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intouch ISSUE 71 | SUMMER 2012 | FREE

The magazine for residents of Wales & West Housing


Warm Homes Discount Scheme dŚŝƐƐĐŚĞŵĞŽīĞƌƐĂŶĂƵƚŽŵĂƟĐƌĞďĂƚĞŽĨάϭϯϬƚŽĐƵƐƚŽŵĞƌƐǁŚŽ ƌĞĐĞŝǀĞƚŚĞ'ƵĂƌĂŶƚĞĞĞůĞŵĞŶƚŽĨWĞŶƐŝŽŶƐƌĞĚŝƚ͕ŽƌǁŚŽĂƌĞŽǀĞƌ ϴϬLJĞĂƌƐŽůĚĂŶĚǁŚŽƌĞĐĞŝǀĞƚŚĞ^ĂǀŝŶŐƐĞůĞŵĞŶƚŽĨWĞŶƐŝŽŶƐƌĞĚŝƚ͘ zŽƵŵĂLJĂůƐŽďĞĂďůĞƚŽĂƉƉůLJĨŽƌƚŚĞtĂƌŵ,ŽŵĞƐŝƐĐŽƵŶƚŝĨLJŽƵĐĂŶƐĂLJ ͚LJĞƐ͛ƚŽŽŶĞŽĨƚŚĞĨŽůůŽǁŝŶŐ͗ ͻ hŶĚĞƌϴϬLJĞĂƌƐŽůĚĂŶĚŝŶƌĞĐĞŝƉƚŽĨƚŚĞ^ĂǀŝŶŐƐƌĞĚŝƚĞůĞŵĞŶƚŽĨ WĞŶƐŝŽŶƌĞĚŝƚ ͻ ZĞĐĞŝǀĞƐ/ŶĐŽŵĞ^ƵƉƉŽƌƚͬ:Žď^ĞĞŬĞƌƐůůŽǁĂŶĐĞͬŵƉůŽLJŵĞŶƚĂŶĚ ^ƵƉƉŽƌƚůůŽǁĂŶĐĞandŚĂǀĞĂĐŚŝůĚƵŶĚĞƌƚŚĞĂŐĞŽĨĮǀĞ ͻ ZĞĐĞŝǀĞƐĂďĞŶĞĮƚǁŝƚŚĂĚŝƐĂďŝůŝƚLJƉƌĞŵŝƵŵŽƌĂWĞŶƐŝŽŶĞƌWƌĞŵŝƵŵ dŽĐŚĞĐŬLJŽƵƌĞůŝŐŝďŝůŝƚLJĂŶĚ ĂƉƉůLJĐŽŶƚĂĐƚLJŽƵƌĞŶĞƌŐLJ ƐƵƉƉůŝĞƌĂƐƐŽŽŶĂƐƉŽƐƐŝďůĞĂƐ ĨƵŶĚŝŶŐŝƐůŝŵŝƚĞĚ͗ ƌŝƟƐŚ'ĂƐ ϬϴϬϬϬϳϮϴϲϮϱ EDF  ϬϴϬϬϬϵϲϵϬϬϬ E.ON  ϬϴϬϬϬϱϭϭϰϴϬ Npower ϬϴϬϬϵϴϬϱϱϮϱ ^ĐŽƫƐŚ ϬϴϬϬϬϮϳϮϳϬϬ Power ^ĐŽƫƐŚΘ ϬϴϬϬϯϬϬϭϭϭ Southern Energy ;^ǁĂůĞĐΘďŝĐŽͿ

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Editor’s Le er | intouch | www.wwha.co.uk | 03

Editor’s

Le er Hello again everyone. Firstly thanks for your le ers, emails and calls about our new look and especially our new website – it’s good to know that so many of you like what we’re doing and we’re always keen to have your sugges ons as to how we can improve things further.

