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Melin News Edition 29 Spring 2016

www.melinhomes.co.uk

The Big Knit! Read how some of our residents got involved in knitting hats and scarves for Torfaen Women’s Aid

plus

You said, we did We review the results from our ASB consultation

The Melin Quiz

210316_002

You could win ÂŁ25 in high street vouchers!


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re s

Brand new homes available

A selection of 2 and 3 bed properties are FOR SALE via the Help2Own Plus scheme 2 bed houses from ÂŁ66,000* 3 bed houses from ÂŁ78,000* To register your interest visit www.nowyourhome.co.uk or call 01495 745911 *Based on 60/40 shared equity to eligible purchasers. T&Cs apply.

Available summer 2016

Artist's impression. Final home designs may vary.

New homes to rent at King Street and Hillside, Blaenavon A selection of one, two, three and four bedroom homes will be available to rent from summer 2016. To register your interest you will need to register with Torfaen Homeseeker at www.torfaenhomeseeker.org.uk


Spring 2016

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In this issue… p6 Budding author published One of our Waterside Court residents has become a published author.

p7 A nominated Rising Star Our Digital Inclusion Officer Louise has been nominated as a CIH Rising Star. Find out more.

p15 Around the schemes Residents in our schemes have been knitting, stretching, waving and singing!

p17–18 You said, we did – ASB The results from our ASB consultation are revealed and meet our Community Safety Team.

p23 Customer Services Group We look at the work of our specially formed group to help us improve our services.

Let us know! Is there something happening in your community that you would like to see covered in a future edition of Melin News? If so send your stories to news@melinhomes.co.uk or call 01495 745910.

Melin News accessibility If you need this newsletter in large print, Braille, on CD, or explained in a different language, please email us at news@melinhomes.co.uk You can read this issue online at www.issuu.com/melinhomes


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Melin News

Welcome to your fresh new issue of Melin News

I

Mark Gardner

t’s my first chance to say happy New Year, although it’s hard to believe we are already a quarter of the way through 2016. As you will see, the issue has a number of new changes. The new design I think looks great and I hope you agree. Also there are two leaflets with this issue – our self-evaulation looks at how we think we are doing and this will be audited and measured by the Welsh Government. There’s also a little booklet explaining The Melin Offer. In the centre of this issue the STAR survey results are there for you to see what you thought of our services and what we aim to do about your views.

I must pay a special tribute to our generous staff, contractors, local politicians and residents who donated to our Easter egg appeal. We received nearly 650 Easter eggs which went to local foodbanks for children who may not have received a chocolate egg over Easter. This kind gesture will I am sure brought smiles to the faces of hundreds of children and is another example 90.1% STAR of the ‘One Team Melin’ Melin Homes approach we take. 85.6% Self-evaluation 88.0% 2015 –16 We always want your views, good or bad, on 73.2% 85.9% how we are doing and on the next page you 72.4% 85.3% will there are lots of ways to keep in touch. The service Melin provided by

Upper quartile Middle upper

Median

of Satisfaction Residents Tenants and

Middle lower

st year La

satisfied

83.6 %

Lower quartile

urhood Their neighbo live as a place to

lity The overall qua e of their hom

st year La

st year La

satisfied

80.9

satisfied

85.4 %

%

ice charges That their serv e for money provide valu

provides That their rent ey value for mon

ear st yPart La

st year La

satisfied

82 .1 %

satisfied

dlord Services

%

n to their That we liste upon them views and acts

deal with The way we maintenance repairs and

79.5 %

030216_003

st year La

st year La

satisfied

A: Governance and Financial Viab ility

.3 63Part B: Lan

satisfied

64 .9 %

mark data on 2014/15 House(excluding London) groups based –5,000 *Benchmark Stock Size 2,500 and Wales RSLs All England

The Melin Offer

— What’s it all

about?

