXECUTIVES WITH THE OPPORTUNITY TO VIEW THE WIDE RANGE OF HOMES WE PROVIDE AND HOW WE CAN TRANSFORM LIVES. Hinchingbrooke Parkway got a big thumbs up!

Councillors Saeed Akthar, Mayor of Huntingdon and Mike Simpson, Deputy Leader of Huntingdonshire District Council, joined the group at Hinchingbrooke Parkway and Moorhouse Drive, Huntingdon, to view the properties and meet with the attendees. Councillor Simpson said,

Councillors Akthar and Simpson were impressed by Moorhouse Drive

“The two locations within Huntingdon that I visited are a credit to Luminus in the planning, forethought and care shown in bringing the premises “on line”. I am sure that the residents will be very comfortable in these homes.” The group then moved on to view properties at Great Shelford, Cambridge and the Kaleidoscope development on the former Cambridge University Press Site.

Residents were impressed with the quality of the properties

Luminus Group Chief Executive, Chan Abraham, said,

“We recognise that people are our greatest asset. This tour provided our employees, tenants and non-executives with the opportunity to view the wide range of homes we provide and how we can transform lives.

Kaleidoscope proved a big hit

We want them to understand their individual contribution in helping us achieve our corporate goals. It is very important that they feel they are part of the Luminus family as we journey together on the Road to Renewal to improved communities.” 5

WINTER 2009 LUMINUS NEWS


LUMINUS, THE BEST HOUSING PROVIDER TO WORK FOR IN THE UK

VOICE YOUR CHOICE

DECISION DAY 3 OCTOBER 2009 Tracey Croucher, Tracey Stone, Simon Leher, Ken Fleet, Edith Fleet, Cllr Andrew Hansard, Alan Haines and Steve Vartoukian

On 3 October 2009 at the Voice Your Choice Decision Day, 30 exciting community projects were chosen by Eynesbury residents to have a share of £70,000 from Luminus and Huntingdonshire District Council. Each local group made a dynamic presentation which included a dance routine by Equilibrium Dance Troupe, a song by Riverside Theatre Company, a poem, some tasty cakes handed out by Eynesbury Friendship Club and a video presentation by St Neots Community College ECO School Council.

Groups were able to apply for between £250 and £7,500 for projects that tackled issues such as employment, education, skill and training, reducing crime and anti-social behaviour, improving transport and mobility, enhancing the environment and community empowerment. This exciting project was launched in Eynesbury by Eynesbury Neighbourhood Management Advisory Group (ENMAG) working in partnership with Luminus, Cambridgeshire County Council and Huntingdonshire District Council.  ENMAG has been established since January 2008 and the group consists of active members of the community who want to make a difference for the neighbourhood in which they live. 

Everyone attending got into the community spirit and there was a real sense of excitement and anticipation when the results were announced. Following hot on the heels of Huntingdon North, Voice Your Choice is Huntingdonshire’s second pilot of participatory budgeting (PB), a process which gives people a direct say in how money is spent in their area. Neighbourhood

Management

EYNESBURY ON THE UP

The groups that applied for the money had to be based in Eynesbury or be able to demonstrate that their work substantially benefits Eynesbury residents. WINTER 2009 LUMINUS NEWS

Meetings are held bi-monthly. If you wish to become involved please contact Alan Haines on 01480 428720. 6


DEMONSTRATING A MORE EXCELLENT WAY OF DOING BUSINESS

GET INVOLVED!

What is Mystery Shopping Plus? Being a Mystery Shopper means you can comment on the services you receive from us, when they happen, without having to pick up the telephone or visit Brook House. What do I have to do? We will provide all Mystery Shoppers with an information pack, containing a unique membership number, feedback forms and reply paid envelopes.

formation, For more in

one act Tracey St

please cont

428541 01480 or email

s.org.uk

@luminu getinvolved

Every time you receive a service from us, for example, a tradesman visits your home or you make contact with our Neighbourhood Wardens, you can complete the form from the comfort of your own home. This gives us vital information to help improve our service to you and to others in the future. If you would like to join this scheme, or would like more information, please contact Tracey Stone on 01480 428541 or email getinvolved@luminus.org.uk.

DISABILITY HELP US TO HELP YOU LUMINUS ADVISORY PANEL Would you like to help us assess the value of the tenant involvement activities that Luminus offers?