Welfare reforms, or benefits cuts, are looming large and in this edi on Money Ma ers looks at the so-called ‘Bedroom Tax’ and what it may mean for you. We’ve also got two great new sec ons. Let’s Work looks at how we are helping you to make the most of available work and training opportuni es, and, Quarterly Report will do just that – report back to you with how we are doing every three months. Finally don’t forget to keep an eye on our new website www.wwha.co.uk as we update this daily or to nominate your local hero for the Making a Difference Awards. Enjoy the rest of the summer! Warm regards Sarah Manners, PR & Marke ng Manager

Contact Us

Contents WWH News and Info Quarterly Report – New! Development Update Let’s Work – New! MAD Awards Going Green Healthy Living Planned Maintenance Resident Par cipa on le ers to the Editor An Social Behaviour Money Ma ers Charity Update Your Views & News

4 9 13 15 18 23 25 26 28 29 30 32 36 37

Did you know that you can now get more news and updates online? Follow us on twi er

@wwha

intouch in other languages and formats If you would like a copy of this edi on of In Touch in Welsh or in another language or format, for example in large print, please let us know and we will help you.

Wales & West Housing, 3 Alexandra Gate, Ffordd Pengam, Tremorfa, Cardiff CF24 2UD. Telephone: 0800 052 2526 | Text: 07788 310420 Email: contactus@wwha.co.uk | Website: www.wwha.co.uk Minicom: 0800 052 5205. You can also contact members of staff direct by their email. For example, joe.bloggs@wwha.co.uk


04 | www.wwha.co.uk | intouch | News and General Informa on

We’ve got Gold We have has been awarded the highest accolade possible under the pres gious Investors in People awards system achieving the Gold standard in our recent assessment. “Wales & West Housing con nues to demonstrate that it is a forward-thinking organisa on achieving business success by the applica on of visionary leadership behaviour, underpinned by strong and meaningful values,” said IiP Specialist Mavis Ellio -Smith.

Plus Highly Commended in CEW Awards GKR Maintenance & Building and Wales & West Housing have been highly commended in the Integra on and Collabora ve Working award category

at the 2012 Construc ng Excellence in Wales Awards. Judges said the team has worked hard to cut costs and reduced waste ‘with passion and commitment.’


News and General Informa on | intouch | www.wwha.co.uk | 05

Moving to a new beat

at Betws Primary CHILDREN at Betws Primary School will soon be moving to a different beat thanks to their very own drum kit. The kit, and two boxs of children’s books, was donated by WWH to help the school rebuild a er the blaze which destroyed the junior school just one month ago.

“We’re so grateful to Wales & West for this dona on. The drum kit is brilliant and the children were thrilled to bits with the books too.”

Liz Pearce, Deputy Head of Betws Primary, said: “We’ve had an absolutely terrific response from the local community and offers of support from people a er the fire, but this is something really different. Next term we’re going to have a dedicated music corner in our hall, and this drum kit from Wales & West will take pride of place.”

Anne Hinchey, WWH Chief Execu ve, said: “Many of the children at Betws Primary are our young residents and this school is at the heart of the community.

WWH resident and mum-of-five Mandy Hopkins, whose daughter Bethan is a Year 6 pupil at Betws Primary, said:

“We were thrilled to have been invited to present the kit and books to the children at their last assembly of the school year and it was fantas c to see the excitement when the children realised the kit is theirs. Who knows, this might be the start of the next Stereophonics!”


06 | www.wwha.co.uk | intouch | News and General Informa on

Champions of Good Prac ce! Our commitment and investment to fire safety has been recognised by South Wales Fire and Rescue Service (SWFRS) by being chosen as champions of good prac ce. For the first me anywhere in Wales, a housing associa on (WWH – us!) and the Fire Service will be working together. The aims of this partnership are: • to showcase good prac se • illustrate the investment required • demonstrate the commitment it takes to deliver the highest standards of fire safety for which WWH has been recognised.

Robin Alldred (above, second le ), WWH Commercial Manager, says: “We are really pleased to be working with South Wales Fire and Rescue Service. It is a first in the social housing sector in Wales. We look forward to an ongoing partnership which will benefit both our residents and other social landlords.”

