key news Autumn/Winter 2016
Summer of fun Pirates, picnics & more
Up, up & away
Ongo Carnival sees biggest ever turnout
Doing our bit for the environment
New: Shared Ownership schemes An insight into two new developments
A message from Tony Sanderson, Community Voice Treasurer
hat a year it has been for Community Voice and Ongo Homes. With new reforms and budget cuts from the Government, we’ve all inevitably felt the after effects, but Community Voice members and Ordinary Members continue to play a crucial role in helping Ongo Homes to make the right decisions for us as tenants.
arlier this year, Ongo Homes was busy getting to grips with the proposed government changes, including four years of rent reductions. We’ve been working hard to ensure that we can deliver the same service you have come to expect at a lower cost, and we are just about there now.
Ordinary Members now hold 51% of the vote on all matters raised at our general meetings, which means that we really do have a strong collective voice. Ordinary Members can also apply to sit on the Ongo Homes Board, and can vote at Annual General Meetings. Let’s look forward to a prosperous 2017.
What’s likely to continue are the changes stemming from the welfare reform policy, which we know will affect many tenants. Whilst we can’t control these changes, we can make sure that we as an organisation are prepared for them, and have the information in place to be able to support those of you who are affected. You’ll find some important information relating to the welfare reform changes on page eight.
Despite all the turbulence of the last year, there have been many successes, including a national award for our Maintenance Team, who won the ‘Development or Maintenance Team of the Year’, and our Customer Services Team, who won the ‘Frontline Team of the Year’ both at the Housing Heroes annual awards ceremony in Manchester.
The Ongo Carnival was another success, with 1500 of you coming from across the region to see us, our friends at other local organisations, and many of the rides and activities at Manor Park. Have a read of our Annual Report on page seven for more of the things we’ve been able to achieve this year. I hope you’ve all had a great summer and I look forward to meeting as many of you as possible over the coming months.
.E Andy Orrey, C 2
New Members Wanted
o express an interest in becoming a Board Member (there’s a vacancy at the moment) you can contact Fiona Ruddick on 01724 279900, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. The closing date for applications to become a Board Member is 1 November.
GET IN TOUCH
Got a story to share? Send your ideas to the Editor by writing to Ongo, Meridian House, Normanby Road, Scunthorpe DN15 8QZ or email email@example.com
We’re also pleased to report that following a regulatory review by the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) into the governance and financial viability of Ongo Homes, we achieved the highest rating for both. This means that the changes we made 18 months ago have indeed resulted in an upgrade for governance whilst our financial viability remains top.
In this issue
Benefit changes Check out page 8
Join the conversation
Good deed feed
Value for money savings
A journey to work
A word with...
How are we doing?
Winterâ€™s coming Check out page 9
Talented tenants Check out page 18
20 Events 22 Kids corner 23 Wordsearch
Get in touch Call
Contact Centre 01724 279900 Text 07500 077829 Please note that we record all calls for training and research purposes.
visit us at www.ongo.co.uk
(remember to sign up for your do it online account where you can manage your tenancy online)
Facebook www.facebook.com/OngoHomes Twitter @ongoUK or @ongoBear
Customer Centre 15-19 Cole Street, Scunthorpe, North Lincolnshire, DN15 6QY
We are open
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 Saturday 9.00-12.00
Join the conversation We love to hear from you – get in touch with your stories
Write to the Editor - Ongo, Meridian House, Normanby Road, Scunthorpe, DN15 8QZ
or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
50 year festivities
The Market Hill estate will soon celebrate its 50th anniversary on 7 October 2016, having been officially opened on the same day in 1966. Here are a few photos from the past, thanks to North Lincolnshire Museum.
Spot yourself at the Ongo Carnival prize winners “Thank you Ongo for my voucher” Marie Merrison “Karis’ voucher came this morning – thank you, she will love it!” Louise A Blunt
Kayleigh Kupfers shares her son’s radishes he planted at the Carnival.
