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Winter 2012/13

Heart of the Matter London Calling

Into Orbit

Are you up for a challenge? Look for the insert in this issue

Page 03

What’s inside? Welfare Reform Are you ready? Read all about it A Real Life budding writer Under-occupancy Q&As Money saving hints and tips Tell us yours and win

Scan here to go digital

02 \ Winter 2012/13

Welcome from the Editor

As 2012 draws to a close, we look back over a busy and exciting year. Around the country and within Orbit Heart of England, a lot has happened. And 2013 looks like it will be another rollercoaster year. In this issue, we look back over some of the achievements of 2012 and we look forward to some significant changes for many of us. Whatever 2013 holds for us, I hope you all have a great Christmas and New Year.

Jo Maguire Editor Follow us on Twitter @OrbitHeart

If you receive Housing Benefit If you receive Housing Benefit and are below retirement age, your housing benefit will stop. Instead you will claim your housing costs, along with Universal Credit, from the Department for Work and Pensions. This will be paid monthly in arrears, directly to you with your other benefits. However, rent is due weekly (or monthly) in advance and it is your responsibility to make sure it is paid on time, regardless of when benefits are paid. If you don’t, you will breach your tenancy agreement, and potentially put your home at risk. You should start planning for this change now. You need to make sure that when you move over to Universal Credit, you don’t instantly fall into arrears while you are waiting for your first benefit payment.

Benefits are changing imes Christmas opening t Like us on Facebook OrbitHeartOfEngland

Over the Christmas and New Year holiday period, all Orbit Heart of England offices will be closed on the following days: Christmas Eve Christmas Day Boxing Day 27 December 28 December 31 December 1 January 2 January Punjabi

Closed Closed Closed Closed Open as normal Open as normal Closed Open as normal

The Customer Service Centre is open as usual throughout the holiday period. You can phone them at any time on 0345 8 500 500. If you live in a supported or sheltered scheme the staff there will inform you of the opening hours.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION We are recommending that you pay small regular amounts into your rent account now so you will be ready. We cannot advise you what to pay, because we do not know when you will move to Universal Credit. The move is being phased in from October 2013.

Be prepared by October 2013 If you need help or further information, contact us on 0345 8 500 500 and talk to the officer who manages your rent account. If you need budgeting or benefit advice, they can make a referral to our free Money Advice Service. These changes do not affect people of pension credit age, but changes to how their housing benefit is paid will be made in 2014.

24/7 The Customer Service Centre is open all day, every day, throughout the year, including Christmas. So you don’t have to wait until Monday morning to phone in. You can call at any time.

Heart of the Matter / 03


Order, order Five homeless men from the Fishermead Hostel supported homeless scheme, Milton Keynes, were given an exclusive

glimpse of life in Parliament by invitation of Milton Keynes North MP, Mark Lancaster.

Jubilee tree

Ding dong Congratulations to Kevin Jones of Stratford-upon-Avon who has written and published a 590-page guide to over 18,000 bell towers in 159 countries. Called ‘Kev’s Guide to Church Bells Around the World’, it has been snapped up by campanologists (that’s experts in bell ringing to you and me) from all over the world.

Kevin, who has been an Orbit Heart of England customer for 10 years, rings the bells at Holy Trinity Church in Stratford-uponAvon and is an expert on the subject.

Are there any other aspiring authors out there? If so, we want to hear from you. Contact us at Kurdish

Johar Ullah was one of the five Fishermead residents who went to London: “I was very impressed with the time Mark Lancaster spent with us; he even bought us all coffee and sat down to chat. I really enjoyed the day.”

Customers at Shortwood Court sheltered scheme, Coventry, were delighted to receive a tree and commemorative plaque celebrating the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Year. All the residents look forward to seeing it flourish during the coming years.

04 \ Winter 2012/13

The A team Seventeen apprentices have been recruited to work at Orbit Heart of England. The apprenticeships are in different areas of the business and based throughout the Midlands region, including Stratford, Rugby, Coventry, Hinckley and Northampton. They have been recruited from neighbourhoods in which Orbit Heart of England operates and almost half of the apprentices are Orbit customers. The apprenticeships have been funded by the Community Investment Fund.

