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12190A New Charter Newsletter Winter 2013_v6__ 17/12/2013 14:24 Page 1


Winter issue: January 2014

Your magazine from New Charter

Tenants awarded for their great work

6 Britain in Bloom awards

81 Tips on keeping warm this winter

Tameside Home Services lends a helping hand Page 9

Also inside: Find out what your SWAT team is getting up to

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12 Slow cooker classic stew recipe

Just for fun! Winter wordsearch Page 19


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Welcome to your Winter magazine! Winter is most definitely upon us now and we hope you are managing to keep safe and warm through the long evenings. We’ve had a fantastic time celebrating over the festive period and we hope you have too! As always, we have another fun filled magazine for you to feast your eyes on. There are some great stories about services that New Charter provides in your neighbourhoods, a step back in time with an article on how

trams first started and information on up and coming events in your area.We hope you enjoy! Finally, we’d like to wish one of our members, Ann, best wishes for a speedy recovery after an illness at the end of last year. We look forward to having her back at the meetings whenever she is on her feet again.

Teenage Fostering Have you ever considered it?

Could you: Give a young person a stable home? Be a good role model, teach them skills and prepare them for adulthood? Have you got patience and resilience to help a young person through the most crucial years of their lives? Tameside Fostering Service is looking for enthusiastic people who think they have what it takes to foster children in secondary school. Fosterer’s gain an attractive allowance from £9k - 27k approx.

For more information visit or call 0161 368 8865

Your Customer Communications Group (One of the members of the group, Moira, was not present for the photo)

Your local MPs If you ever need to contact your local MP, you can do so by writing to them at their constituency offices: Andrew Gwynne MP

Your MP for Denton & Reddish The Constituency Office, Denton Town Hall, Market Street, Denton, M34 2AP

David Heyes MP

Your MP for Ashton-under-Lyne The Constituency Office, St Michael’s Court, St Michael’s Square, Ashton-under-Lyne, OL6 6XN

Jonathan Reynolds MP

Your MP for Stalybridge & Hyde The Constituency Office, Hyde Town Hall, Market Street, Hyde, SK14 1AL

Look for this icon: If you have a smartphone you can also find more information on our website by scanning this barcode with a QR code reader app.

2 The Communications team at New Charter writes your newsletter. You can contact them on 0161 331 2470.

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x 9


Contents SWAT’s about...


Money matters


Spooky goings on at the Stars That Shine awards 6-7



Your neighbourhoods are blooming for Britain in Bloom


Our managers go ‘back to the floor!’


Tameside Home Services


Your community, your services


Keeping you safe


Keeping warm this winter


We’re still VIPs


‘Stepping up’ in times of need


The kids are alright


Help with employment from the European Social Fund


New solar panels help to save energy


More GREAT opportunities


Overall customer satisfaction at 90% 18

Don’t forget, you can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter @NewCharterGroup

Just for fun!


How we’re doing


Your recipes: Slow cooker classic stew


Your local history page


Events and classes


January 2014


12190A New Charter Newsletter Winter 2013_v6__ 17/12/2013 14:25 Page 4

SWAT’s about...

Following on from the Universal Tour bus which travelled around your neighbourhoods to speak to you about the changes to benefits, many of you asked us: What’s next for SWAT? ● Working Tax Credit ● Child Tax Credit This means that anyone claiming This was a really busy month for us our of Universal Credit will no longer be and we spoke with some partners to get more information on able to have their Housing Benefit paid to New Charter. the benefit changes. You might have gs, nin eve n ope ool seen us at sch The Department of Work and gs nin eve s ent par and s fair s eer car Pensions will tell you if this is going you help to tion giving informa to happen, but we want to make s. nge prepare for the benefit cha sure that we can support people through the transfer. We’re asking We also put together a tenants who claim questionnaire to ask you questions ire During the full or partial housing benefits about Universal Credit.The Insp October half or who may need additional team at New Charter and Crowhill us ed term holidays, SWAT joined forces support to complete one of neighbourhood in Ashton help r with the Neighbourhood hea ld cou we our questionnaires. to do this so that Co-Ordinators for Hyde, Ashton your views on the changes. The answers you give will help and Mossley to visit town centres. in y cop We've included a us to make sure that we are giving Lots of you turned up to speak to us this newsletter. you the right support so that you and get information on the changes, can manage Universal Credit from Universal Credit to the payments properly. All the answers 'Bedroom Tax'. will be treated with the strictest We continued work in our At the same time, MiNT launched of confidence. neighbourhoods to give you group money management sessions Please complete the information about Universal Credit. called Quids In, to help give it, by d cte questionnaire and post it Lots of people will be affe advice on budgeting.The service including working parents who claim back to us or drop is still running so contact it into one of Child Tax or Working Tax Credit, New Charter if you would like of ny ma as to ak spe to our offices. so we want more information. you as possible. Don’t forget to fill in the questionnaire on Universal Credit inside this newsletter if you have one (not everyone will.) The article below tells you all about it.