Come along to discuss the types and level of services available to our customers

Luminus regularly carries out impact assessments of our activities to see if they add value to the services we provide and if they make a difference to the way our tenants can influence those services.

• Are you a carer?

• Do you consider yourself to have a disability? Come along to the next meeting of DAP on Tuesday 9 February 2010, 10.30am at Brook House If you would like further information please contact Tracey Stone on 01480 428541 or email getinvolved@luminus.org.uk

We will be holding meetings in February 2010 and if you are interested in being part of this important process, please contact Tracey Stone on getinvolved@luminus.org.uk or 01480 428541.

Transport will be provided upon request. Contact the Transport hotline on 01480 428652 7

WINTER 2009 LUMINUS NEWS


LUMINUS, THE BEST HOUSING PROVIDER TO WORK FOR IN THE UK

JONATHON DJANOGLY VISITS INNOVATIVE NEW LUMINUS DEVELOPMENT Chan Abraham, Luminus Group Chief Executive, welcomed Jonathon Djanogly, MP for Huntingdon, and Councillor Ken Churchill, Executive Councillor for Housing and Public Health, from Huntingdonshire District Council for a viewing of the emerging extra-care scheme at Brookside, Huntingdon. The site will provide two buildings which will be built in two distinct phases. An extra care sheltered housing scheme will replace the existing Cromwell Square scheme with 34 extra care units. This state of the art support facility will be built first, followed by the construction of 43 high quality apartments for sale which will also include 5 Low Cost Home Ownership apartments.

Councillor Ken Churchill, Jonathon Djanogly MP and Chan Abraham at the Brookside Site

Taking resident involvement to an even more local level - your opportunity to support your community Saturday 30 January 2010 11am - 3pm Brook House, Huntingdon, PE29 3QW Lunch included • Free transport available - Call 01480 428652 For further information or to book transport or parking, contact the Luminus Tenants’ Transport Service on 01480 428652 or email getinvolved@luminus.org.uk

PLUS

Demonstrating a more excellent way of doing business WINTER 2009 LUMINUS NEWS

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cheap household goods sale


DEMONSTRATING A MORE EXCELLENT WAY OF DOING BUSINESS

ANGLIA IN BLOOM Luminus takes great pride in supporting Anglia in Bloom, helping to create beautiful gardens for the whole community to enjoy. In 2008 our Neighbourhood Warden team helped a number of local residents with gardening projects across the district achieving a number of awards. This year was no exception with our Neighbourhood Wardens working on a number of community gardening projects alongside local residents in Eynesbury, St Ives and Eaton Socon. Thongsley Fields Junior Wardens have once again played a significant part in Moor in Bloom and Bushmead Junior Wardens planted up a herb garden at the Chill Garden in Eaton Socon.

Thongsley Fields Junior Wardens show off their green fingers

In 2010 Luminus Junior Wardens are hoping to have an even greater impact on the Anglia in Bloom judges with a brand new garden being developed by the Junior Wardens at William de Yaxley Junior School. Watch this space for news on how the garden grows!

UNITY IN THE COMMUNITY

The Luminus Neighbourhood Wardens - ready for action!

This year Unity in the Community was a great success. The aim of the day was to bring together local communities in a celebration of culture to raise awareness of diversity within Huntingdonshire. This helps to promote a greater

understanding between the different communities within Huntingdonshire. It was a free fun packed day of food, music and dance from all over the world. The Luminus Neighbourhood Wardens attended 9

with a full and fun packed stand. The Wardens asked people to take part in building a collage to represent the diverse community in which we live. We hope to make the collage into a banner to advertise next years Unity in the Community. WINTER 2009 LUMINUS NEWS


LUMINUS, THE BEST HOUSING PROVIDER TO WORK FOR IN THE UK

PAYING YOUR RENT With Christmas fast approaching there can be increasing pressure on family finances as we try to pay our bills and have some money to enjoy the festive season. Paying your rent must always be a priority and Christmas is no exception. We will be telephoning tenants in rent arrears over the next month to encourage them to pay their arrears or make realistic re-payment plans. If you are in arrears, paying rent through the rent free weeks can reduce your debt with us and help make the holiday period less stressful. If you want to pay rent over the phone or want help and advice please contact us on 01480 428522.