Th e St ra tfo rd six

All change From 1st April 2013 there will be significant changes to loans and grants from the Social Fund. Community Care Grants and Crisis Loans in their current form will be scrapped. Crisis Loan Alignment payments that are awarded to bridge the gap between claiming and receiving means tested benefits will be replaced with Short Term Advances; any interim Benefit payments will also be scrapped.

A short term advance will be: • A payment made from an expected benefit award. • This money will then be deducted from subsequent payments of benefit over a

period of three months (which may be extended to a maximum of six months under exceptional circumstances). Budgeting Loans will still be available to anyone who receives income related payments from the current benefit system ie Jobseekers Allowance, Income Support etc. until they change onto Universal Credit. For anyone who receives Universal Credit, Budgeting Loans will be replaced by Budgeting Advances. These will have similar eligibility requirements. The maximum amount available has yet to be set by the Government and will depend on whether the claimant is single or part of a couple or has children.

The two most important changes are: • Maximum repayment time is set at 12 months which can be extended to 18 months under exceptional circumstances; whereas current Budgeting Loans are repayable over two years. • Claimants will not be allowed any further Budgeting Advances until any previous loans or advances are cleared in full. Crisis Loan Payments for general living expenses and Community Care Grants will be abolished. New support to replace these will be run by Local Authorities. It is likely that funding and eligibility for discretionary grants and loans will vary from district to district.

Portuguese Se necessitar deste documento traduzido (ou em formato diferente, impressão de maior formato, Braille ou áudio), contacte o centro de apoio a clientes em 0345 8 500 500 ou envie uma mensagem de correio electrónico para

Heart of the Matter / 05

Brighter Walsgrave Walsgrave Gardens, Coventry has had a paint and plants makeover thanks to Orbit Heart of England, Dulux and Groundwork West Midlands.

hard work came from volunteers from Orbit Group, Guinness Northern Counties and Groundwork West Midlands as well as local residents.

Funding came from Orbit Heart of England’s Community Investment Fund while Groundwork’s ‘Let’s Colour’ programme, which is supported by Dulux, provided the paint. The

Jacqui, a resident, is delighted with the result, “It’s absolutely beautiful. Everyone worked hard together and we’ve met some lovely people during the project.”


Play area wish granted

Mayfield Road residents’ wishes for a safe local play area for younger children were realised when a £50,000 community scheme was officially opened in Southam.

Fun in the sun Children in the Burbage and Hinckley area had a fun-filled summer thanks to The Meadows Community Group who applied to local organisations, including Orbit Heart of England’s Community Investment Fund, to run a range of activities from cooking to water sports. Eighty two sessions were organised for 102 children. Polish

An event to celebrate the opening of the new play area marked the result of close working between local community group, Southam at Play, Orbit Heart of England and Southam Town Council.

No parking A residents’ group in Schoolfield Grove, Rugby, wanted to tackle local parking issues. They were supported by their Community Housing Officer to organise a multi-agency meeting. Their successful campaign for local councillors to take action has resulted in double yellow lines.

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Be safe… …and keep your ProPoints If we have to start legal proceedings and issue a Notice of Seeking Possession against a customer because we cannot get in to carry out gas safety checks, the customer will lose all their accrued ProPoints. If you have to change the time and/or date of your appointment, please contact us immediately – and keep all your ProPoints!

Farewell fly tippers Customers at Bowen Square and Golding Close, Daventry, were suffering from anti-social behaviour and vandalism. A communal bin store area, at the back of a block of flats and next to a public walkway, was popular with fly-tippers… and vermin. Following consultation with customers, Paula Collett, Community Housing Officer, worked with Daventry’s Environmental Protection Team and Pest Busters to install a new bin store with key coded locks on the door and galvanised wall top rails.

Do you have Orbit Home Contents Insurance? Refer a friend and receive bonus ProPoints if they take out a policy. Contact the Orbit Insurance Team on 0345 8 500 500.

