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May 2010

The Newsletter for Rockingham Forest Housing Association residents

FREE Skills for Life Can you put up a curtain rail or decorate your bedroom? Write a CV or deal with a medical emergency or a fire in your home? Would you like some FREE training in these or other areas? We are running a course in early summer which is called Skills For Life. We will be supported in this by an organisation called Groundwork which already run lots of community projects in this area. It will consist of seven sessions over a seven week period covering a different topic every week. We will cover child care and travel costs and there will be lunch included. It will be fun and interactive and you will be given lots of support and learn new skills in an informal setting. If you would like to apply to come on this course or, if you already have skills in some of these areas and would like to come along and help, please contact Trish McCourt please contact Trish McCourt on 01933 354904 for more information.

Michael Clissold – Apprenticeship Michael Clissold, one of our tenants’ sons was successfully chosen by New Life to start a six month apprenticeship at the beginning of January. Over the past three months Michael has played an active role in the removal and fitting of many kitchens. He will be able to apply these extensive range of basic skills and work experience as an excellent building block for his future career.

Getting Closer Collyweston Community Shop Committee is made up of a group of volunteers who are working for the benefit of the community. Over the last 20 years Collyweston has seen a decline in village amenities including: • Closure of the village school • Closure of the petrol station and forecourt shop • Closure of the Post Office. This has led to many people in the village becoming isolated and dependant on a limited public transport system to do their daily/weekly shopping. The Committee has been awarded a substantial grant by the Rural Development Programme for England – LEADER Project. This will allow them to sign a lease on the building at 21 High Street, Collyweston. The shop is due to open in the summer and residents will be able to buy local produce, eggs, milk, bread, meat and vegetables without having to get in their cars and drive into town. Look out for details of a Pre-opening Event where local producers will be able to display their products and sample tasting will be available. Don’t miss out...

nity Shop u m om C on t s munity e w Colly Serving the Com This document can be made available in other formats e.g. Braille, large print, CD and language translation.

TSA Resident Scrutiny The new regulatory framework from the TSA has just been published – this is a new set of standards that Rockingham Forest Housing Association has to work within. Part of this framework is Resident Scrutiny, where we will be looking for residents to be part of a training program so that we have our very own Rockingham Forest Housing Association Scrutiny group who will review all aspects of our organization. More information on this will follow in the coming months. However, if you already have an interest in being part of this new concept please log your enquiry with Caroline Marshall, our Resident Involvement Coordinator.

Future Jobs Fund - Welcome As part of a national consortium led by Groundwork UK and the National Housing Federation,RFHA has been awarded a contract to provide two job opportunities for young people through the Government’s ‘Future Jobs Fund’.


33 May 2010

A Year in the Life of the Repairs Improvement Group What a successful year the Repairs Improvement Group (RIG) has had. Not only has it seen a consistency in the members attending the group but it has also welcomed a number of new members too. Mark Weston from MAW Services has just celebrated his third year as our partner offering refurbishment of bathrooms. Due to his exemplary, no complaints, record and high satisfaction rating the RIG had no need to question his work and are delighted to have Mark as our contractor. RFHA really appreciates having the RIG group and being able to inform them of any changes in circumstances that affect our residents. We recently saw a change in Gas Services supplier from Thorpete to Kinetics. Thank you to the RIG and our residents for being so understanding whilst we went through this transition. Following the RIG’s appointment of New Life contractors for the fitting of our kitchens, we have received many happy comments on both the work and conduct of the teams that are working in your homes – excellent choice RIG! The group has been very involved with the reviewing of the quality of products that are supplied by our new kitchen supplier Howdens. At the last RIG meeting members discussed the review of the Repairs and Maintenance budget. This information has been used to make sure that next year’s budget reflects the input from our residents. Why not join our Repairs Improvement Group? This group meets quarterly in January, April, July and October. All residents are welcome to join in, and we would love to see you there. For further information please call Caroline Marshall on 01933 415156 or email

We would like to introduce Emma Anniwell who will be working with our Customer Services Team and Grant Gurney who will be out and about with our Property Maintenance Technicians. Grant and Emma will be with us for 6 months as part of the Future Jobs Fund, and at the end of their time with us they will have gained some valuable experience to help them apply for a permanent position. We will be looking for 2 new starters in September, so if you or someone you know is interested, please contact us so that we can provide you with more information.


(by popular demand...) Come and join other residents and RFHA staff on one of our summer day trips. Look out for further info in the post.

Members of the Repairs Improvement Group at a recent meeting


Hi, I’m Caroline the new Resident Involvement Coordinator. I am here to offer support, advice and guidance to help you, our residents, be involved with RFHA. I would really like to encourage as many residents as possible to get involved as it is your chance to have your say in our

services. I will be working really hard to help extend and expand the current involvement options and work with our residents to be sure to really cater for your needs. If you have any questions or would like to find out more please do not hesitate to contact me. I look forward to meeting you! Tel: 01933 415156 Email:


May 2010

The Newsletter for Rockingham Forest Housing Association residents

You Said – We Did We have changed our procedure for dealing with Mutual Exchanges as a result of feedback from our residents.


Contractor of the Quarter

Due to the bad weather this winter, mould and condensation has been a problem for a lot of our residents.

Property inspections will be more rigorous, we will carry out electrical checks as standard and we will provide better information about anything which may become the new tenant’s responsibility after they have moved in.