January and onwards...

enjoyed Young residents ur the Universal To


January 2014

Later this year, Universal Credit will start to replace the following benefits for more people: ● Job Seekers Allowance ● Income related Employment and Support Allowance ● Housing Benefit ● Income Support

Keep up to date with ou r monthly Facebook and Tw itter live chats and share your stories. For more information co ntact the SWAT team on 0161 331 2000 or email SWAT@newcharte

Help us to help you

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Money matters Making payments to us We recently reviewed the way that customers pay us and there have been some changes. You will no longer be able to use your payment card at Payzone outlets. If you use a payment card to pay your rent and/or service charges, you can now only do this at your local Post Office or Paypoint outlet, not through Payzone.

Home contents insurance for leaseholders We have worked with AON UK Limited to offer our leaseholders low cost home contents insurance. Premiums start from as little as £1.10 per week (if under 60 years of age) or from 73p per week (if over 60 years of age). For more information visit or call the Home Contents Insurance team on 0161 331 2221.

Paying your rent You must pay your rent and service charge to us according to your tenancy agreement. If you don’t do this, you are in breach of your tenancy agreement and you run the risk of losing your home. If you don’t make regular payments to us we will contact you to discuss your arrears and offer you advice and support. However, if you are having difficulty paying your rent or service charge please contact us as soon as possible to discuss your account. We will do our best to help and may offer special arrangements for you to pay your arrears in instalments. We will take legal action where all alternative courses of action have failed this may result in you losing your home. If you are having difficulty in making your rent and service charge payments, please contact us immediately on 0161 331 2215. If you need help with applying for benefits or have problems with other debts, the Money Care team may be able to help you. Call 0161 331 2456 for more information.

Did you know? You can now check your rent account for charges, balances and payments online? Register at to use the service.

January 2014


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Spo ky

goings on at Stars That Shine awards Our residents’ awards evening took place in October to celebrate the fantastic voluntary work that YOU do across our neighbourhoods. This was the sixth year of the awards and we took over New Charter Academy to bring you a spooky Halloween themed evening.There was even a ghoulish graveyard and academy student zombies performing their own version of Michael Jackson’s Thriller before we sat down to a meal. Our Resident Involvement team also took to the floor to perform the Time Warp! Over 200 winners attended the event which was split into three sections - RHS Britain In Bloom,Tenancy and Support Services team and awards for the very best of our residents.

In Bloom This brought all of our budding gardeners together and we had a really successful year this time around! Please see page 14 for our fantastic results.

Tenancy and Support Services team Customers like you were recognised for taking a stand against problem tenants and for making a difference to the lives of their neighbours.

Newcomer of the Year Highly Commended: Top Hatters, Copley Residents’ Association Winner: Audra Chorlton Audra helped set up a Neighbourhood Watch scheme and has taken part in joint patrols in her area to ensure neighbours have a safe place to live.

Contributions to the Environment Highly Commended: Ian McKay and Joseph Cocks Winners: Jennifer Hudson and Andrew Hunt Both have helped create a community oasis on a disused piece of land in Hazelhurst.

Contributions to the Community

Awarding the best of our residents


January 2014

Highly commended: Joan Bromfield and Pembroke Court Residents Group Winners: Maureen Darraugh & Peter Dixon. They run a local credit union and have recently set up a food bank; both of which are helping residents who are struggling to make ends meet.

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Best Male Highly Commended: Mark Gibbons Winner: Brian Horsfall Brian was recognised for his involvement with local groups, putting on quizzes and taking additional driving training to be able to drive local rambler club members further afield.

Best Female Highly Commended: Ann Walton,‘Nana’ Von McConnell, Maureen Adams Winner: Irene Raddings. For her commitment to her community. She is respected by both MPs and councillors and has been described as being a mother to everyone.

Individual Achievement of the Year Highly Commended: Alan Bartlett Winner: Matthew Inglis stole the prize for his involvement with the Royal Exchange Theatre and for representing his community at a tenant participation conference. Matthew is also involved with his resident group and helped transform a community garden.

Community Safety Initiative of the Year Winners: Street Watch - Brushes Street Watch keep an eye on the Brushes neighbourhood, helping build community confidence and decrease anti-social behaviour.

The evening was a great success and everyone had a fantastic time. Special thanks goes to everyone who was nominated... you are all winners to us!

