Page 1

GREAT News W/C 12th March 2018

SWAT to feature on Sky News - p.3


Your weekly code


Also in this issue: Universal Credit is now full service in Tameside - International Women’s Day Action Together social prescribing and much more ...

Universal Credit

We’re now in full service in Tameside

Full service is now live in Tameside. This means that the number of tenants claiming UC will start to build up within the next few weeks at a very fast rate. We expect at least 200 new cases a month – that’s a big increase from the current 24!

So that we have a starting point, the figures below show you the current 12-month rolling collection rate for Universal Credit claimants. The figures are as at the end of February 2018, which, overall, show an excellent position. As the full service takes hold, we must carry on working together well to make sure we can maintain such good performance.

Interested in knowing more about what SWAT is up to?

You are invited to come and spend some time with the team and take part in a job shadowing experience. This will give you the opportunity to really get a feel for what it’s like for tenants and the sort of issues that the team are coming across and dealing with

SWAT would love to see you. Just call Andy on ext 2010 and he’ll arrange a suitable time for you to come along.


Rent First - It’s everyone’s business

SWAT to feature on Sky News

As Universal Credit rolled out in Tameside on Wednesday last week, reporters from Sky News visited New Charter and spent a day with our SWAT team to find out more about the work they do in supporting tenants through the switch to Universal Credit.

They were filming for a programme called Line 18, which sees the reporters travel a diagonal line through the UK, visiting towns where Universal Credit has been trialled or rolled out to get an idea of the effect it is having on claimants. Sky News shadowed SWAT advisors Amanda, Joanne and Kath as they did the rounds in Hyde, visiting tenants to provide advice about Universal Credit.

Two tenants were willing to share their stories on camera and while they each had their individual issues, they shared concerns about how they would cope with the 5 week waiting period and the debt and arrears that this would cause.

The reporter, Tom Rayner commented how he had noticed a recurring theme that many Universal Credit claimants who need support, often have multiple issues such as drug or alcohol dependency, debt to loan sharks, or mental health issues. He praised the SWAT team for not only being able to support tenants with Universal Credit, but also referring them to various other support networks.

Line 18 will air some time in April - we’ll keep you posted!

Rent First - It’s everyone’s business


International Women’s Day at Oldham Coliseum

Aksa and New Charter Homes tenants were given back stage access to a local theatre to help celebrate International Women’s Day.

Oldham Coliseum Theatre opened its doors to tenants for a day of activities and guest talks from actress Isabel Ford, a local actress and Coliseum favourite. She is currently in rehearsals for the Coliseum’s production of Whisky Galore and has previously appeared in Coliseum shows including most recently Hard Times, Spring and Port Wine and Brassed Off. She was also in the feature film, Nativity 2.

The residents were treated like VIPs with a craft session to recreate the International Women’s Day logo to create the concept of women coming together. The women were also treated to a Henna session.

The focus of this year’s International Women’s Day (IWD 2018) is #PressforProgress and it calls on people to take action to strive for gender parity.

Our theatre project works with tenants of all ages and genders but this event was about celebrating and empowering women from our communities to go out there and try something new.

Tenants who are interested in getting involved in projects with Oldham Coliseum Theatre can contact Janet Hall on 0161 331 2625 /


GREAT Homes, GREAT Neighbourhoods, GREAT People

The Community Development team is now certified ‘train the trainers’

We have achieved approved centre status with Trainer Courses Limited the leading national healthcare train the trainer provider. This now enables staff from the Community Development team to deliver accredited Food Hygiene Level 2.

Asmina Choudhury, John McGlynn and Martin Curtis will be offering residents the opportunity to increase their knowledge and gain a qualification that will help people to learn and to secure paid employment in the catering and hospitality sectors, or prepare food and refreshments safely in our neighbourhoods at events and activities. This will also mean a saving to our training budget and provide Value for Money (VFM) as we will no longer need to pay for this service from a training provider. We’ll also be able to issue the certificates efficiently to the residents who pass.

The dates for training 2018/19 are as follows:

• 17th April • 19th June • 21st August • 23rd October • 22nd January • 19th March

Training takes place in The Library at Cavendish 249 from 9.30am-3pm. If you know any tenants who would benefit from this training and wish to register please email full contact details to

: Social prescribing

Action Together, alongside New Charter Group and Active Tameside has launched a social prescribing service. Social prescribing is about connecting people to non-medical sources of support by linking them up with activities, opportunities or services in their local community that they might benefit from. It is an approach that promotes individuals looking after their own health and using their strengths to achieve goals that are important to them.

The welcome leaflet, criteria and referral form are attached below. If you have any queries please contact Steve Moss. • Attachment: Social Prescribing client welcome leaflet • Attachment: Social Prescribing info criteria • Attachment: Social Prescribing referral form

GREAT Homes, GREAT Neighbourhoods, GREAT People


The Picture of Health In focus this month: Women’s Health Each month Public Health Tameside circulates The Picture of Health, an infographic with facts, figures and tips on staying healthy, to its partners in Tameside. Each month it focuses on a different aspect of health and wellbeing and with International Women’s Day and Mother’s Day both taking place in March, this month it focuses on women’s health.