Eat up Customers in Warwickshire can now exchange their ProPoint vouchers for a home cooked dinner. Square Meals is the latest local supplier to sign up to the resident reward scheme. They make home cooked dinners which are frozen and delivered to your door. They deliver to Rugby, Coventry, Leamington, Ryton-on-Dunsmore and surrounding villages. To find out more about them • Beverley (left) and Donna (right) or the ProPoints scheme, you dishing out home-cooked dinner can call the Resident Reward Scheme on 0345 8 500 500 or email

Up for an award A successful project that helps people facing unemployment or redundancy has been shortlisted in the South Staffordshire Regeneration Awards.

on “We are over the mo at being shortlisted for these awards”

Next Burton Jobs Day: Wednesday, 13 February at the Meadowside Leisure Centre, Burton on Trent (10am – 12 noon).

Simon Farneti, Community Housing Officer, said, “At our recent jobs day, we had 200 plus people through the door. Of the 863 job opportunities on offer, 77 were filled on the day and 42 interviews and future appointments arranged.”

100th visit The Energy Doctor made her 100th visit to Mr & Mrs Wyatt in Kenilworth where she helped them switch energy suppliers and save £440 a year (with an extra £50 for switching).

Total savings so far: £8,327

So far, the Energy Doctor has helped customers save a total of £8,327. If you would like to make a free appointment with her, contact the Money Advice Team on 0345 8 500 500.

Heart of the Matter / 07

Life-changing experiences REAL LIFE FEATURE by Ben Rye, Customer “It was the week before Christmas last year and I was 17 years old when I came to Orbit Heart of England, easily at the lowest point in my life. I’d lost my father in June. And my mother was unable to care for me and my brother because of her own illness. My brother could stay with his foster family but I couldn’t have that kind of care because I was over 16. I had grown increasingly isolated because I felt that no one understood my situation. With the festive season looming I was beginning to give up hope. I’d been moving from place to place

would once again have a home. So I moved in. I realised I had to start over from scratch, but this didn’t bother me. My work ethic became firm and I began to achieve wonders. All from just having a place to call ‘home’ to go back to at the end of the day. Because of this I came up with the idea of creating something that would offer advice and support to other young adults who find themselves in a similar situation: a booklet that guides you through the YHP process. The idea snowballed. A small budget was found to cover production; my Support Worker, Hannah Woodman, and I went into the Orbit Heart of England offices and worked with the Marketing & Communications team to produce the booklet. It has been printed and is now being used.

“I had grown increasingly isolated” constantly in the months following my dad’s death. Then I was offered a place in one of Orbit Heart of England’s Young Housing Project (YHP) shared houses. Words cannot describe the elation and relief I felt knowing that I

I feel as though I’ve achieved so much in a year; seeing my work grow from an idea to a design, and design to

Hannah Woodman, Mark Swaddle (Marketing & Communications) and Ben Rye

finished article has been fascinating. Working so closely with the Orbit Heart of England team has made me rediscover my love of writing and I am now

planning on studying journalism at university next year. I’m looking very much to the future, which I hope will be full of both opportunity and lifechanging experiences, all of which I will owe to Orbit Heart of England.”

The booklet Ben produced to help other young people.

Hannah Woodman, Ben’s Support Worker, commented, ‘It really has been a pleasure working with Ben. Knowing what he has been through, I can see where he gets his drive, determination and ambition from. I look forward to seeing what becomes of him.’

08 \ Winter 2012/13


Under-occupation Fact or fiction? There are still a few myths circulating about the planned changes. Our Money Advice Service explains:

The council pays my rent so I won’t need to worry

My partner and I sleep in separate bedrooms

Your local council have reassessed all Housing Benefit payments to establish if your payments will be reduced. If you are of working age (people of pensionable age are not affected) and living in a property with more than one bedroom you may be affected. If you under-occupy by one bedroom your benefit will be reduced by 14%; two underoccupied bedrooms means you will lose 25% of your benefit.