Fundraisers of the Year Winners: Audenshaw Community Association The group were recognised because they are always ready to give time to worthy charities, both on their doorstep and further afield, including Help for Heroes and MacMillan Cancer Support to name but a few.

Young at Heart Highly Commended: Peter Marchant Winner: Vera Anderson.Vera won this for the hard work she puts in for her neighbours and the greater community.Vera is always passionate and if she gets a bit too over excited her excuse is:“I’m a pensioner, I can get away with it!”

Special Achievement In addition to the above, two special achievement awards were given to two groups that continue to do fantastic work on behalf of all the residents of New Charter.These were: Our Tenant Management Team and the Tenants’ Panel

Tenants’ Annual Report The Tenants’ Annual Report is now available! It has been created by tenants for tenants to give you an insight into the last year at New Charter. Find it at, at your local Home and Community Hub, or from the Resident Involvement team on 0161 331 2000. January 2014


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Your neighbourhoods are blooming for Britain in Bloom

Every year we help you enter the Britain in Bloom gardening competition to celebrate your impressive neighbourhoods. You had a really successful year this year, with all 14 gardens that entered winning a prize!

All of our fantastic winners



● Petal Power ● Higher Green Resident Association ● Micklehurst Dreamscheme ● Rosehill Estate ● Somerset House

● Ashurst Gardens ● Audenshaw Community Association ● Brushes Estate Management Board ● Dixon Road/Forrest Road ● Friends of Crowswood Action Group ● Hindley Close Residents’ Association ● Yew Tree & Pendle Road Residents’ Association

‘Thriving’ ● Garden Walk Action Group ● Newton Group ● Waterton Gardens

Ashurst Gardens residents who scooped the Best Neighbourhood award

And a massive well done to Ashurst Gardens who won the Best Neighbourhood award! Well done to everyone and thank you for making your neighbourhoods so beautiful!

Our managers go ‘back to the floor!’ As part of National Customer Service Week (please see page 18 for more details) some of our directors went and worked in different departments to learn how our services work. Our Executive Director of People, Chris Amyes went to one of our housing options services in Knowsley, Merseyside and both our Executive Director of Corporate Services, Martin Frost and the Director of Aksa Homes, Mushtaq Khan took to the phones in our Contact Centre for a few hours and took some calls! JulieVickers, our Director of Business Support, went out twice with our CleanCare team - for those of you who live in Cavendish Mill or Micklehurst you might have seen her out and about with the caretakers. Jane Blackburn, our Director of OrganisationalTransformation, went


January 2014

out with one of our Property inspections to specialist ones looking Maintenance Officers to inspect one at damp, structural and any health of our empty homes. and safety issues.The team also checks that all properties meet the OurVoids team inspects our empty homes once people move out to Housing Health and Safety Rating decide what, if any, work needs to System (HHSRS) standard to make be done before somebody new sure they are not dangerous. moves in. Jane said:“I was impressed at the Property maintenance officers depth and quality of the inspection. (PMO’s) do these inspections; visiting Peter did an extremely thorough job 33 homes each week on average to to ensure the house would make a make sure properties are ready for great new home for someone.” repairs to be done. Lots of jobs need to be carried out, from standard the ropes Chris Amyes gets stuck in at Mar tin Frost learnsre Knowsley Housing Options in our contact cent

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Tameside Home Services Personalised support services for those who need it Tameside Home Services (THS) provides support to older and disabled people, helping them to stay independent for as long as possible. Trained staff give a personalised support service to each person that they work with, whenever they need it.This can be anything from daily visits to one-off visits during a challenging time.

One such person is Annie Annie is a 96-year-old lady who lives alone.We received a call from her neighbour two years ago as they were worried about her because she had become a little unsteady and was struggling with her shopping. THS visited Annie to see how they could help and soon arranged for a support worker to help her do her shopping every week in Hyde.

Suppor t wo rke and THS cli r Helen Whittaker ent Jean

With support,Annie was able to walk there, do her shopping, have a spot of lunch and then return home. Annie is delighted with this support and loves keeping in contact with her community. She thoroughly enjoys the company and is pleased that she is still able to choose what she wants to buy.

THS has been with New Charter for a year now, and this is how they do it... A day in the life of Helen, a Community Support Worker I really look forward to going to work. It’s varied and gives me immense job satisfaction knowing that I can make a difference to people’s daily lives. For more information please call 0161 331 2278/2277 or visit

I arrive at Ruby’s at 9am. Ruby is house bound and looks forward to my weekly visit. Though care workers visit three times a day, I am a regular face she looks forward to seeing. Next is David, who I shop for. I run through his shopping list and check his fridge and cupboards, making sure there is nothing out of date. I then do his shopping for him. At the end of the day, I usually call into Joyce’s every other day, but as she is in respite at the moment, I visit her there. Knowing she is getting a regular visitor gives Joyce and her family great peace of mind and she really looks forward to the visit.