When you beco me for you than just a Melin resident we’ll do more offer you a hom e. We want to the best land be lord we can be…

Chief Executive


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Better ways to stay in touch

O

ur customer contact team receive on average 7,000 calls a month, the top five reasons for calls over the last three months were:

1 Income & Inclusion – money matters, rent, help and advice. 2 Asset management – repairs, planned works, requesting a surveyor visit. 3 Neighbourhood housing – including housing queries, estate management, etc. 4 Independent Living – calls from people interested in viewing our properties and rent queries. 5 ASB – anti-social behaviour concerns/issues. There will always be someone at the end of the telephone but there are lots of other ways to get in touch with us:

● Email enquiries@melinhomes.co.uk ● Live chat: Chat to us using the box in the corner of our website. ● Type your message in the contact form on the right hand side of every page of our website (except the home page). ● Find us at www.facebook.com/melinhomes ● Join us on Twitter @melinhomes ● Text: 07781 472210 ● Tel: 01495 745910 ● For emergencies outside of our normal hours of 9am–5pm, please call 01495 325333.

Velothon delays this May The 2016 Velothon is coming and many roads across south Wales will be closed for the event. If your home is affected, then you should have been contacted by your Local Authority. We will be operating our repairs service on an emergency only basis and ask that you bear with us, just in case we have difficulty in getting to you because of the road closures.


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Melin News

Homebuy success I

n the run up to Christmas our Homebuy team completed a number of sales and helped several people move into their new homes. The team sold six properties at Abbey Park in Llantarnam, five at Penygarn Heights in Pontypool, one home at Mountain View in Llanfoist, five at Victoria Avenue in Ebbw Vale and four at Clos Castell in rural Llangynidr. The team has also completed 13 re-sales and five DIY sales where the properties are bought from the open market. Sales are going ahead on Hillside in Blaenavon, Crownbridge in Sebastopol and the team is busy promoting homes for sale at The Alders in Gilwern. If you or someone you know is interested in our shared equity homebuy scheme visit www.melinhomes.co.uk/buying

Last issue’s quiz winner M

eet Lisa Roberts, she was the winner of the Melin quiz in the last edition. We popped over to deliver the vouchers she won. Mrs Roberts is an avid Melin News reader and was thrilled to receive her prize. “I love sitting down to read Melin News, it’s a really interesting read,” she told us. “I often cut out the helpful tips and advice and stick them on the fridge. I don’t usually enter competitions but I thought it was worth a try! There aren’t too many questions so it is nice and quick to do.”

For your chance to win, take part in our spring quiz on page 9.


Spring 2016

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Budding author Lyndon gets published

O

ne of our Waterside Court residents is well known as a Residents’ Panel and Board member, but he is also a man of literary talent and has recently become a published author. When Lyndon May became a grandfather he used the memories of his youth growing up in Pontypool as the basis for stories to tell his grandchildren. He wrote the first version of My Mate Timmy (The Friendly Troll) on sheets of A4 and even took his grandchildren on walks up The Barley looking for the place where Timmy used to live. When the grandad of four turned 70 last year, his daughters got the book published for him as a birthday present. The book is on sale on Amazon and copies have been bought in, Glasgow, Watford, the Greek Islands and Dubai. All proceeds from the sale of the book will be given to Velindre Cancer Centre. This charity is close to Lyndon’s heart as a friend of his is currently undergoing treatment for prostate cancer at the centre. He has raised £157 and counting so far and you can buy your copy of My Mate Timmy online at www.amazon.co.uk.


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Melin News

Award nominee Louise

L

ouise Kingdon will be a familiar face to many of you who have benefitted from her digital expertise. Now our very own Digital Inclusion Officer has been nominated as one of just three young Rising Stars in a Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) award ceremony. Louise is joined by Donna Williams from NPT Homes and Jamie Roberts from Newport City Homes. This year saw the highest number of nominees to the Rising Stars Cymru – New Housing Professional Awards.

“The judge’s feedback was that the standard of the applications was the best yet!”

“The judge’s feedback was that the standard of the applications was the best yet!” The candidates had to write an essay on why diversity is important in the workplace, and what new idea they have to improve diversity in Welsh housing leadership.