Under the new housing benefit regulations, a couple is only entitled to one bedroom, no matter what their circumstances are.

Foster children are also not considered part of the household for benefit purposes.

If I am under-occupying, will you make me move home? Customers will not necessarily

Our tenancy says we have be asked to move because they have more bedrooms than they three bedrooms but the third one is just a box room need. For those customers on Your local council will decide if you are under-occupying based on the number of bedrooms stated in your tenancy, no matter what the size.

a fixed term tenancy, we would review your circumstances prior to your tenancy ending to ensure that the property is still appropriate for your need. Anyone who is under-occupying from April 2013 and who receives Housing Benefit will need to make up the shortfall in their rent from other income. Those who don’t feel they can afford to pay the shortfall will need to consider other options which could include moving to a smaller property.

What can I do to help myself?

All the bedrooms in our house are being used so I’m not under occupying You could still be underoccupying. A couple are only entitled to one bedroom. Two children under the age of 10 are expected to share a room. Two children aged 10-16 years of the same sex are also expected to share a room. Any child or other adult over 16 is entitled to their own room.

My child comes to visit and they need a bedroom If you don’t receive Child Benefit for your child then they are not considered part of your household; so they are not taken into account when calculating how many bedrooms you need.

You could rent out a spare bedroom to help meet the shortfall but check with your local council about any benefit implications this may have. Alternatively, you could downsize to a smaller property. Otherwise you could start preparing for the reduction in benefits by making small additional payments each week to your rent account.

You can find more information on planned welfare benefit changes on our website at or contact our Money Advice Service on 0345 8 500 500.

Heart of the Matter / 09

Warm Home discount scheme This winter, certain households on a low income will be eligible for a £130 discount on their electricity bill. To qualify you or your partner need to be named on the bill and your energy supplier has to be registered with the scheme. Payment will automatically be made to: • anyone over the age of 80 who receives the Guarantee Credit Element of Pension Credit • anyone under the age of 80 who receives the Guarantee Credit Element of Pension Credit but not Saving Credit. Some utility providers also include payments to households on a low income. This varies but generally

includes households who receive a means tested benefit such as Jobseekers Allowance or who get working tax credits and have an income below £16,190 per year.

The scheme closes on 31st March 2013 but some energy suppliers have a limited number of awards to offer so apply early.

Call the helpline 0845 603 9439 for more information (Monday to Friday 8am – 6pm)

‘Quids in’ Are you good with money or do you think a bit of training might help make a difference? This was the idea behind the Quids in Financial Capability Project, a research project involving Orbit Heart of England customers, Bristol University, Bedworth Rugby and Nuneaton Citizens Advice Bureau (BRANCAB) and funded by Santander. The aim was to find out what effect money advice training has on individuals. A trainer from BRANCAB gave 150 Orbit Heart of England customers a money advice session that

focussed on budgeting, finding the best deals and generally making the most of their money. The findings were compared to a comparison group who didn’t receive any training and the results were really positive: • 78% changed how they managed money compared to 36% of the comparison group • The ‘learners group’ were, on average, £10 a week better off • 20% of the learners changed their saving behaviour (twice as many as the comparison group)

Make sure you have a Happy Christmas From December 2011 to March 2012 Orbit Heart of England took 333 customers to court for non payment of rent. Going to court cost the customer a minimum of £100. 32 households lost their homes during this period. Take action and pay your rent today.

10 \ Winter 2012/13

INVOLVEMENT MATTERS The next Customer Scrutiny project is why satisfaction levels have fallen for customers who are moving into their new home. It will look at how the agreed ‘empty property’ standard is being met and how properties are shown to new customers. David Duquemin, Customer Scrutiny member, commented on the presentation given by the Responsive Surveying Manager about how the service is managed, “It was very informative and gave us the way forward to test how Orbit Heart of England is meeting the required standard.”

New members We have been recruiting new members for the Customer Scrutiny Group. Current members have been actively involved in the process, attending promotional events, helping short-list application forms and being part of the interview panel. One of the new team’s first tasks will be to choose their next project. No pressure there then!