Fire Safety is a winner! Two of our largest general needs blocks in Cardiff have recently benefited from a major programme of work to improve fire safety. Once this work was completed WWH was able to change the advice given to such residents regarding what to do in a fire situa on. Unless in imminent danger, residents of these blocks are now advised to remain in their home un l asked to leave by the fire service or a member of WWH staff. Although this may seem contrary to our natural ins ncts, fire services, government agencies and other experts agree that it is safer to remain where you are, rather than to try and evacuate a building which might be filling

up with smoke. By taking the me to respond to a telephone survey of this new advice, two lucky residents each received £50 worth of Argos vouchers. Pictured is one lucky (and safe!) winner Mr Philip Oliver. All residents will be contacted in due course to review current procedures.


News and General Informa on | intouch | www.wwha.co.uk | 07

Rebranding Connect who?

As you know here at Wales & West Housing we have recently rebranded and as part of this process our Emergency Alarm and Out of Hours telephone service has also been rebranded and is now called Connect24. So what does this mean for me? Well, as from 1 August if you contact:

• our emergency alarm service at any me or • contact us outside normal office hours about anything, for example if you have an emergency repair, we will answer you with the name of Connect24. It will be the same staff delivering the same quality service, just a different name!

A bit more about our personal alarm service...

Nearly all our residents living in our re rement housing are connected to our Connect24 personal alarm service.

“Good morning/a ernoon, it’s Jackie at Connect24, how may I help you?” This means if they need help at any me they can simply pull their alarm cord or press the bu on and our Connect24 team will respond. Depending on how serious the problem is we will call a family member or friend, the doctor or the emergency services. It gives reassurance and peace of mind to residents living in our re rement schemes and to their families.


08 | www.wwha.co.uk | intouch | News and General Informa on But did you know that we can provide this service to anyone? If you are living on one of our schemes which is not a re rement scheme or if you have a friend or rela ve living anywhere that you think would benefit from this service please phone us on 0800 052 2526 and speak to our installers for more informa on. We will install a small unit in your home (as pictured below with resident Mrs Nancy Pilot and WWH staff member Sue Dickinson) and will respond to your calls day and night for a small weekly charge of £2.50 + VAT. As well as the basic alarm we can also give you extra security by linking some addi onal products to the alarm such as intruder detectors, carbon monoxide detectors and fall detectors – these generally cost between 50p and £1.50 each week. More informa on is available on our website www.wwha.co.uk. You can find it in ‘Our services and ini a ves’ sec on.

You can phone us at any me... Most of you phone us during the day, but did you know that you can speak to our Customer Service Centre staff at any me 24 hours a day, 365 days a year? We usually get about 15 calls a night from WWH residents, and between 100 and 150 calls at weekends. You report repairs, pay your rent with your credit or debit cards or keep us up to date with a wide range of issues. Connect 24 staff answer your telephone calls when our main offices are shut, when other staff go home we come into our own!! Please keep calling us whenever it’s convenient for you. And don’t forget you can text us now too on 07788 310420 – the cost is the same as all other texts you send.


Quarterly Report | intouch | www.wwha.co.uk | 09

What ma ers

to you?

As part of our commitment to helping you, our residents, understand how we are working we want to tell you about our performance across the main areas in which we work, writes Catherine Jones, Head of Performance Improvement. To help us do this we have developed this new, regular sec on for In Touch which will give you up-to-date informa on about our main service areas, namely Repairs, Rents and Le ngs and, most importantly, feedback to you on sa sfac on levels that we have collected. We have included some key facts about the business to give you some idea of how things are going.

Here’s where you come in. We want to know what you think about it. • Is this the right informa on for you? Does it help you to decide how well we are doing as a landlord? • If not, what sort of informa on would you like to see in future edi ons?

you want to see so please tell us what you think.

We want this sec on to be useful to you and provide you with informa on that

Turn over now to see key data from January to December 2011.


10 | www.wwha.co.uk | intouch | Quarterly Report

76%

99.1% Gas Safety Compliance

Repairs

99%

20,615 Number of completed repairs

Repairs completed in one visit

15

Repairs that stayed fixed

Average number of days to complete a repair

97.6% We have collected 97.6% of rent due from residents

Paying Rent


Quarterly Report | intouch | www.wwha.co.uk | 11

690 Le ng and building Homes

Proper es let

176 Number of new build proper es built

123,846

98%

Number of calls answered

Customer Service Centre

41

Seconds Average answering me

% of calls to Emergency Alarm answered within 30 seconds


12 | www.wwha.co.uk | intouch | Quarterly Report

9

8 Dealing with An -Social Behaviour

Le ngs (new residents)

9.5

Resident Sa sfac on

9

How sa sfied were you with our services? score out of 10

Planned maintenance work (kitchens, bathrooms)

Repairs (Day to day)

So what do you think about our Performance?

If you have any comments or feedback on anything we have told you in this sec on please let us know. You can contact us about this or any other issue at any me.

Feedback can be given in a variety of ways: online via our website email le er phone text or in person to a member of staff or at our offices.

• We are always happy to hear from you whether you want to ask a ques on, tell us something, make a sugges on, pay a compliment or make a complaint. • When you give us feedback, we will answer any ques ons you may have and address the issues you have raised. • We also consider all sugges ons, complaints, compliments and comments that we receive and use them to review our services. • This feedback helps us to make decisions about our future plans and improvements to our services. Thank you!


Development Update | intouch | www.wwha.co.uk | 13

Building more affordable new homes

Our Development team is busier than ever across Wales with lots of exci ng new schemes either coming to frui on, on site, or at the planning stage. In North Wales work is progressing well on Llys Jasmine, our second extra care development. Situated in Mold, Flintshire, this £8.5m development will provide 61 extra care apartments, including 15 apartments specifically designed for people with demen a, plus a further two extra care bungalows. We believe that this scheme will be a first for Wales as no other extra care scheme so far has purpose built specialist demen a care apartments. We’re taking applica ons from people aged 60 and over with care and support needs who want to live in Llys Jasmine now, so please look at our website for more informa on. Elsewhere in Wrexham works have started in earnest on our £17m development in Hightown, which we are building in partnership with Wrexham County Borough Council. Two neighbouring sites – Kingsmills Road and Rivulet Road – will provide 127 high quality affordable new homes, plus a purpose-built community centre and medical resource facility. Another 20 homes are also on the drawing board

for Rivulet Road, subject to planning permission. Last month Welsh Government Minister for Housing, Regenera on and Heritage Huw Lewis braved the torren al rain to visit the site - as pictured on this edi on’s front cover. “The scheme is an excellent example of partnership working, with several different organisa ons, the Welsh Government, Wales & West Housing, Wrexham Council, Hightown Communi es First and Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board all working together. It is exactly the sort of development we need to deliver more of in Wales to ensure we are providing people with decent affordable homes that fulfil their needs,” said the Minister. Local building contractor Anwyl Construc on last month hosted a successful ‘Meet the Contractor’ event in partnership with us where local contractors and individuals could find out more about employment and training opportuni es on offer.


14 | www.wwha.co.uk | intouch | Development Update

Experts in specialist housing too… Did you know that as well as family homes, and homes for older people, we also build dedicated proper es for people with a wide range of specialist needs? Well we do, and in Henllan, Denbighshire, the first residents have just moved into three smart new purpose-built bungalows we have built there in partnership with Denbighshire County Council. This site has had a long tradi on of suppor ng people with learning disabili es and we are proud to be able to con nue this tradi on. Craig Sparrow, Development Manager for WWH, writes: “Wales & West’s third project specially designed for au sm and learning difficul es is now complete. Handover was achieved on 28th June 2012. Twelve people will now have a purpose built, safe home with care on site possibly for the first me in their lives. The mother of one of the young men who now lives there has called me today and says ‘It’s out of this world’ and it is making such a difference to her son’s life and their own. Well done to all involved.” Phase two of this development has now started which will provide six family houses. Go to www.wwha.co.uk/OurServices-and-Ini a ves/Developing New Homes - for more details of our £101m five-year plan - basically what we are building and where.