The candidates will be canvassing for votes on social media and the winner will be decided after a vote at the TAI Conference in April. Good luck Louise!


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Jump 2 it!

T

he pot of money we dedicate to your community projects has got bigger and better. Our previous Jump Fund supported community groups to purchase equipment worth up to ÂŁ250. The new fund, called Jump2, will also allow us to allocate funding to more community projects such as grant funding to support the hiring of halls and one-off community events. We will also be able to award our Education Bursary for Melin residents all year round. The funds for the new Jump2 will come partly from our community budget and partly from a variety of staff fundraising activities such as our annual golf day, staff quiz and mufty days. The new fund was launched on April 4th; if you would like more information about how to apply for the fund please contact the Communities Team on 01495 745910 or by email to enquiries@melinhomes.co.uk

Elections this May T

he National Assembly for Wales and Police and Crime Commissioner Elections are in May. To make sure you can vote in these elections, you need to have registered by 18 April. It only takes a few minutes to register, just visit www.gov.uk/register-to-vote and make sure you have your National Insurance number handy. You can also register by post, just contact your local electoral register office and ask for a form. www.gov.uk/get-on-electoral-register


You could win £25 in high street vouchers!

The Spring Quiz You could bag yourself £25 worth of high street vouchers. Have a look at our quiz kindly written by Newport resident Bill Fouweather. Good luck. If there are a number of correct answers the winner will be drawn out of a hat.

1

What is the Welsh name for Newport?

10 What colour is the shade of jonquil?

2

Where do West Bromwich Albion play their home games?

11 Isis and Osiris were gods of which ancient people?

3

Which actor won the Best Actor Oscar for his role in the film ‘Goodbye Mr Chips’?

12 On a Monopoly board, what colour is the most expensive property?

4

What is the only venomous snake found in Britain?

5

Who wrote the novel ‘The Mill on the Floss’?

6

What was the capital city of America before Washington DC?

7

Who was the only Englishman to become Pope?

8

Two rivers flow through the city of York, what are their names?

9

What country was Ben Johnson running for when he was disqualified in the Seoul Olympics?

13 Newman Noggs appears in which Charles Dickens novel? 14 What was abolished on 18th December 1969 in Britain? 15 Which of our planets is nearest the end of the alphabet? You can post your answers to Melin News Quiz, Ty Felin, Lower Mill Field, Pontypool, Torfaen NP4 0XJ or email them to news@melinhomes.co.uk We’ll announce the winner in the next issue.

Check www.melinhomes.co.uk/news for last issue’s answers

Your answers 1

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4

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Sink and toilet blockages D id you know that half of all sewer blockages are often the result of things being flushed down the toilet or poured down the sink that shouldn’t be? These blockages not only cost hundreds of pounds to clear, but can causing flooding both inside and around the home and garden, as well as local streams. Most of the problems are caused by wet wipes (including those labelled as ‘flushable’), disposable nappies and sanitary products. However things like kitchen oil, fats and grease can also cause major blockages. Please never put any of these things down drain or the toilet.

In the bathroom ● Ignore misleading packages and adverts Even ‘flushable’ wipes block drains and toilets. ● Bin it Put items like cotton buds in the bin, not down the toilet. ● Bag it, then bin it Nappies and sanitary products. ● Toilet paper only! Don’t flush away items like razors, needles and medication – dispose of them safely.

In the kitchen ● Bin it Wipe all pans and cooking trays with a kitchen towel before washing them and put the kitchen towel in the bin. Scrape waste food from plates, then recycle. ● Bag it, then bin it Pour used cooking oil, fat or grease into a suitable container when cooled, then dispose of it with your domestic waste. ● Re-use it Once cooled, filter the used cooking oil/fat through muslin or kitchen towel and store in a suitable container. ● Recycle it Many councils now make provision at their household waste recycling centres for the safe disposal of household fat and other food waste.