There’s information about maternal health, such as pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding as well as info about testing for cancers which are most common amongst women.

To view the Picture of Health, visit It can also be viewed on the Invigorate Intranet Page.

Threshold and Adactus living wage story - clarification

You may have seen in news outlets including Manchester Evening News and Inside Housing, that Threshold and Adactus were both mentioned in a list of employers published last week who failed to pay some of their staff the minimum wage.

Threshold and New Charter Group were penalised due to an oversight in the payment of Threshold Home Services staff and their travel time.

To confirm our position on the matter, we value our people and pay the real living wage rate rather than the National Living Wage. We were reviewed by HMRC and, as with the majority of other care providers who have been reviewed, they found some issues in relation to the payment of travel time.

We worked closely with HMRC to rectify matters and to ensure the accuracy of future payments. Unfortunately the service has since had to close as it is no longer economically viable.

Adactus were also mentioned in the list of 179 employers. On an annualised salary basis, no members of their staff were paid below the minimum wage. For a short period, some employees were deemed to have been paid below the required rate owing to a discrepancy between the date they joined the company and the date they signed apprentice training agreements. Any sums owed were paid promptly and systems tightened to ensure all elements of the minimum wage regulations are applied correctly.


GREAT Homes, GREAT Neighbourhoods, GREAT People


News about the Group featured in local, national or industry press.


ach week we’ll bring you a list of the stories that have been written about New Charter Group in local, national or industry press, both online and in print. If you have a story that you think should be in the press, please get in touch with the Comms team via

The Wraps are almost off Tameside Reporter (p.10)

As previously covered in GREAT News, the wrapping is being taken down at Summers Quay. The story was covered in last week’s Reporter.

Complementary Therapies

Wendy our therapist will be back in Cavendish on Thursday 22nd March offering the following therapies:

• Reiki • Indian Head Massage • Seated Acupressure • Massage (Swedish & Aromatherapy)

The cost to the individual will be £7.50 and the and the Group will subsidise the rest.

We have limited appointments left. To book or for any more information, please contact

GREAT Homes, GREAT Neighbourhoods, GREAT People


Corporate Induction 09.00 – 13.00 The Library, Cav249

Jigsaw Board Away Day

Thurs 15 March

Monday 12 March

What’s on this week?

Dress Down Day

Wed 14 March

Fri 16 March

Tue 13 March

No key events

TPAS Awards North Hilton Manchester 11:45am - 4:30pm

Taking on the Challenge of Universal Credit 09.30 – 16.30 Gedling – Boardroom Equality and Diversity Training 14.00 – 16.30 The Boardroom, Cav249 Net-Walking Departing from Cav249 13:00

If you have an event you would like us to publicise, please send details to before 3pm on Friday

National No Smoking Day GREAT Academies Board Meeting


GREAT Homes, GREAT Neighbourhoods, GREAT People

Starters Leavers

Linda Kennedy Prevention Support Officer Knowsley Housing Options

Lee Blackwell Seasonal Gardener Green Charter

Yarn Sayers Seasonal Gardener Green Charter

Robert Shelton Labourer GH Response

Julie Johnson Connect Advisor Connect

Ben O’Brien Gardener Green Charter

Thomas Taylor Gardener Green Charter

Mark Scott Communications Specialist Communications

Ben Bowker Revenue Assistant Finance & Revenues

Craig Garner Executive Director, Finance Finance




Catherine Butterfield Was: Activity Coordinator Now: Sheltered Housing Coordinator Neighbourhoods

Hannah Ellwood Administrator Threshold

Rosemary Hyde Was:Insurance Assistant Now:OD Assistant OD

Sheltered Housing Co-ordinator Salary: £18,297 - £20,787 per annum Ref: GH185 Permanent Hours: 18 hours per week (5 afternoons). Closing date: 19th March 2018 at 9.00am Supported Living Co-ordinator Salary: £18,657 - £25,764 Ref: GH186 Permanent Hours 30 hours per week – 4 days per week. Closing date: 19th March 2018 at 9.00am

Jade Woods Was: Housing Support Worker Now: Resettlement Advisor Supported Housing

Painter & Decorator Gedling Response £21,500 up to £24,500 per annum + a potential of c£2000 per annum callout allowance, company vehicle and uniform Hours 39 per week Job Ref: GH188 Closing date: 23rd March 2018 at 4.00pm Adactus vacancies Click the attachments to view jobs in full • Scheme Caretaker • Seasonal Gardener • Domestic Cleaner


8 GREAT Homes, GREAT Neighbourhoods, GREAT People


If you want to promote a project through the press, social media, Great News newsletters, web, posters, screensavers, award submissions, events or advertising – the Communications team can help. When contacting the team for support, please use the relevant protocols available on our Comms Protocols intranet page. Please remember: If you’re contacted by the media, it is important that you refer this straight to the Communications team on x2427 or

GREAT News 12th March 2018  
GREAT News 12th March 2018