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Pillar

A newsletter from Severnside Housing

Summer 2014

Bob the Play Bus – page 3

Cover photo – Emily Swift, Lela Radcliffe, Jack Sabin-Burns, Edge Abboh, Oscar Morgan-McCarry, Dihanne Price, Katie Garrett, Conner Morgan-McCarry and Amy Morgan-McCarry.

Respect & Responsibility Roadshow – page 5

Prince’s Trust Programme – pag

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ent Developm ge 10 pa Update –


Community Chest Fund

Over the past few months, a number of groups have benefited from our Community Chest fund which was set up to support local voluntary, community and recreational groups working in the local area.

One of the projects the Community Chest has supported is West Mercia Police’s Urban Challenge. The aim of the project is for the police to actively engage and build relationships with local children, aged between 10 and 16, living in the Castlefields and Ditherington areas of Shrewsbury.

Through community projects, such as litter picking and gardening, the police break down any barriers that may exist between them and the children and provide them with positive community experiences. The police encourage the children to look after, and take pride in the area where they live, and other people in their community. The children who make a commitment to the project and actively get involved will be rewarded with fun activities designed to keep them fit and healthy. The Urban Challenge Project will be run over the summer holidays; a time when

children can become bored and antisocial behaviour (ASB) has a tendency to rise. PC Andrew Gardner, who is responsible for organising the project, has previous experience of running this project, in a different location, where he can evidence a substantial drop in expected ASB levels.

The picture above shows Jay Williams, Jade Dyer, Cameron Jones, Mark Wall and Edge Abboh, Community Development Officer at Severnside presenting the Community Chest Fund cheque to PC Andrew Gardner with Damion Power, Louis Mellor and CSO Jennifer Randall.

We are interested to hear from any group or club who think they may have an eligible project. It’s really easy to apply – you can call into our offices or visit our website www.severnsidehousing.co.uk/chest to find out more and complete an application form.

Severnside’s 2014 Learning Programme Launch Success

Severnside launched its 2014 Learning Programme in March; a skills and training programme designed to help residents gain new skills, get back into work and deal with Welfare Reform changes. The launch event, held at the Shrewsbury Central Baptist Church, attracted 170 visitors and a staggering 274 courses were booked on the day! If you have not already heard about our Learning Programme, it’s packed full of free short courses and training events covering a diverse range of subjects – from improving your Maths and English to basic sketching and drawing. There really is something for everyone no matter what your age or ability.

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Resident, Roslyn Dutton with Dan Sargeant from the Digital Den.

You can download a copy of our 2014 Learning Programme online at www.severnsidehousing. co.uk or request a copy by contacting the Community Development Team on 0300 300 0059 or email community@severnsidehousing.co.uk


Bob the Play Bus Severnside is proud to sponsor Bob the Play Bus which can be regularly seen out and about in Shropshire! Bob is a double-decker bus fully equipped with a soft play area, sand pit, fancy dress station, paint and create area and is jam-packed full of toys. This summer, staff from our Community Development Team are going to be hopping on the bus to join in the fun and games and offer advice and information on: OUR VISION: • How we can help you into work • Welfare Reform changes “Excellent homes • Our services and ways to get involved • Our 2014 Learning Programme communities” • Energy Saving Advice

in thriving Emily Swift and Lela Radcliffe enjoying the bus.

So, why not jump on board and have some fun with us on: Tuesday 10th June, Tuesday 8th July, Tuesday 12th August 9:30am – 11.30am 12:30pm – 2:30pm

Red Lion Car Park, Bomere Heath Kynaston Community Centre, Harlescott Grange

Thursday 26th June, Thursday 24th July, Thursday 21st August 9.30am – 11.30am 12.30pm – 2.30pm

Play leader Dihanne Price on the Bus with Katie Garrett.

Caradoc View, Hanwood Corner of Wingfield Close/Gardens, Ditherington

We will be adding more dates during the summer holidays so please visit our website – www.severnsidehousing.co.uk to find out more. You can also call the Community Development Team on 0300 300 0059 or email community@severnsidehousing.co.uk for further information.