Being able to help and improve Ruby’s day gives me great pleasure. Knowing that someone will be calling and staying for a couple of hours is a great relief to her and she really enjoys the company

January 2014


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Your community, your services As well as the main offices that we have around Tameside, we have two different types of hubs where you can access our services.

Accessing our services Home and Community Hubs

Neighbourhood Hubs

We have four town centre Home and Community Hubs in Our Home and Community Hub in Denton Hyde, Denton, Stalybridge and Ashton. Each Hub has a specially trained team who between them have a fantastic 344 years of experience working with customers. Most of these years have been spent working for New Charter and Tameside council. Staff are able to help with enquiries about your home, your neighbourhood, benefits and much, much more. You don’t need an appointment to come into the town centre Hubs so you can visit at a time that suits you! Just check the opening times on the back of this newsletter and pop down.

As well as the Home and Community Hubs based in your town centres, we also have eight Neighbourhood Hubs dotted throughout your neighbourhoods.These Hubs open at different times and provide different services, depending on what you have told us you need most in your neighbourhood. Activities include resident coffee mornings, advice from health professionals, work clubs, the opportunity to meet with your Neighbourhood Co-Ordinator and various fun events throughout the year. Please check with your Neighbourhood Co-Ordinator for a calendar of future events.

Bringing new shops to communities The shutters are up! Over the last year we have been trying to fill the empty buildings with new shops in your neighbourhoods.We know that shops with their shutters down can spoil the look of your community, so we have offered incentives to new and existing businesses to make it attractive to rent from us. Most of the people who signed up were starting a new business. We are delighted to tell you that 10

January 2014

we have reached our target, and have let 14 shops to businesses in your neighbourhoods! We’ve also spotted some other empty shops that we might be able to turn into new homes. The new shops offer lots of different services from general stores, bakeries, hair dressers and even a dance studio! The shops differ between neighbourhoods

and the opening days and hours will vary. Please support your local shops and have a look at what’s on offer on your doorstep! You’ll be helping your own community if you do, too.

New shops in our neighbourhood in Audenshaw

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Keeping you safe Many people don’t think that a house fire could happen to them, but with almost 200 people killed by them last year we want to give you tips on staying safe.

Here's how you can stay safe: 1

Close all of the inside doors


Un-plug things that use electricity (not your fridge and freezer, though!)

3 4

Turn off cookers, washers and heaters at night Put a fire-guard around the fire place


Check the doors to the outside are clear


Put keys where everyone can find them

January 2014


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Keeping warm this winter

We are now in the grips of winter so here’s a few handy hints and tips to keep you safe over the colder months. Useful contacts Make sure you are claiming all Winter warmth discounts you qualify for including Set your heating and hot water to come on 30 minutes before you get up and go off 30 minutes before you are due to leave Close your curtains at dusk to stop heat escaping through the windows and check for draughts around the windows and doors Always turn off the light when you leave the room


January 2014

Don’t leave appliances on standby and remember not to leave your mobile phone on charge unnecessarily When you are doing the washing try to fill up the machine. One full load uses less energy than two half loads Only boil as much water in a kettle as you need Dry clothes outside on a washing line rather than using a tumble dryer

the Warm Home Discount. Contact the Money Care team on 0161 331 2456 to see if you qualify

If you want to switch your supplier, My Home Energy Switch can give you free, impartial switching advice. Call 0800 0014 706 or visit For general fuel and energy advice call the Greater Manchester Energy Advice Service free on 0800 009 3363

You can also visit for energy saving tips

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ttons with their voting bu Tenants get involved ess Planning event at the Tenants’ Busin

Thank you everyone to who attended. We receiv great feed ed some ba was great ck and it to s many peo ee so getting in ple volved.

An update on our Value, Impact and Performance work In our last two newsletters we told you about our work to understand and show you the impact of our work in your communities. We recently held our annual Tenants’ Business Planning event where we updated you on some of the great work that we have been doing. Here’s what we found.

Supporting you through benefit changes The SWAT team was set up last year to work with you, giving information on changes that have happened like the ‘Bedroom Tax’ and Universal Credit. Each year, the service costs £190,000 to run and so far they have visited over 2,000 homes and have helped us to collect 83% of bedroom tax.

Money Care

Investing in your communities and homes

This team has worked with 332 clients and has gained around £3000 for each person they have helped. A third of this was for Housing Benefit. So far, 343 of you have told us about a combined total debt of £2.9m. The team’s hard work means that £1.2m of debt has already been written off for customers.