Hudl winner “Thank you Ongo Homes – received my prize today, wow!”
(Facebook 3,000 Likes winner)
One click at a time
Five residents from Crowle have successfully completed a fourweek course which has helped them to learn more about using a computer and browsing the internet.
The Ongo Homes Maintenance and Customer Services teams have been awarded top recognition at the Housing Heroes 2016 awards. They were awarded ‘Development or Maintenance Team of the Year’ and ‘Frontline Team of the Year’. We’re top rated for our financial viability and governance following a review by the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA). Ongo Homes has been awarded the globally recognised ISO 14001 for effective environmental management.
What’s trending on Ongo social channels?
Barton events facebook.com/OngoHomes
One click at a time pinterest.com/ongouk
Tell us about the great g. things you’ve been doin Write to: Editor, Ongo, Meridian , House, Normanby Road Scunthorpe, DN15 8QZ or email customer. .uk email@example.com
d o o Geed d ed fe H
ere’s a round-up of all the wonderful things Ongo staff and tenants have been doing across the community.
#OngoGoGreen #OngoGoGreen is the name of our ‘going green’ project, which will ensure that as a company, everything we do is as green as possible, as part of our commitment to helping to protect our environment. Since Ongo launched in 2007, we’ve been busy installing energy efficient appliances to as many of our properties as we can, such as A rated boilers, A rated double-glazed windows, and loft insulation. This is not only good news for you, as it helps to save you money on your energy bills, it means that we’ve been able to save enough energy to travel in a car to the moon and back 217 times! As part of our plans, we’re also looking to get together a group of staff to become Ongo Environmental Champions, who will help to identify areas where we can be greener. Tell us your top tips for living a greener lifestyle!
A new gardening project is becoming a huge success in our local area. Set up by the Employment Support team at Crosby, the project is overseen by a professional gardener and Crosby volunteer, who have been encouraging local people to get involved and get green-fingered in their communities.
Five members of Ongo staff, including Chief Exec Andy Orrey, took to their bicycles to travel 100 miles across the region as part of the C2C2C challenge. They raised £1,000 for charity and are already in training for next year.
Brilliant bik ers
Dubble Bubble success
A ‘colourtastic event’ is how Wendy Wolfe, Customer Engagement Manager described the Lindsey Lodge Dubble Bubble challenge, which saw 37 Ongo staff complete a 5km course through ‘Bubble Rush’ stations. Surrounded by a sea of colourful bubbles, staff managed to raise £1500 for the charity.
ubb Dubble B 5
Value For Money “Committed to giving you the best value for your money”
ne of our commitments to you as tenants is that we will show how we provide value for money.
We do this in our annual Value for Money Statement, which is now available to view online at www.ongo.co.uk. In 2015/16, the Government announced social rents were to fall by 1%. Whilst this was good news for some tenants, it meant that we would lose millions of pounds that we had planned for. We were determined that this couldn’t affect the level of service we provide so we had to have a big rethink to see where we could make savings. By the end of 2015/16 we managed to make over £3million of savings, by renegotiating contracts, restructuring teams and reducing the number of staff in some areas.
Director of Resources, Erika Stoddart, said: Providing value for money is essential for every successful business. It is especially important for us as every penny we can save or grant we can win means we have more to reinvest into things that help people and improve communities – things like the training schemes we run, tackling loneliness of older people, or building the recent pirate play park in Barton.
We also compare ourselves against 35 other similar housing associations to make sure we are performing well. It is our aim to always be at the top for customer satisfaction but delivering services at below average cost. In some areas, such as carrying out home repairs and major improvement work, plus neighbourhood services, we provide some of the best value and our customer satisfaction is higher than most. But while customer satisfaction is also high for our housing management services, we have taken action to reduce costs further.
One area we always perform well in is the extra value we bring to neighbourhoods – often known as social value – which is not surprising because our promise is to put back into local communities. If you would prefer a printed copy of the statement sending to you, please call us on 01724 279900.
