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Autumn 2012

Spare Bedroom Tax Page 4


Contents

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Are you Prepared for Welfare Reform? Money Support Benefit Fraud Convictions Our Promises Customer Hub Continues its Good Work Help us to be the Best Landlord Possible Quality and Insight Panel Opportunities for Community and Voluntary Groups The Bear is Back Summer Funding Success for our Neighbourhoods Community First Neighbourhood Matched Fund Summer of Fun Community Roadshows Moss Park Football Coaching Sale Moor Youngsters Take Up a New Hobby Stretford - Your Voice, Your Choice Knitting Team Break £1,000 Barrier for Children’s Charity Tenants Get Plastered Jimmy Hangs Up His Spanner Trust Launches New Social Enterprise You’re Hired! Trafford Housing Trust’s Apprentice Urban Regeneration of Old Trafford is Underway New Developments Update Trafford Getting Safer Team THT to the Rescue Trafford Partnership

4-5 6-9 10-11 12-15 16 17 18-19 20 20 21 22 23-25 26 27 27 28 29 30 31 32-33 34-39 40-41 42 43 43 44-45

Armed Forces Day Beware Job Scam Anti-Bullying Project goes Borough-Wide Tech-no Chances with Personal Safety Celebrating 150 Years in Trafford Phoenix Futures Celebrating 50 Years of Lostock Get Involved in Lostock Trust Launches New Community Support Tool Leaseholders Together Society for Abandoned Animals Have you Downloaded our New App?

46 46 47 47 48-49 50-52 53 54-55 56-57 58 59 60

Congratulations to the latest Gas Service Draw winner Mr and Mrs Bailey of Ashbourne Crescent, Sale.


Welcome to the Autumn 2012 Issue of Pulse

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t has been a long time since our last Pulse magazine landed on your doorstep. If you remember, we brought the Summer edition forward so that we could bring our Promises to you as quickly as possible. It has been a truly great Summer; the Olympics and the Paralympics were both exciting and inspirational. I am sure you, like I, were very proud of what the country achieved in putting on such a fantastic show. I am particularly proud of the role Trafford played in that. We were one of the few parts of the country outside London to host a part of the games – Old Trafford played its part splendidly as did all the volunteers and local people. With this edition of Pulse you have our Annual Report. This will be familiar to you – it’s what we do every year at this time. The document aims to inform you about how we performed over the last financial year. Please take the time to read it and let us know what you think.You don’t have to wait until the Annual Report to assess how we are doing. We do have a page on our website that gives you quarterly performance information.

with Henshaws, a charity that supports people with sight challenges. These might be of interest to you to help with a specific need or just for interest. One of the most important parts of the information we provide to you in our quarterly mailing is the information on the benefit changes. Most of our tenants receive some form of benefits and there are many changes to the system at the moment. This will impact on a lot of households. I am anxious that we keep you informed and updated on these and also let you know the things we are doing to help support tenants. We want to help you as much as we can. If you have any concerns or your circumstances change please get in touch. This is particularly important if you are one of our three thousand tenants that may be affected by the Under Occupancy or ‘Bedroom Tax’ that is being introduced next April. There is some information on pages 4 and 5 but if you are concerned about how this may affect you please ring us on 0300 777 7777. I hope you enjoy this edition of Pulse and find the information it contains interesting and useful.

www.traffordhousingtrust.co.uk/kpi-animation Also on page 12 there is lots of information about how we are doing delivering The Promise.

Matthew Gardiner Chief Executive, Trafford Housing Trust

There is also a booklet enclosed about the opportunities we can provide to help you increase your skills. There are a number of different activities as well as some that we are delivering in partnership

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CHANGES IN BENEFITS ARE COMING.

ARE YOU PREPARED FOR

WELFARE REFORM? If you receive Housing Benefit, this is what you need to know...

You will be aware that there are lots of changes taking place within the welfare system in the UK. If you receive any type of benefit, this may affect you but do you know what the changes are? Do you understand the possible impacts on your household budget? One change has already happened Non Dependent Deductions. This is a deduction from your Housing Benefit for any adult person who is not your partner living in your household, but who is not financially dependent on you. If you have a non dependent, you will already have had a reduction to your benefit and are having to find extra money to make up the shortfall. In April next year Under Occupancy deductions, or the ‘Bedroom Tax’, as it has been called, will hit. Under occupancy is where you have a bedroom in your home that is not being permanently used in accordance with new rules set by the Government.

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If you are aged under 61 and have a spare bedroom, your benefit will be reduced by 14%. If however you have two or more bedrooms not being permanently used, your benefit will be reduced by 25%.

The new rules allow for: • One bedroom per adult (16+) or a couple • One bedroom for two children under the age of 10, regardless of gender • One bedroom for two children aged between 10 and 16 of the same gender • A bedroom each for children aged between 10 and 16 of a different gender Bedrooms that are not used permanently by members of the household will be considered as a spare room and subject to the deduction. So if you have a son or daughter who visits a couple of nights a week, or a child away in further education who only returns in the holidays, you will be affected. Nationally, it is estimated that 32% of Social Housing tenants will be affected by this change – the average loss of benefit being £14 per week.


These are: • Making provision to pay the shortfall. It may be that you can afford the difference or, by making some adjustments to your lifestyle/spending habits, it is affordable • Find paid work so you are not in receipt of benefit or if you are currently working, find some additional hours • Consider a mutual exchange or transfer to a smaller property. This may also reduce other costs such as heating and lighting, etc • Take in a lodger, which may be a friend or relative to live in the empty bedroom

C BENEF IT

201 3 IN G

I R P

L

NN

RU

If you think you may be one of the tenants that will be affected by these changes, there are a number of options for you to think about between now and when the changes are introduced in April 2013.

IS

• We further believe that for those with two or more bedrooms not being occupied, a 25% deduction could leave the tenant finding an additional £24 per week.

TI M E

• Of the 2,447, we believe 1,757 will have a 14% deduction in their housing benefit. Based on an average rent of £93.17 per week, this would mean finding an additional £13 per week.

ES MAY AFFEC G N T HA

ROM UF YO

We have been looking at our customer information and we estimate that at THT: • 2,447 households will be affected and a further 632 may be affected. Are you one of these?

OUT

A

The Trust is here to help you look at your options and so if you think you will be affected, please contact us. The next few pages outline all the changes the Trust is making to their Money Support Team to help. In October next year, there are other changes – the Benefit Cap and Universal Credit. We will cover these in detail in Pulse over the next few editions. In the meantime, we do have information on the website www.traffordhousingtrust.co.uk/welfarereform or by telephoning the Money Support Team.

If you are not on benefits, these changes may impact you as it may reduce the income of the Trust, thereby affecting the money we have available to improve your home and neighbourhood. We estimate these changes put at risk £1.9 million of the Trust’s annual income. 5


Money Support

Sharon White Manager for Social Inclusion

This time, I wanted to update you on some of the changes we have made to our Money Support Service and some of our plans for the future. With the last issue of Pulse, we sent out our Customer Promise. At the heart of our Promise to you, we told you we want to support customers who are in arrears or who are struggling with their finances. At the same time, we need to ensure that our business income is protected and we collect rent that is due from all of our customers. You may recall that we have spoken about our approach to rent arrears in terms of customers that CAN’T PAY and customers who WON’T PAY. Where customers CAN’T PAY, the nature of support we can offer has been increased considerably. Where customers WON’T PAY, we are making sure that our procedures are robust and we will seek repossession of your property through the courts.

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Here is an update on our Promise to you and an update on what we are currently up to in the service: e are making it easy for you to pay your W rent. You can pay by: - Direct debit

- Via the internet

- Standing order

- Via the telephone

- Post Office

- Via bank transfer

- Paypoint We have recently changed our payment service provider to ALLPAY which will further improve some of the payment facilities to you. For example, you can now pay your rent via our new ALLPAY App if you have an Apple or Android Smartphone. For more information, search on the Apple App Store or Google Play (formerly the Android Market), or visit www.allpay.net/app. We are also hoping to offer more direct debit payments options so you can pay direct debits on any day of the month. We will keep you updated on this.


The team will operate 9am - 9pm, 7 days per week

We provide you with a Welfare Rights Service

Our Money Support Staff are available to take incoming rent calls between the hours of 8am - 8pm, Monday to Friday. On 6th August 2012, we extended our outbound Money Support Service to 9am - 9pm. This means that you may be called or receive a visit from our staff at any time between 9am - 9pm, 7 days per week, regarding your rent account or rent payments. Please be aware that when visiting you at home, our staff will always carry a full THT identification badge and you should always ask to see this. Please ask if you would like us to contact you over the weekend or up to 9pm and we will be able to accommodate this.

This should be familiar to you all now as Catherine Hardman has been running our Welfare Rights Service for two years at the Trust. Catherine is able to support you with appeals against benefit decisions and tribunals and can help you to make applications for benefits. As a service, we are intending to offer Welfare Rights Surgeries in future, where you can book an appointment and come along to speak to someone and gain help with benefit applications. We are currently arranging for all of our Money Support Staff to be trained in welfare rights so that we can provide a speedier service to you which is more accessible.

We will provide a financial assessment to all new tenants prior to the tenancy commencement

We have recruited a Court Officer, Sean Ankers

A full financial health check is carried out with all new customers. This forms part of our Positive Starts Service. There is further information on this service on page 9.

Sean will conduct most of the Court work in the Borough and will liaise directly with customers who are due to attend in Court for non-payment of rent.

We will provide debt advice We have appointed Christina Higham as your Debt Advisor who is currently setting up the Debt Advice Service. We provide employment support and job seeking advice Our Money Support staff offer information and signpost customers to appropriate agencies, where appropriate.

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Introducing our New Debt Advisor In our last issue of Pulse we informed you that we were recruiting a Debt Advisor. We’re now pleased to report that we have appointed Christina Higham who is busy setting up a Debt Advice Service to help you, our customers. Christina is also providing training for all of our Money Support Staff which will increase the support and knowledge we can give you on dealing with debt and if you are struggling with your finances. Once our Debt Service is fully up and running Christina will be able to help you with a whole host of support including:• M  aximising your income Helping you to have as much money as possible in your pockets. • L  iaising with creditors on your behalf to set up repayments that you can afford This could involve Christina advising you what to do, or Christina talking to people you owe money to, so that your repayments become more manageable.