Since October 2012 we have invested £33m into your homes, and since we started, we have spent almost half a billion pounds making your homes and neighbourhoods better places to live. This has included: ● £19m building new homes, including 192 new properties ● New Charter Building Company has an almost 100% first time fix rate and a five day average repair time. ● We also worked with British Gas to install 700 smart meters into sheltered and communal areas for free.This saved us a massive £175,000 that we can use to make your neighbourhoods better.

Disability Housing Register We took over the local Disability Housing Register on behalf of the Council in 2009, and this has been run from our housing advice team, Tameside Housing Advice. Since we took over the management of the Register we have had some great successes for 106 local people, who were able to move into a new home that was already adapted to meet their needs.



Value for Money


Working with the council we have managed to save over £650,000 through the register by matching the right people to adapted homes rather than New Charter and other housing associations spending a lot of money adapting properties. The best thing is, this hasn’t cost New Charter a single penny, resulting in your money being spent in the areas you have told us are a priority!


The social impact of what we do


Performance Measuring what we do

January 2014


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‘Stepping up’ in times of need Back in October we started the Step Up Fund project, a new scheme that gives people a little extra support in times of need through emergency funding. The service aims to give a “step up” for people to find housing while relieving the stress of homelessnes. It does this by: ● Helping people obtain necessary ID documents ● Covering travel costs to attend important assessments and housing interviews ● Providing ‘Move-On’ packs ● Giving vouchers for food and household items ● Setting up links with local charities to provide furniture, clothing and other essential items

Anyone who is already known to For more information on the Step our homelessness services will be Up Fund please contact Ian able to access the fund, although Schofield on 0161 331 2472. we will have to make sure that other funding is not available first. We raise the money for this fund ourselves and our first event has already taken place. Gibson Terrace SHOUT Residents’ Association held an event shortly after the scheme was launched and raised just The fundra ising day fo over £230. r the Step Up Fund

Tenant Management Team news Service charge review New Charter’s Residents’ Involvement team asked us to look at service charges after your feedback in the STAR survey. We then helped to arrange a joint event in November with New Charter’s Revenues department, CleanCare and Green Charter to talk about them. We opened the event and explained why we had looked at service charges. Julie Vickers, Director of Business Support, then more about services charges, what they cover and what 14

January 2014

people thought about them good and bad. A lot of interesting suggestions came out during the event and the teams are now looking into which ones can be used. Keep an eye out in future newsletters for an update!

experiences and looking at ways to improve the work that they do. Both teams are trying to get the best possible results for residents. The event was really helpful and the team is planning to work together again in the near future.

Great minds come Together Again in November the team went to Aksa Homes, one of our other housing associations based in Oldham.They spent the day with Aksa's Tenants' Panel, sharing

TMT at Aksa

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The kids are alright As you may know we have some great partnerships that students from New Charter Academy and our tenants are benefitting from. Over the past few months there has been lots of different projects with the Royal Exchange Theatre and here are some of the latest ones. Over the summer, students and young families from Ashton teamed up with gardening groups and artists to visit gardens and parks across Tameside, talking to the people that look after them along the way! The project, called ‘How Does Your Garden Grow?’ aims to help different groups of people get to know each other better while learning new skills. After students looked around the gardens, they attended classes with professional artists and made mini gardens, bugs and mosaics.These have now been put on show at New Charter Academy in Ashton for all to see!

Students got to the Royal Exch grips with nature thanks to ange Theatre

the Tenants took to the stage at Exchange Theatre


Tenants and students from New Charter also worked together at the theatre, taking part in a week-long work experience placement behind the scenes. The group of 12 learnt all about customer service, sound and lighting while helping out with some performances. They even got to raise the curtain on one of the evenings ready for an audience who had come to see a professional show!

Keep opportunitan eye out for Exchange ies with the Royal T Charter Acheatre and New Home and ademy in your Communit y Hubs. October 2013 January 2014


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Help with employment from the European Social Fund

Are you on any of these benefits? ● ● ● ●

Job Seekers Allowance Income Support Employment Support Allowance Universal Credit

Do you want to get back into work?

The European Social Fund could be for you!

These courses can help with things like identifying realistic job goals, improving skills, supporting you to create a CV and a covering letter and tips on interview techniques, as well as building your confidence and self-esteem. We also offer volunteering opportunities with local businesses and charities, which would give you great opportunities to gain valuable experience. For more information call 0161 331 2440 or email

ESF is a voluntary service that helps people get back into work.We offer a range of short courses to help break down the barriers that may be holding you back from getting back into employment.