Some of the things that you can do to help prevent this problem:-

Wherever possible we will carry out property inspections accompanied by the new tenant. We hope these changes will increase satisfaction levels amongst tenants who move into their RFHA home through an exchange.

Keep the trickle vents open, keep the rooms well ventilated and open the windows as often as possible.

MAW Services Ltd They have been nominated by Pat Davies for this award for their excellent work and the friendliness of the workforce.

Water running down the windows is caused by condensation and IS NOT DAMP. If this happens you need to wipe the windows. If you do not wipe the moisture from the windows it dries and turns to mould on the black seals surrounding the glass. You need to clean this off. If you clean the seal and then wipe it round with neat Milton sterilizing liquid, it helps to prevent it re-occurring.

Big Garden? Then you might be interested in Landshare... Landshare was launched by Channel 4 last year and helps to match up residents who have unused gardens they are willing to share with keen gardeners looking for land where they can grow fruit and vegetables.

WELL DONE Mark, Ian, Gary and Neil If you wish to nominate a contractor for this award please contact Terry Hawthorn.

New Taps

Use your extractor fan in the kitchen and bathroom if you have one. If you do not please make us aware and we will try and arrange to have one fitted.

If you are interested please contact your Housing Officer who will be able to provide information and advice about how the scheme works and how to avoid any pitfalls.

Pat from Broughton rang RFHA as she was having a problem using her kitchen taps due to arthritis. The following day RFHA arranged for replacement lever taps to be fitted. Pat said “I couldn’t believe how quickly this was done for me.”

If you dry your washing on the radiators this will cause condensation on your windows. The moisture from the wet clothes goes to the cold glass of the window and this causes condensation.

Thanks to Mr Payne of Higham Ferrers for this suggestion.

Blockages and Recharges - Don’t get Caught Out!

Replacement Fencing

RFHA have many calls relating to blocked sinks, wastes, gullies, toilets and drains. However, these repairs are the responsibility of the resident.

When you contact the office to ask for the fencing in your garden to be replaced can you make sure, once it has been confirmed that the boundary is our responsibility, that the fence line is clear of any bushes, shrubs, trees and rubbish etc.

Miss Telesford of Irthlingborough had a blocked basin in the bathroom and was advised of the recharge if a contractor was sent. In view of this information she decided to accept the advice given by RFHA and sort it out herself. She found not only hair but a couple of hair clips too! All was resolved and Miss Telesford was happy that she had not incurred a recharge.

Our contractors do not undertake this work. We must also ask that any dog dirt is cleared from the garden before work commences.

Some useful tips on how to look after your sinks, drains and toilets. Not having a clear boundary line can often result in the work being delayed.

• Do not pour waste fat or oil from frying pans or fryers down the sink. Instead, when cool, pour into an empty bottle with a screw top and put into the waste bin • Make use of a plug hole cover to trap any small particles that could pass through the plug hole and get stuck in the u-bend • Clean sinks regularly with a suitable cleaner which will help to dissolve fat and other deposits • Do not put wipes, nappies or sanitary items down the toilet.

Quality Homes

Excellent Services

Community Values


Exceeding Expectations

It is also possible to upgrade 1.2m high (4 feet) to 1.8m high (6 feet) at a minimal cost. We provide 1.8m high privacy fencing, but then the fencing will drop to 1.2m high. If you require the additional height then you will be advised of the cost involved and this money would have to be paid in full before the work is undertaken.

“Due to my arthritis RFHA installed a shower in my new bathroom and they also helped with my garden, which is very big, and was beyond my control. They introduced me to Tyler Garden Services and I have now made a private arrangement with them to come about once a month during the summer to do my garden.


Rockingham Forest Housing Association

Child Safety Can we ask for your co-operation when our contractors attend to carry out work in your home? Workmen are often using tools which are sharp and dangerous for your children to pick up. They are also conscious of treading on your children if they are allowed to play in the area near where the repair is being undertaken. For the safety of your child can you keep them a safe distance away to prevent any harm coming to them and to allow the work to be carried out without delay.

This all started with just a phone call to RFHA.” If you require assistance, like Pat, then please call the office and we will be able to give you advice on any adaptations you may need. If you require some small adaptations like Pat’s taps, RFHA can get those done quite quickly for you. However if you required something larger like Pat’s shower then you will need to provide a medical or Occupational Therapist letter stating your requirements and the reason why. This would take about 3 months to organise. If you need assistance with your garden due to health or disability please contact the office on 01933 411400. We may be able to put you in touch with someone who can assist you.

Save the Cost of a Phone Call -Report Repairs Online, Any Time, By Using SeeMyData * Rushing to book that repair during your lunch break? * No time to call RFHA as you race about during the day? * there is a non-urgent repair that just keeps slipping your mind? * No credit on your phone?

At a time that is most convenient to you, maybe in the evening once the kids have gone to bed and you have 5 minutes to yourself, log on to our website, and register your repair. We’ll call you back when our offices are open to arrange an appointment for you. To register for SeeMyData, please contact Teresa on 01933 411400 or

Rockingham Forest May 2010 Newsletter  

Rockingham Forest May 2010 Newsletter

Rockingham Forest May 2010 Newsletter  

Rockingham Forest May 2010 Newsletter