REMEMBER: GET IN TOUCH NOW!

THE LONGER YOU LEAVE A PROBLEM THE WORSE IT BECOMES

STOCK CONDITION SURVEY

Luminus has instructed Mazars Property Consultancy to undertake a stock condition survey of our homes to enable us to establish a planned programme of repairs and improvements. The survey will be carried out by Mazars during the five weeks commencing 11 January 2010 between the hours of 9am and 6pm.

URGENT GAS COOKER ALERT If you have a Leisure, Flavel, Belling or New World cooker, it may need a FREE modification. Call 0800

342 3049

WINTER 2009 LUMINUS NEWS

The surveyors will be inspecting homes externally and taking photographs but will also need to again access to a number of them to enable them to inspect the interiors of the properties. If a surveyor calls at your home and it is convenient to you, we would be grateful if you would allow them access to the inside of the property to carry out their inspection. The internal inspections are expected to take approximately 15 to 20 minutes. Please make sure that you ask to see the surveyor’s identification prior to letting them into your home. If you are concerned about the identification of any caller, please contact Caroline Howard on 01480 428664 to confirm their identification. 10


DEMONSTRATING A MORE EXCELLENT WAY OF DOING BUSINESS

EVERY PERSON MATTERS Luminus is continuing to assess how our services affect people from different backgrounds, and whether they provide the right outcomes through Equality Impact Assessment meetings at Brook House. In June we asked residents to evaluate how Luminus communicates with its residents. Topics for discussion included the user-friendliness of our website and how we deal with customer enquiries. In September, Philip Rozier, Antisocial Behaviour Manager, spoke with the group about Luminus’ commitment to prevent and tackle domestic violence and harassment. All participants were grateful that Phil was able to discuss and demystify a complex and delicate topic. Recommendations of where our services could potentially be improved were recorded and will be implemented where appropriate.

CORPORATE EQ

UALITY SCHEME 2008-10

Luminus will continue to carry out impact assessments of our services throughout 2010 in line with our Equality Scheme Action Plan, as agreed by tenants.

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At Luminus we always strive for customer service excellence. However, even with the best of intentions, things do not always go according to plan. We take customer enquiries very seriously and view them as an opportunity to learn about how we do things. We use specific customer enquiries received to ensure that service delivery is improved. One example of service improvement 11

brought about by the enquiries process is the introduction of letters written to inform neighbours that a new boiler is to be fitted in a property and there may be some noise while work takes place. Luminus is pleased to demonstrate that we are providing tenants with positive outcomes following enquiries made, and that we continue to improve the way we do things. WINTER 2009 LUMINUS NEWS


LUMINUS, THE BEST HOUSING PROVIDER TO WORK FOR IN THE UK

OAK FOUNDATION

The continued success of the Out and About scheme has resulted in the appointment of a number of relief drivers (as, apparently, Pete can’t be in two places at once!). We are therefore pleased to thank David Whitmore, George Redhead, Keith Phoenix and Martin Slade for their help which has enabled members to have some evening and weekend events and trips.

To book an Out & About trip or for further information please call

01480 428428

CAMBRIDGE CELEBRATES AGE

John makes mobile phones simple

Dancing proved popular with residents

Trying to guess the object

All the Oak Foundation schemes held events in October, ranging from ‘How to use your mobile phone’ to ‘Guess the object quiz’. These events were well attended and enjoyed by all. WINTER 2009 LUMINUS NEWS

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DEMONSTRATING A MORE EXCELLENT WAY OF DOING BUSINESS

LIFE AFTER DEBT

Life After Debt is a group of people that have had between them every experience of debt, Bankruptcy, County Court Judgements and Individual Voluntary Arrangements.

group have found that by talking to others in similar circumstances the heaviest of burdens has been lifted and new ideas and friendships formed. As a group you are not fighting alone.

They each have a different story to share, they do not offer financial advice but do offer the emotional support that you may need at a very difficult time. The

Drop in sessions take place on Wednesday evenings at the Eynesbury Methodist Church meeting rooms, between 6.30pm and 8.30pm. Alternatively one to

one sessions can be arranged. By joining the forum and talking about and sharing different experiences, you realise that things can never look so bleak or so frightening. Talking is the key to take away the isolation. To find out more or to make contact with Life After Debt, please go to their website www.life-after-debt.webs.com

LUMINUS IN BLOOM

This garden was ‘blooming’ marvellous!