New solar panels for some of your homes We’re really pleased to tell you about a new project that will see solar panels fitted to some of your homes. The panels will be fitted on the roofs of around 3700 homes across Tameside.The technology could save tenants up to £200 a year in electricity bills.They will also collectively save up to 90,000 tonnes in carbon dioxide emissions over the 25 years that they can be used. They will be fitted to some roofs which face south, south east and south west, as they get the amount of sun needed to make the panels work. If your house is going to be fitted with panels, you will be contacted in the near future. 16

January 2014

Panels on one of your homes

in Hyde

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More GREAT opportunities Early in 2012 we started a three year GREAT Opportunities programme aimed at tackling worklessness in our neighbourhoods. Since we started GREAT Opportunities, we have: ● Helped 107 people into employment and 135 to access training/volunteering ● Set up nine work clubs, providing a place for unemployed people to meet, exchange skills, share experiences, find opportunities and get support to help them in their return to work ● Helped 30 young people secure voluntary work placements in partnership with the Job Centre, nine of which are now in employment. This has been in teams like Green Charter, CleanCare, our Group Legal Service team and even with 2nd Generation Furnishings, a social enterprise run by tenants.

More opportunities... We’re also part of the Time Banking volunteer scheme. This means we work with The Volunteer Centre Tameside to help residents volunteer in their communities. Over 100 residents have signed up to the scheme in Ashton, and seven people have found paid work. We have been given £1000

EET group en attending our N be s ha tt ke ac Bl m To work club

by the Job Centre Plus to set up a NEET group work club - a group for 18-24 year olds who are not in education, employment or training in Crowswood, Stalybridge. So far, on average seven young people attend each week to do things like register on Universal Job Match, update their CVs and link into the Governments central apprenticeship website.

Successes Connie Liu volunteered as a Regeneration Administration Assistant from October to December 2012 and got a job as a Customer Service Representative at a housing association in Oldham afterwards. Connie Liu now works She has since been for a housing association in Oldham nominated as a young flyer in a regional award. She will hear how she gets on in the Young Placement category at the Airport Group Young Flyer Awards in May.


16 year-old Zoe Horabin from Stalybridge recieved £500 from ‘UN Live’ towards setting up her own small business designing, making and selling jewellery. She is doing really well, securing a market stall at Mossley Christmas Markets the Micklehurst Estate Residents Association’s Christmas 10 year celebrations. These are just two examples of how our GREAT Opportunitites programme has helped people make changes to their lives, there are many many more that we are really proud of. If you think you could find a GREAT opportunity by working with us, contact John McGlynn on 0161 331 2248 or


January 2014


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Overall customer satisfaction at 90% Last year, we asked you to give us feedback on our services through our annual STAR Survey (Survey of Tenants and Residents). We were delighted to find that 90% of you are happy with our services, with New Charter Homes once again coming out as one of the top performing landlords. We know that we need to keep improving services, especially where you have said you were not happy, and we promise to share these improvements with you. We also took part in the Institute of Customer Service’s National Customer Service Week. Over the week we asked you to rate our customer service from 1 - 10 and tell us the areas that we do best and where we can improve.

Everyone who answered our questions was entered into a prize draw and we’re delighted to tell you that Bernadette Hill from Ashton was our lucky winner of £150 shopping vouchers! Well done Bernadette!

A fantastic 69% of you said that you would recommend New Charter Homes to others! On the whole you think we are doing a pretty good job at delivering great customer service, but we know there is room for improvement.

We really care about the service that we give you so a huge thank you to everyone who filled in the survey!

Doing our best for you Recognising our work


We work hard to give you the best service possible, and really appreciate it when that hard work is noticed. Last year we were shortlisted for a handful for different awards, including six for your contact centre team, two for the SWAT team one for Green Charter and one for our tenant participation.

We also work hard to make sure that our services are looked at and assessed independently and last year we passed an anti-social behaviour accreditation with flying colours! It was carried out by HouseMark, a top social housing reviewer, who asked aTenant Assessor to speak to customers who have suffered from anti-social behaviour. HouseMark said that we met every single standard of the “Respect- ASB Charter for Housing”and that we are supportive, quick to protect communities and committed to helping you tackle the issue of anti-social behaviour. If you need any advice on dealing with anti-social behaviour please contact your neighbourhood team on 0161 331 2000.

g the awards evenin The SWAT team at 18

January 2014

12190A New Charter Newsletter Winter 2013_v6__ 17/12/2013 14:28 Page 19

Find all these words (ignore spaces and dashes):

Just for fun! This is a zigzag word search puzzle. Words go left, right, up, down, not diagonally, and bend at a right angle. There are no unused letters in the grid, every letter is used only once. We have found the first word for you!


Is your garden getting too much for you to manage?


Some of the Green Charter team

Would you like some help with maintaining it for the year? Green Charter runs a low cost garden service that can take care of this for you! Whether its grass cutting, hedge or shrub pruning, one off jobs or complete garden make overs Green Charter is the team to help!

Whatever you decide we can spread the cost of the service over 12 months. This service has been running for a year now and we have many satisfied customers thanks to our dedicated team.

Let us take the pain out of gardening, you just sit back and relax!

Contact Sharon Hope on 0161 331 2825

to arrange for a member of the team to come and discuss your requirements. January 2014


12190A New Charter Newsletter Winter 2013_v6__ 17/12/2013 14:29 Page 20

How we’re doing Performance

Our traffic light system tells you how we’re doing:

On target, going well

Our performance matters to us. We are proud of the service we offer you, our customers, and we regularly check that we’re on target.

OK but improving towards target

We set goals for each area of the company and here we tell you how we’re doing in the areas which matter most to you. Performance areas


Our target

Below target, looking to improve Percentage of respondents Are we on target? satisfied with the service

Satisfaction with our repairs service



Repairs completed within timescale



Satisfaction with improvements to your home



Satisfaction with handling of anti-social behaviour cases



Satisfaction with outcome of anti-social behaviour cases



Telephone calls answered from you first time



January 2014

12190A New Charter Newsletter Winter 2013_v6__ 17/12/2013 14:29 Page 21

Your R


Bill Harris from Cavendish Mill shared this great winter warmer recipe with us

Slow cook er cla ssic s tew

Ingr dient 3 litre sf e Serve slow coor a oker. s2

450g d ice 3 onio d lamb or b eef ns 450g p otatoe s 2 carr ots 500 m l vegeta stock (lamb ble) , beef or Salt an d grou for se asonin nd black pe pper g Bread to ser ve

Meth od

Peel a nd slic e the Peel a above onion nd thi t s. nly slic potato settlin he top mea e/dice g.Top t es and the up wit layer after neede carrot Trim e h d s. x food i to make su water if and d cess fat fro s cove re tha ice int red. t all o 25m m the meat Coo Place k on ‘h m cub the in i e g one h s. gr in the our. h’ or ‘auto’ slow c edients in la for first, t hen p ooker - oni yers Cook for a ot on fu by car hours rots w atoes follow s on low rther 6 to 8 on top ith the ed or ‘au . to’. salt an Season eac meat layer Serve w h laye d pep i t h bre you r pe the ne xt laye r before ad with le ad and sto r favourit ftove r. e ding Make rs in re any up the u t n h t e il th water fr stock a w Make e followin idge cooke nd slowly a ith hot s g day r until d hot a ure that it is p . the liq d to the fter r i uid lev ehea ting! ping el is

Got a recipe? Contact the Communications team on 0161 331 2470

January 2014


12190A New Charter Newsletter Winter 2013_v6__ 17/12/2013 14:29 Page 22

History page Your local

New trams arrived in the centre of Ashton at the end of last year, and what an exciting time it was for those who like to travel further afield using public transport. The new section of the line opened in October promising quicker journey times to neighbouring areas and Manchester city centre, so it will hopefully help those of you who want to get out and see the wonder that is Manchester do so. It has been built as an extension of the Droylsden line that has been running for the past couple of years.

So, where did it all start? Back in the 1800s the railways in Manchester provided links to Liverpool, Lancashire,Yorkshire, Birmingham and Sheffield, but people still struggled to get around the borough.

Telling you more about the community that you live in

In the 1800s, the Manchester Carriage and Tramways Company was set up to help people get around a bit closer to home.They An old tram on the wa y to Oldham. Photo ki introduced the ndly cour tesy of the Manch ester City Council Arch first trams across ives the city, most of which were horse drawn and held around 20 people - a massive 5,300 Manchester - Ashton being the horses were reportedly used across most recent! the city to pull them! Trams now run from the city centre It wasn’t until electric trams were to Altrincham, Bury, Eccles, Oldham introduced in the early 1900s that and Ashton, and a new line that will things really started to take off, but, take people to Manchester Airport almost 50 years on in 1949 trams is currently being built. were replaced by buses. We were also luckily enough to Luckily for residents who don’t feel open one of our new like sitting in a traffic jam, trams neighbourhoods,Wellington Road, were brought back decades later just before the tram opened, so the first hit the tracks in 1992. Ashton certainly has a place in the Since then, the tram line has grown history books for years to come! to cover most areas of Greater

Know a good story about local history? Get in touch with the Communications team on 0161 331 2470, the Facebook or Twitter page to tell us, we might feature it in the next newsletter! 22

January 2014

12190A New Charter Newsletter Winter 2013_v6__ 17/12/2013 14:29 Page 23

Events and classes Free for all New Charter tenants

Why not tear this out and stick it on your fridge?