We work hard with tenants, especially members of our tenant group Community Voice, to try and provide the very best services we can in the most cost-effective and efficient way. They come up with some great ideas as to how we can continue to make efficiencies but still deliver what tenants need.
Chief Executive Andy Orrey said: There have been lots of highlights in 2015/16. We finished building 48 new homes and started building a further 30. And we launched lots of community projects, such as the one on Caistor Road, in Barton, which includes lots of new activities for families, such as tea time clubs and gardening schemes.
A look back over the year
very year we produce a report which tells you how we have performed and sets out our financial position.
Because we have other companies in the Ongo group now, such as Ongo Recruitment, we have also been able to help 170 people into work, create 36 apprenticeships and provide employment support to 536 people.
There were lots of big changes for housing organisations and tenants in 2015/16, such as the Government’s announcement of a 1% rent reduction and the start of the Universal Credit roll out.
For me, one of the most important things we do each year is our customer satisfaction survey because we need to listen and learn from tenants if we are going to successful.
Despite this, we are happy to report that we have maintained a strong financial position and customer satisfaction is higher than it has ever been.
To achieve a 94% customer satisfaction rate is great but it doesn’t mean we are complacent and we certainly won’t stop trying to improve what we deliver for our tenants.
By the end of the year, we had brought in nearly £47million – which is our turnover. After paying all the costs to run the business and other things such as tax, and paying interest on loans, we made £11million operating surplus.
Ongo staff members are working harder than ever to help people and make a difference, which is one of the things that went towards us coming 23rd in the Sunday Times Best Companies to work list.
As you know, we are a non-profit-making business and our promise is to put back into local communities, so £9.5million of this money is being reinvested into building even more homes for people who need them most.
Reflecting on the past year is also a good time to say thank you to you as our tenants for your support, and in particular, members of Community Voice who make such a difference to the work we do, and make sure customers always remain at the heart of every decision we take.
To see the full report and our annual financial statements, go to www.ongo.co.uk or request a copy by calling us. Performance information 2015/16 Number of homes for rent
Number of new lettings
Number of home sales
Number of new homes built
Number of complaints
Number of telephone enquiries
Number of repairs requested
Number of anti-social behaviour cases dealt with
Overall satisfaction with the service provided by Ongo Homes
Satisfaction with the overall quality of your home
Satisfaction that Ongo Homes treats you fairly
Satisfaction that your rent provides you value for money
Satisfaction with your neighbourhood as a place to live
Satisfaction that Ongo Homes has friendly, approachable staff
Satisfaction that Ongo Homes listens to, and acts on, your views
Satisfaction that Ongo Home keeps you informed
Customer satisfaction survey
Number Number of tenants of home helped with adaptations financial to help issues people with disability
Benefit Cap – are you affected?
n last year’s budget, the Government announced that they were reducing the amount that a family could receive in welfare benefits. This is known as The Benefit Cap. The new restrictions are due to be introduced this Autumn, and it will mean that for some families, income could be reduced by over £90 per week. We’re visiting everyone who we think will be affected by the Cap to give advice around budgeting, paying your rent, getting some help and coping with the change. If you think you might be affected and we haven’t been in touch with you yet, please contact us on 01724 279900 We’re here to help.
Changes to the Housing Benefit Service
orth Lincolnshire Council has changed the way they deal with Housing Benefit. Since July this year, they now handle all of their enquiries either online or over the telephone. This is so that they can ensure that the staff member looking into your claim is an assessor who can try and resolve things at first response. In the past, you might have visited your Local Link office to find out about your claim, but the staff at your Local Links can no longer give you any updates. They can still help you with making a claim or taking copies of information you need to provide though. As always, it is your responsibility to make sure that the Council know about any changes in circumstances you have, but Ongo staff will be happy to help you to make your claim wherever we can. Housing Benefit query? Contact 01724 297000.
In debt and need some support?