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Melin News

Welfare Reform changes T

he UK Government has confirmed that the changes to the benefit cap will come into force from the autumn. Initially this benefit cap will largely be administered through Housing Benefit as few people are on Universal Credit (UC) at the moment. However as the full rollout speeds up and more people are moved to UC, the benefit cap will be administered through UC. We explain some of the changes…

Future benefit changes that may affect you “freeze working-age benefits, tax credits and Local Housing Allowances for four years from April 2016” What this means This freezes working-age benefits for four years from 2016–17. This includes Jobseeker’s Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance, Income Support, Child Benefit, Housing Benefit, Child Tax Credit, Working Tax Credit and Universal Credit. “Limit backdating housing benefit awards to four weeks – April 2016” What this means This means the maximum time for which Housing Benefit (HB) can be backdated goes down from 26 weeks to just four weeks, which is the same as Universal Credit housing costs. “Reduce the benefit cap” What this means This limits household benefit to £20,000 per year for couples and households with children and to £13,400 per year for single households. This applies only to out-of-work households. “Remove the family element in the family premium in Housing Benefit, for new claims” What this means The family premium in Housing Benefit, which is an income allowance worth £17.45 per week for families with children will end in April 2016, this may reduce your housing benefit.


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“Income threshold reduction” What this means From April 2016, the level of earnings at which a household’s tax credits and Universal Credit award starts to be withdrawn for every extra pound earned will be reduced from £6,420 to £3,850. In addition, Universal Credit work allowances will be reduced to £4,764 for those without housing costs, £2,304 for those with housing costs, and removed altogether for non-disabled claimants without children.

We know these changes are complex and often hard to understand. If you are in any doubt about what they mean – call us, we don’t bite. Our Money Advice team are available on 01495 745910 or text us on 07781 472210, don’t forget to enter your name and address in the text. We offer face to face home visits for advice, live chat advice on our website, email advice, and phone helplines.

Losing your house keys L

ooking after the keys to your home is your responsibility and if you lose them you will need to pay for replacements. If this does happen, let us know straight away and we can send out someone to replace the locks and arrange for new keys. You will have to pay the full cost of the call out. Alternatively you are welcome to use an independent locksmith, which may work out cheaper for you.


Homes tailored to your life. If you’d like help to decide whether moving is right for you, we can help. Care & Repair will help you to work through the pros and cons of moving or staying. They will also give advice about other services too; from organising removals and finding out what social opportunities exist in your new community, to sorting out gas, electric, phone and other services. With 15 sheltered and extra care schemes Melin have homes designed with people aged 55 and over in mind. Give the teams a call on 01495 745910 or email enquiries@melinhomes.co.uk to see how we can help.


The service provided by Melin

STAR

Upper quartile Middle upper Median

Satisfaction of Tenants and Residents

Middle lower

90.1% satisfied

83.6

Lower quartile

The overall quality of their home

88.0% satisfied

st year La

%

Their neighbourhood as a place to live

st year La

85.4 %

85.6% satisfied

st year La

80.9 %

That their rent provides value for money

That their service charges provide value for money

85.9%

73.2%

satisfied

st year La

82 .1 %

The way we deal with repairs and maintenance

85.3% satisfied

st year La

79.5 %

satisfied

st year La

63.3 %

That we listen to their views and acts upon them

72.4% satisfied

*Benchmark groups based on 2014/15 Housemark data All England and Wales RSLs Stock Size 2,500–5,000 (excluding London)

st year La

64 .9 %


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Melin News

Around the schemes The big knit

R

esidents at Waterside Court, Cwmbran recently knitted hats and scarves for Torfaen Women’s Aid. Councillor Elizabeth Haynes donated the wool and seven of the people living at the Cwmbran scheme decided to make sure they put it to a good cause. The woollen wear will now benefit parents and children at Women’s Aid.

Residents and staff from Llys Ebwy in Ebbw Vale, Waterside Court and Ty George Lansbury in Cwmbran, St Mary’s Court and Tredegar Court in Newport, all knitted blankets for Syrian refugees “It was great for our recently. The appeal, co-ordinated residents and staff to help by Caerphilly Council staff, asked and I’m sure the blankets us for help to send blankets to the refugee camp called ‘The Jungle’ will really help people in in Calais, to provide much needed their time of need.” warmth for the refugees. Scheme Manager at Llys Ebwy in Ebbw Vale Julie Williams said; “It was great for our residents and staff to help and I’m sure the blankets will really help. It’s been a great chance for us to meet and work together and new friendships have been made as a result. We are already knitting more; as they’re asking for hats and gloves.”