January 2014 Monday 20th January 9.15am - 4.30pm

Basic first aid training Venue: Cavendish 249 New Charter’s head office (Sycamore meeting room)

Accredited first aid course learn the basics to help you in a crisis at home, work or in your community.

Friday 24th January 10am - 12pm

Mystery Shopping Venue: Cavendish 249 New Charter’s head office (Silver Birch meeting room)

An overview session for becoming a mystery shopper.

Monday 3rd February 9.15am - 4.30pm

Food Hygiene Venue: Cavendish 249 New Charter’s head office (Sycamore meeting room)

Learn the basics in food hygiene and preparation. You’ll get a recognised certificate which can be useful to help you cook at home or help find a job in catering.

Tuesday 11th February 10am - 12pm

Mystery Shopping Venue: Cavendish 249 New Charter’s head office (Silver Birch meeting room)

An overview session for becoming a mystery shopper.

Monday 17th February 9.15am - 4.30pm

Basic First Aid Venue: Cavendish 249 New Charter’s head office (Sycamore meeting room)

Accredited first aid course learn the basics to help you in a crisis at home, work or in your community.

Tuesday 25th February 6pm - 8pm

Recruitment and SelectionTraining Venue: Cavendish 249 New Charter’s head office (Silver Birch meeting room)

A training session for residents in the recruitment and selection policy used by New Charter. Once trained, residents will have the opportunity to assist in the recruitment of front line staff.

Monday 3rd, 10th, 17th, 24th March 1pm - 3pm

Basic IT Venue: New Charter Building Company office, Globe Lane industrial estate, Dukinfield, SK16 4XP

Can’t use a computer and want to learn? This four week programme will help you get started.

Wednesday 5th March 6pm - 8pm

Residents Quarterly Quiz Venue: Cavendish 249 New Charter’s head office, down stairs area

Come along to our quiz with your local residents’ group and go for the trophy.

Monday 10th March 9.15am - 4.30pm

Food Hygiene Venue: Cavendish 249 New Charter’s head office (Sycamore meeting room)

Learn the basics in food hygiene and preparation. You’ll get a recognised certificate which can be useful to help you cook at home or help find a job in catering.

Tuesday 25th March 6pm - 8pm

Safeguarding Children Venue: Cavendish 249 New Charter’s head office (Silver Birch meeting room)

An overview to help your children stay safe.

February 2014

March 2014

January 2014


12190A New Charter Newsletter Winter 2013_v6__ 17/12/2013 14:29 Page 24

Contact us


Our Hubs • • • •

2 Henrietta Street, Ashton 9 Albert Street, Denton 12 Clarendon Street, Hyde 63 Grosvenor Street, Stalybridge

Our Hubs open at 9am Monday to Friday (except Tuesdays, when they open at 10.30am). Please note, Denton and Stalybridge Hubs close daily between 12.30-1.30pm. All Hubs close at 5pm Monday to Wednesday; 4.30pm on Thursday; and 4pm on Friday. These opening times are for our Home and Community Hubs (our shops). We also have Neighbourhood Hubs across our areas that are only open when we need them for classes and meetings.

Main switchboard:

0161 331 2000 Remember, we now have just one number for you to call to access all services - 0161 331 2000. This single number will be the same 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and all calls are dealt with by New Charter staff at our offices. In the evenings, at weekends and on Bank Holidays our services operate for emergencies only - dealing with emergency housing issues and emergency repairs. Email: @NewCharterGroup English

If you need help understanding this document, please call us on 0161 331 2000 and we will arrange for somebody to help you. Polish

Jeśli potrzebuje Pan/Pani pomocy w zrozumieniu tego dokumentu, prosimy o kontakt pod numerem 0161 331 2000, a my zorganizujemy kogoś do pomocy. Portuguese

Se necessitar de ajuda no que respeia à compreensão deste documento, queira por favor contactar-nos no nº. 0161 331 2000 e iremos colocar alguém à sua disposição para o ajudar French

Si vous avez besoin d’aide pour comprendre ce document, s’il vous plaît appelez-nous au 0161 331 2000 et nous nous chargerons de quelqu'un pour vous aider Resource Housing Reg. No. 2111


Urdu 0161 331 2000

Head Office: New Charter Housing Trust Group, Cavendish 249, Cavendish Street, Ashton-under-Lyne, OL6 7AT

New Charter Newsletter Winter 2013  

New Charter Newsletter Winter 2013