We know it’s hard to face these sort of problems, but contact us on 01724 279900 and we can help you. Our Income Team is trained to help you with budgeting to get you in the strongest position possible moving forward, so if you’re struggling with your bills, we can help to make things better in the long term. We have partnerships with local and national organisations too who can help you with any debt problems you might be facing.
It’s inevitable that boilers and appliances need repairing more often during the winter months. That’s why we ensure: • the number of Gas Engineers supporting our out-of-hours service increases • if you have no heat or hot water, repairs will be actioned within 24 hours during winter, to reduce the time you are without heating • vulnerable tenants are prioritised if required • our van stocks are plentiful to ensure our engineers have the ability to complete jobs at first visit • we’ll look at materials for our vans, such as tyre socks, to keep them on the road in severe weather In extreme weather, we can even use our gas service contractor’s 4-wheel drive van to make
Beat the cold by keeping your body moving, even if it’s just moving your arms, legs and ankles whilst sat down. Drinking hot drinks, eating regularly and wearing a few layers of thin clothes can help too. Older people are particularly vulnerable to hypothermia, which can set in when the body drops to at least 35°.
Winter fuel payment
You might be entitled to a winter fuel payment from the government to help with your heating bills. If you receive a State Pension or another social security benefit (but not Housing Benefit, Council Tax reduction, Child Benefit or Universal Credit), you could automatically get between £100 and £300 tax free to help with your heating bills. You’ll need to have been born on or before 5 May 1953, and most payments are made between November and December.
Fuel for thought
In winter, boilers and heating systems are often switched on everyday to keep us warm. We’ll service all our gas installations like your boiler once a year through our approved partners; Sure Maintenance, so that they run more efficiently and can save you money on your heating bills too. There’s some good news for tenants who have solid fuel fire appliances in their homes too. We’ll be increasing our servicing of the appliances to twice a year, starting this year. If you have a solid fuel fire in your home and did not receive a letter sent from us in early August, contact us on 01724 298745.
Good neighbours Have you seen your neighbour recently? It’s always a good idea to keep an eye out for older neighbours by making sure they are keeping warm and eating well.
Switch suppliers We all use our heating much more during the cold season to keep warm, but there’s no need to pay more than you really need to. It’s really easy to compare your energy bills with other suppliers and switch. All you need to do is visit an energy switching website, or phone an energy supplier for their best available deals. They’ll handle everything else.
Housing news Injunction order success Sure Maintenance re-brand
ur gas servicing partners; Sure Maintenance are currently undergoing a re-branding exercise, so you might see them in their brand new vans. Give them a wave!
n injunction has been granted against 28-year-old Jason Potts for ongoing nuisance.
He is banned from entering the Market Hill area of Scunthorpe for one year. Jason does not live in the Market Hill area and he is not an Ongo Homes tenant. The order was made by District Judge Beever at a hearing at Scunthorpe County Court on 10 August 2016.
Three days of action in Westcliff
ngo teamed up with North Lincolnshire Council, Humberside Police, and Humberside Fire and Rescue recently for three days of action to bring the community together and help reduce crime and disorder in the area. The team used the multi-agency Hub in Westcliff precinct as a base, and tackled a different issue each day. • Day 1 – A focus on bicycle and car theft with free advice and safety equipment available from the Hub. A surgery with the local Police Community Support Officer gave residents the opportunity to raise any crime and disorder concerns. • Day 2 – Teams of Police Officers, Safer Neighbourhoods and Ongo Housing Officers visited residents who expressed concerns about where they live. The team offered crime prevention advice, including door, window and shed alarms, and free fire safety checks. Agencies met in the evening to launch the new flagship Neighbourhood Watch scheme in the Hub. • Day 3- Operation clean-up! Ongo and Safer Neighbourhoods provided skips and encouraged residents to throw away any unwanted rubbish.
