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Review of the Wish Upon a Star Initiative Arden Close Community Tidy Up event

8th July 2009

Produced By Diane Hughes Tenant Participation Assistant @ Tamworth Borough Council


Wish Upon a Star – Arden Close Community Tidy Up 2009 Contents Page 3

Background to Wish Upon a Star initiative

Page 3

How and why was an event chosen for Arden Close?

Pages 3-4

Responses from pre-questionnaires sent to residents of Arden Close

Page 5

First letter sent to residents

Page 5

Photographs taken before the event at Arden Close and surrounding areas

Page 6

Communication and Action Plan

Page 6

Letters sent requesting donations

Page 7

Follow up letters sent to residents, leaseholders of Arden Close

Page 7

Requests sent to staff, partners and Councillors encouraging partnership help on the day.

Page 7

Who helped on the day other than tenants and residents?

Page 7

Risk assessments

Page 8

Leaflet for the event

Page 8

Letters sent to tenants, leaseholders and owner/occupiers advising of the event date

Page 8

Meeting with staff and partners surrounding the event

Page 9

Briefing session on the morning of the event

Page 9

The event itself

Pages10

Photographs taken after the event

Pages 11-13 Post questionnaire responses after the event Page 13

Raffle winners

Pages 14

Was it worth it and would we be doing another one?

Page 15

Further contact / information

Tenant Participation Team

July 2009

2


Wish Upon a Star – Arden Close Community Tidy Up 2009 Background to Wish Upon a Star initiative The Wish Upon a Star initiative was set up in the summer of 2008 The aim of the scheme is to: • Encourage local action amongst tenants and residents of Tamworth Borough Council • Support activities that contribute to the Tenant Participation Strategy • Support ideas that improve Housing Services Tenants and leaseholders were asked to write their ideas on stars, including where it would or could take place. The ideas are then judged by a panel from across Housing Services, alongside tenants, to decide which idea would be actioned. The event must include tenants, promote community engagement and cohesion, meet local need and benefit local people. How and why was an event chosen for Arden Close? A resident of Arden Close put forward the idea of a community tidy up to bring together residents and to tidy up the local area. Responses from pre-questionnaire sent to residents A ‘door knocking exercise’ was undertaken by the tenant participation team and housing officers from Tamworth Borough Council. This was to gauge tenant, leaseholders and owner/occupiers views surrounding a community tidy up event taking pace at Arden Close in Amington. A questionnaire was completed with the assistance where requested. It was also very important to see how people rated the area where they lived. The findings from the questionnaires are as follows: 1. 90% of tenants stated that they would like a one day event to undertake a community tidy up at Arden Close. 2. When asked to rate the current standard of the communal areas surrounding Arden Close the residents stated the following • 90% rated the area as poor • 10% rated the area as good 3. When asked if there is anything that they would like to see done / addressed as part of the Arden Close tidy up, the following concerns were raised: • Cameras to be installed where items are being fly tipped • Lawn areas and garden areas tidied where overgrown • Stop people parking outside of other residents windows • Hallways ‘filthy’ and doors not closing properly • Shed doors need to be fixed • Laundry area to be painted • Overgrown trees need to be trimmed.

Tenant Participation Team

July 2009

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4. We asked what would encourage residents to come along to the Arden Close tidy up (More than one answer could be ticked) : • 60% would come along if there were activities for families /children • 40% would come along if there were involvement of local agencies • 50% would come along if there were Councillors in attendance • 60% would come along if refreshments were provided • 20% stated they would come along anyway 5. When asked what time of day the event should take place, the following were recorded; • 20% morning • 50% afternoon • 20% evening • 10% didn’t provide a preference 6. When asked when would you prefer that we hold the tidy up, the following views were held: • 20% preferred weekdays • 40% preferred weekends • 40% stated that they had no preference 7. When asked if they would be interested in coming along to the Arden Close tidy up the following responses were received: • 80% would be willing to help • 10% would not be willing to help • 10% were not sure 8. When asked if they would be interested in getting involved and to help out at the Arden Close tidy up the following responses were received: • 70% were interested in getting involved and helping out at the event • 20% were not interested in getting involved and helping out at the event • 10% were not sure if they were interested in getting involved and helping out at the event 9. If the answer was ‘yes’ to getting involved they could offer in various ways (more than one answer could be ticked): • 70% were happy to help when promoting the event • 20% wanted to come along as a spectator • 20% did not provide a response to this question. 10. They were asked if they were a tenant of Tamworth Borough council, a leaseholder or an owner/occupier • 80% are tenants of Tamworth Borough Council • 20% are leaseholders.

