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key news Spring/Summer 2017

Easter Eggstravaganza Egg hunts, nature trails & lots more

It’s our birthday February 2017 marked our 10th birthday

New website

Information on the launch of the new style website

Your neighbourhood Meet the Estate Services team


Hello

A message from Tim Mills Community Voice Secretary

T

his year we are celebrating our 10th birthday. It’s been 10 years since we transferred from North Lincolnshire Council which is a big milestone for us. We’ve come a long way since then, not least in the millions of pounds we have invested in upgrading our homes and improving neighbourhoods. I’d like to say a big thank you to all of our staff, tenants and partners for making the last 10 years a success. We’ve achieved a lot in this time and we couldn’t have done it without support from all those we work with.

I

’ve been involved with Ongo as a volunteer for about four of its 10 year history on the Scrutiny Panel and have just been elected for my second year as Community Voice Secretary. It’s a very involved and responsible job, but a great honour to hold the post. Community Voice is the tenant led operational decision maker for Ongo. We have a very important role in the governance of the company. Like Ongo, we’ve evolved over the last ten years, from a group of involved tenants just making our voice heard to being a fundamental part of the organisation. We have opened our membership to all involved tenants.

Andy

Following the news back in 2015 about the Welfare Reform policy, we’ve provided you with an update on Universal Credit and the Benefit Cap and ways in which we can support you with these changes. If you are affected please see information on page 8. You’ll also find lots of our other news in this edition of your magazine. As an organisation, we have been successful in achieving the Gold Standard Award for Investors in People, as well as being ranked 16th in the top 100 UK companies for our commitment to diversity (which beat our ranking of 23rd in 2016). Fifteen local community groups have also recently received a share of a £20,000 community pot after they submitted a short video to explain what they would spend the money on if they were successful. We launched this exciting programme to continue our support to the local community and our tenants.

Over its ten year history, Ongo has changed the way it involves tenants in a ground breaking way. Community Voice has been an integral part of that. We challenge and help shape the way Ongo works. We are decision makers. We shape policy and provide a tenant outlook on operational procedures. This helps keep Ongo’s feet on the ground and makes them accountable to us. I strongly believe that Community Voice is a leader in tenant participation within Housing Associations and our unique way of working with Ongo will help keep the company vibrant and innovative for the next ten years to come.

It doesn’t stop there for us, we’ve got ambitious plans for the future too. We want to build more new homes, create more opportunities for local people and invest more in North Lincolnshire and surrounding areas. So look out for more news coming soon.

Andy Orrey, C.E.O.

®

Tim

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GET IN TOUCH

Got a story to share? Send your ideas to the Editor by emailing customer.engagement@ongo.co.uk or writing to Ongo, Meridian House, Normanby Road, Scunthorpe DN15 8QZ


In this issue Keeping safe

4

Join the conversation

5

Volunteers’ views

6

New website

9

Update! Our Commitments to you

Check out page 7

10 Looking after fans and filters

Money matters Check out page 8

11 Estate Services Team 12 Good deed feed 14 Grow and learn project Events

15 A word with...

Check out page 20

16 Get involved 18 Talented tenants 19 You said... we did 21 Grounds maintenance 22 Kids corner 23 Wordsearch

Get in touch Online

visit us at www.ongo.co.uk

(remember to sign up for your online account where you can manage your tenancy online)

Pop in

Call

We are open

Facebook www.facebook.com/OngoHomes Twitter @ongoUK or @ongoBear 01724 279900 Text 07500 077829 Please note that we record all calls for training and research purposes.

Customer Centre, 15-19 Cole Street, Scunthorpe, North Lincolnshire, DN15 6QY Monday 9.00-5.00 Thursday 10.00-5.00 Tuesday 9.00-5.00 Friday 9.00-4.30 Wednesday 9.00-5.00

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Join the conversation We love to hear from you – get in touch with your stories

Email the Editor - customer.engagement@ongo.co.uk

or write to Ongo, Meridian House, Normanby Road, Scunthorpe, DN15 8QZ

One click at a time

During May, residents from the Caistor Road estate in Barton and Alvingham Road in Scunthorpe have been completing a six week course on basic computer skills. This will help them learn more about things like safety and security as well as online shopping.

No heating/hot water priority change

Local building firm appointed building contract

Just a reminder that as of 1st May 2017 appointments for no heating/hot water changed, from a same day appointment to an appointment time agreed with you.

GS Kelsey has been appointed as the contractor to carry out the building work on the £3 million development project at Albert Marson Court in Scunthorpe.

This change will remain until the 1st October, it will then revert back to a same day appointment for the winter months.

The project will see 23 three-bedroom houses and 4 four-bedroom houses built – homes which are in high demand for this area. This project will also create apprenticeship opportunities.

50 year festivities

Continuing with their anniversary celebrations, the Market Hill area hosted a 1960’s themed party in April which included a free buffet, disco and a fancy dress competition. Take a look at some of these fantastic photos!