To keep up to date with action days in your area visit www.ongo.co.uk/events
The court heard evidence that Potts had created a nuisance to other local residents over a period of four months and caused damage to a property by kicking a door in May 2016. He has been linked to alleged incidents of drug offending and violence. However, Potts has previously been linked to incidents of nuisance in that area as early as 2009. Claire Coyle, Tenancy Enforcement Manager at Ongo Homes, said: “Local residents told us they felt uneasy and scared. They were worried about saying anything because of fear of reprisals. “We are here to support our tenants and we cannot allow people living in our homes to feel like this. We will always take action.” Ongo Homes worked with Humberside Police to gather sufficient evidence to take positive action on behalf of the Market Hill residents. In addition to the Exclusion Zone, the Judge also granted a Power of Arrest which gives the police the power to take Potts into custody should he enter the Market Hill area.
New: Shared Ownership schemes Shared Ownership is the perfect solution for people who want to own their home but are struggling to save a big deposit. - Lesley Warburton, Home Ownership Manager, Ongo.
wo new homes, part of the Keigar development on Ennerdale Road, Scunthorpe, have been developed and will soon be available to buy through a Shared Ownership scheme. They’re the first shared ownership homes offered for sale by Ongo, and they pave the way to our plans to increase the different types and tenure of homes we can offer in the future. The two new homes are two-bedroom and three-bedroom and would make ideal family or starter homes. The real benefit of a shared ownership scheme is that people can part-buy, part-rent their home, which helps those who can’t take on a big mortgage or save for a large deposit. Buyers can buy between 25% and 75% of their home with the chance to increase their share in time. The remaining share will be rented through us. There are some criteria to qualify for the scheme, such as a household income below £80,000. These properties could pave the way to more shared ownership properties in the future.
Market Hill makeover
hat a year it’s been for Market Hill. Not only will the estate celebrate its 50th anniversary of being officially opened in October, it’s receiving a bit of a makeover too. Some of our tenants helped to appoint the contractors for the work; United Living, who began refurbishments back in June this year. Each lift in the tower blocks will be receiving brand new pulleys and mechanics, (one at a time) and all windows in the tower blocks will be refurbished, including the glass, handles, and locks. It’s a big job, and our aim is to ensure minimal disruption to our residents. We’ve also identified those who struggle to use stairs whilst their lift is out of action. We’ve had stairlifts installed on these floors, and have appointed a tenant liaison representative who will supply extra support to those who need it. Communal areas will be given a revamp too, and the friendly bunch at Concierge; Barry, Mari and Karen will soon be enjoying a new space.
Albert Marson regeneration
onsultation has recently been held which received a very good turnout from local residents keen to find out plans for the area. All of the feedback we received was very positive and people can’t wait for the work to get started. Keep an eye on our website www.ongo.co.uk for more development updates.
Interested in shared ownership with Ongo? Register for future updates by visiting www.ongo.co.uk/sharedownership
Ongo Carnival 2016
t was the biggest turnout yet for Ongo Carnival, with 1,500 of you joining us for a day filled with fun!
As part of our #OngoGoGreen project, lots of you helped with planting some seeds to take home.
Manor Park was filled to the brim with activities ranging from swingboats and soft play for the little ones, to zorb footballing and even a small animal farm for everyone to enjoy. There were demonstrations from local performers too, including Dramarama, Ruby Twirl Stars, and many more, along with information stalls run by Ongo staff and our partner organisations. And the best bit, it was all completely free!
Here’s what you had to say…: e ality tim u q y o j n e nds; “I got to y and frie ay il m a f y d with m the best d a h n e r my child oyed it as well” j and I en ugh Barraclo e ll e h ic M
eded quality “I enjoyed some well ne nice to enjoy a family time – it was so could take day out where my son nted without part in anything he wa use me telling him no beca I can’t afford it”
e at the “I had a great tim sterday, Ongo Carnival ye involved thanks to ever yone in any way”
to “We look forward !” er m this ever y Sum Lindsey Moody
– the place to kick start your career
atasha Thumwood is a single parent and has been an Ongo Homes tenant for almost two years. In that short amount of time, she believes Ongo has helped her get her life on track and start the career she’s always wanted, but never thought she could achieve. Natasha visited the Ongo Carnival for the first time in 2015. She got chatting to a number of different people at the event. Natasha wanted to get back into work and possibly go back to college but wasn’t sure how this would impact on the benefits she receives which support her and her daughter.