Thank you to all of you who entered Luminus in Bloom 2009.

The judging panel

The quality of entries was very high and the panel of employees and residents were impressed by the efforts and achievements of the entrants. Get your gardens ready for Luminus in Bloom 2010 which looks set to be blooming brilliant!

The winner was Mrs Glenys Peel of Stilton who received £50 in Homebase vouchers. 13

WINTER 2009 LUMINUS NEWS


LUMINUS, THE BEST HOUSING PROVIDER TO WORK FOR IN THE UK

FERRY PROJECT CELEBRATES 10 YEARS OF SUCCESS

The Ferry Project team look forward to the future

A wide range of guests attended the event

The all important birthday cake

Celebrating 10 excellent years!

Keith Smith with three Ferry clients

Luminus Ferry Project celebrated 10 years of helping the homeless with love and support towards independence with a drinks reception and lunch at Octavia View in Wisbech.

and will include educational facilities, community rooms and a café that can be enjoyed by the whole community as well as providing a hostel for single, homeless people.

Councillors from Fenland District Council and Wisbech Town Council joined local business representatives, current and former employees of the Ferry Project, and Chan Abraham, Chairman of the Ferry Project, to hear about the successes of the past ten years and the future plans of Ferry Project.

Chan Abraham, Chairman of Ferry Project said,

“Ferry Project supplies an essential service in Fenland and from humble beginnings in 1999, has grown to become a key service provider. We are very pleased to be able to recognise Ferry Project’s successes and look forward to building upon them in the next ten years.

Three clients of the Ferry Project gave a moving account of how the organisation has helped them overcome their problems and regain control of their lives.

In 2009, our year of Transformed Lives and Excellent Outcomes, Ferry Project provides an inspirational story of determination, perseverance and changing the world for the better.”

The event was held at Octavia View, which will become the new headquarters for the Ferry Project WINTER 2009 LUMINUS NEWS

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DEMONSTRATING A MORE EXCELLENT WAY OF DOING BUSINESS

HOPE SOCIAL ENTERPRISES CELEBRATES OPENING OF RENEWAL PARK

HOPE and guests at the official opening of Renewal Park

HOPE Social Enterprises, an innovative re-use, repair and recycle company based in March, Fenland, celebrated the opening of Renewal Park on Tuesday 20 October.

HOPE Social Enterprises provides work experience to the long-term unemployed, while benefitting the local community and environment through reusing and recycling items that will otherwise go into landfill.

Renewal Park, comprises of three warehouses, and will provide extra space for HOPE Social Enterprises to continue to grow and expand its new wood recycling project. The warehouses will also provide office and industrial space to local businesses and help fund HOPE’s work.

One current employee gave a testimony of how HOPE has helped him overcome difficulties in his life, before the ribbon was cut to formally open Renewal Park. Chan Abraham, Chairman of HOPE said,

“Since its formation in 2007, HOPE Social Enterprises has provided valuable services to local businesses and communities, saved tonnes of rubbish from landfill and helped people transform their lives. These new warehouses will allow them to continue to grow and give excellent customer service as well as bringing investment, jobs and opportunities to the local economy.’

Local councillors from Fenland District Council and Wisbech Town Council joined representatives from the East of England Development Agency, Cambridgeshire Community Reuse and Recycling Network and other local organisations to hear speeches from Director of Hope Social Enterprises, Keith Smith and Chairman, Chan Abraham. 15

WINTER 2009 LUMINUS NEWS


LUMINUS, THE BEST HOUSING PROVIDER TO WORK FOR IN THE UK

RESPECT - TAKING A STAND

Luminus wants to ensure that all of our residents live in happy, safe and secure communities. We therefore take the issues of noise disturbance and anti-social behaviour very seriously. Any Luminus resident found to be causing disturbances will be dealt with by Luminus with a mixture of support and enforcement. Residents are given the chance to change their behaviour or that of their household or visitors.

• Arrange for you to visit the court before you give evidence.

However, for some residents, who continue to cause their neighbours serious nuisance with breaches of their tenancy conditions, legal action has to be considered.