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Wave your hands in the air

T

he lovely staff in our Communities team funded a festive party for residents at Abertillery sheltered scheme Howell Griffiths Court in December. Age Connect ran an Extend armchair exercise class and residents were also treated to a performance by the Melin staff choir Zing! The Salvation Army band also played for them and the team made sure the lounge looked festive to welcome Santa when he visited on the Melin bus.

Sing with all your heart

W

e hosted a Valentine’s party for residents of Ty Cae Nant, Llys Ebwy and Ty Penry Thomas recently. Our very own staff choir Zing! sang an array of love songs and the Communities Team provided a delicious buffet. Some residents even brought some Valentine’s themed cakes! Zest also introduced some of the residents to smoothies for the first time, and Alan Hughes and Helen Seymour held a fun quiz and bingo session to finish off the afternoon.


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Melin News

You said, we did – ASB W

e have run a consultation recently to get your views on anti-social behaviour. We received nearly 300 responses, and this is what you told us.

Reporting methods You would like more ways to report anti-social behaviour, these included:

You said

● Home visits to report directly to staff face to face; ● A text message facility to report anti-social behaviour; ● The ability to report online via our website; ● The option to be provided with monitoring equipment to record noise nuisance.

We did

● Staff members will visit you after receiving a report of anti-social behaviour which is being investigated; ● A text message facility to report anti-social behaviour is in the process of being investigated. ● There are lots of ways to get in touch about ASB, we've also placed a contact form on our website.

Wording The wording used by us for the persons reporting and causing anti-social behaviour.

You said

● 86% of you told us that you are happy with the wording which we currently use, ie: complainant/victim and perpetrator for the person who is subject of the complaint; ● However several of you told us that ‘perpetrator’ should be amended to ‘alleged perpetrator’ until an investigation has been completed.

We did

● We have amended our wording to use ‘alleged perpetrator’ whilst an investigation is in progress.


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Noise nuisance and use of diary information sheets You said We did

● 86% of you told us you agree with the use of noise diaries to collect evidence of noise, however some people felt that increased use of noise monitoring devices/equipment would be beneficial. ● We have started to use a noise application which is suitable for all smart phones (Android and iOS) and some tablets.

Tailored action plans You said

● 91% of you told us that you agree with the use of tailored action plans to mutually agree the frequency of feedback, the support you will be provided, and to confirm what we need you to do when we are dealing with anti-social behaviour.

Additional measures to help tackle anti-social behaviour You said We did

Some of you told us that you would like the ability to access additional measures and equipment: examples included:

● CCTV, noise recording equipment, aftercare support for victims. ● The noise application is now available for those experiencing noise nuisance. CCTV is available and installation of it is assessed on a case by case basis – We prioritise according to the seriousness of the alleged ASB and/or the number of incidents reported. ● We will make referrals to Connect Gwent and you can find more about that service over the page.

How to report ASB to us You can report anti-social behaviour to us in the following ways:

● Fill in the contact form on our website (choose the ‘Report anti-social behaviour’ option from the drop down menu); ● Use the chat facility at the bottom of our website; ● Email us at asb@melinhomes.co.uk ● Call us on 01495 745910


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Melin News

Meet your Community Safety Team T

he Community Safety Team dealt with more than 40 cases between October 2015 and January 2016. They are: Pam Russell

Steve Mitchell

Ceri Carter

Michelle Kent Helen Larkin

Nicola Lawrence

Michelle Kent – Team Leader; Steve Mitchell – Community Safety Officer; Ceri Carter – Community Safety Officer; Nicola Lawrence – Community Safety Officer; Pam Russell – Community Safety Assistant; Helen Larkin – Community Safety Assistant.

Connect Gwent T

he Community Safety Team can refer victims of antisocial behaviour to Connect Gwent, which incorporates the victim support service. Victims can also refer themselves. Connect Gwent are able to offer any additional support which the Community Safety Team may not be able to provide. This may be as simple as visiting the victim to provide comfort and re-assurance, or liaising with various agencies so that the victim receives a co-ordinated response.


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Chocs away for charity R

esidents at a sheltered scheme in Cwmbran have given children at a Welsh cancer hospital a boost over Easter with a donation of 100 chocolate eggs. Fundraiser Maureen Davies, a resident of ours at Waterside Court, asked all her neighbours if they would like to donate Easter eggs, and was thrilled by their response. From the 33 apartments at the Cwmbran complex, they collected 100 eggs. Maureen, her husband Robert and scheme manager Norma Andrews were driven to the LATCH offices at The University Of Wales (Heath) Hospital on the Melin bus. LATCH supports children who are receiving treatment for cancer and their families. The eggs will be given out to young outpatients visiting the clinic and their siblings, as well as to the children who are staying in hospital.

“It’s been a really great response and people have been keen to support the children’s hospital.” “We would like to thank Maureen Davies and the residents of Waterside Court for donating the eggs and to Melin Homes for supporting Maureen in her fundraising efforts. It makes such a difference to the patients and their families to know that people are thinking of them at this difficult time in their lives.” Allie Price, LATCH Administrative Officer said. If you want to know more about LATCH’s work or want to donate to their cause, visit www.latchwales.org


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Are you a Melin resident looking for jobs, training or placements? Get in touch with Melin Works on 01495 745910.

Melin News

Helping a Cwmbran resident back to work M

axine Gilmore, 34 from Cwmbran referred herself to the Melin Works team after seeing that they can provide training and work placements.

“I felt I needed training and actual experience in an office to improve my chances of getting a job” said Maxine. Being a single mum with two young boys, she had not worked for more than three years since the birth of her youngest son.

“It was great to actually do this type of work rather than just study it.”

After speaking to our Melin Works team, Maxine got an eight week work experience placement with Glanmor Developments in Cwmbran, one of our contractors.

“This was vital for me, I managed to get real world experience in bookkeeping and office work which I can put on my CV when applying for work. I can’t thank Paula and the team enough.” During her placement Maxine was able to gain experience in payroll services, administration and invoicing. “It was great to actually do this type of work rather than just study it. I enjoyed being in the office and working as part of a team.”


Find out more about what we offer and how we can help at www.melinhomes.co.uk/melinworks Davina Bedford, Office Manager at Glanmor told us; “Maxine was a pleasure to have on placement here at Glanmor. She was eager to learn and get some real world experience and I am sure she got a lot out of her time at Glanmor. Our office is a busy place and Maxine got stuck in and did all we asked of her and more.” Melin Works were able to pay for Maxine to attend courses in Level 2 Bookkeeping & Accounts, get access to a tablet through our Digital Inclusion scheme and she also had help with CV writing and completing job applications. We helped her apply for our Education Bursary and she was awarded £250 towards her studies and had her childcare costs paid so she could attend evening courses. “What was great was Melin was able to remove many of the barriers I had to getting more training and getting back to work” said Maxine.

How can I get on board? Work placements

W

e have a number of unpaid work placement opportunities for people who want to learn new skills and gain experience to include on their CV. Check out www.melinhomes.co.uk/work-placements for our latest opportunities.

New projects Inspire 2 Work Melin Works is starting the Inspire 2 Work programme in Monmouthshire. Inspire 2 Work aims to engage, support and enable young people to gain a range of skills, qualifications and meaningful work placements to feel confident and motivated to enter into sustainable employment or further learning. If you are aged 19–24, living in Monmouthshire and claiming Job Seekers’ Allowance then contact the Melin Works team on 01495 745910 or melinworks@melinhomes.co.uk.