Natasha visited the carnival again this year and had a brilliant day with her daughter. She’s promised to send us a photo when she graduates so watch this space! Are you looking to take that first step in your career but not sure where to start? Our Employment Support Team can help you, give them a call today. 01724 844848 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Ongo staff offered her lots of benefit advice and also pointed her in the direction of the North Lindsey College stand to see about getting signed up for a course. Little did Natasha realise was that she would start studying a foundation degree in Children’s Learning and Development in the Early Years – something she’s always been interested in. She is now in her second year of the course and loving every minute! She’s aiming to go on and do her BA Honours degree after completing the second year. Natasha said: “Things are going amazingly well, I’m much more confident too! My daughter loves hearing about my day at college. I’m really excited about both of our futures now. “If I hadn’t gone to the Ongo Carnival that day I honestly think I would just be still sitting around wishing I had a job and wondering why I wasn’t good enough.
Natash a at Ongo C this year's arnival
“If I hadn’t become an Ongo tenant I seriously doubt I would be where I am today. Ongo is more than a landlord; they really can help you get your life back on track.”
A journey to work
The Employment team has been busy during the last year helping people to get into work.
631 The number of clients supported during 2015-2016
510 The number of people who completed at least one training course
Vacancies Translators and interpreters - fluent in English and one of the following languages: Lithuanian, Turkish or Kurdish. Admin staff wanted -
72 The number of work placements completed, owing to 10,560 hours of volunteering
162 The number of people who signed up to our support, Talent Match and Empower sessions who moved into employment
experience preferred Contact our Recruitment team today on 01724 844848. Keep up to date with the latest jobs at www.ongorecruitment.co.uk or visit /crosbyemployment @CrosbyEmploy
A new name
rosby Employment has been part of the Ongo Partnership for a couple of years now, but, after lots of consultation, the Recruitment Team will now be known as Ongo Recruitment and the Employment Support Team will be known as Employment Support from Ongo. There will still be the same staff and the services will be the same too, as will the office location on Laneham Street, Scunthorpe.
Young person or young single parent? Been out of work or training for a year or more? Itâ€™s a match! Talent Match provides individual support to help develop your confidence and can help you work towards employment, an apprenticeship, or further education.
Call 01724 844848 for more information, or pop in and see the team at 1-3 Laneham Street, Scunthorpe. Email: email@example.com /crosbyemployment /CrosbyEmploy
a word with...
his time, we talk to Customer Advisor Jackie Standerline, who’s based at our Customer Centre on Cole Street. She tells us what it’s like to work as part of a Customer Service Team of the Year, and what she’d take to a desert island! You’ve worked in Customer Services for a long time, what’s the best bit about your job? The team that I work with. We all get on very well together, help each other out, but we have a laugh and a joke as well. I think that’s really important.
The team has recently won an award for ‘Frontline Team of the Year’ at the national Housing Heroes awards. What do you think sets you apart from other Customer Service teams across the UK? Because we provide help to anyone who contacts Ongo, we have to be knowledgeable about all of our services, policies, events and suchlike. This helps us to resolve issues at first contact, often without having to refer a person on.
What are the top traits a person needs to work in Customer Service? Unquestionably, listening skills, being helpful, polite and empathic when situations arise. Where do you think your passion for the job comes from? I always try to be happy with a smile on my face. I’ll always say hello and goodbye whether over the telephone or in person, and I love to resolve problems. I’m known as Inspector Clueso in the department; if something needs investigating or looking into, members of the team will ask me.
Up close and personal Tell us a fun fact about yourself: I have a great sense of humour.