Annual Gardening Competition Do you have a passion for plants and love nothing more than pottering around in the garden? Our annual gardening competition recognises and rewards residents who make the most of their outside space. This year we have 8 different categories that you can enter, which are listed to the right. Each category offers a first prize of £50 and a second prize of £25.

We also choose one overall winner who receives £100 and gets to keep the trophy for a year. Categories: • Large garden • Small/medium garden • Sheltered housing garden • Containers • Flats/balcony • Children’s garden (aged up to 16 years) • Vegetable garden • First-time entrants

2014 Gardening Competition Entry Form

To enter simply complete the form below and return it to us by Friday 27th June. All entries will be judged on Friday 1st August and winners will be invited to a special presentation lunch. Good Luck! To enter please cut out this form and to return it to: Elaine Porter, Severnside Housing, Brassey Road, Old Potts Way, Shrewsbury, SY3 7FA

Name:................................................................................................. Age:............................... Address:...................................................................................................................................... Postcode:................................................ Tel Number:............................................................... Category Entered (Please select from the list):..............................................................................

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Cycle Fun! Cycling is a great way of keeping fit and healthy and having fun with all the family. With summer here, maybe it’s time to dust off your bike and get out in the fresh air and enjoy the beautiful sights around Shropshire. Whether cycling becomes a day to day activity or just an occasional adventure, it really is a great way for you and your family to enjoy life.

Did you know? • Cycling is an exercise for everybody from toddler to pensioner; practically everyone can enjoy the health benefits of cycling with the right equipment. • Many cyclists report that cycling regularly reduces their perceived levels of stress and promotes relaxation. • Cycling is a low impact exercise – kinder on your joints than running and other high impact aerobic activities. • Cycling is one of the easiest ways to fit exercise into your daily routine because it doubles as transport. It’s

also a great way to save money on fuel. • Regular cycling improves balance and co-ordination. • Cycling helps children become healthier, happier, more confident and independent. • Brisk cycling burns around 500 calories per hour, helping to control weight.

Before you get started remember to be safe! Make sure you wear a helmet and high visibility clothing. It’s also really important that your bike is in tip top condition. We offer basic and intermediate bike

maintenance courses, free of charge, through the Learning Programme and Shropshire Council also offer bike maintenance courses. You can find lots of useful information on Shropshire Council’s travel website – www.travelshropshire.co.uk/cycling. The website has links to cycling events throughout Shropshire, you can apply for a cycle discount card, plan your cycle journey, book a bike maintenance course and much more. To book one of our bike maintenance courses simply call 0300 300 0059 and speak to the Community Development Team or email community@ severnsidehousing.co.uk

DAWN’S SENATE BLOG So summer has finally arrived and all those cold winter days are a distant memory. Many of you will be making changes to the garden for it to achieve its best and here at the Senate we have been doing exactly the same.

During the spring we spent a great deal of time preparing for the coming year. Our communication project has been completed and the results presented to both the Board and other tenants. A couple of highlights were that the Digital Den is a hit with everyone and the use of texting is also becoming more widely accepted, with many of you finding it great to receive texts as a reminder for appointments, etc. Throughout the project we found that by embracing new technology e.g. website and texting, Severnside is able to keep in touch with many more of us, which is a great result.

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Everyone at the Senate is fully aware of the need for a new, up-to-date Tenants’ Handbook and we have been involved in making this a reality. The handbook is well underway to being completed and should be available by the end of the year. It is going to contain all the information that we, as tenants, need to have close to hand and can be used as a point of reference. I look forward to hearing what you think about this.

Our current projects are well under way and I am passionate that all Senate projects/scrutiny are relevant to us, as tenants. Never before have we been able to find information about our landlord and have a more workable relationship. All of us involved in a resident group, whether it’s Senate, Resident Inspectors or Customer Panel are all working towards having a more transparent, accountable relationship with Severnside. I would, therefore, urge anyone reading this, who is thinking about joining us to become involved to create better services and be

a voice for other tenants – please get involved!! I have been a member of the Senate since it was created and I find it worthwhile, informative and fun. If you just fancy finding out more about the work of the Senate get in touch, I am more than happy to chat. You can contact me at senate@ severnsidehousing.co.uk or telephone 01743 285035. Have a great summer and enjoy the long evenings.