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Melin News

Looking in depth at our services with the CSG O

ur Customer Services Group was set up to help us improve the services we offer our residents. The group, made up of residents, looks at the services we provide (like repairs) and tells us what they think about them. They also carry out inspections and act as mystery shoppers just so that we can improve what we do. Their most recent project looking into customer care and access has resulted in some really positive improvements in how we do things here. Resident volunteers on the group created an action plan from their findings which our Board approved. The Residents’ Panel also monitors progress quarterly. The group’s review means that now:

● Our customer contact team takes staggered lunchtimes. This means there is always someone there to answer your calls. ● An increased number of your calls are resolved by the first person you speak to.

Some of our Customer Services Group members pictured with staff.


Spring 2016

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● You told us you didn’t feel comfortable answering a security question about your date of birth. You can now choose your preferred security question, and help us to verify your identity. ● We have updated the range of leaflets in our reception area and changed the hold music that was played on the phone. ● We have also put screens around the people taking your calls so that you are not distracted by office noise during your call. The group is now looking into void properties and is speaking to residents who have moved within the last six months. They are joining staff on visits to some of you who have moved recently to talk to you about your experiences. If you are interested in getting involved with the Customer Services Group please email john.lewis@melinhomes.co.uk The group is always looking for new people to get involved.

Welcome on board! W

e recently welcomed Anne Hayward to our Board of management. Ms Hayward is a retired lawyer who lives in Lisvane, Cardiff. She has known about us for a while, as during the course of her legal profession Mark Gardner was one of her first clients. “Melin has done great things under Mark’s guidance,” she said.

“I have seen Melin grow and develop over the years and I am looking forward to becoming part of the team.” So why did she want to get on board? “I have been involved in social housing for most of my working life. I have had a great career out of it, so I wanted to give something back.”


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Melin News

Annual planning goals set for Residents’ Panel Y

our Residents’ Panel recently held their annual planning day. The elected volunteers used the meeting to set out their goals for the coming year and review some of their work from last year. Their top priorities this year are to:

● Gain closer links to residents’ groups; ● Spend more time meeting and talking to you; ● Work closely with our Communities Team attending some of the events they organise out and about in your streets and communities. The Panel has previously supported our Works team by part-funding driving lessons or childcare for people who are benefiting from employment advice and training or work experience opportunities. They have also supported garden projects helping some of you brighten up your neighbourhoods. As well as providing helpful extra funds for community projects, the panel meet with our staff and directors on a regular basis to scrutinise our services.


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The minutes of all Residents’ Panel meetings are available on our website www.melinhomes.co.uk/the-residents-panel If you want to attend one of the monthly meetings please email caroline.morgan@melinhomes.co.uk or call her on 01495 745910.

Disability Group look to support residents Volunteers on The Panel’s Disability Group took part in sight loss training recently. The group went to Cae Nant to learn from the RNIB more about how we can provide excellent services to residents with sight loss. They also had training on becoming ‘Dementia Friends’, learning how to help people living with the condition from our very own Living Well Manager Shona Martin.

Hospital gardens open Torfaen AM Lynne Neagle was on hand to officially open Ty Siriol Hospital ward garden. The event follows a great deal of hard work from community volunteer Carol Wheeler who was backed by a project grant from our Communities Team to transform the outside space for patients on the dementia ward. We are grateful to Tom Morris from Morris’s of Usk, who reduced the invoice by several hundred pounds in order for the project to proceed. The Residents’ Panel also gave £60 to the volunteers to put some extra colourful plants in ahead of the official opening. Patients at the dementia ward are now able to go outside and enjoy the sights and smells of their new garden. “This garden will be a fantastic addition to patients’ lives. As usual, Melin and the Residents’ Panel are at the heart of good things that are going on in the community.” Lynne Neagle AM told us.


Don’t let money troubles loom over you, we’re always here help. Our Money Advice team are always available to talk. Give us a call on 01495 745910 or email moneyadvice@melinhomes.co.uk

www.melinhomes.co.uk/we-dont-bite

Melin news 29  

Our all new Melin News this month features the usual Melin Quiz, where residents can take part with a chance to win vouchers. There's also...

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