Tenant Participation Team

July 2009

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First letter to tenants On the 7th May 2009 a letter was sent to all tenants of Tamworth Borough Council and leaseholders residing in Arden Close, Amington. They were advised of 2 possible dates for the event to go ahead on, the 1st and the 8th July 2009. They were advised on what would be actioned on the day and issued with a summary of responses from the questionnaires they had previously completed during the door knocking exercise. It was requested that further information would be sent once the date had been decided on. Before Photographs of Arden Close and surrounding areas

This area is between all of the blocks and was overgrowing the footpaths.

This area was overgrown with weeds and an eyesore underneath a resident’s.

This was taken by the washing area.

Tenant Participation Team

July 2009

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Communication and Action Plan Implementation, monitoring and communication arrangements for the Arden Close Community Tidy UP Action Write to all tenants and leaseholders for preference on dates for the proposed event Email all staff and partnership companies to request assistance for the event. Obtain quote for giant outdoor games and candyfloss machine – Lichfield entertainments

Completion Additional notes Date (2009) th 11 May This will include all tenants who wish/ do not wish to assist on the day. th 11 May th

14 May th

Contact various companies for donations x7

15 May

Contact by telephone all tenants who have not responded to first letter Send updated letter to any tenants not reached by phone and who have not responded Set up database for all staff and partnership companies who have offered help on the day Send leaflet to graphics Request costing for printing Confirm with Lichfield entertainments of equipment required and raise orders. Obtain quote from Pronto Print for leaflets and posters. st Receive 1 draft of leaflet from graphics Return any amendments back to graphics All amendments to be completed for leaflets Send to Pronto Print (60xA5 & 10xA3) Hand deliver leaflets and put up posters All thank you letters to be sent out for donations received Staff, partnership and residents information meeting Arden Close Community Tidy Up event to take place

22

nd

May

22

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May

£200 candy floss machine with operator for 4hrs and giant games £75 set of 4 Received donations for a family ticket from Cadbury’s World & Strykers Ten Pin Bowling (2 tickets) Broomey Croft Children’s farm, 6 Gleneagles cut glasses from the Co-Op, Tamworth

th

29 May th

29 May th 8 June st 1 June st

1 June th

8 June th 11 June th 15 June th 16 June th 18 June th 16 June th

24 June th

8 July

Invited Shirleigh and Wendy (tenants) Confirmed by tenants, staff and partnership availability.

Letters sent requesting donations Seven organisations were chosen to request donations from. We had a very good response and four organisations kindly donated prizes for the free prize draw. The completed surveys collected after the event would be entered into the free prize draw.

Tenant Participation Team

July 2009

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Follow up letters sent to residents and leaseholders at Arden Close A follow up letter was sent on the 22nd May to tenants to emphasise the importance of the day and to encourage community spirit and involvement. The tenants were advised of the following:  Advised that garden areas would be tidied up and lawns all cut  Advised of 2 dates of when the Arden Close Community Tidy Up could take place and invited to choose which one was convenient for them and to respond in the freepost envelopes provided.  Asked if they were willing to volunteer their help on the day. Request sent to staff, partners and Councillors encouraging partnership help on the day Emails were sent to staff, partners, contractors and Councillors who were asked if they could assist on the day and was met with an overwhelming response and an enthusiasm to match. Trevor Wylie visited the site to assess what the priorities of the day were. He also agreed to lead the day through organising the various duties everyone would undertake. Discussions were held with the tenant participation team at regular intervals. At all times, consideration for the tenants needs and requirements were taken into account to encourage involvement. Who helped on the day other than tenants and residents? Emma Collett Tenant Participation Manager Diane Hughes Tenant Participation Assistant Trevor Wylie Caretaking Team / Estate Supervisor Margaret Seedhouse Housing Officer Lee Birch Housing Manager Lee Jones Joiner for Wates contractors Jane Heath Street Scene Andrew Smith Street Warden Stuart Jackson Caretaking team Raymond Eaves Caretaking team Richard Downing Repairs Officer Wendy Miller Caretaker /tenant Bob Dyer Tamworth Borough Council Councillor Mary Oates Councillor Jeremy Oates Julie Elliott Housing Assistant Danny Mandesir Police Community Support Officer Hasan Riasat Police Community Support Officer James Harrison Street Warden

Tenant Participation Team

July 2009

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Risk assessments Risk assessments were carried out by Trevor Wylie on behalf of the Tenant Participation Team. These were issued to every person who attended the event, including Councillors, staff, partners, contractors, tenants and residents. They were all signed to clarify that they had been understood and they were then retained by all individuals concerned.

Leaflet for the event

Letter sent to tenants, leaseholders and owner/occupiers advising of event date A letter was sent confirming the date for the 1 day event to take place on the Wednesday 8th July. The residents were advised of the following: • All day event starting at 9:30am – 5:00pm • The grass areas would be cut on the previous day, 7th July. • Giant garden games for the adults and children would start at 10:00am • Candyfloss machine would arrive after 1:00pm to issue free candyfloss • There would be free refreshments provided all day. • Various teams would be in attendance and were listed accordingly • Large bulk /domestic rubbish could be removed on the day free of charge and with assistance from the caretaking team. • On completion of the questionnaire /feedback form at the end of the day they would automatically be entered into the free prize draw.

Tenant Participation Team

July 2009

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Meeting around the event 24th June A meeting was held on the 24th June at Marmion House, inviting Councillors, 2 tenants, staff and partners. Firstly there was a short presentation with a background to the event. There was plenty of opportunity to discuss the event times, activities for the day, refreshments, roles that people would play in the event, health and safety and who would be present on the day. Promotional goods would be on offer and tables and chairs provided to display boards if required.

Briefing session on the morning of the event

All staff was advised that anyone attending the event, staff, partners or residents need to report to the tenant Participation team.

The event itself The event went ahead and was held successfully on Wednesday 8th July as planned. The community spirit was excellent and residents came forward to offer their support. The staff, partners and Councillors all got their hands dirty removing weeds, cleaning, digging or even litter picking. The day was very friendly and encouraged community spirit and pride in the areas that people were living. Everyone was encouraged to join in the garden game activities and to enjoy the free refreshments and candyfloss on offer. At the end of the one day event feedback was encouraged by residents to assess whether the event was worthwhile or not. Assistance was offered to complete the post questionnaires if required. When completed all of the questionnaires were entered into a free prize draw to win a selection of four prizes kindly donated by local companies.

Tenant Participation Team

July 2009

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Photographs taken after the event on 8th July 2009

A new rail was fitted by the steps as the previous one was in a dangerous condition. This rail was highlighted as a concern by the Tenant Participation Team during the first site visit to Arden Close.

This area was totally cleared of all weeds and was left prepared to take flowers by a local resident who had requested permission of his housing officer.

Wates contractors repaired the shed doors on the day. The joiner also assisted in other areas of work, for example, cleaning.

Tenant Participation Team

July 2009

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This area was cleared of weeds and no longer overhangs the pathways.

Post - questionnaire responses after the event After the event held at Arden Close on 8th July 2009 we requested feedback on the event to see if it was successful or not. 1 When asked to rate the current standard of the communal areas surrounding Arden Close the residents stated the following • 85% of people who responded rated the standard of the communal areas surrounding Arden Close as good. • 5% rated the area as average • 10% chose not to answer 2: When asked how satisfied or dissatisfied they were with the completed Wish Upon a Star project the following responses were received: • 70% were very satisfied after the completed event • 15% were fairly satisfied after the completed event • 15% chose not to answer 3: When asked how satisfied or dissatisfied they were with how we kept everyone informed about the project, the following responses were received: • 65% felt they were kept very informed about the project • 25% felt they were kept fairly informed about the project • 10% chose not to answer 4: When asked how satisfied or dissatisfied they were that their views were taken into account during the planning of the project the following responses were received: • 50% were very satisfied that their views were taken into account during the planning of the project • 35% were fairly satisfied that their views were taken into account during the planning of the project • 15% did not give an answer or chose not to reply 5: When asked what tenants and residents felt were the benefits of the community tidy up, the following responses were received: • 40% felt that it empowered a community or group to deliver a local project / initiative