Summer 2014


We helped Veronica save money on her energy bills In the last edition of Pillar we told you that Severnside had been awarded £7,000 Customer, from the Big Energy Saving Veronica Hill Network Fund managed by the Department of Energy & Climate Change and that some of the money was to be used to host tailor-made Big Energy Saving Events. These sessions are designed to help you and people in the local community reduce energy costs by providing energy advice. So far, we have helped lots of customers save money and Veronica would like to share her story with you.

I received an invite to attend a Big Energy Saving Event that was being held by Severnside. I decided to attend to see if I could save money by switching my energy provider. Due to mobility issues I had not been able to take meter readings for some time and I was concerned that my energy bills were increasing and were difficult to understand. After attending the event, Marianne from Severnside’s Community Development Team organised a home visit. During the home visit Marianne reviewed my bills and it became clear that my gas and electricity bills were being estimated. Marianne read my meters and rang my energy supplier. I was absolutely delighted to hear that I was £200 in credit; which they agreed to send back to me straight away. The supplier also confirmed that I was not on the best tariff and that if I switched I could save £149.00 a year. I didn’t want to make a commitment at this point and Marianne agreed to come out and see me again. On Marianne’s second visit, after carrying out a comparison search online, I decided to stay with my existing supplier, but I switched to a new tariff which will now save me £25 per month on my gas and electricity bill. They have also agreed to add me to something called the Priority Register where they will help me with my meter readings. I found the Big Energy Event really helpful and the one-to-one sessions with Marianne really useful. I would strongly recommend other residents to attend the sessions and save money on their energy bills.

Respect & Responsibility Roadshow for all Severnside Staff, Board Directors and Customer Representatives recently attended a tailor-made ‘Respect & Responsibility Roadshow’ created to ensure that we continue to deliver excellent customer service and to reinforce our core values which are: Integrity – we will be honest, truthful and trustworthy with customers, partners and staff. Accountable – we will be open, transparent and responsible in and for all of our actions. Fair – we will act in an ethical manner, embracing and celebrating diversity and ensuring probity. Respectful – we will treat customers, partners and staff with care and respect. Effective – we will deliver creative and innovative solutions. Partnership – we will work with customers and partners in a professional, efficient and supportive way to achieve our objectives. The vibrant and interactive sessions, that were thought provoking, challenging and fun, were delivered by Theatre&; a national, award winning drama-based training company. Swati Jha, Training & Development Co-ordinator at Severnside commented,“Equality and Diversity is fundamental to our business to ensure we consider the diverse needs of our customers, staff and stakeholders and that we meet these needs wherever possible. Feedback has been really excellent.” Russell Watters from Theatre& added, “With our extensive experience delivering drama based training within the housing sector, Theatre& were delighted to work with Severnside Housing to develop a values led equality and diversity programme. The training used specially written scenarios, reflecting real life situations, and drama based training techniques to build confidence and understanding around equality issues while positively reinforcing Severnside’s values driven approach.”

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DO YOU KNOW WHO YOUR NEIGHBOURHOOD OFFICER IS?

South Team

Elliott Davies Areas: Belle Vue, Bicton, Bicton Heath, Coleham, Copthorne, Cound, Cound Moor, Cressage, Cross Houses, Frankwell, Harley, Racecourse, Town Centre

Kevin Hopkins Areas: Annscroft, Bayston Hill, Belvidere, Cardington, Condover, Dorrington, Hook-a-Gate, Leebotwood, Longnor, Meole Brace, Pulverbatch, Reabrook

North Team

Richard Potter - Senior Neighbourhood Officer Areas: Atcham, Broseley, Buildwas, Eaton Constantine, Rushton, Uckington, Uppington, Upton Magna, Wroxeter

Jenny Dodd Areas: Cruckton, Bomere Heath, Ford, Monkmoor (including Woodcote Way and Judith Butts Gardens)

Easter fun! Residents from Seabury and Cross Laura Betton Houses sheltered schemes got Areas: Armdale, Coton Hill, together over the Easter period Halfway House, Hanwood, to hold a traditional Easter Bonnet Lea Cross, Minsterley, Plealey, Parade. Residents had a lovely Pontesbury, Springfield, Wallop time showing their bonnets and eating hot cross buns. They also raised ÂŁ27 for the Severn Hospice by holding a raffle. An Easter Skype quiz was also held between teams at four locations; Bomere Heath, Forest Way and New Park House sheltered schemes and the Cyber Cafe which attracted 31 residents. Resident Carol Coffey and Josh Lewis. Raffles were held at each venue, the proceeds of which went into a charity pot that will go to the Shrewsbury Food Bank at the end of the year.

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Mark Pragg - Senior Neighbourhood Officer Areas: Alberbury, Grafton, Kinton, Little Ness, Montford Bridge, Nesscliffe, Shrawardine

Amanda Gray Areas: Greenacres, Harlescott Grange,

Trisha Welsh Areas: Astley, Greenacres, Harlescott Meadows, Upper Astley

Dave Roberts Areas: Castlefields, Ditherington, Greenacres, Old Heath

Our Allocations Team let over 500 homes during 2013/14 - our highest ever number!

Pamper Days

Severnside joined together with Carnelian Hair & Beauty Service to host a series of pamper days at communal rooms at a number of our sheltered housing schemes. The pamper days, jointly funded by Severnside and Shropshire Council’s Local Joint Committee, gave residents the opportunity to socialise and have fun whilst enjoying beauty treatments, including mini facials and manicures. The pamper days were also a great opportunity for two beauty students from Radbrook College to practice their skills and gain valuable work experience. The pamper days were free to residents and feedback from everyone who came along was that they had a lovely relaxing time. Resident Olive Thompson with student Imi Weeks and Michelle Croy from Carnelian Hair & Beauty.


My name is Darren and I have been a Severnside tenant for 18 years, but did not become an active involved tenant until about 3 years ago when one of my neighbours suggested I go along to a STAR (Severnside Tenants and Residents) meeting.

STAR LETTER

I joined the group and also became one of the founder members of the Resident Inspectors, a group of volunteer residents who carry out inspections and checks on the services Severnside provides to its customers. I became Vice-Chair of the group and then later went on to Chair it. I also attended Customer Panel and learned a lot about Severnside and how it operates. Having been a single parent for 15 years, staying at home to bring up my daughter, getting involved at Severnside gave me structure to my life and was a great confidence builder. I had previously worked as a carpenter/joiner and for the last 3 years I was also trying to find employment. I had previously suffered from bouts of anxiety and agitation and had received medical treatment for a period of time. Working as a Resident Inspector gave me new skills and helped me to overcome this. I gave presentations to different groups including the Council Leaders Board and to other tenants and staff at Severnside, something I would never have thought I could do. While I was Chair of the Inspectors, we worked as a partner to the Council on 2 projects, Gusto (activities for older people) and the Troubled Families Initiative and was really proud when we won an award from the Tenant Participation Advisory Service. I learned a number of new skills including researching information and auditing and improved my I.T. knowledge to be able to produce reports on the inspections we carried out. My communication skills improved including letter writing and generally dealing with a wide range of people from different backgrounds. I learned how to remain professional and show empathy in many different situations. When it came to finding a job, I realised that I would need help, as I had not had an interview for a long time, so I attended the Severnside Learning Programme workshop on Interview Skills. The workshop was excellent and I believe that putting into practice what I learned there was responsible for me going for 2 interviews and being offered both jobs. I also think that being able to say at the interviews that I had been involved in volunteering made a huge difference. Employers are impressed that you have not just sat at home doing nothing but have taken the time and effort to work as a volunteer and improve your skills and knowledge. I have now been in my new job for several months and I really like it. I enjoy my work and put my success down to getting involved as a resident of Severnside. Darren Norman

WIN

£25

If you’ve got something you want tell us, ask us, or share with us please write to us at: Pillar Letters Page, Severnside Housing, Brassey Road, Old Potts Way, Shrewsbury, SY3 7FA or email: pillar@severnsidehousing.co.uk. Although it will not be possible to publish every letter we receive, we will send you a personal response and the Star Letter writer will receive £25.

We offer cash incentives to our customers who downsize. You could receive £700 for downsizing by one bedroom and £1,000 for downsizing by two or more bedrooms. Why not give Rachel Mountford, our new Decant Officer, a call and she will explain how our incentive scheme works. She can also give you advice if you are overcrowded and need a bigger home by putting you in touch with Homeswapper. You can contact Rachel on 0300 300 0059 or email rachel.mountford@ Rachel Mountford severnsidehousing.co.uk

well! Thank you atnWaydinFSharewre sbury held a

Residents and staff at Fores nk Gwen Johnstone to say tha surprise farewell party for s and dedication. Gwen ha you for all her hard work for unal Room at Forest Way volunteered at the Comm g coffee mornings, bingo a number of years organisin get encouraging residents to evenings and charity raffles, g ve fun. Gwen who is movin together to socialise and ha to her family out of the area to be closer will be missed by all her friends who want to wish her well and good luck in her new home. Edge Abboh (Severnside), Gwen Johnstone and Jenny Dodd (Severnside).

Your Data

Severnside’s Customer Services Team are undertaking a Census Project and will be making contact with you to update your information. This includes basic information like telephone numbers and email addresses and also includes more personal data like who is living at your address, ethnic origin and disability. The collecting and updating of data helps to keep us informed about the best way to contact you. Also, with the introduction of the Welfare Reform, we can recognise who may be under occupying or over occupying their property, so we can try and support the challenges this can present. Sharing information, for example, on disability or first language enables us to recognise individual customer needs and helps us understand when we may need to offer alternative ways of communication. All personal data will be processed in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998. If you have any concerns about being contacted, or know your information is out of date then please contact the Customer Services Team on 0300 300 0059 or enquiries@severnsidehousing.co.uk

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Repairs Service Severnside provides a repairs and maintenance service 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Most of our repairs are carried out by appointment in normal working time from 8.30am to 5.00pm but we also provide an out of hours service for emergency repairs from 5.00pm to 8.30am.

• Do our core opening hours for repairs between 8.30am and 5.00pm suit you? • How important would it be to you if we reintroduce extended hours / evening appointments? • If we offered appointments for repairs on Saturday mornings would you use them?

In the past we have offered • Would extended hours extended working time, on a (evenings or Saturday couple of days a week, where the mornings) increase your last appointment could be booked satisfaction with the repairs at 4.30pm. This meant that repair service? work would normally finish by 6.30pm. This extended working • If extended hours cost more time was introduced in 2007/08 to provide, where do you think but was not used very much so it we could make cost savings to was discontinued. cover these costs? We are now reviewing the times Please tell us what you think using the at which we complete repairs and contact details below: we would like your views please. We are not planning to make any Repairs Opening Hours, Severnside changes without finding out what Housing, c/o Ian Gardner, Asset Management Director, Knights you think and without working out how much any changes might Way, Battlefield Enterprise Park, Shrewsbury, SY1 3AB cost. To begin with we would like you to consider the following Or email melanie.odonoghue@ questions please: severnsidehousing.co.uk

Complaints End of Year Summary Between the 1st April 2013 and the 31st March 2014 we received a total of 46 complaints, which was less than the previous year. Of these complaints, most were about repairs and communication, with repairs being the higher of the two. Overall, we are delighted to report that most complaints were resolved at Stage 1 of our Complaints Process, with only two complaints reaching Stage 2 and two complaints reaching Stage 3. We have targets to meet regarding resolving complaints, specifically relating to resolving complaints at Stage 1 and also that customers receive their replies on time. We are pleased to report that we reached our target of 95% to resolve customer complaints at Stage 1, but are disappointed to report that we did not reach our target to reply to all of our customers on time. What will we do to improve? • Identify why we are late in replying. • Continue to identify the most common complaints. • Auditors will be carrying out a full review of our complaints process. • Design a new recording system to improve learning from complaints.

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Niggles We now record customers’ niggles – these are when customers let us know they are not happy but do not want us to log a formal complaint. We will report on this in the next edition of Pillar.

Justice Corner Welcome to Justice Corner where we keep you updated on what we are doing to tackle anti-social behaviour (ASB). We continue to work closely with all our partners and regularly meet to see how we can reduce crime in Shropshire, ensuring we deliver our vision of ‘Excellent homes in thriving communities’. As reported in the last edition of Pillar we continue to obtain Anti-Social Behaviour Injunctions with Power of Arrest attached. These injunctions are not only against our residents but also private tenants. When we obtain an injunction the Police are notified and we write and tell everyone in the immediate area what is happening. Injunctions also exclude perpetrators from certain areas. Should an injunction be breached, and the Police are notified, the perpetrator will immediately be arrested and taken back to Court for the Judge to determine whether a fine or imprisonment is appropriate. Injunctions are fast and effective and deliver an extremely powerful message to the perpetrator that their behaviour will not be tolerated.

What’s new…

The new Anti-social Behaviour Crime and Policing Act 2014 received Royal Assent on the 13th March 2014. This new Act, which will be brought into force in stages, will give Social Landlords, Local Authorities and the Police new powers to tackle anti-social behaviour. We are currently awaiting further information from the Government on its implementation. Once we receive further news we will let you know through Justice Corner – so please watch this space!

Remember... by us all working together we can

make a difference. If you witness or experience anti-social behaviour please call the ASB reporting line on

0345 6789020 – we are here to help and support you.


Estate Walkabouts Walkabouts are led by your local Neighbourhood Officer, along with representatives from the Council, the Police and other partner agencies. The 2014 Estate Walkabout programme can be viewed on our website along with action plans which are drawn up following each walkabout, visit: www.severnsidehousing.co.uk Please come along and join us for a walk around the area you live in and point out any issues or concerns you may have. In the last edition of Pillar we asked for residents to volunteer to help monitor the levels of service being provided

by our new grounds maintenance contractors. We are delighted to say that 10 residents volunteered. They have already received training and are out and about surveying their neighbourhoods and sending in reports. Date June 18th June 25th July 23rd August 13th August 27th

Time 2.00pm 2.00pm 10.30am 10.30am 10.30am

September 10th 10.30am

If you are interested in getting involved please call the Community Development Team on 0300 300 0059 or email community@ severnsidehousing.co.uk

Location Ford Nesscliffe Meole Monkmoor 1 Castlefields Harlescott Grange 1

Prince’s Trust

Meeting place West View Community Centre Garage Site at the Crescent The Meet Place Porchfield Community Centre Outside Spar Shop, New Park Road Kynaston Road Community Centre

At Severnside we are passionate about providing young people with opportunities to help them gain employment, further education and training or become involved in volunteering.

On completing the programme you will gain the following:

delighted with the beautiful communal area they have created.

• Community Skills Certificate

One of the ways we do this is by teaming up with the Prince’s Trust and the City of Wolverhampton College to deliver an award winning team programme in Shrewsbury.

• Residential Completion

So why not join up and make a positive change to your life. This completely free programme is open to Severnside residents and anyone living in the wider-community. So if you know anyone who might be interested please pass on our details.

If you are aged between 16 and 25, our 12 week programme offers you the chance to gain work experience, become involved in community projects and take part in a fantastic action-packed residential week away from home. The fantastic news is that it’s FREE!

• First Aid Certificate • Level 2 Food Hygiene Certificate • Health & Safety Awareness Pictured above, you can see our current group of recruits. As part of their 12 week programme they volunteered to regenerate the communal gardens at Coppice Walk in Shrewsbury. Plants, turf, compost, gardening equipment and 2 beautiful benches were very kindly donated to the project by B&Q in Shrewsbury. The residents are absolutely

For further information please contact Edge Abboh on 0300 300 0059 or email community@severnsidehousing.co.uk Pictured above, back row: Tom Taylor, Karen Baker (Team Leaders), Rob Needham, Jake Saville, Josh Hope, Daniel Harris, Edge Abboh (Severnside), Geoff Webb (B&Q Manager), Neil Bridges, Adam Churm, Steve Smout, Dean Purvis. Front row: Lorraine Cox, Megan Jones, Luke Devine Turner, Jamie Adams, Kate Hancox (Local Resident) and Eilish Kincla.

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ask you whether the actions we have taken have been useful, have involved the right people and the information we have produced has been clear and understandable. During our interactive sessions we also invited tenants to comment on the quality and effectiveness of what we have done in the past 12 months and asked them to help us think about how we can continue to improve our services and communication ready for when further changes, such as Universal Credit, are introduced in Shropshire.

The Big Welfare Reform Challenge We are now 12 months on from the introduction of the first Welfare Reform changes and whilst we can not change Government policy, we want to ensure that we continue to do everything we can to support you through the significant challenges a large number of you are facing. In March we invited tenants to a Big Welfare Reform Challenge Event to

We would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who took part. We really found the feedback extremely helpful. So what did we learn?

• There is a need to increase the current number of hours that our job clubs run to help you access ways in which to search and apply for jobs.

You told us that: • Overall, Severnside was helpful and supportive of tenants and residents facing Welfare Reform.

• We can improve our communication by including easy reading versions of information to help you fully understand when you are affected and where support is available. • The information was good and helped you to understand the changes or If you would like to add your where you could go for help. feedback please contact the Community Development • The training through the Learning Team on 0300 300 0059 or email Programme and the job clubs is community@severnsidehousing.co.uk excellent.

Development update We continue to build much needed new homes across the local area. Work recently commenced at two of our larger sites:

Soulton Road, Wem – Richard Bowler (Shropshire Homes), Peter Broomhall (Wem Rural Parish Council), Nick Wood (Shropshire Council), Mal Price (Shropshire Council), Helen Pugh (Severnside).

Soulton Road, Wem Work started in March 2014 to build 23 new affordable homes in Soulton Road, Wem. The 16 month build programme will provide 20 houses and 3 bungalows for affordable rent and shared ownership for the local rural community of Wem. A proportion of the funding has been secured in partnership with Wem Rural Parish Council from Shropshire Council’s community-led funds and also the Homes and Communities Agency.

Heaths Houses, Shrewsbury Demolition work commenced in early April 2014 on Heaths Houses

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in Shrewsbury, a former sheltered housing scheme, to make way for an exciting development of 41 new homes. The redevelopment will provide 32 flats and 9 houses for social and market rent, shared ownership and open market sale. The demolition work marked the start of an 18 month build programme.

Heaths Houses – Michael Sambrook (SJ Roberts Construction Ltd), Sepp Sargeant (Severnside), Sarah Boden (Severnside).


GAS SAFETY CHECKS Severnside has a legal responsibility to carry out an annual gas inspection at every one of our homes with a gas supply.

Thinking of buying your own home? As you may know, there have been some changes to the Right to Buy legislation so, if you are thinking about buying your home, this information may be helpful. Under the Right to Buy legislation there are two schemes. A brief summary of each is listed below.

It’s really important that you let our contractor PH Jones in to do the gas service, so if we call you to arrange a gas safety check, please make sure you are in for the appointment.

Right to Acquire The Right to Acquire allows most housing association tenants to buy their home at a discount. To qualify, you must have been a tenant of Severnside or a public sector landlord such as Shropshire Council, for at least five years.

Remember everyone who lets our gas contractors have first time access to their home will be entered into a monthly prize draw to win £50.

There are certain restrictions on buying under this scheme. For example, you cannot buy the property if it is in a rural area or is in a sheltered housing scheme. The discount that is available varies depending on where your property is located – in Shrewsbury it is £10,000.

Unfortunately, if we cannot get access to your property to carry out these important gas safety checks, we will take legal action to gain entry. Please contact PH Jones on Freephone 0800 316 2104 or from a mobile 01743 719051 if you think you need a Gas Safety Check.

Right to Buy If you were a tenant of Shrewsbury and Atcham Council and your tenancy transferred to Severnside and you have remained a tenant without any break, you may have the Right to Buy.

Please let us carry out a gas safety check in your home – it could save your life!

The maximum discount for a house is 70% of its value (subject to a maximum overall discount of £75,000). To find out more about the Right to Acquire and Right to Buy please visit www.severnsidehousing.co.uk/RTB or telephone 0300 300 0059 for an information leaflet.

SPOT THE DIFFERENCE COMPETITION If you are aged 15 or under try our spot the difference competition for a chance to win a £25 shopping voucher. Circle the 10 differences on the right picture, fill in your details below and send your entry to us by Friday 1st August 2014.

Send your entries to: Name ................................................................................. Age ............... Pillar Competitions, Address ................................................................................................... Severnside Housing, Brassey Road, ..................................................... Telephone .......................................... Old Potts Way, Shrewsbury SY3 7FA

WIN

£25

Congratulations to Isabel McBride who won the Easter colouring competition in the last edition of Pillar.

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Summer wordsearch Find the ten summer themed words to be in with a chance to win a £25 shopping voucher. Send us your entries by Friday 1st August 2014. The first correct entry drawn will win the prize. Send to: Pillar Competitions, Severnside Housing, Brassey Road, Old Potts Way, Shrewsbury SY3 7FA. Name .................................................... .............................................................. Address ................................................. ..............................................................

S U P W A L K I N G B G

U M T I L K I M G N A A

M G I F C Y W I T R R N

M A H T E N L C D Q B D

E H O L O W I E O L E L

R E L A X U N C H S C A

G A I F T Y T R W C U R

P O D L A S W E L V E U

W L A K I A O A E J L M

Z X Y Z D L U M R I T D

WIN

£25 K S E A S I D E D K O E

C O J N S R O O D T U O

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Find these 10 words:

Postcode ................................................

Holiday Summer Garden

Telephone ..............................................

If you would like any more information about Severnside Housing, please contact us: Write to us Severnside Housing, Brassey Road, Old Potts Way, Shrewsbury, Shropshire SY3 7FA Ring us 01743 285000 or 0300 300 0059 Email us enquiries@severnsidehousing.co.uk Visit our website www.severnsidehousing.co.uk Find us on Facebook www.facebook.com/severnsidehousing Follow us on Twitter @severnsideha

Seaside Relax Ice Cream

Picnic Barbecue Outdoors Walking

Congratulations to Miss Jane Davies who won the Wordsearch competition in the last edition of Pillar.

Severnside Housing provides a telephone interpreting service for more than 150 languages and can provide this document in a range of formats. ´ potrzebna jest jakakolwiek Jesli pomoc w zrozumieniu niniejszego dokumentu, lub potrzebne jest tumaczenie na inny jezyk, prosze o telefon na numer 0300 300 0059. Os hoffech gael cymorth i ddeall y ddogfen yma, neu os hoffech gael ei chyfieithu i iaith arall, ffoniwch 0300 300 0059.

This document is also available in:

Large print

Audio tape

Braille

Different Languages

Printed on paper from sustainable forests with FSC mixed source credit.

Useful Contact Numbers Customer Services: 0300 300 0059 Out of Hours Repairs: 01743 360945 WELbeing: 01323 644422 ASB reporting line: 0345 6789020

PH Jones (Gas Servicing): 0800 316 2104 or 01743 719051 from Mobile

Andy Walters Electrical Contractors: 01743 247850 or Out of Hours: 07870 238006

Pillar Summer 2014  

A quarterly newsletter for the residents of Severnside Housing

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