S utiny Scru update Customer Scrutiny will work closely with the Customer Inspection Team who will give a customer’s assessment of whether the property has met the standard.£

The presentation was very informative and gave the way forward

Review Staff and customers have been sharing their opinions on how the Customer Involvement Service can improve.

a light on how customers feel about the current service and what they would like to see in the future.

unities rt o p p o f o ts lo re a “There ed and for you to get involv make a difference” Customers who have been involved in the last 12 months were invited to a Focus Group and asked for their views. We also invited customers who hadn’t been involved for some time to Focus Groups in Stratford-upon-Avon and Coventry. These meetings shed

The results of the review will help us develop a new strategy, giving us a guide to delivering a great customer involvement service. There are lots of opportunities for you to get involved and make a difference.

Heart of the Matter / 11


Orbit 2020

by Keith Lucas, Customer and member of the Editorial Group

As a customer, you can be involved in the production of ‘Heart of the Matter’.

if needed. And you wouldn’t be signing up for life; you can work on just one issue or several.

Do you think that you could: spot a spelling mistake a mile off, suggest or research stories from your area, write articles, or take photographs?

Customer involvement in ‘Heart of the Matter’ is much more than just attending meetings. Getting involved this way means you can work at your leisure and pleasure and make a worthwhile difference.

If so, we would like to hear from you. You don’t have to have experience in these areas, training and help can be given

If you want to know more let us know.

Understanding what might happen in the future can prepare us for the challenges ahead. So we asked researchers and experts to help us understand what society, the economy, housing etc. might look like in the year 2020. We have trained some customers as researchers and they asked customers across the country for their views on what was important to them for the future. Understanding what our customers want is an important part of the Orbit 2020 project. To find out more about how you can help shape the future, visit www.orbitheartofengland.

Interested? If you are interested and would like more information on getting involved, we’d love to hear from you. Contact or call Julie Clarkson on 0345 8 500 500.

Service Standards We have been working with customers over the last few months to help us identify the top 15 Service Standards which are most important to you. Customers will soon be helping us monitor our performance against these Service Standards through the new Performance Challenge Team.

12 \ Winter 2012/13

A DAY IN THE LIFE OF… Nowadays, it’s not unusual for people to have more than one job and Jessica Ball is no exception. For half of her week, she is an Admin Assistant in Hinckley. The other half of the week sees her in Rugby where she becomes a Housing Assistant. We join her on a Wednesday when she does both jobs in one day. Her day starts as a Housing Assistant in Rugby…

Jessica Ball Housing and Admin Assistant


Jessica and a Community Housing Officer visit a property.

Arrives at office, checks emails and prepares for the morning’s meeting.

Attends Housing Team empty property meeting. The purpose of the meeting is to discuss progress in making our empty properties ready for occupation.

1 5:00

1 0:30

1 1 :00 Jessica accompanies a Community Housing Officer on a visit.

1 2:30 Time to leave for Hinckley and her job as an Admin Assistant.

1 3:1 5 She takes calls from the public and the Customer Service Centre throughout the day (housing queries, parking, antisocial behaviour issues, Welfare Reform… no two calls are the same),

1 4:30 There’s an opportunity to do a bit of housekeeping; so Jessica tackles the stationery cupboard and whips it back into shape.


Jessica types up the meeting notes. Then contacts potential customers by phone to let them know they have a provisional offer for a property. She goes through a ‘sustainability checker’ which helps people understand the financial commitment they are making.

sends out rent statements and helps the Hinckley Community Housing Officers.

• •

Jessica offers potential customers a property. Jessica and apprentice Suzanne talk through Suzanne’s work.

She has a get-together with Suzanne Essex, the Housing Apprentice at Hinckley, who she mentors, giving her support and advice and helping with her NVQ projects.

1 6:00 There’s just time to input new tenant information into the system and put together some signing-up packs before she leaves for home.

Heart of the Matter / 13

Decent Homes


In 2000 the Government made a commitment to improve the quality of council and affordable housing. To achieve this, they introduced the ‘Decent Homes Standard’.

Growing space Orbit Heart of England is working in partnership with Garden Organic, a national charity for organic growing, with a focus on encouraging customers to get involved in community gardening projects. The Bishops Itchington Community Growing Space has been developed as a pilot project that can act as a model for other potential community garden developments across Orbit Heart of England estates and schemes.

Orbit Heart of England donated the land and £15,000 of Community Investment Funding while Garden Organic worked with the community and volunteers to first design the garden and then build it.

What is CESP? CESP stands for ‘Community Energy Saving Programme’. It is a countrywide programme, funded by the Government and utility companies, to help people on low incomes make their homes more energy efficient. Orbit Heart of England is working in partnership with Coventry City Council, EON and other housing providers. The type of work being carried out on homes includes external wall insulation, energy efficient gas boilers, loft insulation, window and door replacement and cavity wall insulation. Four hundred properties in Coventry (of which around 90 are Orbit Heart of England) are benefiting from the CESP

If a home has an energy rating of 34 or below, it fails to meet the Standard. Our Energy Surveyor has been checking 117 properties which were given an energy rating of 34 or lower three years ago. He has been able to resurvey and reassess the properties. As a result, 87 properties now meet the Standard. The remaining 30 properties are being assessed to see what work is needed to improve their energy rating.

Green Deal project

programme, at a cost of £732,000. The programme is run on a house-by-house, street-bystreet basis which means that energy efficiency measures can be tailored to meet the needs of individual communities.

Orbit Heart of England will be working with Milton Keynes Council on the Green Deal initiative. We will get in touch with customers if their properties are being considered for the project.

Visits from the Orbit Heart of England Energy Doctor are being offered to help customers make even more energy savings.

Volunteers needed Are you interested in a greener lifestyle? Are you passionate about sustainable food growing? We need help to develop a range of initiatives to find out how people can reduce energy use at home. Contact sustainable uk or contact Jackie Handy on 0345 8 500 500.

14 \ Winter 2012/13

Customer experience review A Customer Experience Review is looking at how we handle your queries; from when you call the Customer Service Centre to when your query is resolved. We are particularly looking at how we deal with: • Rents • Repairs • Management of jobs • How you contact us

New look What you thought All Orbit Heart of England customers should have received a new look Tenant Statement pack. Each pack contained a survey form so you could comment on the changes.

89% positive!

89% of the completed survey forms were positive. People liked the new style, thought the statement letter was easy to understand and that the pack provided all the information they required.

The new look Tenant Statement leaflets are now available on the Orbit Heart of England website and on request. Large print and translations into Polish and Punjabi are also available. We have developed a CD/Audio version which is available on request; it will soon be available on our website.

We will continue to look at ways to improve the pack as customer requirements change.

ON COURSE by Stefanie Earl, Customer Janine Peplow, Production Control Manager, Property Matters

Janine Peplow said, “I am looking at how we handle repairs. I want to understand what happens now and where we need to improve. The customer should be at the front of our minds at every stage of the repair. I believe that the review will help make changes that will benefit our customers, our staff and Orbit as a whole.”

“I decided to apply to the Brian Griffiths Award after seeing an article in ‘Heart of the Matter’. I had wanted to do a college course but couldn’t justify the fees. On seeing that the Award offered funding I thought, “Why not?” I applied for funding so I could learn pottery making and I began my course in September. It allows me to develop my skills and, although I don’t have a potter’s wheel myself, I hope to by Christmas. The course ends in December and I’m hoping I can begin selling my creations next year.

elling “I hope I can begin s ar” my creations next ye If you’re thinking of starting something new, go for it. There’s no harm in trying and the worst they could do is say ‘No!’”

Information on how to apply for the Brian Griffiths Award next year will be available in Spring 2013.

Heart of the Matter / 15

Funds for Footsteps The young mums and members of staff from Springfield House mother & baby unit, Milton Keynes, ran a stall at the local fun day in the summer. They were raising funds for the Footprints Orphanage in Kenya which needs a pump for a permanent water supply. The total raised was just under £105.



Customers at Greencroft, a predominately over 55’s scheme in Stoney Stanton, Leicestershire, took over an area of the scheme’s gardens in the summer turning it into a productive vegetable garden.

, new g e v d n a it u fr s a ll e “As w ing too” v ri h t re a s ip h s d n ie fr Customers renovated a greenhouse and Orbit Heart of England provided a tool shed and security gates. The area had been unused and a little unloved but a fantastic range of produce has been harvested from it. Nicky Smith, Community Housing Officer, said, “The enterprise has had real social benefits. As well as fruit and veg, new friendships are thriving too.”

Marram Court Two customers approached Kay Godfrey, Community Housing Officer, about starting a couple of allotments at Marram Court, Stratford-upon-Avon.

ents Green light on allotm for Marram Court

Drugbusters A pungent smell and a strange orangey-blue light from under a door was enough to alert Fallon Warren (Community Housing Officer) and Vicky Anderson (Maintenance Inspector) that all was not well at a block of flats in Rugby. They contacted Rugby Police who found 19 cannabis plants so the resident was charged with possession and intent to supply. Not only is this criminal activity a breach of tenancy but it is also anti-social behaviour (ASB) so Fallon served a Notice of Seeking Possession. The tenancy has now been brought to an end. Orbit Heart of England operates a zero tolerance policy to ASB. By working together with the police, we can make our communities a better and safer place to live.

After consultation the allotments were given the green light. One resident has already planted herbs while the other has got great plans to cultivate flowers next year.

16 \ Winter 2012/13

COMPETITION Money saving CORNER hints and tips Whether it’s something your granny told you or you picked it up from a friend, we’ve all got a few simple but clever ideas for saving time and money. Here are a few from Orbit Heart of England staff: • Protect plants from overnight frost by covering with old net curtains. • To clean your wallpaper, use stale but still slightly moist bread. It does the trick just as well as soap and water.*

• Put a lid on your saucepan when cooking; it saves time and energy. • Drive carefully – braking sharply and accelerating uses up more fuel. • To clean a glass vase, drop in a denture cleaning tablet, fill with water and leave for 20 minutes. *How on earth did they ever come up with that as an idea? Editor

But do you have any better ones? For the next competition, we want to hear your money saving hints and tips. You can send one or several. We’ll print the best ones and your name will get put into a prize draw. The winning name/s will receive a £20 High Street Voucher.

COMPETITION WINNERS The last competition was all about the Money Advice Service section on the website. The answers could be found in the different sections on the website and there were five prizes up for grabs. The sharp-eyed five who got the right answers and a £20 High Street Voucher were: R Hewitt, Kenilworth M Nicholls, Milton Keynes S Parker, Studley S Shiraaz, Kettering E Wheddon, Southam

Like us…

The closing date for entries is 1 March 2013. Send your entries, with your name and contact details, to our FREEPOST address below (no stamp needed) or email us at: (mark as Winter HOTM competition).

…on Facebook to catch up with news, views and discussions. Like us before 1 March 2013 and we’ll put your name into a £20 High Street Voucher prize draw. OfEngland

My money saving hints and tips are:

Contact us If you want to get in touch you can call us on 0345 8 500 500, or if you prefer you can email Our website is

Please note Send your answers to: Marketing and Communications Team, Business Excellence, FREEPOST RRXZ-RSUR-SHLA, Orbit Heart of England, 10 Greenhill Street, Stratford-upon-Avon, CV37 6LG. TERMS & CONDITIONS: By entering, you agree to have your name printed in the newsletter if you are a winner / runner-up. Competitions are only open to Orbit Heart of England customers.


If you need this document translating or supplying in a different format, large print, Braille or audio, please contact our Customer Service Centre on 0345 8 500 500 or email us at

Heart of the Matter Winter 2012  

The winter edition of our Customer Newsletter

Heart of the Matter Winter 2012  

The winter edition of our Customer Newsletter