Tenant Participation Team

July 2009

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• • • • •

65% felt that the event enabled community members to identify neighbourhood needs 55% felt that the event promoted a positive image of Tamworth or a local area 60% felt that the event encouraged local community action amongst tenants and residents 55% felt that the event involved children and young people more purposefully and imaginatively in their neighbourhoods. 75% felt that the event has improved the local environment

Other comments included:  Just to live in a tidy place and to get most neighbours together for a good day  It all went well and it is good to see it working a lot nicer  Lack of interest from other tenants  I met some of my neighbours  Nothing seemed to happen except the clean up. Children were at school anyway  Tamworth Council PR exercise 6: When asked if there is anything that you think could have been changed or done differently to improve the project, the following responses were received: • Things were done just great. It was a good job done • Activities for children – swing / slide • A large skip delivered a few days before for bulky items • More residents should have been involved • Make it on a Saturday

Tenant Participation Team

July 2009

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Security lights to bin area Extend time. Ran out of time, work not completed alongside the canal, cleansing not completed in hallways, chalky substance left on walls.

• •

7: Age groups Age

Represented by

16 – 24 25 – 34 35 – 44 45 – 54 55 – 64 65 – 74 75 – 84 85 Chose not to respond

4 5 3 1 3 2 1 No represented 2

8: Ethnicity Group White British Any other Asian background Black or Black British Caribbean

represented by 19 1 1

9: Gender Gender

Represented by

Male Female Chose not to disclose

8 11 2

10: When asked if they wished to be added to the database of tenant involvement, 90% requested that they would be added. Raffle winners When the questionnaires were completed the tenants and residents were added into a free prize draw for a chance to win 1 of 4 prizes kindly donated by local companies. All winners were notified by telephone, letter or visit and arrangements were made for the delivery or collection of the prizes. 1st Prize

Family ticket for entrance into Cadbury’s World - Viki McWee

2nd Prize

2 tickets for Strykers ten pin bowling in Tamworth – name withheld for confidentiality reasons

3rd Prize

Family ticket to Broomey Croft Children’s Farm – Marie – Claude Lacour

4th Prize

6 Gleneagles cut glasses from Co-Op Department Store, Tamworth – Anchareena Williams

Tenant Participation Team

July 2009

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Was it worth it and will we be doing another one? The overall outcome of the one day event at the Arden Close community tidy up was very successful. The following positive comments were expressed on the day to various team members: • “I have met my neighbours for the first time and realise that they live above me” • “The community spirit has been great” • “It has been great to get together with people who live around here and to watch the children mixing and playing together” • “The children have really enjoyed themselves” • “I have met my housing officer and told her my concerns, she really listened to my point of view” • “It has been great to sees that so many people have turned out to help our community” • “The community police have agreed to patrol our estate on a regular basis”. The following negative comments were expressed on the day to various team members: • “A PR exercise for Tamworth Borough Council” • “Unhappy about the rota that is in place in the laundry area” • “More residents should have helped today”. Pros

Cons

Well attended Attended by ‘hard to reach groups’ e.g. young families.

Weather - rain at times Possibility that new tenants attending this event will fail to get involved with other tenant participation activities again in the near future Highlighted other issues in the area leading to further consultation surrounding the use of the laundry area.

Easy to attend as it was held in own community Links made with new tenants and increased knowledge of how to become involved in tenant participation Developed partnership working – various agencies attended providing information and advice to tenants Enjoyable and fun with activities for all of the family

Before the event

After the event

90% rated the area that they lived as poor 90% wanted a community event where they lived. No residents were on the database of involvement for tenant participation

Tenant Participation Team

85% rated the area they lived as good 75% felt that the event had improved the local environment 90% have requested that they are added to the database of involvement.

July 2009

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Further contact / information Tamworth Borough Council would like to thank everyone who attended and made this Wish Upon a Star event a success. If you would like to put forward ideas for Wish Upon a Star initiative in your area, you can find out more by contacting the Tenant Participation team on 01827 709 448 or visit our website for more information. http://www.tamworth.gov.uk/housing/tenant_participation.aspx

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All figures were collated on 22 July 2009 and will be subject to change as more responses arrive and added to database.

Tenant Participation Team

July 2009

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Review of Wish Upon a Star initiative- Arden Close