Employment support for over 700 people

Our Employment Support Team, based at Laneham Street in Scunthorpe, has worked with 742 clients over the past twelve months to help them get work ready. The services provided by the team included attending training courses, completing qualifications, help in applying for jobs, work experience or volunteer placements as well as life coaching sessions. 250 of those secured employment or completed recognised training through working with the Employment Support team.

What’s trending on Ongo social channels?

10th Birthday

First shared ownership property sold @ongoUK

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/OngoHomes

New homes being built

/ongouk


Volunteers’ views...

Avril

We are celebrating our 10th birthday here at Ongo and wanted to hear from our volunteers on how they feel they helped shape and improve our services. We spoke to Avril Bairstow (AB), Tenant Board Member, Alan Gouldthorpe (AG), Tenant Inspector and Janine Garner (JG), the Chair of Community Voice and Secretary for Warley Road Community group.

Q1.

How long have you been a volunteer at Ongo for?

AB AG JG

Four and a half years. Can’t be far off ten years of volunteering. About fourteen years.

Q2.

What made you start volunteering with us?

AB AG JG Q3.

I was living in a Sheltered Scheme in Broughton and I felt that this group needed someone to represent them better. At the time I joined I was on health related benefits and wanted to do something, I got involved and have met like minded residents who too, want to see a difference. My neighbour was a volunteer and talked me into it. I was unable to work due to ill health and found that nothing had changed from when I was a tenant previously.

AB AG JG

Being a Board Member has given me better opportunities to learn more about housing and make suggestions that might improve quality of life. Identifying problems on various estates, then going back to revisit site and seeing suggestions you made have been resolved. Opening up membership to allow all tenants to attend Community Voice.

Q4. AB AG JG

What do you think has been the biggest impact you have made?

Janine

Alan

Q5.

Do you think since you’ve been involved with Ongo, you’ve been able to strengthen your own local community?

AB AG JG

I’ve recently moved to New Westcliff and joined the residents’ committee there. I hope to help to make a difference in the area. I have undertaken inspections of the area I live in and helped improve the area in that way. It feels good to be able to do things for our community and Ongo support us.

Q6.

What skills and experience do you think you’ve gained by volunteering?

AB Housing issues in general, finance, diversity, co-operation. AG I’ve developed an attention to detail inspecting estates, green spaces and empty homes. JG Negotiation skills, chairing skills and I have gained confidence. Q7.

How do you think this has helped to improve the way Ongo does things? If we all sing from the same hymn sheet we should arrive at our goals sooner. We’ve been able to influence the way Ongo goes about their day to day work. I am able to give honest and constructive feedback to help Ongo improve operationally.

What’s great about being an Ongo Homes tenant?

AB AG JG Q8.

Peace of mind. The varied ways in which you can get involved and help shape the way Ongo operates. That we can influence and have a say in how Ongo is run.

AB AG JG

Try it. There is nothing to lose and everything to gain. Sign up and give it a go, what do you have to lose? If you’d like to make a difference now’s your chance. tion nforma Do it, you WILL make a difference. For more i e current e of th on som es available, i vacanc t page 17. ou k chec

What would your advice be to anyone who would like to get into volunteering with us?

Interested in getting involved? Contact the Customer Engagement Team email customer.engagement@ongo.co.uk or 01724 279900

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Introducing a new look website We’ve been listening to our tenants and are making some changes to our website www.ongo.co.uk which we hope you will like.

So, what has changed? We have improved lots of features and added some new ones. Easier navigation so you can find your way around the website. Self serve facility so you can find the answer to your query, without having to make a telephone call or call into one of our offices. Tenant quick links for all your important information in one place. Improved search facility to pinpoint what you are looking for. Mobile friendly so that you can access the site from your phone or tablet. Multiple languages for those who English isn’t their first language. Change contrast and text to help people with sight difficulties.

Why change? We’ve tried to make things as simple as possible, such as: Contacting us - Complete an online form and we will get back to you. Live chat - Click on the orange tab and connect to one of our customer advisors. Information - We update content regularly to make sure you are getting the most up to date information, news and events. More than a social housing website - Find out about all the different services we offer.

Tell us what you think of our new look site by filling in our online feedback form.

What’s next New tenant account

We want to empower you to manage your home. To do this we have begun to develop a brand new online tenant account. We want to make it simple for you to use and allow you to do many of the tasks which would normally have to be done over the phone or in person, at any time of the day, from anywhere.

• Receive information about what is happening in your area • Self-register – sign up at any time of day without the need for Ongo to be open You may have noticed the ‘Live Chat’ function available on the website to chat with our Customer Advisors online instantly. We’re looking at expanding this feature to give you the ability to send photos and documents via a secure messaging system as well as storing all the documents about your property on your account so that you can access them.