Jackie (on right)
You have one item to take to a desert island. What is it? My husband! Would you rather have the ability to be invisible or have x-ray vision? Invisible. Favourite place to holiday? Anywhere hot!
ed New Memebers Wantne l
The Resident Scrutiny Pa ers. is looking for new memb me Contact the Custo r Engagement team on 01724 279900 or email firstname.lastname@example.org gag en er. custom for more details
Resident Scrutiny Panel – an investigation into our external contractors
ur Resident Scrutiny Panel is made up of a team of volunteer tenants who come together to investigate different Ongo Homes services, and make recommendations of how we might be able to improve them. These services often have a direct impact on you as tenants, so their work is really important to us in helping us to make sure we deliver the best service possible.
“Make a difference in your y” t i n u m m o c
Recently, the team looked at the customer care and service delivered by external contractors to you. This investigation was as a direct result of a request made by Community Voice members. The external contractors investigated were: Decent Homes (Matthews & Tannert), Gas Servicing & Repairs (Sure), and Window Cleaning at Sheltered Schemes (Clean as a Whistle). A series of interviews were set-up with staff and managers within relevant service areas which allowed the group to further their work.
Recommendations included: • All customers should be asked whether the contracting staff member was wearing ID on customer satisfaction surveys • “Did you receive your gas certificate?” should be an added question to the Sure customer satisfaction survey • Looking into the possibility of having Sure email gas certificates to those with an email address to ensure value for money. Customers who don’t have an email address should still receive certificates via post in a timely manner • Contact details to be provided on Sure gas notification letters should customers not receive gas certificates within 28 days • Sure to call customers ahead of attending appointments All recommendations will be monitored as to the possibility of them being put in place.
ur Tenant Inspector help us to identify areas across the region which might require some maintenance, including weed killing or home improvements to properties before they are re-let to potential tenants. Harry Mortimer, Tenant Inspector explains: Tenant Inspectors are a group of volunteer residents who assist Ongo Homes in the management of their estates by inspecting three areas of interest; green inspections, estate inspections, and empty homes. More specifically, green inspections includes checking areas against a set criteria for their need of grass cutting, weed killing, and graffiti removal, with estate inspections rating properties on their need for repairs to roofs, fences and gardens across a specific area. Empty homes inspections ensure that homes are up to a required standard before they are re-let, following Ongo repair works, which includes checking doors, floors, and decorations amongst other things. All reports are passed to the Customer Engagement team once complete, and it’s a really rewarding task.
A dab hand at decorating
ne of our tenants sent us in some photos of the work she’s been able to achieve in her home after only one month of moving in. She’s aged 25 and is on benefits, and she’s proved it’s possible to transform your home in a short period of time, and on a low budget.
Here’s a showcase of some of the wonderful talents you have. Susan Newell, of Crowle, gets creative with cards
usan explains: “I discovered making cards in a strange way, after flicking through a craft magazine during a routine appointment at hospital with my husband. “I’d never seen a craft magazine, but I’ve always enjoyed making things, so it interested me a lot. “From then on, I used card-making in my job at the time, which was as an Occupational Therapy Assistant. I’d use card-making as a form of therapy for people, often helping husbands I was supporting to make special cards for their wives. “Now, I make cards for people I know, and I help out at a local shop, Snowdrop Crafts in Epworth. It really gives me a sense of self-worth knowing that I can share my skills and provide happiness to people.”
Alex Killen, of Barrow-upon-Humber, creates a perfect print
lex has always enjoyed painting and drawing, and his picturesque landscape scenes decorate his home. He’s a regular visitor to a local drawing class, and he enjoys painting from memory. He mainly uses watercolour to create his beautiful prints. Alex is also a member of a Choir, and recently sung in the Choir which supported Lesley Garrett at The Baths Hall!
If you have a talent you’d like to share, get in touch with the Editor, by writing to Editor, Ongo, Normanby Road Scunthorpe, DN15 8QZ or post on our facebook & twitter pages. /OngoHomes @OngoUK
How are we doing?
e try to get things right to provide an excellent service, but we recognise that sometimes things can go wrong and there might be reason to complain. We monitor our complaints performance every year to help us to do things better.