The legal action taken by Luminus relies on evidence provided by residents, which will have to be given in a County Court. Recent cases where residents have supported Luminus in their legal actions include:

Residents affected by their neighbours will normally be asked to provide evidence in the form of log sheets, which are then converted into witness statements. To support these residents, we will:

• A single man living in Huntingdon who repeatedly harassed, intimidated and caused serious nuisance to his neighbours. Four residents provided evidence to the County Court which resulted in him being evicted.

• Provide you with telephone and email contacts on how to contact the Anti-Social Behaviour team.

• Assign a named Anti-Social Behaviour Officer who will provide support throughout the court hearing and after if required.

• A single mother and her two children living in St Neots, continually caused noise nuisance and made their neighbours life intolerable. Three residents provided statements which resulted in the family losing their home.

• Provide advice on who to call if you are threatened in any way. In very serious cases of intimidation we can ask the court for an injunction, to stop the alleged perpetrator from contacting or harassing you.

We understand that before, during and after any legal proceedings residents may be worried about intimidation, threats, or having to face the person who you have complained about. We therefore provide support throughout the process and are thankful to residents who come forward and are prepared to give evidence.

• Make a referral to Victim Support, if requested. • In extreme circumstances and where there is sufficient threat of physical harm, Luminus will consider asking the police to install a panic alarm.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO REPORT ANTI-SOCIAL BEHAVIOUR OR FOR MORE INFORMATION THEN PLEASE CALL 01480 428588 WINTER 2009 LUMINUS NEWS

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DEMONSTRATING A MORE EXCELLENT WAY OF DOING BUSINESS

SPOTLIGHT ON TENANCY SUPPORT

A member of the travelling community shares her gardening knowledge

The Luminus Community Services team provide a wide range of services and support to all aspects of the community. Sonya Fitt manages one aspect of this, the Tenancy Support and Resettlement Service.

The aim of the service is to: • Provide people with the necessary skills to make a better life for themselves • Provide information and knowledge to people to make their own decisions

The twelve members of the Tenancy Support team deliver specialist services to 143 people throughout Cambridgeshire at any one time. Services from this team meet a diverse set of needs and include:

• Prevent people losing their homes • Meet customer needs • Provide opportunities to enter education, training and employment

• Female offender service • Cambridgeshire Drug Intervention Programme (CDIP) • Tenancy support

The success of the services is reflected in the feedback from the clients in a survey conducted in September 2009:

• Gypsies and Travellers

93% Gave Luminus staff the highest rating of good

• Young parents

93% Gave the support they receive the highest rating of good

• Move-on from hostel accommodation • High risk offenders

93% Gave being visited at home the highest rating of good

• Persistent and prolific offenders Luminus works in partnership with Supporting People, a government agency, to secure funding for these services which are free to all of those who meet the access criteria.

100% Felt more able to deal with issues since accessing the service 100% Felt staff spend enough time helping them. 17

WINTER 2009 LUMINUS NEWS


LUMINUS, THE BEST HOUSING PROVIDER TO WORK FOR IN THE UK

SMOKE DETECTORS At Luminus we care about your health and safety and we are currently fitting smoke detectors to all our homes as we carry out the annual gas safety check and service. However, this does not take into account those properties that do not have gas. Therefore, when we have completed our annual checks our engineers will be calling on those homes without gas to test and fit smoke detectors as required. Although appointments will be made, please ensure you request to see the Tradesmen’s identification.

DO’S AND DON’TS AT CHRISTMAS Safety is important all year round but at Christmas the distractions of celebrations, decorations and visitors can mean that we take more risks or are unaware of the dangers in our homes. Please follow these simple tips to ensure the safety of you and your family this Christmas. Don’t Do • Don’t place the Christmas tree too close to open • Do make sure that all decorations are flame fires, portable heaters or radiators retardant • Don’t leave the Christmas lights on unattended • Do be extremely careful with lighted candles for long periods • Do have the chimney swept before lighting an • Don’t use party poppers near naked open fire flames • Do empty all ash trays making sure that • Don’t place Christmas presents too cigarettes, cigars and pipes are fully extinguished. close to heaters or fires. • Do put a fire guard around a fire especially if • Don’t leave lit candles unattended young children are present. • Don’t leave edible or breakable • Do ensure any pets have a quiet, safe place to decorations within reach of small children or pets retreat to if celebrations are noisy

LUMINUS OFFICES CLOSE ON

THURSDAY 24 DECEMBER 2009 AND REOPEN ON

MONDAY 4 JANUARY 2010 IF YOU HAVE AN EMERGENCY REPAIR DURING THIS PERIOD, PLEASE TELEPHONE 0207 540 9820. Please note: This service is for emergencies only and the operator will inform you to contact us on the 4 January for any non-emergency repairs. WINTER 2009 LUMINUS NEWS

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DEMONSTRATING A MORE EXCELLENT WAY OF DOING BUSINESS

WINTER HEALTH - COLDS WATER AND FLU SAVE MONEY BY SAVING Coughs, colds and flu are a fact of life in the winter. The main symptoms include coughing, sneezing, blocked nose, sore throat, headache and a slight temperature. Key tips to try and avoid colds and flu: •

Try to keep your home warm at between 18°C and 21°C.

Wrap up warmly both inside and out. Several thin layers of clothes are better than one thick layer.

Keep active.

Maintain a healthy diet to boost your immune system. Ensure you are eating 5 portions of fruit and vegetables per day and are consuming dairy products such as milk and yoghurt.

If you do become ill, try to rest, eat well, avoid stress and keep well hydrated.

LOOKING AFTER YOUR HOME OVER WINTER Here are a few simple tips for our residents to help avoid unnecessary problems over the winter months: • Report any repairs to Luminus on 01480 428333. Please report repairs to Luminus as soon as possible. A small problem such a leaking tap can be quickly and easily fixed but if not reported can steadily get worse and cause far greater problems for you and our tradesmen. • Please check that items used frequently over the summer are secure for the winter, for example ensure outdoor taps are tightly turned off and garden furniture is safely stored or secured. • Make sure you know where your stopcock is and that it works correctly, just in case you need to turn your water off. • Check your boiler and all your radiators are working with no cold spots.

Tips for a Christmas to remember • Avoid drinking on an empty stomach • Pace yourself, there’s no rush – drink slowly • Don’t leave yourself vulnerable – plan your journey home

• Drink plenty of water to rehydrate • The government’s daily guideline is 2-3 units for women and 3-4 units for men

• For women that’s a 175ml glass of wine or 3 single vodkas • For men that’s 2 pints of standard beer or 4 single vodkas • Worried? Call Drinkline free on 0800 917 8282 for help and advice (open 24 hours).

• Visit www.drinkaware.co.uk for more information on the effects of alcohol

• If you go away, leave your heating on a low setting and ask a friend or relative to pop in each day while you’re away. 19

WINTER 2009 LUMINUS NEWS


LUMINUS, THE BEST HOUSING PROVIDER TO WORK FOR IN THE UK

CONTACT US 01480 428777

General Enquiries Luminus Group Services Monday to Thursday 9am - 5pm and Fridays 9am - 4.30pm

01480 428588

01480 428333 Service Centre For reporting all repairs

01480 428522 Rent Enquiries - NORTH

Neighbourhood Services You can use this number to report anti-social behaviour

01480 428500

01480 428721

01480 428521

Customer Relations Officer Caroline Howard

Rent Enquiries - SOUTH

Income & Benefits Advisor Sue Cargill

01480 428314

01480 428531

Leaseholder Enquiries

Tenant Liaison Officer Linda Bevens

Tenant Involvement Officer Tracey Stone

01945 589905

01354 658732

020 7540 9820

Luminus Ferry Project

Hope Social Enterprises

01480 428541

Out of Hours Emergencies

For help to understand this newsletter please ring 01480 428707/8 If you have any comments about Luminus News or would like a large print or audio version, please contact the Communications Team on 01480 428707/8 or send an email to news@luminus.org.uk

Published by Luminus Group • Registered Office Brook House Ouse Walk, Huntingdon PE29 3QW Tel No: 01480 428777 • Fax No: 01480 428555 Email: info@luminus.org.uk • Website: www.luminus.org.uk

WINTER 2009 LUMINUS NEWS

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This document has been printed on Era Silk Era Silk is the first recycled coated paper made from genuine UK waste, providing the environmentally responsible approach to printing.


Issue 39 Winter 2009