If you have used MyAccount before, you will be aware that you can check your balance, request a repair to your property and make a payment. However, we feel this doesn’t go far enough. When the new online tenant account is launched, you will Keep a look out for updates over the next year. Are you be able to: interested in being involved and would like to have your say • Book your own repair slots on the project? If so, please call 01724 279900 • View and download your rent statements

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Keeping safe

What actually is Legionnaires Disease? It is an illness contracted by inhaling drops of water contaminated by Legionella bacteria. The bacteria are actually found in most water systems, but multiply and become dangerous in stagnant water with temperatures between 20°C and 45°C.  It is killed in temperatures above 60°C.

What can you do to control risk? • Clean and descale your shower head on a regular basis. • Flush through hot and cold taps that are not regularly used.

Where showers are fitted: • If your shower is only used occasionally then flush it through by running it for at least 2 minutes every week. Once turned on leave the room until the 2 minutes is up. • Every three months give your shower head a good clean. Make sure you descale and disinfect it.

Important Information: • Do not interfere with the settings on your boiler or hot water system. Hot water should be set so that the water is heated up to 60°C. If you go away on holiday or leave the property empty for longer than one week, on returning, run each of the taps and the shower for at least 2 minutes to flush any potentially stagnant water from the pipes.

Get in touch with us if: • Water from the cold tap is tepid and does not run cold after a minute. • There are problems with debris or discoloration in the water. • If you are not getting sufficiently hot water out of you taps after running them for at least 2 minutes, please contact us to arrange an engineer to inspect the hot water system.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding Legionella in your home, contact 01724 279900.

Fancy £50?

To help prevent Carbon Monoxide poisoning and prevent gas leaks and fires, you need to allow us to carry out regular servicing and maintenance. To be in with a chance of winning £50, all you have to do is allow the gas servicing engineer access to your home on the first appointment date that our gas servicing partner Sure Maintenance Ltd send you. A prize draw is held monthly.

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Money matters

Universal Credit

P Benefit Cap

T

he new Benefit Cap was introduced in November. We know that 10 times as many of you are affected now than were under the old system. If you are receiving less Housing Benefit because of the Benefit Cap you may be entitled to a Discretionary Housing Payment to help you pay your rent. We can help you to make a claim if you haven’t already done so. Please get in touch with The Financial Inclusion Team on 01724 279900 who will help you through the process.

Over £1.4 million generated for tenants

O

ver the last 12 months, our Support Services team has helped tenants to receive £1,458,564 in benefits you were missing out on. They worked with over 850 tenants to make them aware of additional benefits they could be entitled to and support then with the applications. Additional Housing Benefit claims totalled nearly £500,000 and other benefits including carers allowance and disability benefits added up to over £950,000. These benefits can often be the difference between being able to afford your rent and struggling to make ends meet. It’s really important that you get in touch if you’re struggling financially, we are here to help you. We supported Joy and her husband Stephen last year. Stephen suffered an aneurysm on Christmas Eve and for the few weeks after, Joy was digging into their savings to pay £15 a day to travel to Brigg to see him. Joy said, “I had no idea where to start to claim benefits and whether we would be entitled to any. Then someone told me to get in touch with Ongo. I went along to a Tuesday drop-in session in Brigg to talk about benefits and met Christine who was extremely supportive. She took away all the worry I had.” Within two weeks of the meeting Christine, the family were receiving benefits.

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hase two of the rollout of Universal Credit comes to North Lincolnshire in October. After October, the vast majority of single people, couples and families making a claim for benefits will get Universal Credit rather than Job Seekers Allowance or Employment Support Allowance and Housing Benefit. It is also very likely that households already receiving benefits will transfer over to Universal Credit if they have a change in circumstances. This will be a big change for anyone moving onto this benefit as: • You will only receive one payment per month. • You will be expected to pay your rent yourself. • You will have to wait at least six weeks before you receive your first payment. • If you have more than two children, you will receive less money than you would have before. We know that a lot of our tenants who have already moved onto Universal Credit have struggled to cope with the changes and this has been the case across the country. Eventually ALL working age claimants who receive Housing Benefit will be transferred onto Universal Credit. Our advice would be that you start to plan for that now. We know that there will be a gap before you get your first payment but your rent will still need paying, we advise our tenants to get their rent account in credit to prepare for that happening.

If you have any concerns or would like some advice on the changes

Please get in touch with The Income Collection Team on 01724 279900.


Our Commitments Our new Service Standards have been approved by Community Voice, along with their choice of a new name – Our Commitments.

Our Commitments are important for our customers, potential customers and staff. They allow us all to understand what standards are expected.

They became live on 1st April 2017 and are available to view on our website www.ongo.co.uk

Customers will be involved in the future monitoring of our performance against these Commitments, with six monthly monitoring reports being presented to Community Voice for discussion and debate. Monitoring by customers at large

Monitoring via Ongo processes

We will provide you with different options to contact and communicate with us

Customer feedback

Monitoring report, Community Voice

We aim to resolve all enquiries at the first point of contact through our Customer Service Team

Customer feedback

Monitoring report, Community Voice

We will provide you with the opportunity to give us feedback about our services via surveys, comments, compliments and complaints

Customer feedback

Customer satisfaction survey, Monitoring report, Community Voice

If we cannot resolve your complaint when we first speak with you, we will let you know who will be dealing with your complaint and agree a convenient time for them to contact you

Customer feedback

Customer satisfaction survey, Complaints Monitoring Panel, Community Voice

We will liaise with you before, during and after any planned improvement work take place to your home

Customer feedback

Customer satisfaction survey, Community Voice

We will provide you with information about your housing options should you wish to move home

Customer feedback

Monitoring report, Community Voice

We will provide you with a rent statement and any advice or assistance you may require on rent payment issues

Customer feedback

Monitoring report, Community Voice

All homes will be clean, safe and secure when let to a new tenant

Customer feedback

Customer satisfaction survey, Tenant Inspectors, Community Voice

We aim to complete all repairs & improvements ‘right first time’ within our target timescales

Customer feedback

Customer satisfaction survey, Maintenance Panel, Community Voice

We will service your gas, solid fuel and oil heating appliances at least once a year

Customer feedback

Customer satisfaction survey, Monitoring report, Community Voice

We will complete planned improvement works to your home within the target timescales confirmed to you

Customer feedback

Customer satisfaction survey, monitoring report, Community Voice

We will service your gas, solid fuel and oil heating appliances at least once a year

Customer feedback

Customer satisfaction survey, monitoring report, Community Voice

We will take seriously and investigate all reports of anti social behaviour within our target timescales

Customer feedback

Customer satisfaction survey, Monitoring report, Community Voice

We will keep our neighbourhoods and communal areas clean, tidy and safe

Customer feedback

Customer satisfaction survey, ASB monitoring report, Community Voice

Your community

Your home

Communicating with you

Our Commitments

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Looking after fans and filters in your home You may have a fan in your home similar to the one shown to the right (Nuaire model).

To clean the filters follow the instructions below:

1

Simple routine maintenance of the fan filter will keep the unit running efficiently, to allow background circulation of the air through your home. The filter should be a dark grey/black colour. However, if it is clogged up with dust particles it will look a lighter grey colour and the fan could possibly be louder and not extract or move air correctly.

Remove the filter by pulling outwards gently from the white fan unit

2

Once removed, the filter can be washed using warm water and a mild detergent such as washing up liquid and laid flat on an absorbent surface until dry

Once clean and dry the filter can then easily be fitted as follows; wrap the clean filter around the fan starting at the top working the filter into the groove around the front

3

(there may be an excess of the filter material when you get back up to the top – this can easily be cut off with scissors)

4 !

Please make sure your fans are left switched on. All fans fitted are designed to operate almost silently in the background and will provide fresh air movement around your home, creating a healthy living environment.

10

The filters should be removed regularly and washed, at least every 6 months or sooner, if you notice a build up of dust particles on the filter material

If your fan looks like the one pictured above but has no filter please call into our Customer Centre on Cole Street, Scunthorpe where the staff there will be happy to provide you with replacements. If, however, your fan looks like the one shown to the right (Envirovent model) it requires no maintenance.


Estate Services Team

I

n December 2015, the Caretaking Team and Concierge Team merged together to form a dedicated Estate Services Team. Since then, the team has been going through a full review to ensure they are providing value for money and an excellent service to you.

Take a look at your Estat e Ser vices Team

Next, the Concierge Team will have its own review. This will include consultations with tenants, staff and other stakeholders as well as a review on working demands, value for money and service charges.

The review has seen a change to the way the team works including changes to their rotas and the tasks they undertake. The review included looking at staff resources and the amount of estate work they do compared to the communal cleans. This has resulted in a reduction in caretaking staff and an increase in the cleaning staff. As part of the review the team looked at the costs of materials, vehicles, fuel and waste tipping costs. This has meant there has been a reduction of two vans for the team as well as improved journey planning.

60 seconds with...

CHARLES What made you want to work for Ongo? Everything is put back into the local communities and Ongo works closely with other organisations to improve people’s lives and wellbeing.

W

e took a minute to chat with a few of the new members of the Estate Services Team to get to know more about them.

AARON

Tell us something that people may not know about you...

Charles - Cleaner

Tell us something that people may not know about you...

What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given? Be strong enough to stand alone, smart enough to know when you need help and brave enough to ask for it.

What made you want to work for Ongo? I love the company’s visions for future communities and would get great satisfaction from my efforts in reaching company goals and making a difference.

I recently met Ant Middleton and all the SAS Who Dares Wins contestants at a charity event in London.

RICHARD What made you want to work for Ongo?

Aaron - Caretaker

As a resident I was involved with Community Voice and admired the ethos of the company towards residents and staff. I saw the position come up at the Concierge and decided to apply. I have enjoyed every minute so far. Tell us something that people may not know about you...

I’m more or less an open book.

I help to run a Country Music Club in Scunthorpe and D.J. for charity events.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?

What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?

Always be the best that I can at anything I do.

Richard - Concierge

Always look on the bright side of life. Bet you sang that to yourself didn’t you?

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d o o Geed d ed fe H

ere’s a round-up of all the wonderful things tenants and staff have been doing for the community.

£20,000 given to community groups Community groups applied for their share of the £20,000 funding by submitting a short video to explain what they would spend the money on if they were successful. Groups could apply for up to £2,000. We launched this exciting programme to support the local community and our tenants. Our Communities Board approved this programme as an opportunity for the organisation to use their funds to support local groups. The groups which successfully secured funding were: Cafe Indiependent, Caistor Road Neighbourhood Watch, Centurians Boxing Club, Gunness Football Club, Dramarama, Gooch Judo Kwai, HBM Resident Association in Haxey, Kimberley Performing Sowing Smiles Arts Centre, Market Hill Resident Association, Queensway Community Group, Scunthorpe Boxing Club, Scunthorpe Wyldcats Netball, Sowing Smiles, Westcliff Drop-In and Wold Court Resident Association.

10 mile sponsor We supported the North Lincolnshire half marathon which took place on 7th May by sponsoring mile 10. Well done to all the runners who took part.

t out the grea Email us ab g. e been doin things you’v .co.uk o ment@ong e g a g n e r. e custom or write to eridian itor, Ongo, M d E s w e N y Ke anby Road, House, Norm 15 8QZ. , DN Scunthorpe

National volunteer’s week From 1st – 7th June it’s National volunteers week. We spoke to Steve Gilmour, Estate Services Team Leader, about the volunteer program which is run through Ongo Recruitment. Steve said, “We have fully embraced the value of volunteers and the many attributes they bring. Each volunteer is assigned a mentor who will remain with them during their placement. The placement is an initial eight weeks, however depending on the volunteers circumstances can last longer. So far we have provided 11 volunteer placements and from those, three have gained full time employment with Ongo and two secured employment elsewhere.”

Mascot Gold Cup For the first time, Ongo Bear was joined by Mrs Ongo Bear in the annual mascot race. The Mascot Gold Cup saw mascots travelling near and far to Wetherby Racecourse to take part in the event on Sunday 23rd April. The two bears helped raise plenty of money for the various charities the race fundraises for, including Sue Ryder.

Mascot Cup

Ongo Bear is also going to be taking part in the Lindsey Lodge Starlight Night Walk in July. Check out www.lindseylodgehospice.org.uk/starlightwalk/ for more information.

Easter eggs Our staff collected Easter eggs to give to local food banks in North Lincolnshire.

Easter Eggs 12


Not all superheroes wear capes...

Are you under the age of 18 and regularly care for a family member? The Young Carers project wants to support heroes like you. We’ve started working with the Wellbeing and Young Carers Team at North Lincolnshire Council, so we can work together to support young carers who live in an Ongo home. Log onto www.ongo.co.uk, call 01724 279900 or pop into our Customer Centre, 15-19 Cole Street, Scunthorpe, DN15 6QY.

How we can help you • • • • • • • •

Identify your needs in relation to the care you provide Find the right support for you and your family Give you the opportunities to have a break from your caring responsibilities so that you can meet other young carers and share experiences Advise and support you with self care and coping with your feelings Help you learn about the illness or disability that affects the person you care for Advocate on your behalf and support you to advocate for the person you care for Listen to what you want and need from services Work with your school, college or other agencies to help raise awareness about young carers, including how to identify and support you effectively

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How can we make the most of our garden over the summer?

For a striking display I like to see Gladioli Sylvia (they’re bright yellow with red speckles). Gladioli are also a striking lime green colour. These will all add lots of colour to your garden displays. Lots of varieties of lilies are pollen free so ideal if you suffer from hay fever but still would like a nice display in your garden

Any tips on getting a great garden display without spending a fortune?

Buying bulb collections is a great way to get your garden looking colourful and interesting without having to spend lots of money.

Our Grow and Learn project has lots of exciting things going on with more to come over the next few months. Workshops are being held across the region to teach our tenants all about healthy eating and how to grow your own produce. Gardening is a great hobby to have, and you can learn to grow your own fruit and veg, rather than buying it in the supermarket. John is running the project and he has years of horticultural experience (he’s run his own gardening company and he even used to sell gardening products on QVC!). John gave us some hints and tips for making the most of your garden and outside spaces.

A word of advice is that not everything will flower at the same time as the pictures suggest but these collections are usually cheaper than buying them separate.

Finally, why would you recommend tenants getting involved in the Grow and Learn Project?

It’s a really hands on project, and each session will be practical and fun. You’ll learn how to grow your own produce and we’ll even share different meal ideas to make use of the things you can grow in your own gardens. As well as being good fun, this project will also give you valuable skills that you could put to good use if applying for jobs. You’ll learn about working in a team, time management, how to get organised and will also be able to show you’re willing to learn new skills.

What should we look at planting in the summer months?

Summer flowering bulbs are brilliant to brighten up your planting beds, pots or hanging baskets. They’re easy to plant too. Simply turn over the soil, add a little compost and turn it over again. Take the summer bulbs and plant them to the depth recommended on the packet, water and then feed every four weeks. A mixture of bulbs to brighten up your garden from May to September would be Dahlia, Crocosmia, Liatris, Iris, Lily, Gladioli, Freesia, Anemone De Caen and Sparaxis. Always read what height plants and flowers grow to so the smallest is at the front and the tallest at the back.

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Are you interested in learning more about gardening and growing your own produce? Why not get involved in the Grow and Learn project? Find out more: 01724 279900 employmentsupport@ongo.co.uk www.ongo.co.uk/employmentsupport


a word with...

T

his time, we talk to Senior Housing Officer, Paul Grimley, who is part of the Housing Management Team. He tells us what its been like to work in the housing sector for the past 20 years and how his role is a challenging yet rewarding one. How long have you worked in Housing? I have worked in the Housing sector for the past 20 years. This has included working in the Housing Advice Team (HAT) in Leeds and as a Housing Officer for a number of years before coming over to North Lincolnshire. I have worked in the Income Collection, Anti-Social Behaviour and Lettings teams. I became a Housing Officer in March 2011 before becoming a Senior in October 2012.

What is the best thing about working in the Housing Management team? I think one of the best things is that whenever something happens, we all pull together to deal with it. We support one another completely and recognise each others’ strengths to do the best by our tenants. What is a typical day like for a Housing Officer? Quite honestly, there isn’t a typical day. What might have been planned in our diaries could be changed within a matter of minutes. It is such a varied role including investigating tenancy breaches, safeguarding of adults and children as well as attending agency meetings. It’s very challenging at times but always keeps your interest.

If you could just name one of your favourite things about working for Ongo, what would it be? It would definitely be the support, whether it is from my own team or from other departments. What advice would you give to anyone who was aspiring to become a Housing Officer? You’ve got to be strong yet empathetic, challenging but approachable and have to have a real passion for helping others as the decisions you make affect people’s lives.

Up close and personal When you were younger, what did you want to be? A footballer for Leeds United. Would you rather be able to fly or walk on water? Fly – I love flying. Favourite food? Lasagne.

s Paul with Key New editor Bethany

Something you’ve always wanted to learn? How to fly a plane.

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Paul on a neighbour hood clea

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Get Involved Tenant Board Member What this involves • Face to face

Time commitment

• An average of 10 hrs per month

Overview

Do you have what it takes to become a tenant board member? The Board of Ongo Homes has overall legal responsibility for governing the organisation. Board members are volunteers, with two places available to tenants.  The Board deals with the strategic planning and direction of the organisation which means that the Tenant Board Members are truly involved in decision making at the highest strategic level.

• Make decisions on the governance of the organisation

We are currently looking to recruit a new Tenant Board Member. Are you interested?  Do you have the skills? 

Skills

You can find out more or request an application form by contacting Fiona Ruddick on 01724 298605 or by email fiona.ruddick@ongo.co.uk

• Strategic planning • Financial awareness • Analytical

The closing date for return of completed application forms is Friday 30th June.

Community Voice Want to have your say and be a voice for tenants? Community Voice is the recognised group that works with us to influence improvements to the services that customers receive. The group is open to any Ongo Homes tenant or leaseholder to join and we are actively seeking new volunteers to get on board.  The group meets on a monthly basis and all members of the group have one thing in common – they are all passionate about the homes and communities they live in.  They come together to tell us what they want from us and work with us to make sure we continue to improve the services that they receive.

What this involves • Face to face

Time commitment

• An average of 4 hrs per month

Overview

• Make decisions on customer facing operational policies

Skills • •

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Good communicator, ability to consider everyone’s point of view Passion for improving the quality of life for customers


What this involves • Face to face and out and

about on estates carrying out inspections

Time commitment

• An average of 4 hrs per month

Overview

• Carrying out inspections, quality checking services, feeding back findings

Tenant Inspectors Want to improve the neighbourhoods you live in? Tenant Inspectors are a group of volunteers who carry out quality checks on actual service delivery. They carry out inspections on green spaces and empty homes, and also act as Mystery Shoppers on specific service areas.  The group meet every two months and carry out inspections in-between. The timing of inspections are flexible and can be planned around your other commitments, e.g. if you work on a shift pattern then the inspections can be at a time that suits you.

Skills

• Physical ability to carry out inspections • Good communicator

Resident Scrutiny panel

What this involves • Face to face & digital

Want to really make a difference to services we provide? The Resident Scrutiny panel could be just right for you! This is a group of residents who carry out detailed investigations into different parts of our services. They consider current performance data and customer satisfaction levels, keep an eye out on what others are doing to identify best practice, and put forward recommendations for improvements. The panel present their completed scrutiny reports to Community Voice for consideration and approval.

(on line research)

Time commitment

• An average of 4 hrs per month

(this is increased during investigations)

Overview

• Scrutinise performance, carry out research & make recommendations for improvements

Skills

• Analytical • Digital • Team commitment

Are you interested? Or would you like to be involved in something else? We have lots of opportunities for you to get involved in, check out our Menu of Options, which tells you about all the different ways you can get involved with us.

Visit www.ongo.co.uk or you can contact the team on:

01724 279900

customer.engagement@ongo.co.uk 17


Talented tenants Here’s a showcase of the wonderful talents you have

One of our tenants, Winifred Wells, celebrated her 100th birthday on 20th February. Luke, our Housing Management apprentice, met Winifred when carrying out a starter visit. They got to talking and she told him that she would be turning a hundred in February.

Haxey help the vulnerable with their Knit and Natter club.

28 winter packs, containing a scarf, hat and gloves. They have been passed on to homeless people who visit The Forge and to some of our more vulnerable tenants.

Since moving into her Ongo home she has become a lot happier – when I first met Winifred in August time she was very quiet – it’s lovely to see the difference in her

Q

The group are now on with their next venture, knitting slippers for residents of three neighbouring care homes. They enjoy getting together each week, to have a good old natter and to produce something that benefits others. In their words, “It helps to address loneliness and gives us a purpose”. If you fancy joining the group on a Thursday morning or if you have any spare wool to donate, please get in touch with us, 01724 279900 so we can pass on your details.

ueensway Community group, who represent 69 homes in the area, have been busy making their community garden into a lovely place for residents to enjoy and relax. They have planted lots of flowers and have been watching them bloom. #OngoGoGreen

oGreen oG

On g

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27 packs containing dog coats and blankets - donated to the Jerry Green Dog Rescue in Broughton.

Tricia, was really impressed with how Winifred has come along since getting her property,

On g

She worked in the factories during the war, working on ammunition and spent many nights in an air raid shelter. Then she got married and worked on the land, retiring at the age of 70.

Queensway Community group show off their gardening skills.

A

small group of tenants from Haxey have formed a very successful Knit & Natter Club. The group, which started in October, use donated wool, and wool that they have purchased themselves. So far they have knitted (and in some cases crocheted):

Email the Editor at customer.engagement@ongo.co.uk or post on our Facebook & Twitter pages. /OngoHomes @OngoUK

oGreen oG

Winifred, celebrates her 100th birthday and tells us of her talents!

Luke, alongside her Lettings Officer, Tricia went to surprise her with some flowers and a card. She told us about how she was born in the war, so her birth wasn’t registered until 6 months after on the 27th August. So technically she has two birthdays.

Do you have a hidden talent that you’d like to share?


Handy Van

You said, Transfers

...we did.

We consulted with Community Voice over a proposed change to the Lettings Policy to increase the time a tenant must be in their home before they can apply to transfer to another property. The proposal was to increase the timeframe from two years up to five years. You said: Community Voice didn’t agree to this change and wanted it to stay at two years. We did: The transfer timescale for moving between properties has been kept to two years.

Retirement living You said: The Sheltered Panel expressed their desire to change the previous name of “Sheltered Housing” to something more relevant and appropriate. Retirement Living being their preferred choice. We did: We now refer to this type of housing as “Retirement Living”. Check out our website www.ongo.co.uk for the brand new section on retirement living.

New build properties You said: Community Voice asked to be involved and be able to influence future new build plans. We did: We are now in the process of setting up a new build working group.

You said: The Scrutiny Panel carried out a review of the Handy Van service. They noticed that we were getting lots more jobs than the team could take on. They recommended that the service could generate extra income to take on more staff. We did: Charges for the service have been changed (see back cover for details).

Grass cutting You said: Tenants in Retirement Living schemes wanted to know when grass cutting had been completed in their area so that they could monitor the quality of work carried out. We did: There is now a grass cutting site record in each Retirement Living scheme.

Key News You said: The Key News Panel looked at the cost of producing four printed Key News magazines a year. They then looked at where cost savings could be made. They recommended the change to two printed versions a year and at least two digital editions as well, to allow communication to continue with residents. We did: We now produce two printed editions a year with three digital editions in between. This has reduced the cost of production whilst keeping good communication with you.

Digital Key News You said: Customer feedback from the digital Key News survey told us that the digital edition wasn’t clear and that the writing was too small to read. We did: We changed our February edition to a different online publisher and increased the text size. A further survey identified that you feel it is now much easier to read.

Would you prefer your Key News to be sent to you digitally? Let us know your email address and you will receive five editions to your mailbox per year. Email: customer.engagement@ongo.co.uk or call 01724 279900

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Events One click at a time sessions A group of residents in Barton and Scunthorpe have been taking part in a six week computer basics course to help them learn more about using a computer and browsing the internet.

The sessions took place throughout May at the Viking Resource Centre in Barton and at Alvingham Road HUB in Scunthorpe. The sessions are tailored around the abilities of the group and are a great way to meet people in your area and learn about basic computer skills at your own pace. Please get in touch if you or anyone you know would benefit from these sessions.

The CARNIVAL is coming I Easter Eggstravaganza E

t’s just a few months away and planning is well underway. The event will be held on Wednesday 2nd August on Burringham Field, Scunthorpe from 11:00am – 3:30pm.

Keep an eye out for updates: www.ongo.co.uk

aster themed events took place across North Lincolnshire as part of our ongoing Neighbourhood Pride campaign. Events took place in Barton, Scunthorpe and Ulceby during the Easter holidays and were an ‘egg-cellent’ success. The events included an Easter egg hunt, litter pick of the area and a visit from Ongo Bear. One tenant, who attended the event at Earls Walk, Scunthorpe said of the event “I have really enjoyed it, it’s a great way to get the kids out of the house and learn about the environment”. We aim to hold 10 Neighbourhood Pride events this year in honour of our 10th birthday celebrations– so keep an eye out for events coming soon in your area.

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Would you like to see events like this where you live? Get in touch:

01724 279900 customer.engagement@ongo.co.uk


Grounds Maintenance Programme 2017/2018 We employ both Ground Control Ltd and Ongo Communities to maintain our communal and open spaced areas. Work is carried out throughout the cutting season, from March to October, and during the winter period, from November to February. March to October • Cut (approximately every 11 working days) •

Litter pick of the grass, every visit (prior to grass cut)

Two applications of hard standing herbicide spraying

Pruning of hedges/shrubs to keep clear footpaths and roads and for any Health & Safety issues.

Please Note: 11 days is not set in stone, due to weather implications November to February • Hard pruning of hedges/shrubs throughout November to February • Two collections of leaf clearances - November and January

Communal Grassed Areas Cutting heights are set to encourage grass growth and to provide a pleasing sight after mowing. These heights are set and detailed in the contract specification. This will mean having different cutting heights throughout the year according to the weather conditions.

Communal and Garden Trees A tree survey is currently being carried out and is expected to be complete by the end of 2017. This will allow us to carry out a planned maintenance schedule to all our trees. We will carry out inspections on trees that are impacting on Health and Safety issues, damaging properties or any emergency work. Our Tree Policy is available to view on our website www.ongo.co.uk Tree Preservation Orders (TPO) are managed by our Regeneration Team and North Lincolnshire Council. We can only carry out work on trees where we have been given permission by North Lincolnshire Council. If residents would like to fell or prune any of our trees in their gardens, they need to ask for permission from us. This will be granted or refused according to our Tree Policy and TPO restrictions.

Looking after our environment Between March and August all work to trees, hedges and shrubs will be carried out to cause minimum disturbance for nesting birds and wildlife. Please note: If there are signs of wildlife nesting in our hedges and shrubs, we won’t do any maintenance there.

Did you know ? Our contracto maintain aro rs und 500,000 m 2 o f grassed area s.

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Kids corner

y Bir thda maze ear

go B Help On e get to th y! a p rt birthday

Colour us in!

Present Search Can you find all the hidden presents in the magazine?

How many did you find? Answer: 10

22


Spot the following bir thday related words...

Word search

wriantulanteionrs to

Jackie O

Cong xley for Jackie O all the f inding /Winter Autumn words

xley

Name

BALLOON CAKE CANDLES CELEBRATION CUPCAKE PARTY POPPERS PRESENTS SURPRISE WISH

win a

Address Postcode Daytime Telephone number Email address Tick if you’re happy to hear about other promotions and competitions.

£e3to 0Shop

Lov vouchesirte see our web for T’s & C’s

Entries must be in by Friday 14th July 2017. The winner will be drawn from all correct entries. The Editor’s decision is final. Please return your completed word search to:

Editor, Key News Ongo, Meridian House, Normanby Road, Scunthorpe, DN15 8QZ 23


Handyvan price changes

From 1st April 2017 Ongo Homes tenants will be charged from £15 per hour

Want to know more?

Non tenants will be charged from £25 per hour

Visit www.ongo.co.uk to book an appointment, or give us a call on 01724 279900

Current Vacancies Part-time care & support workers Part-time interpreters Administrators If you’re interested in any of the above vacancies, get in touch with the team at Ongo Recruitment. Call 01724 844848 Register your CV www.ongorecruitment.co.uk /Ongorecruitment @OngoRecruitment

Key News Spring/Summer 2017  

Here's your latest edition of the Key News magazine.

Key News Spring/Summer 2017  

Here's your latest edition of the Key News magazine.

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