• B  udgeting advice Helping you to understand your household income and expenditure. • P  rioritising your bills Helping you to work out who needs paying first. Christina will also be able to help you with advice and information around: • Managing your rent account and rent account payments. • Understanding what you should do if you have a bailiff approach you regarding a debt. • Helping you with any fuel debts and offering information on how to make the most of your money. • Understanding the problems associated with loan sharks and knowing what to do if you owe money to a loan shark. • Where you may have Court Papers relating to a debt, Christina can help you to interpret these and should be able to give you advice on what to do. • Christina will also be able to help you with information on insolvency options such as Debt Relief Orders and Bankruptcy.

Often debt can cause stress, concern and worry and sometimes people try to ignore the debt hoping that it will go away. Please don’t let this be you. If you want some help, information or advice on debts of any level, please call us on 0161 968 0388 and ask for Christina. 8


Positive Starts for New Customers

Paying your Rent and your Tenancy Agreement The collection of rent is essential to the Trust and the services we provide to you. The section of your Tenancy Agreement entitled, ‘Payments for your Home’ states that you must pay the rent and any service charge and/or arrears in advance, on or before the Monday of each week. In the coming months, your Money Support Team will be contacting you if your rent account is not always paid in full or in credit. They also will discuss paying your rent in line with your Tenancy Agreement. This may mean that where you usually pay your rent monthly in arrears, we will contact you to discuss this and will look to increasing your payments to bring your payments in line with your Tenancy Agreement. Payments are due in advance or on the Monday which they fall. Please be aware that some payment types can take time to reach us and you should always ensure that the payment is ‘received’ by us in time. This can be a few days after you have physically made your payment.

In order to ensure that all new customers are supported to sustain their tenancies, we have developed a comprehensive Positive Starts service which is being gradually rolled out. Before a customer has signed for a tenancy, they will have to attend a mandatory Positive Starts Interview. New customers will not be able to sign for a tenancy until they have attended a Positive Starts Interview and have paid either a week’s or up to a month’s rent in advance (depending on how they intend to pay in future). The Positive Starts Interview allows us to complete a full financial health check, discuss whether they can afford the tenancy, give information on any future changes in benefits that may happen, make a referral for debt advice or welfare rights advice, and discuss employment opportunities or training. We will also offer information on lots of different ways to save money and cut down on current expenditure and will help with any applications for grants. During the Positive Starts Interview, our staff will also carry out a Positive Assessment, whereby we assess the level of support that a customer may need during the initial 2-3 months of their tenancy. Depending on the outcome of this assessment, we may decide to support a customer every week for up to three months, or alternatively, we may decide that a phone call would be sufficient each month for the first two months. It really does depend on the circumstances of the new customer and is totally aimed at supporting our new customers to have a Positive Start to their tenancy and relationship with us.

For more information on any of our services, please contact a member of the Money Support Team on 0300 777 7777. 9


Benefit Fraud Convictions Ian Coomber, aged 61, of Egerton Drive, New Hey Court, Sale and Jonathon Cleal, aged 53, of Swan Road, Timperley, were convicted on 30th August of dishonestly obtaining housing benefit, amounting to £39,775. The fraud took place between April 1998 and June 2011. Mr Coomber stated that he was paying rent to Mr Cleal for a room in his property and Mr Cleal had provided letters to Trafford Council confirming that he was charging Mr Coomber rent. However, an investigation conducted by the benefit fraud team at the council established that a commercial arrangement had not existed and that the money being claimed was being used to meet their normal living expenses. On 2nd August, Mr Coomber and Mr Cleal appeared at Manchester Crown Court and entered guilty pleas to a total of 14 offences and on 30th August were both given custodial sentences of five months. 10

His Honour Judge Lever said: “Both of you were feathering your own nest at the expense of the taxpayer. Both of you fraudulently got the benefit and you didn’t stop it. I sentence you both to five months’ immediate custody. It will be borne in mind by everyone who is on the fiddle who thinks that nothing worse will happen to them apart from a few hours of community service. It was classic greed from middle-class dishonest people.”

In addition to his custodial sentence, Mr Coomber is required to repay all the money that he falsely obtained. Mr Cleal has also been dismissed from his post within Trafford Council’s legal and democratic services department as a result of the investigation that was carried out.


Clare Higson, aged 24, of Kingsway Park, Urmston was convicted on 28th August of dishonestly obtaining Housing Benefit, Council Tax Benefit and Income Support amounting to £2,876.95. Miss Higson pleaded guilty to failing to report changes in her circumstances to the Department for Work and Pensions and Trafford Council’s Benefits Department, in that she had her partner living with her. As a result she was overpaid Housing Benefit, Council Tax Benefit and Income Support between November 2011 and March 2012.

She was sentenced at Manchester Magistrates Court to a 12 month Community Order with 80 hours of unpaid work to be carried out. She was also ordered to pay costs of £250. In addition to this she is required to repay all the money that she falsely claimed from the Department for Work and Pensions and Trafford Council.

Executive Councillor Sean Anstee said: “Benefit fraud will not be tolerated in Trafford and the Council will not hesitate to take action against those who commit this type of crime. I urge residents to report anyone who they suspect is committing benefit fraud.”

Trust evicts nightmare tenant Trafford Housing Trust has evicted a tenant from his property following complaints of serious anti-social behaviour. Complaints from residents living close to Alan Margetson included playing loud music, verbally abusing neighbours, racist abuse, threatening language and disturbances through the night. He was also accused of indecently exposing himself on his third-floor balcony. Trafford Housing Trust secured a number of court orders including an injunction, undertaking and suspended possession order. In addition to this, Greater Manchester Police secured an Anti-Social Behaviour Order when Mr Margetson was convicted of a number of criminal offences.

In July, the courts granted Mr Margetson a final opportunity to change his behaviour. However, further complaints were received from residents and the decision to evict Mr Margetson was taken at the beginning of September. Matthew Gardiner, Chief Executive of Trafford Housing Trust, said: “Evicting a tenant is always the last resort for us. However, persistent anti-social behaviour will not be tolerated and we have to consider other tenants who are being affected by the disturbance.”

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Our Promises In our last edition of Pulse, we included a document outlining our Promises. These were the standards we have set ourselves, following consultation with you, our tenants. Since April we have been working hard to deliver them – have you noticed? We have been doing an evaluation of how we think we are doing. The figures are based on the first quarter ie: April 2012 to the end of June 2012. We believe we are delivering ‘reasonably well’.

The Promise was completely delivered in a number of areas. These were: • On the Customer Hub, where 95.5% of the 27,700 incoming calls were answered. This beat our Promise by 0.5%. We missed 1,248 calls but we did ring those customers back on the same day. • In Repairs, where all emergency repairs were completed within one day of reporting and 97.7% were completed within eight hours. Also in Repairs, we promised that 95.6% of jobs would be completed ‘right first time’ and we exceeded this target by 0.6%.

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Are we living up to them? • In Rental Income, we lost only 0.74% of income from empty properties. We had promised this would be no more than 1%. • In the Money Support Service, we delivered all the improved access to methods of payments and are committed to even more flexibility in the future – watch this space! • We completed all pre-tenancy visits and 283 MOT visits – this means we are on track to deliver the 700 MOT visits per year promised. • In our Sheltered Schemes we provided 1,541 activities including coffee mornings, bingo, healthy hips and hearts, games sessions as well as Jubilee celebrations and fundraising events.

46.6% of residents took part as well as 1,707 people from the local community. • TrustCall attended all 323 emergency calls they received within 40 minutes. They actually arrived within 20 minutes on 98% of the calls. •A  ction Plans and Support Plans were agreed for all reported incidents of Anti-Social Behaviour. •A  ll Caretaking Services to both low rise and multi-storey blocks have been carried out as per The Promise. • F ive year works plans have been discussed with Leaseholders and their quarterly meetings have been held.

While we are pleased with the above, there is further work to be done. We recognise that: •W  hile we did respond to customer requests within ten days, we did miss our Promise to contact you within 48 hours if you query could not be resolved on the Customer Hub. We resolved 77% of calls on the hub but of the others, we only got back to 66% of customers with a resolution within the 48 hours window.This is not good enough. In order to improve we are doing much closer monitoring of calls once they have left the Customer Hub. Managers have been given an analysis tool to check the performance of their team and there is further

training planned. We are working hard to make sure everyone in the organisation is committed to meeting our Promise. • We failed on complaints. In the first quarter of 2012 we received 41 complaints. We only dealt with 52% of these within our timescales. We missed most of these at the initial resolution stage ie: within the first 48 hours.This has been a focus since June so we are hopeful this will have improved during quarter two. We will let you know!

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• In May, we received nine high level reports of anti-social behaviour, but failed to contact two of te bsi we the on eo vid ses mi these within one day. This gave us a performance of See our Pro ses mi Pro k/ o.u t.c us gtr sin only 77.7%. We also missed the target for medium www.traffordhou level anti-social behaviour. Our Promise here is to make contact within two working days. We had 67 reports but only hit our Promise with 64 of these. • In Repairs we were slow to implement the We missed three. Everyone in the team is working Promise of 15 days for Routine Repairs. We only hard to improve these figures because we know really got started on this by 19th June due to how difficult living with anti-social behaviour can computer configuration issues. Since then we have be. On graffiti we managed to remove all but one been on track. incident within our timescales. The one we missed • We struggled to keep our Repairs Appointment was because it was resistant to the chemicals we times. We only achieved 96.6% of appointments, used to remove it. missing our target by 2.6%. One of the main factors behind this was the weather. The rain caused a flood • In most areas our Grounds Maintenance did meet the standards of the Promise but in some it was (forgive the pun) of urgent guttering, roofing and missed. This was due to a combination of the very general outdoor work taking resources away from wet weather and some equipment problems. We other areas of work. continue to meet with our contractor Greenfingers • We aimed to achieve 98.5% customer satisfaction to keep improving our green spaces. with the service we provide when improving homes. We only achieved 95%. We are looking at why we If you have any feedback or comments missed this target and will learn from the customer on our evaluation, please let us know. feedback to improve in the future. We know some You can tweet us @talktrafford or of this relates to communication with our tenants. comment on our facebook page www.facebook.com/ traffordhousingtrust

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We have recently completed a Customer Satisfaction Survey. We thought you may be interested in the results. Please note that in line with the rules of this survey any tenant responding ‘neither satisfied or dissatified’ is taken to be not satisfied. Only a positive result is counted as satisfied. Quarter One Result

Comparison with Quarter four

Top 25%

% of tenants feeling their views are taken into account

72.5%

77.8%

91%

% of tenants satisfied at the opportunities to make their views known

69.7%

76.3%

73.7%

% of tenants satisfied with the way their landlord deals with repairs and maintenance

84.2%

90.7%

95.9%

% of tenants satisfied with their neighbourhood as a place to live

90.4%

90.4%

86.9%

% of tenants satisfied with the overall service provided by THT

89.7%

92.9%

93%

In terms of the percentage of tenants feeling their views are taken into account, we are disappointed this has dropped by 6.62%. It was noted that the proportion of customers answering ‘neither satisfied or dissatified’ increased by 20% while the number actually saying they were dissatisfied dropped from 12.2% to 7.3%. This was a similar pattern in all the responses. We are committed to improving these results and one of the ways we are doing this is to make two of our services the Best of the Best. These services are: • Customer Involvement

Customer Involvement are working on ways in which we can open up opportunities for tenants to get their views heard and listened to. Page 17 gives details of three new Customer Action Groups and there is an update on the Quality and Insight Panel on page 18. You do not have to attend meetings to tell us what you think. There is also the Speakeasy Consultation Club, Block Champions or Estate Walkabouts that you can get involved in. The Property Customer Action Group will help the Repairs Service move towards being the Best of the Best, along with the delivery of their Promises.

• Repairs 15


Customer Hub

Continues its

Good Work

In the last issue of Pulse we told you about how the work within the Customer Hub had been externally recognised and we had been successful in securing the 2012 Housing Excellence Award for Customer Service.

Whilst really pleased with achieving the accreditation, we were really proud to be awarded additional ‘compliance plus’ status for the work we do:

In May 2012 the Trust was independently assessed again for the Customer Service Excellence Standard, and whilst this sounds very similar to the award we received earlier in the year this is actually a standard set by the Government in regard to what excellent Customer Service should look and feel like within an organisation.

• In using customer insight to develop policies and strategies and to prioritise service improvement activity and;

The Customer Service Excellence Standard has ‘been developed as a practical tool for driving customer focused change within organisations’ and looks at approximately 57 elements focused on a number of areas including: • Customer satisfaction • Staff professionalism and attitude • Range and quality of information available • Dealing effectively with problems • Customer engagement and consultation Trafford Housing Trust achieved 99% full compliance in the rigorous assessment and is now fully accredited for three years. 16

• Within our wider communities and demonstrate the ways in which we support

• To agree with our customers what they can expect from the services we provide. While it is encouraging that the work we do is being recognised by people and organisations outside the Trust, our focus is on striving to provide each and every customer with fantastic customer service every time you call. We are really interested in hearing your views and ideas around the services the Customer Hub offers, how we can add to these now and in the future and how we can ensure ongoing improvement of the information available when you call us. If you have an idea you would like to discuss please call 0300 777 7777 and ask for Alyson Heald, Service Improver or email alyson.heald@traffordhousingtrust.co.uk


Help us to be the

Best Landlord Possible? In the last issue of Pulse, we launched our new Customer Action Groups (CAG’s) for customers to work with staff on specific services to look at how they currently operate and how they can improve. These groups are themed around People, Places and Properties. Paul Compson from Sale has been attending all three action groups. I find the meetings very interesting and informative and it’s great to also be able to have an input. I especially enjoyed the Property CAG tour of the new build properties. It was really interesting to see what Trafford Housing Trust is doing. In June, the Business Development and Improvement Team worked with the People and Places CAG to help plan the Trust’s new policy on Fixed Term Tenancies. Fay Jackson, Community and Partnerships Officer, said “It’s really important that changes to our services are lead by our Customers.” The customers involved in the People and Places CAG’s were able to give us different perspectives on how this new Government initiative might impact on our tenants and our neighbourhoods.”

People CAG Meet on the first Tuesday of the month. Future topics for discussion: TrustCall, the Customer Hub, our complaints procedure, and monitoring the services performance data and budgets.

Properties CAG Meet on the third Monday of the month. Future topics for discussion include: Empty Properties Policy, decorating allowance and monitoring the services performance data and budgets.

Places CAG Meet on the second Wednesday of the month. Future topics for discussion include: anti-social behaviour, community panels, caretaking services and monitoring the services performance data and budgets.

How can I get involved? All the meetings are held at Sale Point. The groups meet for light refreshments at 5.30pm and the meetings run from 6 - 8pm. Contact Fay Jackson, Community and Partnerships Engagement officer on 0161 968 0117. 17


Quality and Insight Panel Quality and Insight Panel

What is the Quality and Insight Panel?

What is the Quality and Insight Panel up to?

Set up in 2011, the Quality and Insight Panel (QIP) is made up of tenants and leaseholders who examine and scrutinise the services provided by the Trust. The Panel analyses current practices to make suggestions for improvements on specific services.

In May, the QIP completed their first scrutiny project which examined the way we communicate with customers during the large-scale regeneration improvement works which many Trust properties have undergone in recent years. As a result of this work a total of 38 recommendations

sparewere page made to the regeneration service. These

What does the Quality and Insight Panel do? The QIP have a wide remit which covers the following areas:

• Carry out a programme of scrutiny reviews examining customer facing services on an annual basis. • Commission the mystery shoppers and resident inspectors to carry out research on their behalf. • Make recommendations to the Board following a scrutiny review.

recommendations were discussed with Graeme Scott, Assistant Director of Investment and Growth, before being presented to the Board for approval. Graeme Scott commented that: I found the QIP to be very fair in the interview. They were professional and did a good job. They looked at the right areas and asked the right sort of questions and as a result have developed some good recommendations.

In talking about the scrutiny process Chris Rooke QIP member said “There are lots more things happening than we realised. More goes on locally right under our noses than we knew about.”

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The QIP found that:

What next for the Quality and Insight Panel?

• THT has vastly improved since the start of the regeneration programme. Improvements have been made due to general feedback including complaints from customers. THT appear to have listened to customers and have improved as the regeneration programme has progressed.

During the first Scrutiny project, QIP members identified training they wanted before starting the next project. The QIP are now selecting their next area for scrutiny which will focus on the Repairs Service.

• Tenant’s involvement in decision making has improved significantly since the transfer to THT in 2005. • Regeneration Managers have taken the QIP review and recommendations positively and have wanted to take QIP members views on board. The action plan for implementing the service improvement recommendations has now been given to the Properties Customer Action Group to monitor alongside Graeme Scott.

How can I get involved? The QIP meet every first and third Wednesday of the month. We are looking for more people to get involved who are interested in analysing data and investigating tenants views in order to make recommendations and a real difference to THT’s service improvements. Please contact us if you would like to come along to a meeting as an observer to find out if the QIP is right for you. Find out more contact Julie Nelson-Hall, Community and Partnerships Manager, on 0300 777 7777 or email julie.nelson-hall@traffordhousingtrust.co.uk

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Opportunities for Community and Voluntary Groups My name is Aine Graven and I am the new Business Engagement Officer. I was recruited as part of a Borough-wide project to improve the way that the voluntary and community sector in Trafford is supported to grow and develop. My role focuses on increasing the number of Trafford-based businesses engaging with local community and voluntary organisations. Businesses can be valuable partners for these groups as they can provide a range of free support, including; • Business mentoring and sharing skills

• Providing professional advice at low/no cost

• Offering training

• Offering resources such as meeting spaces and equipment

• Supplying volunteers for one off projects

My first task is to get out and about in Trafford and speak to community and voluntary groups, to find out what support they need so that I can then match them to the right businesses. I will then identify what business support would be most suitable; this can be anything from needing someone to audit your books through to transforming a disused plot into a community garden. For more information, or if you are a member of a not-for-profit organisation that you think could benefit from a local business partner please contact 07834 517 395 and ask for Aine or email aine.graven@traffordhousingtrust.co.uk.

The Bear is Back!

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Our beloved Trusty Bear has had a bit of a makeover and has been having loads of fun at our various Family Fun Days and events across the Borough. When asked about alleged Botox treatment, Trusty said, “I don’t know what you mean, this is all natural, my new look is purely down to good diet and exercise I feel like a new bear!”

of four tickets for Chill Factore. Bobby was one of dozens of entrants who answered all the questions correctly – Well done Bobby!

One of Trusty’s first duties when he returned from his holiday at Great Bear Lake in the U.S. was to present our Trusty Bear Promises Quiz winner, six year old Bobby Clucus of Stretford, with his prize

Trusty will be attending some events over the Autumn and Winter period – so watch out, watch out, the bear’s about!


SUMMER FUNDING SUCCESS FOR

OUR NEIGHBOURHOODS Trust residents are celebrating after being awarded over £20,000 of Council funding to run a whole range of projects. Trafford Council’s Voluntary Sector Grants Scheme encouraged groups to come up with innovative solutions to local challenges. The most promising applicants got to present their ideas on stage at four public events attended by over 200 people across the Borough. After the varied presentations a Eurovision-Style public vote decided which projects got a share of the pot of funding.

Winning projects from our neighbourhoods included: • £  4,500 to help Trafford Leisure Trust and THT to work together to deliver healthy hips and hearts sessions in sheltered schemes across Sale, Altrincham and West Areas. • £2,200 to provide a shed and shelter for the new community-run allotments at Craven Road, Broadheath. •  £14,000 for a range of projects in Sale West, including £7,500 to help unemployed people find work and £1,300 to help a resident volunteer set up a support group for parents of children who have got involved with drugs.

The National Lottery have identified Trafford as a priority area for their Awards for All scheme which gives grants of up to £10,000 to projects benefitting people, the environment, and communities. Research carried out by the lottery shows that our Borough gets less of these grants than any other area of the North West. Jonathan Baker, THT’s Funding Officer, is working alongside lottery officials to encourage more successful bids from our neighbourhoods and recently co-ran a series of workshops at which groups learnt how to fill in the application form, available at www.awardsforall.org.uk/ I’d really encourage groups to take a closer look at Awards for All, even if they have never had a grant from anyone before.  he success rates are higher than you will find T with other funders, with over 50% of bids being successful. Jonathan says.

If you or a group you’re involved with have an idea for a project benefitting your neighbourhood get in touch with Jonathan for an informal chat. Call 0161 968 0270 or email jonathan.baker@traffordhousingtrust.co.uk. 21


COMMUNITY FIRST

NEIGHBOURHOOD MATCHED FUND Do you live in Stretford Central, Longford or Gorse Hill? Did you know £33,000 is available to your area between now and March 2015? Community First Neighbourhood Matched Fund is a Government initiative which has made money available to fund community projects in some areas of the country which they have identified as being the most deprived. We are working with Trafford Council and panels of local people from Stretford Central, Longford and Gorse Hill to apply for funding from the Government. In June 2012, 19 groups were successful in applying for a total of £24,684. One of these successful applicants is STAMP sync in Gorse Hill. STAMP sync received £1,972 to assist volunteers to deliver a four-week project for young people to introduce ways of approaching issues relating to health and fitness. The project was devised so young people may obtain an understanding of how a professional athlete prepares for competition. How can my group apply? •T  he eligible communities of Stretford Central, Longford and Gorse Hill have set up local panels made up of local residents, the Councillor for the ward and representatives of organisations working locally, such as schools, the health service, or Police. • The panels have decided upon priorities for funding in their area. • L ocal groups and projects can then apply to the panels for funding support.

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• This is a matched fund programme which means that every £1 provided in Government funding must be matched by a similar amount of in-kind donations (this means donations of cash, services, free products or volunteer time). • E ach panel will have £33,000 of Government funding to spend between now and March 2015. To help make sure this money is shared out as fairly as possible, the maximum grant for any one project is £2,500 per year. •T  hese funds are now open for applications and groups can apply at any time. How can I get involved? You don’t need to have any experience of helping this kind of project at all. All we ask is for an interest in working with others to improve your community. We are looking for resident panel members to commit for a minimum of one year, during which you might need to come along to four or five meetings. For more information, call 0300 777 7777 and ask to be put through to a member of the Community and Partnerships Team. Alternatively, email gettinginvolved@traffordhousingtrust.co.uk


A SUMMER OF FUN The Trust has a held a series of family fun days and events all over the Borough. Here are just some of the activities that took place.

Meadows Family Fun Day A fun-filled day was had by the 100 local people who attended and the rain managed to stay away until the very end. Special thanks to Michelle Winn and the rest of the Tenants and Residents group who organised the activities and event.

Activities included football, cricket, circus skills, basketball and face painting. Partners included Sport Trafford,TUFC, Sure Start, Big Lottery Fund and Trafford Housing Trust.

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Woodsend Family Fun Day Following on from last year’s success, Woodsend Community Group held a second Family Fun Day. The event attracted over 500 people and feedback on the day has been extremely positive. This year’s event was organised by Leon Pietrzak,Youth Involvement Officer at the Trust. The day included Olympicthemed sports such as Archery, Football and Basketball. Other activities included zorbing up and down the Park, inflatables and face painting. Ray Howarth, Chairman of the Woodsend Community Group, said: “It was great to see so many new residents and community partners getting involved and making it bigger and better than last year and thank you everybody involved in the planning and delivery of this growing event.”

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Addison Crescent The Addison Crescent Fun Day was a small affair but BIG on impact! Families came along and got involved with the activities including a bouncy castle, a circus skills entertainer and partners from Sure Start, the Police and PCSOs. THT services in attendance included Older People’s Service, Repairs Team,Youth Team and an Old Trafford Neighbourhood Partner. The Police allowed the children to sit in the car, answered their questions and even let them sound the siren.The Community and Partnership Engagement Team also promoted their methods of involvement and captured tenant’s views with the Tops and Pants washing line and the Customer Involvement Flower. This is a representation of the methods of involvement at the Trust.

Old Trafford Family Fun Day Trafford Housing Trust Youth Involvement Officer Tabby Mansha worked in partnership with Your Housing Group, to organise a spectacular Family Fun Day within Old Trafford for the second year running. The Fun Day was to enable local people, to come along, get involved in fun activities, find out about local services and how to get involved and shape service delivery. The day involved a lot of planning with local residents and


Sport played a key part in the event and lots of people tried a new sport including, dance, hula hooping, tri golf, boxing, football, cycling and much more with everyone enjoying themselves. Trafford Housing Trust provided the boxing exhibition young people. Activities included, giant inflatables, a petting zoo, donkey rides, creepy crawlies, a 13ft python, classes courtesy of Dwanys Boxing Club. arts and crafts, smoothie making and much more.There Trafford Housing Trust’s Community and Partnership were activities for all the family to enjoy and have a Engagement Team promoted different ways in which memorable day out. tenants can become involved with the Trust. The Fun Day attracted over 1,000 local people, with over 600 being young people alone. Local people living in Old Trafford also had the opportunity to volunteer on the day, to develop their skills and help to make a difference to their community.

Lostock Olympic Event The event was well attended with over 1,000 visitors at peak times. All sports activities were free and gave everyone the chance to join in and try something different. Many local voluntary groups had stalls to showcase their talents and attract new members. Lostock College kindly loaned Lostock Partnership their Olympic Torch. Tom Howells, a pupil at the college and a local young volunteer encouraged people to join the Olympic Torch parade.

Pandemonium at Moor Nook Park On Friday 10th of August, the Youth Service, lead by Chris Garrett and Janet Green, put together a fantastic event on Moor Nook Park. Trafford Housing Trust’s Vicki Duncan and Carl Vernon of Sale Moor Community Panel held a day of live music, where they entertained and kept the music flowing. Sissy Rooney of Street Style Surgery did a t-shirt spraying workshop which went incredibly well. Vicki Duncan said “This was a fantastic event and I am so pleased it was held in the heart of our community.”

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Community

Roadshows Trafford Housing Trust have been organising and taking part in community roadshows/ events across Trafford. This has enabled the Community and Partnership Team, alongside other services and partners, to meet with tenants and residents in their neighbourhoods to talk to them about how to get involved with the Trust. The roadshows have allowed different service areas to interact with the wider community, to offer help and advice on adaptations for older people, inform them on the recent Welfare Reforms and introduce the Handy Fix service. The roadshows were held at different venues across Trafford, including local green spaces, local neighbourhoods and other community venues. We have also captured customer comments with our washing line of pants and tops!

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Here are a couple of comments. “Excellent. A well organised day with lots of staff on-hand to help and answer any questions. There was lots of entertainment for different age groups. Great fun was had by all my family. Thank you!” “A lovely turn out. I would like more of these events to take place over the school holiday, it will help to give the kids something to keep them busy.”


Moss Park Football Coaching Trafford Housing Trust Youth Officer David Esdaile put on fantastic FREE coaching sessions over the six week Summer holidays at Moss Park, Stretford and it is growing from strength to strength. This year we enlisted the aid of Mike McKenzies of TUFC Football coaches, to deliver the sessions because demand had increased significantly. We had over 100 young people attend the sessions who gave us very positive feedback at the end of the course. A big thanks to coaches Rio, Ellis, Jimmy, Romy, Remise and all the well behaved young people who attended.

Sale Moor Youngsters Take up a New Hobby! The young people of Sale Moor have been engaging in a bowling project for over 12 weeks with youth workers from Trafford Youth Service, Janet Green and Miriam Ainsworth, and Vicki Duncan from Trafford Housing Trust.

Duncan said “I completely under-estimated how difficult bowling on a green actually is.” The project is going from strength to strength and both the Youth Service and THT continue to work in partnership to ensure the young people can continue their hobby.

The bowling green on Norris Road wasn’t being used and a few concerns had been raised by local residents about young people using the green for football. An employee of Genesis, on Sale Moor who was a champion for England at bowling came on board with the project to work with the young people and teach them how to bowl. The young people have been really enjoying playing and Vicki 27


STRETFORD COMMUNITY PANEL

STRETFORD - YOUR VOICE, YOUR CHOICE Do you live in Stretford? Did you manage to get down to the Stretford Community Panel Event on Saturday 6th October 2012 to help decide how ÂŁ29,000 should be spent on improving your neighbourhood? The Stretford Community held a Participatory Budgeting event on Saturday 6th October 2012 at the Trafford Leisure Centre. Participatory Budgeting empowers local people to play a key role in deciding how money should be spent in their communities.

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Community organisations working in the Stretford community were invited to submit a bid on how they think they can improve the area. Each organisation had the chance to bid for up to ÂŁ3,000. At the event they delivered a short presentation about their project and members of the Stretford community had the opportunity

to score the projects based on how they felt the projects would benefit Stretford. Look out for the Winter edition of Pulse for a list of successful projects and to see where the money was spent and the benefit it has brought to your community. For further information please contact Kelly Anderson at the Stretford Area Housing Office on 0161 968 0322.


Knitting Team Break £1,000 Barrier for Children’s Charity A group of Trafford knitters have smashed their fundraising target for a children’s charity by selling teddies and other knitwear across the area. Residents of Wellgreen Lodge have already reached their original £1,000 target for 2012 for the Children’s Adventure Farm Trust (CAFT). Teddies of all styles have proved popular, with the keen knitters getting creative to produce a variety of furry friends including a big fat gypsy wedding teddy, a punk teddy and a Jubilee teddy. The enthusiastic bunch have now increased their goal to £1,500 by the end of the year – with sales last weekend at Timperley Country Fair and the CAFT open day already boosting the numbers.

Libby Swindells, the Scheme Manager at Wellgreen Lodge, said: “It’s fantastic that they’ve managed to raise the target amount so quickly.We’re all having a lot of fun, and so we’ve increased our target figure and I’m confident that we can meet it! “Everyone here at Wellgreen Lodge is extremely motivated, especially when it’s for such a good cause.The Children’s Adventure Farm Trust is a fantastic charity which does incredible work.” The teddies sell for between £5 and £7 and each has a small metal heart stitched to its left paw.They also come with a certificate to let the new owner know what the money is being raised for. Helen Crowther, a Senior Trust Fundraiser at CAFT, said:

“We are so grateful to everyone from Wellgreen Lodge for their amazing support; they have worked so hard to create some wonderful items and raised vital funds for our charity. It means so much to us when members of our local community come together to help the children who come to the Adventure Farm.We really can’t thank them all enough.” Libby and her residents, whose ages range from 50 to 92, started off by knitting a patchwork blanket last year. The original blanket was supposed to be 20ft wide but ended up being 29ft wide because so many patches were knitted and donated. You can make a donation to the Children’s Adventure Farm Trust through their website www.caft.co.uk/donate. 29


Tenants Get Plastered In July, the Trust held an Employment and Skills Fayre which showcased the variety of training and qualifications available to residents of Old Trafford, with the opportunity to sign up for courses. The Trust held construction taster-classes in some of their free properties in Eagle Court for people to take part in. There was also the opportunity to enroll onto courses with the Trafford college, receive childcare information and employment support.

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Graeme Scott, Assistant Director at the Trust, said:  his event was a fantastic opportunity for local T residents to come and find out more about how they can improve their skills and get into work. Not only can residents see what’s right for them but they have also signed up for training courses and apprenticeships.


JIMMY HANGS

UP HIS SPANNER Jimmy Singleton, one of our longest serving repairs operatives, has retired. Many of you will know Jimmy. He started working with Trafford Council in June 1976 as a plumber and has visited most of our tenants in the times since then. We have calculated in his time with us he has: • Fitted over 1,000 sink units and 1,500 baths • Unblocked 8,000 sinks and 10,000 toilets • Fitted 20,000 gutter joints and re-glazed over 3,750 windows • Repaired 6,000 burst pipes Jimmy retired after 36 years loyal service to spend time with Sandra, his wife and his five grandchildren. We wish him every success and would like to thank him for all his hard work!

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Trust Launches

New Social Enterprise The Rainbow Furniture Centre is putting on a furniture display as part of Recycle for Greater Manchester’s ‘Seeing is Believing’ campaign to encourage more people to buy pre-owned furniture.

A brand new social enterprise in Old Trafford selling furniture to low income families has received generous donations from businesses in the area. The Rainbow Furniture Centre, based on Malvern Row, has been set up to provide local residents access to furniture which would be quite expensive to buy in the shops. The furniture has come from empty properties throughout the Borough and through very generous donations from partners and businesses. Launched in September, the project is funded by Greater Manchester Waste Authority, Safer Trafford Partnership and some of our local Community Panels.

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The ‘Seeing is Believing’ campaign will show people that second-hand furniture is a great way to spruce up a home without breaking the bank. Recycle for Greater Manchester is promoting furniture organisations around the region who are doing their bit to help the community as well as the environment. The recently established social enterprise now boasts a number of sofas, shelving units, stools and worktops as well as decorative items such as rugs, picture frames and cushions. The nearly new pieces will now be sold by the Centre onto underprivileged households for a minimal cost. Rainbow will also encourage people to donate their furniture to be re-sold rather than sending unwanted goods to landfill sites. Rainbow will pick up furniture donations, asking only for a contribution towards fuel costs – and the delivery of purchased furniture will be free.


We would like to thank all the businesses for their kind generosity in helping to get this scheme off the ground. THT – have funded the project and provided the premises free of charge. Seddons – have agreed to carry out the refurbishment of the shop. Wates – have donated furniture. Casey – have donated a new kitchen. Sure Maintenance – have upgraded the central heating and extended it into both units. ABCA Systems – have upgraded and tested all the fire safety, alarms, equipment and signs. GMWA – have donated £9,000 towards a van. Safer Partnership – have provided grant funding of £10,000. Community Panels – have provided grants.

Deborah Elgar, Social Enterprise Manager at Trafford Housing Trust, added:  e created Rainbow with the express purpose W of providing access to much-needed furniture for financially restricted local residents, whilst also reducing the amount of waste sent to landfill. These kind donations from businesses in the local area could not have come at a better time - it has given us the kick-start we needed to get off the ground.

Visit us at:

rainbowfurniturecentre.weebly.com Come in and see us at:

3-4 Malvern Row, Cornbrook, Park Road, Old Trafford, Manchester M15 4FD Opening hours Mon-Fri 8am-4pm

The Recycle for Greater Manchester website contains more information on buying pre-loved furniture: www.recycleforgreatermanchester.com

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YOU’RE HIRED! Trafford Housing Trust ApprenTHTice “10 candidates, 5 jobs and 6 exciting tasks…” Task 1 Design a two week work experience programme Our apprentices met with Ann Burton, who helps our staff with training and development.The apprentices spent a day working in teams to enhance their communication skills and team work.They were given a series of tasks to complete which would ensure they were given the relevant skills to see them through our three-week apprentice programme.The youngsters were kept in suspense about the tasks, only finding out what their challenge was on the day of task! We arranged two mentors to ensure the youngsters had support and guidance throughout.They were Vicki Duncan,Youth Involvement and Claire Charity, Training and Development. Just like the BBC series ‘The Apprentice’ we had our very own Karren Brady (Eloise Bifield) and Nick Hewer (Martin Saunders).

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Our teams were split into two groups (chosen at random) and they each chose a name;Team 5 Stars and Team Phoenix. Each team had to choose a Project Manager and then it was time to go head-to-head! Amy Nield led Team 5 Stars and Macaulay Stephenson lead Team Phoenix.They conducted questionnaires in schools to ascertain what pupils wanted from their work experience. Each team devised a PowerPoint presentation and were proud to present these to our Community Panel Chairs and Vice Chairs. Vicki Duncan,Youth Involvement Officer, said “They immediately demonstrated our values at Trafford Housing Trust by listening to what responses were given when they collated information via their questionnaires.”


Task 2 Sell tickets for Salford City Reds Our apprentices were driven to a secret location where they wondered what the next task may be. They were taken to Salford City Reds stadium to learn about their next challenge. “Welcome to Salford City Reds stadium” declared Elaine Johnson, Assistant Director, Organisational Development. Our apprentices excitedly made their way inside the enormous glass building wondering what we had in store for them. The task was to sell as many Salford City Reds tickets as possible, at a discounted community rate. They were restricted to only selling in the Trafford area, as Salford is predominantly where tickets are sold for the rugby club. We wanted them to enter the neighbouring Borough and market the club to the wider community in Trafford.

Project Manager for Phoenix, Laura Smith, and Project Manager for 5 Stars, Carrie Lenegan, devised their selling strategy. “Location is key” said Laura, who then decided to move from Stretford Mall as business was slow. Laura decided to split her team, half going back to the office to research local businesses and the rest to try local schools hoping

to meet parents who would purchase tickets. Both teams sold tickets to family and friends and negotiated corporate deals, selling in excess of £950. Our apprentices were invited to attend a game and were treated as VIPs by staff at Salford Reds. Task 3 Community ginnel clean up Our teams had two ginnels to clean and make tidy for the residents of Oldfield Brow. They chose their gardening tools, collected the necessary protective clothing they would need and got to work in the rain without a complaint. One customer walked by and was incredibly happy with the youngsters. He mentioned there was a lot of litter in a nearby ginnel, located near the shops and added “You are doing wonderful work, it’s great to see.” Immediately, Carley-Rae Bothwell, Project Manager on Team Phoenix said ‘We should get as much as we can finished and then lets help Team 5 Stars finish theirs and move on to the shops to clean the area the customer has mentioned.” Neither team were competing, they were simply working collaboratively, helping each other and showing excellent team work. It was evident they were instinctively demonstrating our values by being so responsive. They moved to the shop area and cleaned the ginnels as requested by a customer. The results were magnificent. 35


Feedback from our residents was incredibly positive. They even invited the young people back to cook for them again! All in all a wonderful task and we are very proud of both teams. Task 5 Void make-over Task 4 Can cook, will cook Team 5 Stars and Team Phoenix were given the challenge of cooking a meal in two of our sheltered schemes. Team 5 Stars went to Millom Court in Timperley, whilst Team Phoenix went to Manor Court in Sale. After attending South Trafford College to gain their food hygiene certificates, our teams carried out this task. Cooking up a stir at Manor Court, Team Phoenix made quite an impression on the residents as they carried out a consultation to establish what the residents liked to eat. 5 Stars carried out the same consultation process, ensuring our residents had a choice and each team listened and began preparing food fit for a king. Team 5 Stars menu: Main: Sausage casserole Dessert: Ice cream and fresh fruit Tea/coffee & mints Team Phoenix menu: Starter: Leek and potato soup Main: Cottage pie with fresh vegetables Dessert: Ice cream with wafers and strawberry sauce Tea/coffee & mints followed by a glass of Bucks Fizz 36

It was time for Trafford Housing Trust’s Stuart Faulkner to see our teams in action. Stuart, THT Repairs Manager, met with our teams in Old Trafford to give them the details of their next task. It was exciting as each team was given a budget to make-over the property, which would later be used as emergency accommodation for our residents. Our teams got to work on deciding what the properties needed to make them inviting and homely for potential tenants. Team 5 Stars decided to re-paint, lay carpets in the hall and lounge area and put up artwork in the flat to make it modern and contemporary. Team Phoenix re-carpeted their whole flat for £220, including fitting, after Amy Nield negotiated a reduced rate with Millennium Carpets in Chorlton. Artwork was put up and curtains introduced to both the bedroom and lounge areas. It looked impressive to say the least. The teams made it very difficult for Stuart to judge and he later proclaimed “We used to paint the flooring in the flats but seeing how fantastic these carpets look, I think we should consider this for our prospective tenants in the future.”


Task 6 Fun day FUNOMENA! It’s that time of year when our wonderful Communications Team plan a staff family fun day but this time they’ve left it in the competent hands of our young apprentices. Team 5 Stars and Team Phoenix set to work on designing a staff fun day to take place during September 2012. The winning team would have their idea taken forward and a fun day would be produced around their plans. Each team had a budget and had to design their fun day with this budget in mind. Team 5 Stars approached The Fuse in Partington to run an 80’s themed night, which would include activities and fun for all the family. Meetings were set up with staff at the Fuse to look at various options. They looked at costs and room availability, as well as considering the Health & Safety issues.

Team Phoenix approached Maize Maze in Trafford. They met with Jonny Hewitt, Manager at Red House Farm, to look at hosting a staff fun day within the grounds of the farm. Jonny was particularly impressed with the youngsters and negotiated a competitive price to include exclusive use of the site for THT staff. There were also additional activities including the climbing wall and laser quest. Both teams presented back to Cass Hasford, Communications Manager and demonstrated the ability to negotiate and manage a budget.

WHAT NOW FOR OUR APPRENTICES? We were able to recruit an extra apprentice, which took job offers up to six! We recruited Jack Mitchell who will work in our Regeneration Department; Laura Smith who will work in our Customer Hub; Carrie Lenegan who will work in our Human Resources/Communications section; Macaulay Stephenson who will work in our IT Department; Carly-Rae Bothell who will work in our Money Support team and Amy Nield who will work with the Community and Partnerships Team.

We are committed to continuing our work with the remaining youngsters and have set up CV writing workshops for them, in addition to getting them involved in volunteering with the Trust.

The remaining four will continue to engage with us and we have recruited two of these for our Junior Youth Board. Matthew Armston and Jack Hall will both take up membership with the Trust in August. 37


Youth Officer Vicki Duncan interviews Matthew Gardiner on his thoughts on ‘The Apprentice’ What were your initial thoughts when the idea of ‘The Apprentice’ was discussed with you? I thought it was a great idea, but I wasn’t prepared to say the words “you’re fired”. Thankfully, no-one got fired and it was more about keeping the candidates with us through the whole process. I wanted it to be challenging for the young people but equally caring. Competition is important as it creates motivation and enthusiasm.

How involved were you in the process and delivery of the project? I wasn’t involved in the preparation or planning as we had a designated team to do that, but I gave the project the green light. I played the part of Lord Sugar which I enjoyed very much.

What was the most rewarding thing about your role within the project? Every task was an absolute joy. The energy and enthusiasm from the young people was incredible. They were sponge-like, absorbing information and taking each task in their stride. The project created

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such a buzz within the organisation and out in the community. I believe this process has changed people’s minds about young people and what they can bring to an organisation/company.

What has been the highlight of the three weeks? Seeing the young people cook and serve a meal to the residents of Manor Court, Sale. I was very impressed when Jack Hall (one of our candidates) came up with the idea to ask Trafford College to borrow some chef’s whites. They certainly looked the part when they took on the challenge of ‘Can Cook, Will Cook’.


In terms of outcomes, which would you say has been the most significant?

What advice would you give to young people wishing to take part in this project in the future?

Well, I am thinking we should do it again!

I’d say give it a go! You’ll find out things about yourself that will stand you in good stead for the rest of your life. You will learn that organisations are not faceless and, in fact, they are run by people who really do care.

We managed to offer six apprenticeships, which exceeded our expectations. We have continued to work with the remaining four candidates, moving them into volunteering with us. Two of the young people have also joined our Junior Youth Board, representing their local area.

What have the benefits of this project been, for the young people and Trafford Housing Trust? The young people have grown in confidence over the weeks. Their self belief and self esteem has increased considerably. This is a project to be proud of; this is particularly apparent when I see first hand our youngsters demonstrating our values.

Now that the project has finished, how do you feel? I feel that the decision for this project to go ahead was, without a doubt, the right one. I am proud of the way in which the project was organised and I have great admiration for the youngsters who embraced the opportunity, showing strength and determination throughout.

Would you do it again and if so, how would the project look? Definitely! I would like to brief tasks to the young people, to enable me to give extensive feedback to the candidates when they enter the boardroom. I also think it would be great to involve tenants in the process. Our new Nick Hewer and Karren Brady, in fact, could be you! 39


Urban Regeneration of Old Trafford is Underway The transformation of Old Trafford is underway following the launch of a multi-million pound urban regeneration project which will reinvent the area - improving lives, boosting the local economy and changing the skyline forever. The Old Trafford Masterplan will create a new gateway to Trafford and, over the next 10 years, will provide a mix of social housing and affordable private accommodation; wide scale community regeneration; and environmental improvements. Matthew Gardiner, Chief Executive of Trafford Housing Trust, and Councillor Michael Hyman, Trafford Council’s Executive Member for Economic Growth and Prosperity, unveiled a ceremonial stone to officially launch the Old Trafford Masterplan and the first phase of a large-scale regeneration project at Essex Way.

Essex Way marks the starting point of the Masterplan, which will create modern, long-lasting and safe communities with quality mixed tenure housing, an outstanding environment, better access to training and employment, and improved facilities. Cruden Construction is developing the first phase, which will see 62 new homes built at Essex Way. The scheme will provide 29 houses and 33 two-bedroom flats built for affordable rent.

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The Masterplan is the vision of Trafford Council, Trafford Housing Trust and the local community, who are working to develop a long-term agreement for the area. Matthew Gardiner, Chief Executive of Trafford Housing Trust, said:  he Old Trafford Masterplan will breathe new life T into an area that has experienced under investment and lacks community cohesion. After years of planning, we are delighted to be working with the council to bring our joint vision to full fruition. “Not only will the regeneration of Old Trafford create a modern urban community, with new homes and an improved environment, it will also link neighbourhoods – something local people have told us they are keen to see. “Now we are underway with a project that will bring positive change for the area. The stone laying will signify the start of this exciting ten year project. The Masterplan is split into nine pockets of development in the Old Trafford area Tamworth, Ayres Road Gateway, Hullard Neighbourhood, The Rivers Neighbourhood, The Cliftons Neighbourhood, Shrewsbury Street, Stretford Road, Fahey’s Depot and St. George’s Gate. A number of these inner city neighbourhoods are currently in the top 10% of the UK’s most deprived areas. As well as tackling many of the socio-economic issues that are common in these communities, such as high levels of unemployment, housing overcrowding and higher than average crime rates, the regeneration aims to build on the strong local community spirit.

Councillor Michael Hyman added: “It is a tremendous honour to be laying the ceremonial stone that marks the launch of this multi-million pound urban regeneration project in Old Trafford. “This is something the Council, Trafford Housing Trust and, most importantly, the local community has wanted to see happen and it is fantastic that such a positive and ambitious plan can be realised, and is being successfully delivered by the Council and Trafford Housing Trust.” With excellent links to Manchester City centre via the tram and bus services, the development of private apartments will aim to draw young professionals who work in the city to the area, as well as providing greater choice for the local community, creating a vibrant, mixed tenure urban community. The Trust is also looking to change the skyline of Old Trafford through major investment in five and the demolition of four tower blocks. Works are currently taking place to regenerate Clifford Court, Grafton Court, Pickford Court, Princess and Empress. This investment will see five high quality, energy efficient blocks created which are a home of choice for local residents. The demolition of the four Bird blocks, which is due to commence in October, will see the creation of much needed space to build family homes for those people who live in and around Old Trafford. 41


New Developments Update Atkinson Court

Atkinson Court We are delighted to announce that planning permission was granted in July for the prestige 71 room ‘Extra Care’ facility at Atkinson Court, Sale. This scheme will replace the now vacant Palace Court and former Centre of Independent Living. We have now chosen our preferred contractor and expect to commence construction on site in October 2012 and completion is due March 2014. We are also really pleased to announce that this scheme is well underway and due to complete March 2013. Calder Court We are building 26 homes for rent and shared ownership at Calder Court, and we have already secured deposits for twelve of the shared ownership properties.

Calder Court

If you would like further details on Atkinson Court and Calder Court please contact Marie Toboni at marie.toboni@traffordhousingtrust.co.uk or call 0300 777 7777. 42


TRAFFORD GETTING SAFER Incidents of crime in Trafford have reduced by 47% over the past five years and are down 11% in the last year, according to the latest Greater Manchester Police (GMP) Neighbourhood Survey. There were 11,000 fewer offences in 2011/12, compared to 2006/07. With Greater Manchester’s second-lowest crime rate, Trafford’s other significant crime reductions include: • Serious violent crime down 74% in four years – (306 incidents in 2007/08; 80 incidents in 2011/12)

•V  ehicle crime down 74% (to 1,017) incidents in five years • Thefts down 27% since 2006/07 • 9 8 young people were dealt with for the first time by the Youth Justice System, compared to 401 in 2005/06 – a decrease of 75.6% Trafford residents can rest assured that the council and Police will continue working together to protect them against the perpetrators of crime and ensure Trafford remains a safe, attractive Borough for all our local communities.

Team THT to the rescue On 30th August, our region experienced high levels of rainfall, in particular Dover Park and Ormeston Lodge. It was a busy day for our staff that day who received Whilst some staff helped with flood damage and over 50 calls from worried customers about the prevented further incidents from taking place, others, area around their properties. including the Lodge’s Scheme Manager, spent the rest of that day, night and the following day reassuring True to form, Team THT sprung into action with customers at Ormeston Lodge. A huge thanks to all members of our repairs and TrustCall teams going out into the community to see how they could help. staff who helped out over that two day period. 43


Paul Deighton, Chief Executive of London 2012 said: “The Olympics have been a roaring success in the North West of England; communities have embraced the Games with real gusto and we’ve been continually impressed by the fantastic family atmosphere and record number of Olympic football spectators visiting Old Trafford stadium in Greater Manchester.”

Olympics The Olympics came to Trafford and what a success it was! Old Trafford played host to nine of the Olympic football matches, which brought together nearly 400,000 global spectators.

Meticulous planning coupled with an effective communications strategy, saw travel disruption kept to an absolute minimum as spectators heeded advice and planned their journeys in advance; people took advantage of free tram and bus travel from Manchester city centre and used special park-and-ride services in operation across the region.

Susan Wildman,Transport for Greater Manchester Customer Services Director, said: “The Olympic football Unlike the London experience,Trafford experienced matches in Greater Manchester have been fantastic a boom during the games with visitor numbers up by 500,000, pumping an estimated £30 million into the local occasions and gave us the chance to immerse ourselves in the spirit of the Games. We’re used to regularly economy. managing large crowds attending concerts and football As a result of hosting the games there were also matches in Greater Manchester, but with so many improvements made to the local infrastructure with people coming from so far afield, the challenge was additional CCTV being installed, improved street lighting slightly different.” and better match day parking. Partington Sports Village Assistant Chief Constable Terry Sweeney, Olympics hosted Team GB and our very own Bernie Jones, CEO of the Trafford Leisure Trust was picked to be one of fifty Gold Commander, said that Greater Manchester Police had been extremely “proud” to play its part in hosting national people to select his most magical moment of a safe and successful Olympic Games: “We’ve worked the games. tirelessly with other Police forces, local authorities and

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emergency services to deliver such a successful policing operation. Many visitors were families who have never visited our region before and we’ve received so many positive comments about our policing operation.”

Partnership Projects In March 2011,Trafford Council received £2.25 million in a Performance Reward Grant from the Government for the achievements the Trafford Partnership had in delivering the 2007-10 Local Area Agreement.This money is now being used to deliver 30 new projects.

Bridgewater Way This project has just received additional match funding of £1.5 million to upgrade another five miles of the towpath and improve access routes to the canal.This will include sections between Brooklands and Broadheath, through Trafford Park and to Manchester United. It builds on the recent work by Trafford Council, Peel and the sustainable transport charity Sustrans, which has put in place a major upgrade to around three miles of the canal towpath between Sale and Stretford. As a result there

has been a massive increase in the numbers of walkers and cyclists using the towpath. This is all part of a much wider Bridgewater Way project which ultimately hopes to improve the Bridgewater canal towpath along its entire 39 mile length from Runcorn to Manchester and Leigh.

Sale West Total Environment This scheme supported the Friends of Dainewell Park in a successful event on 30th June with over 200 people attending, resulting in positive feedback on the schemes’ proposals for the park.

Taxi Marshalling Taxi Marshalling was provided throughout the key England games at Euro 2012 and feedback was positive. Planning for Christmas/New Year started in September 2012 and will potentially include an expansion of the scheme to incorporate hot food takeaways. For more information about the Trafford Partnership go to http://traffordpartnership.org/

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Armed Forces Day

Beverley Cannon, Scheme Manager at Orchard Court organised an armed forces day with the help of Jean Craddock, Sarah Bradbury and Phillomena Clarke of Lyngarth House, Leverett House and Millom Court. We had a buffet, a raffle and entertainment. Plus, Scheme Manager Elaine Craven brought along her son who is in the RAF. He brought some of his equipment to show the tenants including a bullet proof vest, a very heavy back pack and a survival kit. He also chatted to the tenants who enjoyed reminiscing about their time in the armed forces. Karl has agreed to visit again upon his return from Afghanistan. One resident at Orchard Court said they all had a lovely time and enjoyed all the schemes getting together. We also raised over £100 for the charity, Help for Heroes.

Beware job scam

We have been informed of an email being circulated for a job as Room Warehouse Staff paying £9.75 per hour from First Choice Recruitment. The job asks that you pay £50 for an enhanced CRB check. The job mentions an induction day at Liverpool Road in Salford and the number used on the scam is 0207 310 1981. Even though this looks authentic, the email is a scam aiming to get people to hand over £50. If you receive an email like this, please do not respond to it.

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ANTI-BULLYING PROJECT GOES BOROUGH WIDE Union Street Media Arts teamed up with Vicki Duncan at Trafford Housing Trust and Sam Wright of The Hub to film young people participating in an anti-bullying project. Vicki Duncan said, “I was recently reading some Government statistics on bullying and found the figures perturbing. The Department for Children, Schools and Families (2010) say that almost half (46%) of children and young people say they have been bullied at school at some point in their lives.” The young participants involved in filming the project were keen to share their stories about bullying as well as the staff who also had stories to share. Vicki added “Although bullying appears to be very much prevalent in modern society; there is a concern that access to social networking and the use of mobile phones will make it easier for the perpetrators. It’s imperative that we continually work in partnership with organisations to raise awareness of what appears to be a growing concern.”

‘TECH-NO’ CHANCES WITH PERSONAL SAFETY For younger pupils there will be a competition to Keeping technology safe to avoid issues such as cyber-bullying is Trafford’s theme for make them think about the different ways in which National Personal Safety Day on 8th October. using technology could put their personal safety at risk. A special wrist band has also been created as a National Personal Safety Day is organised by the continuous reminder of the campaign. Suzy Lamplugh Trust who work with a wide range of Executive Councillor Jonathan Coupe said: partners in the public, private and voluntary sector to seek out new ways to keep people safe from “This campaign aims to highlight some violence and aggression. practical, common sense precautions people can take to ensure that their ‘Tech-no chances’ is a Trafford wide initiative primarily personal technology works for them, aimed at Years 6, 7 and 8. Schools will be provided not against them. With continuous with a short presentation for use in class or assembly advancements in technology, mobile which has been devised by both Council officers technology especially, there is an increasing and the Police. It highlights the risk associated number of ways to capture and share your with technology including keeping yourself safe personal data and information without you on Facebook by limiting the amount of personal being aware it’s being collated and through information shared, cyber bullying, keeping passwords this initiative we hope to raise awareness of safe, chat rooms and interactive quizzes and tasks. how you can avoid this happening.” Pupils will also be invited to take part in a competition to design a bespoke leaflet to deliver the message of technology awareness.The winning design will be printed and will form part of the campaign.

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Celebrating 175 years in Trafford Henshaws Society for Blind People celebrates 175 years in Trafford! 2012 marks the 175th anniversary of Henshaws Society for Blind People, which first opened its doors in Old Trafford in 1837. As one of the oldest charities in the UK, Henshaws provide expert support, advice and training to anyone affected by sight loss and other disabilities to develop the confidence and skills they need to lead lives that are as independent as possible.

What do they do? Henshaws supports everyone from children and babies and their families, to adults of all ages including older people. They have centres and communities in Manchester, Merseyside,Yorkshire and the North East including a further education College in Harrogate and an Arts & Crafts Centre in Knaresborough.

Old Trafford Resource Centre If you or someone you know needs advice and support to cope with sight loss, Henshaws offer a range of free services in Trafford including: 48

• Help and advice for people who are having practical difficulties due to their sight problem • Courses and training to help people move into employment, volunteering or further education • Support and resources for children and families including a parent and toddler group and a Visually Impaired Parents group (VIPAR) • Social, support and hobby groups (including an arts and crafts group, museums group, a film club and a glaucoma and macular degeneration support group)

Please get in touch on 0161 872 1234 or email info@henshaws.org.uk Visit www.henshaws.org.uk for more information or pop into their Centre at Atherton House, 88-92 Talbot Road, Old Trafford M16 0GS.


Henshaws needs you Did you know that it costs more than £9 million a year for Henshaws to provide its services to help people who are blind or visually impaired? Volunteers are an extremely important element when organising fundraising initiatives, from helping out at street collections and supermarket bag packs, to bake sales and signing up to challenge events. Without volunteers Henshaws would not be able to support the hundreds of people it does in your community.

“I can’t say enough good things about Henshaws and the difference the support and services has made to my life. I am now feeling more and more confident every day.”

The fundraising team at Henshaws is always on hand to offer support and advice to keep your fundraising efforts on track. If you would like further information on how you can support us or would like to help set up a Volunteer Community Fundraising Group then please contact fundraising@henshaws.org.uk or call 0161 872 1234.

Volunteer Community Fundraising Team Henshaws are looking to expand their Volunteer Community Fundraising Team. Could you, your friends, family or colleagues help in organising events for Henshaws? Henshaws needs your support to help set up fundraising groups across Greater Manchester and raise much needed income for its services. We encourage simple and fun ideas! Having a Volunteer Community Fundraising Group means there will be lots of different opportunities for you and every member to get involved with. Who’s the most practical, creative or has a good head for numbers? Roles could include being a group leader, promoting the events or just helping out on the day - no matter what your skills there are plenty of ways you can help!

Read more about the courses available to you in our Skills 4 U supplement with this issue of Pulse.

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Phoenix Futures is a leading provider of recovery services for people with drug and alcohol problems within community, prison and residential settings in England and Scotland. Phoenix Futures provides substance related treatment to both young people and adults in Trafford.

Do Phoenix Futures have a vision and a mission?

Sara MacGregor is the Locality Manager. She is here to tell us about how Phoenix Futures can support us and members of our community.

Phoenix Futures brings positive change in the lives of individuals, families and communities affected by substance misuse. We reduce the impact of drug and alcohol related harm and enable our service users to rebuild their lives. Our purpose is achieved through the skills and dedication of our staff.

Can you tell us about Phoenix Futures’ history? Phoenix Futures, previously known as Phoenix House, opened in London in 1969 and provided residential rehabilitation through a ‘therapeutic community’ ethos. Phoenix House re-branded in 2006 and became Phoenix Futures, which better reflected us as an organisation. Since then Phoenix Futures has continued to expand and evolve, alongside substance related approaches and initiatives, to deliver abstinence based, abstinence oriented and harm reduction services across England and Scotland. Our expertise allows us to support our service users through every stage of their recovery.

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Most definitely. Our vision is that: Every person who is dependent on drugs and alcohol has the potential to rebuild their life. And our mission is:

We have always believed that our service users are individuals and that the recovery process for each person is different. We will use whatever interventions and models of service delivery help them along their personal path of recovery.

Phoenix Futures now delivers four specific services within Trafford. These are; 1 2

Alcohol Recovery Navigation Service

3

Recovery Abstinence Service

4

Young People’s Service

Community Recovery Service


What can you tell us about Phoenix Futures and Trafford? Phoenix Futures first delivered services in Trafford in 2007, which was the ‘Structured Day’ Service. In the same year we developed the aftercare and resettlement service, which worked with individuals who had become abstinent and needed support in maintaining their abstinence, we also assisted them in gaining training, and or employment which included voluntary work. In 2012, Phoenix Futures were successful in a tender process which resulted in us being awarded a specific ‘Alcohol’ Service and a ‘Young People’s Service. We then felt it was time to re-brand our current services.

Can you tell us more about the Alcohol Recovery Navigation Service? The Alcohol Recovery Navigation Service is the single point of contact for alcohol users aged 25 and over in Trafford. In order to navigate service users through the most appropriate and effective treatment pathway we offer an initial appointment within one week of referral. Service users will be offered confidential one-to-one structured and care planned support. Within this, service users will have the opportunity to engage with the detox nurses, workshops and complementary therapies. Following on from this service users can be referred to either the Community Recovery Service, or if abstinence has been achieved the Recovery Abstinence Service.

www.phoenix-futures.org.uk 51


What is the Community Recovery Service? The Community Recovery Service is for Trafford Residents over the age of 25 who would like to address their substance use, but are not yet substance free. The service offers a comprehensive programme consisting of one-to-one sessions, workshops, peer support, gym sessions, Conservation Therapy Programme, IT skills, smoking cessation sessions, healthy lifestyle sessions, access to employment/volunteering/ education opportunities/housing support/budgeting support. This service supports individuals in either reducing their substance use or to become abstinent. How is the Recovery Abstinence Service different? The Recovery Abstinence Service is for adults aged over 25 living in Trafford who are abstinent from substances and require ongoing support. The aim of this service is to assist service users to maintain their abstinence and move away from treatment services into other positive activities such as employment, training or education.

Can you tell us about the Young People’s Service? The Young People’s Service in Trafford is the first of its kind for Phoenix Futures. We are really excited to be able to offer support to young people in line with our vision and mission. The service offers support to young people aged 11 to 25. We provide a variety of interventions including education, advice, information, support, structured treatment and acupuncture. These interventions are delivered through one-to-one and group based sessions. As a service our aim is to help young people overcome their substance related issues so that they can sustain a stable and healthier lifestyle and achieve their full potential. If someone wanted to find out more information about any of the Phoenix Futures Services how can they go about it? They could look on the website www.phoenix-futures.org.uk or send an email to traffordday@phoenix-futures.org.uk or call on the following numbers:Alcohol Recovery Navigation Service

0161 873 7072 Recovery Abstinence Service

0161 877 8481 Community Recovery Service

0161 873 7072 Young People’s Service 52

0161 905 1013


Celebrating

50

Years of Lostock

with Trafford Housing Trust Chief Executive, Matthew Gardiner.

We recently celebrated 50 years of Lostock Court and as with any good celebration, cake was on hand for the residents, friends, families and people from the local community who came along to enjoy the day at the scheme. The longest-residing tenant, Ada Goodman, who has lived at Lostock Court for 25 years, was there to celebrate the day as she shared a slice of cake

 ctivities and events took place to A mark the occasion and the Trust encouraged residents and members of the local community to join in and celebrate together by providing a bouncy castle, face painting and nail painting from a resident’s granddaughter. Matthew said: “It was great that so many could make the event and help us celebrate 50 years of Lostock Court. Thanks to all of the volunteering family members we had plenty of games and activities as well as a book sale.�

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GET INVOLVED IN LOSTOCK Did you know, there are lots of initiatives and events going on in Lostock to get involved in? From Handyman services to coffee mornings, allotments to parent’s groups, take a look at some of the ideas below and find out how you can get involved. Here is a brief update on some new projects which are happening in Lostock and how to get involved.

Handyman Service Two local men have decided that they will offer their time and services to do general handy work around the area for residents for no cost.They are just starting out and are looking for more people with handy skills to get involved and also someone who can design them some flyers and posters, maybe you could just help them to deliver some? This is a great project and the more people involved the bigger and better this could be.

Foreign Language Nursery Rhymes - Toddler Group

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There are two parent/carer led play groups which have started in The Children’s Centre at the Leathwaite Centre.They started when carers of young children decided to use the space and to invite others to join in. They are resident-led groups and everyone is welcome to attend – children can play with one another whilst minders and parents can have a good catch-up. If you have skills or interests that can be used to create an activity for children or adults, why not come along and share it with the group?

Forever Manchester have been working with local residents in Lostock to discover their skills, knowledge and passions to generate ideas that will bring local people together to build a more connected and vibrant local community. We would like to invite everyone to a celebration event at 6.30pm on Monday 29th October at the Quest Centre on Barton Road. The event is an opportunity for people to come together in a positive environment, share ideas about future initiatives and be a part of the community experience of Lostock.

Community Allotment Residents George and John have been given permission to transform a patch of land behind Lostock College into an Allotment for the Community. Currently plenty of work still needs to be done and they are looking for people to get involved to help clear and sort the space. In return you will be able to have a plot on the land and the benefit of their and other people’s experience to help you grow your own veg! You also get a say in how the space will look and what it will include. Again this is another great project with plenty of scope for involvement, whether you can commit lots of time or just a little every now and again everyone involved will be able to share in the spoils and enjoy a healthy vibrant space built by the Community for the Community.


Lowry Scribblers Art Group

Lostock in Bloom

Local artist and art fan Jacqui Hopkinson wants to start a regular arts group for people to come and share their artistic gifts and for others with an interest to come and learn how to get started in different art forms. Jacqui also plans to organise a local art exhibition to showcase the talents of local artists and maybe sell some of the work to eager buyers.

Neighbours who live in the over 55s block on Ripon Crescent have been planting flower displays and making tables to display them on their balconies and communal areas.They are going to be making more for all the neighbours in the block and beginning to plan for Winter displays.They also have plans to grow flowers from seeds to maintain a steady supply of flowers to be used.They are looking for people to help out or donate things such as planters or spare flowers in exchange for a planter of your own, or would like to learn how to make simple effective displays for you and your neighbours. Maybe you know a group who would like to have a session learning how to plant some displays to brighten up the area.

Jacqui is looking for people already involved in artistic endeavour and those who want to learn. She is also keen to hear from groups who may wish to have art sessions as part of what they do and so encourage cross working and connection among local groups and residents.

Coffee Morning A group of residents have decided to come together to arrange a regular Coffee Morning where people can come and relax and get to know others. It will be a chance for any groups, old and new, to attend to share what they do and carry out their activities in a relaxed environment.There may also be plans to have regular film afternoons. The group are keen for people to attend and also for people to come and lend a hand in any way they can. They are also keen to hear from other groups who would like to share the space and socialise.

Connect Lostock! The plan is to meet as many people in the area as possible to find out their skills and see if they have any ideas for things they would like to see.The more people we know the more power we have as a community and the more skills and expertise we have at our disposal. I’m looking for people who want to get involved in talking to their neighbours and who are keen to help link those people up to achieve their goals and create a more connected Community. So there you have it, also remember that if you have an idea for a project, event or group that will bring people together in the area please get in touch. As you can see by working together there is lots we can achieve. For more information on anything advertised on these pages, please contact James Hampson, Asset Based Community Builder on 07780 662894 or email jhampson@forevermanchester.com

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Trust Launches NEW Community Support Tool As part of our TrustCall Community Alarm Service, we have now launched a new emergency response service called m-Care. m-Care is a new service which works through your mobile phone, meaning you can take it with you everywhere and alert the Response Centre Team around the clock in case of emergency. Anyone who uses a mobile phone can use m-Care simply by pressing a speed dial number on their mobile handset to contact the 24/7 Response Centre. The service can be set-up from just £1.50 per week and is designed to help all ranges of vulnerable people in the community. When an m-Care call is made from a standard mobile phone, it is viewed as an ‘alarm call’ at the Response Centre and will be managed in that way. Waiting in queues or engaged lines will not be a problem when using the service. The team will contact your next of kin or the emergency services and also provide a team of responders who can come out to assist you if necessary. 56


The customer can also choose to send an SMS text message, which may be a preferred option for those who are hard of hearing and the Response Centre will deal with the call in the same way. Vulnerable young people may also be more protected as an ordinary mobile phone, which many young people already have anyway, does not have the same social stigma as a ‘panic button’ or another emergency device. Fran Gudger, TrustCall Manager, said: “TrustCall has allowed many people to remain independent and this new product is an extension of that. m-Care is designed for the next level of people who are still independent but may be worried about becoming vulnerable. “Our response team has a fantastic record having answered 96% of calls within 30 seconds and responded to over 90% of emergency call outs within 20 minutes, we aim to carry this on with the introduction of the m-Care service.”

If required, it is possible for a caller’s location to be made available to the Response Centre Operator. This feature can easily be integrated into the solution utilising readily available mobile phones with inbuilt GPS location features. The service will be provided by TrustCall and upon signing up to the m-Care service, one of the TrustCall team will call round to collect information, medical details and also help the user set up m-Care on their phone.

TrustCall and m-Care operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year. If you would like any further information on m-Care then call 0300 777 2777 or email cathwright@traffordhousingtrust.co.uk

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Leaseholders Together Service Charge Invoices September 2012 Your annual service charge invoices have arrived! Some of you said previous invoices were confusing or did not contain enough detail. We have listened to your concerns and at the last Leaseholders Together meeting, we asked for volunteers to form a Service Charge Working Group.

leaflet and this has been amended to include a fuller explanation of the services you receive. I am really interested in your feedback, so if you have any comments to make regarding the new invoice layout and ‘Frequently asked questions’ leaflet, please contact me.

The new style invoice has been designed in consultation with a small group of leaseholders who volunteered to help. This group also reviewed the ‘Service Charges - Frequently Asked Questions’

The Trust has produced a leaflet entitled ‘Financial Assistance for Leaseholders’ which is available upon request and is available on our website www.traffordhousingtrust.co.uk

Service Charges – the future!

Leaseholders Together Meeting

You should have already received your bi-monthly repairs statement. This statement shows all the communal repairs carried out to your block or estate within the last two months. Some of you have asked for more detail about specific repairs and we have been able to provide this, so that leaseholders are clear about what work has been carried out. This won’t affect your invoices until September 2013.

Next meeting will be on Thursday 25 October 2012, 6.30pm at Sale Point. We will discuss your service charge invoices and after the meeting, you can meet with us individually to go through any leaseholder queries you have. At the last meeting, we did not serve refreshments because only a few leaseholders confirmed their attendance. If you would like to attend the meeting, it is important that you confirm your attendance.

Contact us To confirm your attendance at the next Leaseholders Together meeting, email admin.customerhub@traffordhousingtrust.co.uk For advice about benefits offered by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP), contact Catherine Hardman at catherine.hardman@traffordhousingtrust.co.uk 58

To discuss your Service Charges in detail, please contact Joanne Cash joanne.cash@traffordhousingtrust.co.uk or myself mia.james@traffordhousingtrust.co.uk For any other leaseholder issues or to discuss any of the above over the phone, call 0161 968 0164. Mia James, Leaseholder Lead


SOCIETY FOR ABANDONED ANIMALS The number of animals being offered new homes is increasing at the Society for Abandoned Animals despite the tough economic times. The rehoming figures for dogs, cats and rabbits are up by around 25% compared to this time last year, which is good news as more animals are being admitted to the sanctuary on a daily basis. So far this year 13 dogs, 202 cats and 44 rabbits have found new homes after coming into the SAA’s care for a variety of reasons. This time last year, just 157 cats, 4 dogs and 41 had been offered new homes. The Sanctuary Manager, Natasha Woest, is delighted with the figures: “We’re really pleased that more people across South Manchester are choosing to adopt abandoned animals. Our priority is to ensure the animal will fit in with a new owner’s lifestyle and we can also offer a wealth of advice about caring for a new pet.” We run various free health care and advice events throughout the year.

Earlier this year the sanctuary opened its newly refurbished kennels which has boosted the number of dogs the charity can care for. Natasha says: “We’re delighted that we can offer sanctuary to more dogs as there are so many animals that need our care. We take in animals for all sorts of reasons and with more people needing to downsize or rent we’re taking in pets at an increasing rate. It’s good news for all our supporters and hardworking volunteers that these unwanted animals are finding good homes.” Unfortunately we have to turn away an average of 145 cats, 25 dogs and 20 rabbits a month as we have limited space.

We have now opened a charity shop with a great selection of goods and clothes so come and visit us at 5 Malvern Road, Old Trafford M15 4FD. 59


Have you Downloaded

our new App? Released at the beginning of August, our new App will allow tenants to report repairs, complaints and get news updates at the touch of a button. Reminders can also be set up to pay rent so tenants can always be one step ahead. The App will be available as a free download from digital app stores under ‘Trafford Housing Trust’ and will be compatible with iPhones, Androids, Blackberries and other smartphones. Matthew Gardiner, Chief Executive of Trafford Housing Trust, said:  his new App will make reporting problems T and keeping up-to-date with news from the Trust easier for customers and make it quicker for us to deal with any issues they might have. Customer service is a high priority and the introduction of this new App shows that we are determined to deliver the best service at the convenience of our tenants and provide a number of ways for them to get in touch. Users will be invited to set up a personal profile on the App, which will remain confidential, to notify the Trust of their interests, preferred language and any other personal information that will help the Trust when dealing with their enquiry.

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That information will help tailor Trust services to each individual household and also make the App easier to use for customers. Customers will be able to order a Direct Debit form to fill in and pay their rent as well as updating their contact details and keeping up‑to‑date with any news and information from the Trust. The App also features a helpful money saving feature which will calculate your outgoings and draw up a handy income and expenditure table; allowing you to keep track of your finances.


Pulse Autumn 2012  
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