2012/13 We asked you...
Overall, how satisfied were you with the final outcome of your complaint?
44.7% said very or fairly
48.7% said very or fairly
57.9% said very or fairly
53.03% said very or fairly
Overall, how satisfied were you with the way we handled your complaint?
52.3% said very or fairly
51.3% said very or fairly
61.2% said very or fairly
59.1% said very or fairly
How satisfied were you with the speed your complaint was handled?
50.6% said very or fairly
48.7% said very or fairly
71.1% said very or fairly
69.7% said very or fairly
How satisfied were you with the support you got while your complaint was being dealt with?
43.8% said very or fairly
43.5% said very or fairly
54.5% said very or fairly
57.6% said very or fairly
How satisfied were you that you were kept informed while your complaint was being dealt with?
44.9% said very or fairly
42.9% said very or fairly
65.3% said very or fairly
51.5% said very or fairly
Key News surveys
or every edition of Key News and our Key Newsletters (which are delivered digitally to your email inbox) we’ll be conducting a telephone survey to ensure we’re getting the content, design, layout, and delivery just right for you. Key News is your magazine, and we’re always key nke eywns interested in hearing what you think. Winter 2015
If you do have a suggestion, write to Key News Editor Ongo, Meridian House Normanby Road Scunthorpe DN15 8QZ
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t the time of writing, Community Voice members were taking part in a vote to decide on whether Ongo is to become a Community Benefit Society. This follows a leaflet sent to all our tenants to make you aware of the proposed change. As tenants, you were given an opportunity to tell us your thoughts and a full report will be presented to Community Voice to inform their decision.
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Community Benefit Society
ur Tree Policy now sits with the Regeneration team, and has received a bit of a makeover. It’s not changed a great deal from what’s written in the Neighbourhood Management Policy but it’s now in sections to make it clearer to differentiate between what we will do and how we will do it. Visit our website, www.ongo.co.uk to view the policy.
What’s happened Brilliant Barton
What’s been happening AND what’s coming up
here’s been lots of things happening over on Caistor Road, Barton, during the year. Headed by Ongo Estate Coordinator Fran Rhodes, the Viking Resource Centre has been a hub of activity to help support local residents living in the area. Working alongside other members of Ongo staff, the centre hosts a teatime club, which uses vegetables grown by local residents and donations from the local Tesco supermarket. As well as serving weekly nutritious meals, other events have included a garden party to celebrate the Queen’s 90th Birthday, which included a guest appearance from Great British Bake Off’s Nancy Birtwhistle, and an end of term party. Ongo Homes staff worked with Barton residents, Safer Neighbourhoods, and Humberside Police on a Big Tidy Up event, which involved litter picking and removing waste items to help improve the appearance of the area. Residents at Overton Court enjoyed a pirate celebration recently at the opening of the new pirate park in the area, as organised by Ongo staff. Keep an eye on our events page, www.ongo.co.uk/events for all the latest goings on.
What’s coming up Dine and Dance the night away
he annual Dine & Dance will be held on 7 November 2016 from 1pm-4pm at Heslam Park Rugby Club, Scunthorpe. Dance and sing to your heart’s content with friends old and new and enjoy a pie and pea lunch. Prepare your dancing shoes and call our Support Service Team on 01724 279900 to book a place. Numbers are limited. Free transport can be provided.
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All of our available garages can be seen at Home Choice Lincs. Register at
www.homechoicelincs.org.uk and fill in a garage application form.
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Address Postcode Daytime Telephone number Email address Tick if you’re happy to hear about other promotions and competitions.
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Entries must be in by Monday 6th February 2017. The winner will be drawn from all correct entries. The Editor’s decision is final. Please return the coupon with your completed word search to:
Editor, Key News, Ongo, Meridian House, Normanby Road, Scunthorpe, North Lincs, DN15 8QZ 23
Need to check on something? You can find full copies of your tenant handbook and tenancy agreement on our website. Visit: