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Stockport at home Stockport Homes’ Customer Newsletter

Issue 29: Summer 2012

n o s w e Vi e v o M the

! n i e m t n Cou Stockport Homes’ staff will be out in the community this summer, so why not join us? See PAGE 3 for details.

In this issue... STAR Awards Nominations 2012

Free football event for 8-14 year olds

PAGE 7

PAGE 24


Features inside... Stockport at home

Changes to Housing Benefit

Welcome on Board

4-5

8

Make sure your home is gas safe

13

17

Companies with big hearts

21

work solutions Want to get into work?

14

Charges for damaging your property

Useful telephone numbers

Stockport Homes’ contacts Anti-social behaviour (ASB) Out-of-hours number

0161 474 3840

ASB Team (Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm)

0161 218 1498

Governance Team

0161 474 2850

Homechoice (bidding line)

0161 474 4567

Homechoice (enquiries)

0161 474 2975

Carecall 0161 218 1655

Homechoice Support Service

0161 474 2975

Customer Feedback

0161 474 2600

Housing Options Team

0161 474 4237

Customer Finance automated payment line

0161 474 4050

Housing Support Point

0161 474 3719

Customer Finance Team (east area)

0161 474 2677

Customer Finance Team (west area)

0161 474 2668

Customer Involvement Team 0161 474 2862 East Area Housing Office 0161 474 4372

2

Stockport at home - Summer 2012 Issue 29

Investment Programme 0161 474 4407 hotline Leasehold Officer

0161 218 1364

Repairs

0161 217 6016

Resettlement Team

0161 474 3772

Sheltered Housing Service

0161 218 1736

West Area Housing Office

0161 474 4371

www.stockporthomes.org


Free summer events in your community

Views on the Move

! n i e m t Coun

The ‘Views on the move’ trailer is going back out on the road this summer. Make sure you come along, have your say and take advantage of the freebies and prizes on offer including: • • • •

a chance for adults to win £100 when you fill in a short survey; a drawing competition for children with art goodies as prizes; blow up beach balls and lipsalves; and free drinks and snacks.

‘Views on the move’ is a chance for you to give your opinions on local services and find out how you and Stockport Homes can work together to improve your area. For details about where the trailer will be and when, log onto www.stockporthomes.org/ roadshow or ‘like us’ on Facebook. For more information, please contact the Customer Involvement Team on 0161 474 2862 or email customer.involvement@stockporthomes.org

Offerton Community Centre, 10am – 3pm Events area next to First House, Brinnington, 10am – 3pm Mottram Estate, Ripon Close, 10am – 3pm No roadshow on this day Councillor Lane Estate / shops, 10am – 12pm Walnut Tree Estate, 1pm – 3pm Didsbury Road Estate, Norris Bank (Layby on Craig Road), 10am – 3pm Monday 6 August Adswood Community Centre Car Park, 10am – 3pm Tuesday 7 August Wednesday 8 August Poets Corner, North Reddish, Churchill Crescent, 10am – 3pm Gotheridge Lane / Tangshutt Park, Romiley, 10am – 3pm Thursday 9 August St. Peter’s Square, 11am – 2pm Friday 10 August Monday 30 July Tuesday 31 July Wednesday 1 August Thursday 2 August Friday 3 August

www.stockporthomes.org

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Welfare Reform special Changes to Housing Benefit Are you of working age and have any spare bedrooms? From April 2013, the amount of Housing Benefit (HB) paid to working age tenants who have spare bedrooms in their homes will be reduced. If you are of working age, and have a spare room, you will have your HB reduced if you are: • single, and live in a two (or more) bedroomed property; • a couple living alone in a two (or more) bedroomed property; or • a family in a three (or more) bedroomed property if you have children of the same sex aged under 16 or children of mixed gender aged under 10.

At the moment, you will lose around £12 to £22 per week, depending on how many spare rooms you have. If you are worried about how these changes will affect you, why not consider our Joint Tenancy (below) or Downsizing Schemes (page 5)?

Could you cut your housing costs in half?* You can if you live in a two or three bedroomed flat at Lancashire Hill, or in a tower block in Brinnington. You now have the option of sharing your tenancy which could cut your housing costs in half*. It is up to you if you want to share your tenancy. If you live on your own, you can apply to become a joint tenant. This may be with another person who already lives with you or is planning to move in. We are encouraging people to share because working age tenants with spare bedrooms will have their Housing Benefit reduced from April 2013. *By sharing a tenancy, it is possible to halve rent, service charges, fuel costs and water rates. 4

For more information, please contact your Area Housing Office (see page 2 for contact details) or visit www.stockporthomes.org/joint

Stockport at home - Summer 2012 Issue 29

www.stockporthomes.org


Did you know that over 60 households have already moved to smaller, more manageable homes? Receive if you move to a smaller home

They have seen big reductions in their household costs and have moved ahead of the changes planned in Housing Benefit for 2013 (see page 4 for details.) If you are a secure Stockport Homes tenant living in a house and you want to move to a smaller flat, maisonette or bungalow* (not another house) you can get lots of help to find a property, and ** could also get a cash incentive of up to ÂŁ500. Think you might be interested? Please call Heidi Stewart in the Homechoice Team on 0161 474 2975 or email homechoice@stockporthomes.org *provided you meet any age restriction for the new property. Heidi Stewart **provided you have no rent arrears or recharges when you leave your current property.

Direct payment of Housing Benefit At the moment, Housing Benefit is paid directly to Stockport Homes. Starting in October 2013, payments will begin to be made directly to you. Although there will be some exceptions for vulnerable people, it is essential you have a way of paying your rent as soon as you receive this payment. Failure to pay your rent could result in you losing your home. This could have a big impact on the way you manage your money, so it is important to start thinking about how the changes might affect you. There are some things you could consider, such as getting a bank account, paying your rent by direct debit, budgeting regularly or doing a financial health check. Stockport Homes can help you with all of these.

www.stockporthomes.org

If you are worried about how these changes will affect you, or if you need more advice or information, please contact the Social Inclusion Team on 0161 474 2854 or visit www.stockporthomes.org/welfarereform

DIRECT Debit To start paying your rent by direct debit, simply call the Customer Finance Team on 0161 474 2677 (east area) or 0161 474 2668 (west area). If you pay by direct debit you will receive a ÂŁ10 annual discount.

Stockport at home - Summer 2012 Issue 29

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My

COUNTS

nd m u n it y F

u

Sto c

Co

m

’ es

ort Hom kp

Customer voting to show how their ‘Community Counts’

In May, customers showed their ‘Community Counts’ by casting over 200 votes. This is a record for customers having their say about how the Community Fund should be spent on local projects! As well as voting, customers enjoyed the fruit and vegetable stall, activities and games for children provided by Cadbury’s, prize giveaways and hanging basket demonstrations. Across the Borough, £50,000 is available this year for community projects that will make a difference to the lives of customers and the wider community.

Your votes making a difference for the Bridgehall Rainbows

To have your say on how the Community Fund is spent at the next Community Count events, see ‘Dates for your diary’ or visit www.stockporthomes.org/count for details. Don’t forget to ‘like us’ on Facebook to view photos from the ‘Community Count’ events.

Big changes to homechoice this autumn The Council is changing the way it lets properties later in the year, using a less complicated points system. 6

People who are registered for rehousing will be contacted over the next few months because we will need extra information to update applications. Full details on the new points scheme will be sent out and posted on the website nearer the time.

Stockport at home - Summer 2012 Issue 29

www.stockporthomes.org


Nominate your shining STAR in 2012

Winners from STAR Awards 2011

you think they If an individual or group have worked hard in your community and them for a STAR deserve some recognition, you can reward them by nominating ony. Award. The winners will receive their prizes at an award cerem This year’s categories are as follows: Customer of the Year Award For individuals who have: • Shown outstanding commitment by working with Stockport Homes to improve services • Actively been involved in the community, improving community spirit • Supported others within their neighbourhood to improve their life Young Person’s Award (under 25 years) For individuals who have: • Made a positive contribution within their community • Made a difference to someone else’s life • Made positive changes to improve their own life • Shown a commitment to improving Stockport Homes’ services

Deadlines for entries

31 August 2012

Community Project Award For groups who have: • Made a positive difference within the community • Made the community a much safer place to live • Delivered projects to help improve the lives of others Green Award For individuals or groups who have: • Changed the visual appearance or sustainability of their community • Created ways for a much healthier, cleaner environment • Improved the environment, such as a wildlife garden or community recycling

Award Ceremony At: Stockport Town Hall

On: Friday 12 October 2012

For a copy of the STAR Awards nomination form, please visit the Housing Information Centre at 1 St Peter’s Square, the East Area Housing Office at 1 Berwick Parade or the West Area Housing Office at Bridgehall Community Centre. You can also nominate by visiting www.stockporthomes.org/starawards, calling 0161 474 2862 or emailing customer.involvement@stockporthomes.org www.stockporthomes.org

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Welcome on Board... We’re delighted to welcome Alanna Vine to Stockport Homes’ Board as a Council representative. Alanna was elected to the Council in 2011 representing the Bramhall North Ward. She is Vice-Chair of the Licencing Committee and is on Stockport Council’s Adults and Communities Committee. Alanna brings a lot of experience to the Board having worked for 15 years as a Regional Fundraising Manager for the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). This work led to Alanna volunteering with offenders in prison and as a magistrate. Alanna is also a Governor at both Queensgate Primary School and Bramhall High School.

Alanna Vine

Alanna said, “I’m excited to join the Board of such a successful organisation and look forward to finding out more about the work Stockport Homes does to support our local communities.”

We are pleased to announce that Barbara King is going to continue her role as a Board Member for a further three years. Barbara King Barbara said, “It’s a privilege to work with the Board and to bring a customer’s point of view to the decisions the Board has to make. I’m looking to serving for another term and seeing Stockport Homes continue to improve the services it provides for customers.”

Daniel Hawthorne We’re sad to see Daniel Hawthorne step down from the Board but we wish him well in his new role as the Council’s Executive Member for Adult Care Services.

Forward Plan The Board has agreed its Forward Plan of meetings for 2013. Questions from customers are always welcome and customers are also welcome to attend and observe meetings. Please look for upcoming meeting on the ‘What’s on calendar’ on our website and contact Jeremy Beatty if you’d like to raise questions or come along. 8

Stockport at home - Summer 2012 Issue 29

For more information about the Board, please contact Jeremy Beatty, Governance Manager on 0161 474 2850 or email jeremy.beatty@ Jeremy Beatty stockporthomes.org

www.stockporthomes.org


‘All About Adswood’

young persons’

About Adswood’. This NEW to Adswood this year is ‘All ple aged 11-16 living is a summer project for young peo taking part in three in Adswood. The project will involve ate clean-ups. sessions: sports; planting; and est sions will get to go on a Those who take part in all the ses reward trip as a thank you! t Nicola Green.

If you are interested, please contac

Nicola Green Customer Involvement Officer (Young People) Phone: 0161 474 5811 Text: 07800 617 695 Email: nicola.green @stockporthomes.org

Contact me :)

Have you been snapped?

Thanks to all of you who took the time to complete the website e reviews for the Young Person’s Zon d eive section of our website. You rec £5 worth of yeah points! n taken on board – Lots of your suggestions have bee improved Young look out for the changes on the new homes.org/ypzone Persons Zone! See www.stockport

Scan here

If you have attended a Stockport Homes event you may have been snapped by our photographer.* To see if you have been snapped visit our Facebook page: on.FB.me/StockportHomes and ‘like us’. You can find out where the next customer event is by visiting www.stockporthomes.org/events You can also follow us on twitter by going to twitter.com/StockportHomes * We will only use photos if you have provided your consent. www.stockporthomes.org

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Safe in Stockport crime falls for eight years As part of the ‘Safer in Stockport’ initiative, the Safer Stockport Partnership (SSP) has revealed that crime has fallen in the Borough for eight consecutive years. The SSP is working to ensure that this continues into 2012-13. In Stockport between 2007-2012: • There were 12,087 fewer victims of crimes (a fall of 40 per cent) • Serious violence has reduced by 48 per cent • Burglary has reduced by 962 victims or 41 per cent • Anti-social behaviour nearly halved in the last two years

• Acquisitive crime was reduced by 9.8 per cent or 371 crimes • Burglary was reduced by 16 per cent or 260 In 2011-12 compared to 2010-11: Contactcrimes us on • There were 913 fewer victims of all crimes freephone 0808 901 9300 (a fall of 5 per cent) For more information about events in your • Anti-social behaviour was reduced by 21 email us at area or the ‘Safer in Stockport initiative’, per cent or 3,196 crimes housing.fraud@stockporthomes.org please visit www.saferstockport.org.uk or phone 0161 474 3143. or visit www.stockporthomes.org/Fraud

BLOW THE WHISTLE ON

HOUSING CHEATS If you suspect someone of tenancy fraud, please call us on freephone 0808 901 9300, email housing.fraud@stockporthomes.org or visit www.stockporthomes.org/fraud Your report will be treated in the strictest confidence and can be given anonymously.

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Stockport at home - Summer 2012 Issue 29

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Positive action against anti-social behaviour (ASB) In each issue of Stockport at home we provide you with a breakdown of the different types of legal action taken against perpetrators of ASB.

Anti-social behaviour TOGETHER WE CAN

STAMP IT OUT

Here is a breakdown for the period from April 2011 to March 2012: Type of legal action

Year end Quarter 2010/11 one 11/12

Quarter Quarter two 11/12 three 11/12

Quarter Year end four 2011/12 11/12

Notice of Seeking Possession

6

6

6

1

1

14

Postponed Possession Orders 3

1

0

1

1

3

Outright Possession Orders

3

1

1

0

1

3

Evictions

0

0

0

0

0

0

Notice to Terminate (introductory tenants)

6

4

0

1

0

5

Notice to Extend introductory tenants)

7

2

4

4

1

11

Demotion Notices

3

4

4

1

0

9

Injunctions

47

3

16

13

30

62

Undertakings

8

1

0

2

5

8

Closure Orders

6

1

2

0

0

3

Commital

1

0

0

0

0

0

Anti-Social Behaviour Order (ASBO)

1

1

0

2

2

5

Noise Abatement Notice

2

1

1

0

0

2

Acceptable Behaviour Contract (ABC)

6

5

6

6

3

20

Total

99

30

40

31

44

145

www.stockporthomes.org

Stockport at home - Summer 2012 Issue 29

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nd

Co

m BTRA are now planning a m u n it y F novelty dog show in Brinnington Park and everyone is welcome. They will have classes for you and your dog such as ‘Most Handsome’ and ‘Waggiest Tail’. There will also be a free micro-chipping service and advice and information for you and your pooch.

u

The Brinnington Tenants’ and Residents Association (BTRA) received funding from Stockport Homes’ Community Fund to run free dog training classes in Brinnington. BTRA have received complaints over the years about nuisance dogs and wanted to help raise awareness of responsible dog ownership and help some owners who have unruly pets.

ort Hom kp

’ es

Brinnington tenants and residents go barking mad...

Sto c

The group lined up to practice their ‘heel work’

Helen Flynn and Dappy receiving their certificate

The dog show will be taking place on Saturday 21 July in Brinnington Park. Look out for more details in the East Area Housing Office (see page 2 for contact details).

The course proved to be a barking success, with instant results seen for both dogs and their owners!

Value for Money - have your say! Have you ever had a great idea about how to improve services or how Stockport Homes can save money but you haven’t known how to move it forward?

Here’s your chance! We’ve launched a section on the Stockport Homes website to gather ideas from customers on how we can be even more efficient, save more money and deliver even better value services. Simply go to www.stockporthomes.org/ valueformoney and complete the Value for 12

Money suggestion form. It doesn’t matter if the idea is big or small, we want them all! If we implement your idea we’ll feature you in a future issue of Stockport at home. For more information please contact Rick Clark, Procurement Officer on 0161 474 3653 or email Rick Clark r.clark@stockporthomes.org

Stockport at home - Summer 2012 Issue 29

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Make sure your home is gas safe We often take for granted our gas boilers, cookers and fires. It’s important that gas appliances are regularly serviced and safety checked to help keep us safe and stop them from breaking down.

Seven safety tips: 1. Always allow our engineer access to carry out maintenance and safety checks. 2. Do not attempt to fit, fix or move a gas appliance yourself. 3. Always make sure there is enough ventilation for your gas appliances. If in doubt, contact the Repairs Contact Centre on 0161 217 6016 for advice. 4. Recognise the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning – headaches, dizziness, nausea, breathlessness, collapse and loss of consciousness. If you need a carbon monoxide detector or are concerned, contact the Repairs Contact Centre on 0161 217 6016 for advice.

5. Check gas appliances for warning signs that they are not working properly. For example, lazy yellow flames instead of crisp blue ones, black marks or stains on or around the appliance and too much condensation in the room. 6. Only use gas appliances for their intended use. 7. If you smell gas – don’t panic, call National Grid Gas Emergencies (formerly Transco Gas) on 0800 111 999 (this is a 24-hour emergency line). Open your windows and doors to let air in, make sure all gas appliances are turned off and turn the gas off at the mains if possible. Do not turn lights on or off and avoid using other appliances because this could trigger an explosion. Do not smoke or light a match.

Gas Safety Week 10-16 September 2012

Gas emergencies

0800 111 999

Keep an eye out for more gas safety tips during Gas Safety Week! You can also enter our Gas Safety Week quiz (see page 23). www.stockporthomes.org

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Want to get into work but don't know where to start? You can start by getting referred to the new Family Programme funded by the European Social Fund (ESF) and delivered by Stockport Homes and Work Solutions. Are you over 16 and not on the Work Programme? Are you or a member of your family on a working age benefit? (see list below) • Job Seekers Allowance • Income Support • Employment and Support Allowance • Incapacity Benefit • Severe Disability Allowance • Carers Allowance

How can we help? We can support you into work your way through tailored support for individual family members from a named advisor.

We offer one-to-one sessions or courses tackling barriers to employment such as: • family issues; • housing issues; • health issues; • financial issues; or • substance misuse issues.

work solutions

We also offer ‘in work’ support to help you maintain your job.

If you are interested in the Family Programme, please contact Asaf Iqbal Baz, in the Resettlement Team on 0161 474 2601 or email resettlement.team@stockporthomes.org Asaf Iqbal Baz

‘A fifth of people released from prison won’t re-offend if they have a home to go to’ ‘Re-offending costs £11 billion per year’ Stockport Homes launched the ‘Stockport Housing Offending Service’ (SHOS) in April 2009 to reduce crime in our neighbourhoods.

SHOS has now worked with over 800 ex-offenders to help them find settled accommodation when they come out of prison because this reduces the likelihood of them returning to crime.

For more information, please contact Rebecca Connolly, Housing Options Officer on 0161 474 2873 or email rebecca.connolly@stockporthomes.org Rebecca Connolly 14

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Resident jailed for breaching injunction A persistent anti-social behaviour (ASB) offender has been jailed for breaching an Injunction.

INJUNCTION

The woman was sentenced to 84 days in custody (28 days for each breach of the ‘On Notice’ Injunction Order). The Injunction was granted after the woman and her partner were reported for causing ASB on a regular basis within Lincoln Towers, Higher Hillgate. The woman’s behaviour included: • • • • • •

Name: Bridgette Ward Place: Lincoln Towers Bridgette has been served with an Injunction, for causing drunken anti-social behaviour at Lincoln Towers. After breaching the injunction three times Bridgette was sentenced to 84 days in custody on 20 April 2012. This injunction lasts until: 19th

March 2013.

Bridgette has now been ordered by the courts not to: • Enter or attempt to enter Lincoln Towers If Bridgette breaks this condition she will be arrested and dealt with by the Courts. In order for the Injunction to work we will need the help of the residents and visitors of Lincoln Towers to enforce it and therefore it is very important that if you see Bridgette breaking the above condition toBreached please report injunction it immediately to:

drunken fighting on communal landings; loud arguing; fighting in properties within the block; urinating in bin rooms and communal areas; sleeping in bin rooms; and leaving empty alcohol bottles, cans and rubbish on stairwells and in communal areas.

Greater Manchester on 101 or Stockport This case shows that Police Stockport Homes will take Homes on 0161 218 1498. firm action against people who behave in an • Bridgette is currently subject to a 28 Day Suspended Prison inconsiderate way and affect the quality of life of its Sentence for breaching this Injunction customers.

Tr a n s fo r m in g L i ves

New standards for anti-social behaviour (ASB) Social landlords across the country have developed a new set of commitments to their customers about how they deal with ASB, called the ‘Respect Charter’. Stockport Homes is aiming to sign up to the Charter as it is committed to providing a high quality ASB Service. We are going to be consulting on the detail of what this means for customers at ‘Community Count’ days and at ‘Hub’ meetings (see ‘Dates

www.stockporthomes.org

for your diary’ for details). We are also consulting with partners such as the Community Safety Unit at Stockport Council and Greater Manchester Police. Further details to follow in future newsletters!

If you would like full details of the commitments and what they mean to customers or would like to take part in the customer consultation, please contact Claire Wakefield, ASB Team Leader on 0161 474 4403 or email claire.wakefield@ stockporthomes.org Stockport at home - Summer 2012 Issue 29

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Are you subletting or allowing family and friends to use your property without the permission of Stockport Homes? Then you have the option to hand back the keys to the property without fear of prosecution during a two month amnesty before a major fraud crackdown by Stockport Homes' Special Investigation Team Housing begins. The notice period required by the tenancy agreement may be waived and there will be no prosecution action but any rent arrears will have to be paid.

Fraud amnesty 1 August to 30 September

Tenants can hand keys to the main reception at Fred Perry House or post them into any of our offices in a sealed envelope marked ‘telephone 218 1364’, with the property details inside the envelope. Illegally subletting properties deprives hundreds of families of the chance of a home in Stockport. This amnesty has the potential to save the Council money and bring properties back into use for people who need them. Anyone who fails to take this one off opportunity and continues to sublet will be targeted and pursued through the courts.

2013

16

Customer Calendar Following feedback from nearly 900 customers who completed the Communications Survey sent out in the January newsletter you will be receiving your 2013 calendar earlier. So watch out for your calendar being delivered in November! Stockport at home - Summer 2012 Issue 29

www.stockporthomes.org


Charges for damage to your property From July 2012, Stockport Homes revised the way rechargeable repairs are managed. These repairs are not caused by normal wear and tear but by tenants and their visitors, as a result of vandalism or accidental damage. Following consultation with customers, we have introduced some clarifications to the recharges process to ensure a fair and consistent approach to these repairs. Changes include: • A minimum of £50 will be required before any non-urgent rechargeable repairs are ordered. The remainder will be invoiced when the work is finished. Alternatively you could pay the full amount in advance and receive a 20 per cent discount. • For those customers with previous outstanding recharge debts, we will be reluctant to raise further rechargeable repairs for you until full payment for the previous repair has been received and a minimum payment for the current repair. • The previous 10 per cent administration fee has been replaced with a flat rate of £10 to reflect the actual costs to Stockport Homes. • From August 2012, crime reference numbers will not be accepted as a reason for a rechargeable repair to be done free of charge. A new appeals process for recharges has been introduced: • Stage 1 – responded to by the Maintenance Administrator • Stage 2 – responded to by a Manager • Stage 3 – referred to a customer panel and Head of Service to evaluate the circumstances and to decide a resolution. This decision is final.

For more information, please call 0161 218 1281 or email rechargeablerepairs @stockporthomes.org

www.stockporthomes.org

Stockport Homes recommends that you take out insurance to protect your possessions in case of accidental damage or vandalism. It can offer competitive rates for home contents insurance. For more information, please contact the Customer Finance Team on 0161 474 2820.

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Cherry Tree - growing and developing IT skills Cherry Tree residents have been working with a local computer training and internet specialist ‘Startingpoint’ since January 2012. Residents have enjoyed a series of ‘introduction to computers and the internet’ sessions and have been learning about what you can do online, including researching your family tree and finding meal recipes.

“I enjoyed learning how to get on the computer for starters. I liked all of the things you can do on the internet.”

A recent successful funding award from UKonline means that Startingpoint will be able to run one full day session per week for a year at Cherry Tree Tenants’ and Residents’ Association (TRA) base. This means local people can develop their IT skills and look at a range of things on the internet. For more information, please contact Shelagh Berry, Customer Involvement Officer on 0161 474 4178 or email shelagh.berry@stockporthomes.org Shelagh Berry

Friends of Tangshutt Field and Cherry Tree TRA working together The Friends of Tangshutt Field and Cherry Tree TRA met up in February 2012 to look at ways they can work more closely together. The groups are working on a project to get funds to replace the old playground equipment on Tangshutt Field. Both groups asked local people at the Cherry Tree fun day on 14 April what they thought of the idea and they have had lots of support and positive feedback.

Customers enjoying the Cherry Tree Funday

The groups are now working together to develop a funding bid for the improvements. Fingers crossed they will be successful. Further updates will be provided in future newsletters. 18

Stockport at home - Summer 2012 Issue 29

“Great day to bring local people together, well organised and great kids’ activities.” www.stockporthomes.org

£


£

It isn’t easy being green... Stockport Homes is part of a partnership which includes Stockport Council, Reddish Vale Technology College and a range of other partners. It has been successful in a bid to the Big Lottery ‘Communities Living Sustainably Fund’ by being awarded £10,000 to develop an ‘eco plan’. This will cover four areas in Stockport, including: Brinnington; Lancashire Hill; Heaton Norris; and Reddish. The partnership was also one of 30 groups nationally to be successful in stage one of a bid for the Big Lottery cash. Work has started on the stage two bid to secure up to £1,000,000 of further funding. If it is successful, this will help local people adapt to climate change and reduce the cost of rising fuel and food prices through energy advice, recycling and making greener choices.

£

The final bid was sent the Big Lottery on 24 June 2012. We should find out if we have been successful at the end of August 2012. Further updates to follow.

££

£

SUPP

ORT

Searching for funding £ ££ £ for your project

£

IN D N U

F

£

Do you have a project or an idea that requires funding?

££

£

£

If so, we can give you advice and help to find funding. Over recent months our Funding Officer, Mark has attended a number of training events and met with community groups to develop projects including:

£

• A ‘Finding your Funding’ event on 16 May in partnership with Anchorpoint and attended by 18 community group representatives. • Two workshops on ‘How to develop your project’ with Community Champions Network. The group is now helping to develop a community funding toolkit. www.stockporthomes.org

£

£

£

• The Stockport Homes ‘Community Count’ events during May, where Mark gave help to groups on how to find funding. • A ‘funding event’ in Heaton Norris on behalf of the Central Neighbourhood £ Management Board on 28 May.

£

£

££ For more information£about

£ £

funding for your project, please contact Mark Rogers, Funding Officer on 0161 474 3463 or email mark.rogers@stockporthomes.org

£

£

£

£

£ Mark Rogers

Stockport at home - Summer 2012 Issue 29

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Customer compliments We receive between 35 – 40 compliments every month. Here is a selection of recent ones:

“Thank you for the extra support and helping me back into my own accommodation.”

“Thank you for helping me to find voluntary or paid work.”

“Thank you for all your hard work in the local community.”

“Thanks for the service received from the emergency out-of-hours repairs. Someone was with here in less than an hour.”

“ The resettlement support is excellent.”

Stockport Homes encourages customers to complain, so that we can make changes to our services. Changes that are required as a result of complaints are fed into our policies. Between January and March this year we received 162 complaints. These complaints tended to relate to repairs, home improvement and housing management issues. To make a compliment or complaint or for more information, please contact the Performance and Improvement Team on 0161 474 2600 or email feedback@stockporthomes.org

Performance super six (April 2011 - March 2012) The Super Six is a set of performance indicators chosen by customers because they matter most to you.

We are on target...

98.2 ü

Average of

vulnerable people supported to maintain independent living. (Resettlement - 100%, tenancy support services - 98.2%, teen pregnancy - 100%)

96.6%

satisfaction with the Repairs Service.

11

DAYS

to re-let empty properties.

with a valid 100% ofgashomes safety certificate.

We are almost there...

93.2% Adam Howell

20

of customers are happy with how we deal with anti-social behaviour.

and water charges 100.33% ofarerentbeing collected.

We’re the top performing ALMO in most areas. If our performance is under target we are working with customers and staff to improve. For more information, please contact Adam Howell, Business Support Officer on 0161 474 4497 or email adam.howell@stockporthomes.org Stockport at home - Summer 2012 Issue 29

www.stockporthomes.org


Companies

with big hearts

Temporary Accommodation residents receiving a food delivery

In March The Authentic Food Company, which produces ready-made meals for supermarkets, donated over 400 meals to needy homeless families and single men and women living in hostel accommodation in Stockport.

These meals build upon supplies provided by FareShare, which is funded by Helping the Homeless into Housing (H3). FareShare is a charity that redistributes quality surplus food from supermarkets and suppliers to groups working with disadvantaged people. These donations have been extremely well received at a time when increasing numbers of vulnerable families are struggling with the cost of daily living. Good things really do come in threes!

Helping the Homeless into Housing

The next chapter

Following continued fundraising (over £30,000 this year!) and efforts to improve services for homeless people in Stockport, H3 have now become a Charity and Registered Company. Charitable status means that H3 is now officially recognised for the positive work it does to improve the lives of homeless residents. This also means it has wider fundraising powers, which it hopes to use to build on the services it has already supported. These include ‘move-on packs’ of household goods for homeless households, a deposit scheme called ‘Home finder’ for single people and homeless community allotments.

H3’s new website

H3 has recently been awarded two more grants: • £1,800 from the Manchester Airport Fund to develop allotments and play areas at our temporary accommodation schemes. • £1,000 from Greggs Bakers to develop a healthy eating cookbook containing low cost recipes. Watch out for details on how to buy your copy!

H3 has developed its own website www.h-3.org.uk You can donate to it via its ‘Local Giving’ page https://localgiving.com/charity/h-3 and send messages to the group by emailing admin@h-3.org.uk

www.stockporthomes.org

Stockport at home - Summer 2012 Issue 29

We look forward to hearing from you! Chrissie Ince, Chair of H3 Chrissie Ince 21


Leaseholder news Save money on your water charge Are you a leaseholder living in Mottram Towers, Millbrook Towers, Lincoln Towers, Ratcliffe Towers, Montague House or Lancaster House? Because these properties cannot have a water meter, you may be able to make a water charge saving. If you are a single person and pay more than £272.60 per year or there are two or more people living in the flat and you pay more than £376.63 per year, you can make a saving (subject to approval by United Utilities).

To request the relevant forms or arrange an appointment to speak to the Water Metering Officer, please contact Tracy Nield. If you are a leaseholder, but do not live in these blocks and would like to find out if you can save money, Tracy is also happy to help.

How can we improve leaseholder services? Following the success of previous service improvement groups, we will be holding another meeting to create a new action plan to address issues of importance to you. Either come along to the meeting or contact Tracy by telephone or email with your suggestion. Date: 20 September 2012, from 2pm Venue: 1 St. Peter’s Square, Conference Room

Tracy Nield 22

Stockport at home - Summer 2012 Issue 29

Have your say on management charges Stockport Homes is reviewing how we charge leaseholders for managing services from April 2013. The next leaseholder forum provides an opportunity to find out why this is happening and how it will affect you from Suzanne Frier, Corporate Finance Manager. Date: 13 August 2012, from 6pm Venue: 1 St. Peter’s Square, Conference Room

To book your place on the above events or for more information, please contact Tracy Nield, Leasehold Officer on 0161 218 1364 or email tracy.nield@stockporthomes.org

www.stockporthomes.org


vouchers: 1st prize £75, 2nd prize £50, 3rd prize £25.

Win

Calling all keen photographers! Our ‘Transforming Lives’ mission explains our commitment to helping customers achieve all their aspirations, not just to provide housing. We’re looking for a photograph taken by someone who lives in one of our properties (or a leaseholder) that says ‘Transforming Lives’. It could be a person / group or something in your neighbourhood that demonstrates how Stockport Homes is changing its communities. Photographs will be judged by a panel (made up of Stockport Homes’ Marketing and Communications Manager, Business Support Manager and members of the Customer Editorial Panel). The winners will receive vouchers to purchase photographic equipment. Also, whether you win or not, if we use your photograph in one of our publications we’ll give you £10 the first time we use it and we’ll put your name underneath as the

#

2011 Young Photographer winner

photographer. So, the next customer newsletter or calendar might have your photograph in and be seen by 11,500 customers! There are two categories: aged 16 and over, and aged under 16. We are only able accept digital photographs. Conditions apply; see www.stockporthomes.org for details.

Deadline for entries is Friday 31 August 2012.

Gas Safety Week quiz

# Win

£25

of high street vouchers

1. If you smell gas call Name: ........................................................... Tel: ................................................................. Address: ........................................................ ...................................................................... ...................................................................... Please return your entry in the freepost envelope provided. See www.stockporthomes.org/ gassafety for full terms and conditions.

Deadline for entries: Friday 16 September 2012 www.stockporthomes.org

........................................................................ 2. If you smell gas never turn …………….. on or off 3. Name one of the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning ........................................................................ 4. If you smell gas open ……………………. and doors 5. What colour should the flame from gas appliances be? ........................................................................ Stockport at home - Summer 2012 Issue 29

23


Free football event for 8-14 year olds

lifeLEISURE liveFITNESS

liveSPORT

liveLIFE

23 August 2012 Looking for a free way to entertain the kids over the summer? Then why not book them a place on our free football event?

11.00am to 3.00pm (arrival from 10.30am) Stockport Sports Village, Venue Lambeth Road, Woodley SK6 1QX

New

Diversity and accessibility You can get free copies of newsletters and other documents from Stockport Homes on audiotape, CD or in large print. For more information, please contact Phil Rhodes on telephone 0161 474 2860 text 07891 949 399 email phil.rhodes@stockporthomes. org or write to Social Inclusion Team, Directorate of Housing Management, 2nd Floor, 1 St. Peter’s Square, Stockport SK1 1NZ Please recycle this newsletter in an appropriate way

Activities include: • free professional coaching with Stockport County coaches and players; • penalty shoot out competition; and • mini football tournament. To book your child’s place, please contact the Caretaking Services Team on:

0161 474 4335 caretakers@stockporthomes.org

This newsletter includes information about Stockport Homes’ events and services. A free interpreting service is available if you need help with this newsletter. Please telephone Stockport Interpreting Unit on 0161 477 9000. Email:eds.admin@stockport.gov.uk Portuguese

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Polish

Customer newsletter summer 2012  

Customer newsletter summer 2012

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