Page 1

Opening Doors – Enhancing Lives

Residents’ Newsletter – Winter 2016

In this issue: Pg 4 Three new Extra Care Schemes Pg 6-7 Save money at Christmas Pg 12 Competition Time Pg 3 Rent First

Pg 5 Benefit Cap

Telephone: 0800 183 5757 or 01745 536800 Email: Clwyd Alyn and Tŷ Glas are charitable Registered Societies


Keep up to date with the latest news and events on Facebook and Twitter


Don’t forget to check out our Facebook and Twitter pages, where we update you with everything that’s happening. Post on our wall if you want to ask anything, discover more about what’s going on in your neighbourhood and find out what we’re doing in your community. We post service updates as well as news from the Group, developments, job vacancies and local events.

ÃÃ Rent first 3 ÃÃWork starts on three new 4 Extra Care Schemes ÃÃ Benefit Cap – what you need to know

Follow us: @PennafHGroup

ÃÃ Homebuy 8

We are sad to report the passing away of Sheila Wilson from Oldford in Welshpool in the beginning of July. Sheila was an active resident volunteer for Clwyd Alyn and one of the first resident members of our Service Improvement Committee.

ÃÃ Community Events


ÃÃ Tips for Home Safety this Christmas


ÃÃ Get Online


ÃÃ TPAS Awards


ÃÃ Competition Time


She has also been described as a modern day ‘Good Samaritan’, due to all her work in the community.

CONTACT DETAILS We always want to hear about your local news. If you have any articles you would like to include in the next newsletter, please send them to Gareth on the contact details below. 01745 536843


ÃÃSave money at Christmas 6-7 – Here are some top tips!

Like us:


Like us: Follow us: @PennafHGroup

72 Ffordd William Morgan, St Asaph Business Park, St Asaph, Denbighshire, LL17 0JD.

0800 183 5757. For cheaper calls from a mobile 0300 183 5757 or 01745 536800

Out of hours emergency repair call: 0300 123 30 91

2 Clwyd Alyn Housing Association Residents’ Newsletter - Winter 2016

Rent First Keeping up with your rent payments can be hard, especially at Christmas time. Paying your rent keeps a roof over your head - get in touch if you are struggling. If you’re having difficulty paying your rent, you need to talk to us. Call 0800 183 5757, for cheaper calls from a mobile call 01745 536800.

The importance of Home Contents insurance When it comes to the contents of your home, it’s very important to make sure your belongings are covered by home contents insurance. Home contents insurance is something that everyone who lives in our homes should have. As a Housing Association resident you may be responsible for damage you have caused to items in your home, such as cracking a toilet bowl, wash hand basin or bath. If the worst happened, how would you replace your TV, computer, sofa and carpets?

Even a small flood caused by a faulty washing machine or a burst pipe could cause a lot of damage. Remember, if you do not have insurance for your personal property, you run the risk of having to find all the money necessary to repair or replace items that have either been damaged or stolen. Home Contents insurance may cost less than you think and could protect you from the huge expense of replacing your belongings.

Clwyd Alyn Housing Association Residents’ Newsletter - Winter 2016


Work starts on three new Extra Care Schemes Tŷ Glas Housing Society, part of the Pennaf Housing Group, are developing 3 Extra Care Schemes, Hafan Cefni in Llangefni, Llys Raddington in Flint and Maes y Dderwen in Wrexham; together they’re worth an estimated £26m and represent a major boost to the region’s economy.

Hafan Cefni – Llangefni

Llys Raddington – Flint

Maes y Dderwen – Wrexham

63 Extra Care 1 and 2 bedroom high quality apartments for rent, with communal facilities. 15 apartments are specifically designed and adapted for people with memory loss or living with dementia.

73 Extra Care 1 and 2 bedroom high quality apartments for rent, with communal facilities. 15 apartments are specifically designed and adapted for people with memory loss or living with dementia.

60 Extra Care 1 and 2 bedroom high quality apartments for rent, with communal facilities.

What is Extra Care Housing? Extra Care Housing offers you the opportunity to live in your own apartment, safe in the knowledge that if you become more dependent or frail then help and support is right on your doorstep 24 hours a day. You can experience a potentially much enriched lifestyle, where many support, care and housing amenities are drawn together in one complex.

Key features of Extra Care Housing • You are living in your own home with a legal form of tenure • Domiciliary care can be provided on an assessed need basis throughout the day and night • You will be supported to keep your independence • Couples and friends can potentially stay together • A Scheme Manager on site to help you manage your tenancy • You have control over your own finances • You have security • Nutritious meals available daily in the on-site restaurant • On site state-of-the-art communal facilities

“I can’t believe the difference being here has made. My wellbeing has improved so much”. An Extra Care resident at Llys Eleanor, Shotton.

“Extra Care Housing is a good idea. It keeps your independence, makes you feel secure, you get the opportunity to meet other people and make new friends”. An Extra Care resident at Plas Telford, Wrexham.

If you’re 60 or over, have a care or support need, and feel you would benefit from living in one of our Extra Care Schemes, you can contact us in the following ways: Freephone: 0800 183 5757 Email:

4 Clwyd Alyn Housing Association Residents’ Newsletter - Winter 2016

Benefit Cap what you need to know The Benefit Cap is a limit on the total amount of certain benefits you can get if you are working age. From the 7th November 2016 the Benefit Cap amount reduced for couples and lone parents living outside of Greater London from £500 per week to £384.62 per week. For single adults living outside of Greater London it reduced from £350 per week to £257.69 per week.

Am I exempt? You are exempt from the Benefit Cap if: • You or your partner is over Pension Credit age • You are claiming Universal Credit and you (and your partner) earn at least £430 per month • You are claiming Housing Benefit and you (and your partner) work enough hours to qualify for Working Tax Credit • You (or your partner) is receiving a disability benefit: - Personal Independence Payment

The benefits used in the calculation for the Benefit Cap are:


Disability Living Allowance


Attendance Allowance

• • • •


Support component of Employment and Support Allowance


Limited Capability for Work Related Activity (LCWRA) element of Universal Credit


Armed Forces Compensation Scheme Payments


Armed Forces Independence Payment


Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit


War Disablement Pension


War Widow’s or Widower’s Pension

• • • • • • • • •

Bereavement Allowance Child Benefit Child Tax Credit Employment and Support Allowance (except when in the Support Group) Housing Benefit (except for households in Supported Exempt Accommodation ) Incapacity Benefit Income Support Jobseeker’s Allowance Maternity Allowance Reduced Earnings Allowance Severe Disablement Allowance Universal Credit (except the Childcare Costs element) Widowed Parent’s Allowance, Widowed Mother’s Allowance, Widow’s Pension

• From 7th November 2016 onwards you will be exempt if: • You are claiming Universal Credit and you (or your partner) receive the Carer’s element • You (or your partner) receive Carer’s Allowance • You (or your partner) qualify for but do not receive Carer’s Allowance • You (or your partner) receive Guardian’s Allowance

How is the Benefit Cap applied? If your total entitlement of the benefits included in the cap is more than the Benefit Cap amount and the Benefit Cap applies to you, your benefits will be reduced to bring you within the cap amount. If you are claiming Housing Benefit, the amount of Housing Benefit that you receive each week will be reduced to the cap amount. If you are claiming Universal Credit, the amount of Universal Credit that you receive each month will be reduced to the cap amount (except for the Childcare Costs element). If you are entitled to the Childcare Costs element of Universal Credit, this amount is protected and will not be reduced even if this means you receive more than the Benefit Cap amount.

Get Advice If you’re concerned about being affected by the Benefit Cap and you’re not sure whether you can afford to make ends meet please contact Turn2us for further advice and information on 0808 802 2000 or visit their website

Clwyd Alyn Housing Association Residents’ Newsletter - Winter 2016 5

Save money at Christmas Here are some top tips! Christmas is a time of joy and celebration but it can also be a time of great stress and worry for a lot of us. Here are a few cost saving tips that might just come in handy this Christmas.



Put a stop to unnecessary Christmas presents

Secret Santa helps cut costs

Make a pact with extended family, friends and colleagues to not buy presents for each other this Christmas. After all, how many boxes of smellies, character socks and Christmas jumpers do we all need? The majority of us stick to buying for our immediate loved ones, concentrating on the kids.

If you do want to buy for extended family or friends, why not consider a Secret Santa? This is where a group of people set a modest budget, then all throw their names into a hat, before secretly selecting the name of the person they’re to buy for. It’s great fun and this way you need only buy one present for the whole group!


Find the best prices on the web Online prices differ from retailer to retailer, but sometimes it’s hard to figure out who is offering the best price at any given time. That’s why retail comparison websites like pricerunner. & do the legwork for you. Simply type in the item you’re looking for and, hey presto, the results will tell you the cheapest website to buy it from. Also eBay is a good source for new or nearly new gifts, and whether it’s kid’s books, game consoles or anything else you’re looking for, many eBay sellers often specify items must be collected in person. This usually means fewer bids, so there are bargains to be had! Just search for an item on eBay, click ‘refine’ & then select ‘nearby’. You can then choose ‘local pickup’ to find items within easy distance for you.


Need extra Christmas cash? Flog it! The stuff you no longer want or need could easily be turned into a few quid more in the Christmas fund. So, consider a car boot sale, or flog anything and everything on the likes of eBay, Gumtree, or through other local sales sites.

6 Clwyd Alyn Housing Association Residents’ Newsletter - Winter 2016


To gift card or to gift cash? Gift cards seem like a good idea, and sometimes they are, but remember that they have their drawbacks. For one, even big retailers can go bust and when this happens and they go into administration, they usually stop accepting cards altogether. It’s also surprising how many gift cards get shoved in a drawer and forgotten about, aren’t redeemed by the expiry date, or are simply not from a shop that the person uses. According to research over £300 million pounds worth of gift cards go unused each year. Many card shops sell gift wallets that double as a Christmas cards, so you might want to consider putting the cash in one of these instead. Just a thought!


Remember, it’s the thought that counts! Older kids may be brand savvy, but the little ones don’t value your gift based on name or price – they often seem more interested playing with the wrapping. So don’t shell out loads of dosh unnecessarily, spend your time finding a thoughtful gift that will make their eyes light up on Christmas morning.


Hear from Santa and track him on Christmas Eve for FREE!


Cashback? It’s a gift. TopCashback & QuidCo are a couple of good examples of the cashback sites, where you simply sign up for free, find the item you want, then click through to the retailer’s site to buy something. The cashback site gets paid for sending traffic to the retailer and gives some of this back to you, which means you could be quids in! Top tip: never let the cashback site dictate where you spend, just focus on the cheapest deal, then see if cashback is available.


It’s good to talk – especially for FREE! If you can’t be with your family or friends at Christmas, because they’re at the other end of the country or the other side of the world, it doesn’t mean you can’t talk for free. Save on expensive phone costs with free alternatives, such as Skype, and talk for free over the web. Most smartphones also let you download apps to do this via Wi-Fi, 3G or 4G. Also, according to Money Saving Expert, calling overseas mobiles and landlines is usually cheaper if you use special numbers. For more information visit

Give your little ones a bit of magic this Christmas with a letter from Santa! Just send him their Christmas list, include a stamped addressed envelope and Santa and his elves will reply for free. Hurry though, the deadline is 6th December. What’s more, you and your little ones can track Santa as he delivers his prezzies on Christmas Eve – how exciting is that? Log onto from 1 December and make sure you’re all set up to see how he’s getting on!


Start buying early and spread the cost! According to YouGov, a typical family spends more than £820 on Christmas – that’s a whole wad of money to find in one go. OK, we know its December, we’ve all seen those Christmas countdown messages on social media, but if you haven’t done so this year, start buying as early as possible next year to spread the cost.

Clwyd Alyn Housing Association Residents’ Newsletter - Winter 2016


COMMUNITY EVENTS It’s been a busy time again for lots of our residents, a big thank you to everyone who participated in our community events. If you would like to read more about the community events highlighted on the pin board or other events, visit:

Residents t idying theat Hafan ir commu

Resident so Ruthin a f Llys Erw in tt Silent M heir recent ‘No t-so ovie’ eve nt.

A team of green fingered youngst ers planting bulbs in Rosehill.

Hou T he Old Courts first it celebrat es

’s ‘Teddy Bear a y jo n e ts n Reside Rhyl at Y Gorlan,


Superb T hank support for R esF est you! event –



8 Clwyd Alyn Housing Association Residents’ Newsletter - Winter 2016

Children from Saltney, enjoying fresh air and fun at a ‘Nature and Wellbeing event’.

Dirion Rh unity gard yl, en


lint use Café in F t birthday!

t ld Medallis o G ic p m Double Oly isits residents at sv Jade Jone illas in Flint. kV Greenban

Residents at Tan y Fron Extra Care, Llandudno getting online

e read mor o t e k li ld u If you wo events y it n u m m o c r about the n this pin board, o o d highlighte ts, visit: n e v e s r e h ot . n ly a d y www.clw

ss ncy dre a f e h t all at ham Fun for Party in Wrex en Hallowe

Fantastic day & turn out despite the rain at our Community 999 event in Holywell

Clwyd Alyn Housing Association Residents’ Newsletter - Winter 2016 9

A development of 2 and 3 bedroom affordable homes, available to buy through Homebuy. Gronant Street is a development of affordable two and three bedroom homes available to buy under the Homebuy Scheme (funded by the Welsh Government, these homes are offered for disposal on Homebuy terms under their tenure neutral scheme). Ideally suited for couples and families, the new contemporary homes have been built to a high quality standard and complete with environmental design features, providing you with the benefits of an energy efficient home, with affordable running costs.

You can register your interest in these new properties by contacting us on:

What is Homebuy?

01745 536 800

Homebuy is an increasingly popular way of helping people get onto the property ladder. Homebuy is not intended for people who can afford to buy a property suited to their needs without assistance, or those who are adequately housed.

0800 183 5757 or for cheaper calls from a mobile call:


10 Clwyd Alyn Housing Association Residents’ Newsletter - Winter 2016

To be completed in February 2017

Tips for Home Safety this Christmas Christmas brings all sorts of fun activities from lighting candles to hanging lights (indoors and outdoors). Here’s how to keep your home and family safe from fire and injury. When you’re decorating your home this season, keep an eye out for these common seasonal mistakes, fire hazards, and other safety hitches. 1. Carefully inspect Christmas lights each year and discard any with frayed cables, cracked lamp holders, or loose connections. When replacing bulbs, unplug the lights and be sure to match voltage and wattage to the original bulb. 2. Never overload electrical sockets. Always turn off Christmas lights when you leave the house unattended and when going to bed. 3. Never connect more than one extension cable together! Use a single extension that is long enough to reach the outlet without stretching, but not so long that it can get easily tangled. 4. When hanging outdoor lights, keep electrical connectors off the ground and away from rain gutters. Use insulated tape or plastic clips instead of metal nails or tacks to hold them in place.

5. Using a ladder or steps when you put up lights? Choose the correct ladder for the job and also have someone foot the ladder or steps when in use. 6. Test your smoke alarms monthly to make sure they work. 7. When lighting candles always keep away from other items. Don’t forget to blow out candles when you leave your home or go to sleep. 8. Check your electrical decorations conform to the British Standard. 9. Most fires start in the kitchen - never leave cooking unattended. 10. Take the time to check on elderly relatives and neighbours this Christmas - make sure they are safe.

Clwyd Alyn Housing Association Residents’ Newsletter - Winter 2016 11

Get online Resident’s Portal


Don’t forget to register on the Resident’s Portal. You will need your tenancy reference number and a unique number to register.

One of the recommendations that came out of the Quality Partners’ audit of services for older people was that Clwyd Alyn should introduce a password system for older people.

Please note, once you’ve registered on the portal, you no longer need to use the long, unique number, as once activated, you’ll chose your own password to log in every time.

Well, we’ve gone one better than that and we are pleased to announce that we have a password scheme available for any tenant who wants to use it.

If you need any help registering on the Resident’s Portal, please contact us on 0800 183 5757. Keep up to date with the latest news and events on Facebook and Twitter Like us: Follow us: @PennafHGroup

How to create a strong password Create a unique password that’s unrelated to your personal information and uses a combination of letters, numbers and symbols. For example, you can select a random word or phrase and insert letters and numbers into the beginning, middle and end to make it extra difficult to guess. So, if your phrase was “Bradford is thirty two miles from Manchester” the password would be Bi32mfM. You can also substitute characters for symbols, numbers or punctuation. For example: Christmas, then becomes Chr1stm4s.

If you have a password we can use it as an extra security check when discussing confidential issues with you on the telephone. Similarly we will share the password with PenAlyn operatives and external contractors so that you can check the identity of anybody calling to your home. If you would like to take advantage of the password scheme call the customer service team on 0800 1835757 or 01745 536800 and we will update your records with a password of your choice.

TPAS Awards Residents from across North Wales celebrated success at the annual Tenant Participation Advisory Service (TPAS) Cymru awards in July. The awards recognise best practice among Staff and Residents, honouring their achievements. Our Quality Partners, (residents who have been trained to inspect the services we provide) won the Improving Services Award, beating off heavy competition from across Wales in the process. Gareth Hughes-Roberts, Community Involvement Officer for Clwyd Alyn said: “Our Quality Partners have been in existence since 2004 and continue to work closely with staff to audit service delivery from the perspective of the customer” adding, “they are excellent ambassadors for resident Involvement at Clwyd Alyn. Their unstinting commitment to auditing the services that the Association provides, making recommendations for improvement and working with Staff to make these happen, has provided an invaluable service for all our residents”.

Residents and Staff from across North Wales were recognised for their commitment to the ‘Digital by Default’ initiative by winning the Digital Involvement award “Clwyd Alyn has developed a ‘Digital by Default’ programme of informal support sessions, working with partner agencies to listen to Residents and empower them to overcome any barriers to make the most of new technologies and the response has been really amazing,” said Louise Blackwell, Community Development Officer. “We are absolutely delighted that TPAS Cymru have recognised the commitment and enthusiasm of our partners and the Residents themselves for helping with this initiative.

Residents and Staff from Greenbank Villas in Flintshire won the Participation in Housing Related Support award. The scheme supports people who have either experienced homelessness or been at risk of becoming homeless, offering them safe accommodation and support from staff which is individually tailored to the needs of each Resident. Debbie Davies, Senior Project Officer at Greenbank Villas congratulated all who contributed to activities and initiatives at the scheme. “Winning this award really endorses the way staff build rapport and engage effectively with residents. We’d also like to thank all the partner organisations and local businesses who support so many of our activities during the year”. As well as winning the ‘Participation in Housing Related Support’ the staff at Greenbank Villas were also runner-up for the Team of the Year award.

Clwyd Alyn Housing Association Residents’ Newsletter - Winter 2016 13

Competition Time!

Complete the word search, spot the difference and answer the questions, cut them out and simply post them to us, along with your full name and address to be entered into a prize draw to win a £25 shopping voucher. Three winners will be selected. All entries must be in by Friday 6 January 2017. Remember you don’t need a stamp!


Word Search S D C O N T E N T S S














Please answer the following questions (you’ll find the answers within the newsletter) and send it along with your competition entry in order to be entered into the prize draw. 1. How many apartments will be in the new Extra Care Scheme Hafan Cefni? 2. From what date does the Benefit Cap get reduced for couples and lone parents living outside of Greater London? 3. What is the Pennaf Housing Group Facebook address?

1 ………………............................................................. 2 ………………............................................................. 3 ……………….............................................................

Spot The Difference

There are five differences – can you spot them? Circle the five differences on photo two.

Name …………………………………………………..............

Address …………………………………………………..........



Email …………………………………………………....................

Tel/Mob................ …………………………………………....

Living - Residents' Newsletter - Winter 2016