Helping uncover their history

Year 3 & 4 Cyfarthfa Junior School pupils have been helping to clean and catalogue historical artefacts found on our Vulcan House site where we are developing 15 homes in Merthyr Tydfil. An archaeological dig has revealed Victorian jam jars, meat plates and lemonade bo les and the children are using them to help piece together the history of the site, which is associated with the industrialist John family and the Char sts movement. Contractors Wates worked in partnership with WWH and Cyfarthfa Junior School to make the day happen.


Employment Agenda | intouch | www.wwha.co.uk | 15

Interested in...?

work. skills. experience. Finding a job is difficult and finding quality paid work in today’s jobs market is doubly difficult, writes Bridget Garrod, Neighbourhood Ini a ves Manager. It takes a lot of work to build and maintain our homes and provide the quality services our residents expect. We employ 350 staff across Wales from a variety of backgrounds and the work that we generate creates opportuni es for work and experience that we intend to offer for the benefit of our residents. We want to offer you, our residents, and your families real opportuni es to improve your chances of finding the right work for you. These could help all sorts of people, including young people who have never worked before, graduates looking to enhance their work experience, or people who have been out of work for some me. We can’t guarantee jobs, however we can guarantee quality work experience opportuni es that will put you in a be er posi on to secure work. We will be offering a range of ways that you can learn new skills, experience and enhance your CV and we are working with a range of partners to offer opportuni es in different parts of Wales:

• Short-term work experience • Work placements (some funded) • Appren ceships Some opportuni es will depend on your age, type of benefit you are claiming or the area that you live. If you live in Wrexham then check out job and work experience opportuni es coming your way as a result of our new development on Kingsmills Road and Rivulet Road (see page 13 for more info). We are working in partnership with Anwyl Construc on and more details about specific opportuni es will be on our website very soon. Finally if you are interested in registering for any poten al opportuni es across Wales with us then go to the Partnering with Us sec on on our website and fill in the downloadable form and post it back to us. Check out the next two pages for some recent examples of the work placements we have been hos ng. And look out for further details of similar opportuni es in future edi ons of In Touch, in the local press, on our website and on Twi er – follow us @wwha.


16 | www.wwha.co.uk | intouch | Employment Agenda

Work experience

with WWH “The week I spent with ‘Wales & West Housing’ has been very enjoyable,” writes Gwilym Boughton, 15, a Year 10 pupil at Rumney High School in Cardiff.

“I have met some deligh ul people. I have learnt many new things and have seen experts in their own fields at work. I can say I have really enjoyed myself and I will certainly try to put my new knowledge to good use. “Seeing as my school had arranged this placement I didn’t know what to expect but I have had a ‘whale of a me’. I have also been making a short film in my me at Wales & West. This film is about a community project within the Caerau area of Cardiff and I have thoroughly enjoyed it and I hope the subjects of my film enjoy the outcome too!

“The staff have been very friendly and I have been offered to keep in touch with them if I have any ques ons. “I have also spent some me in the Informa on Services department (computers and technology) and this has really helped broaden my knowledge of ‘coding’ which will help me with my chosen career path.” Gwilym was joined by Jordan Evans from Fitzalan High School in Cardiff, another Year 10 pupil. Jordan is keen to be a builder and told us that his week and a half with Wales & West was ‘really good, far be er than I thought it was going to be. It’s been really interes ng. Thank you!’ Jordan spent me on site and out and about with our Development and Property Services teams, as well as gaining some administra ve experience in our Cardiff head office. Here he is, on site, with WWH Development Manager Lyndon Griffiths.


Employment Agenda | intouch | www.wwha.co.uk | 17

Introducing Lynn and Howard, our two

trainee energy advisors As part of our Back to Work scheme (a Bridgend Employment Routes Team ini a ve) we are hos ng two trainee energy advisors. Based in Bridgend, Lynn and Howard have been placed with us for 6 months, gaining experience that will help them to find permanent employment. They will be promo ng the Warm Home Discount (WHD) scheme in re rement schemes (see the advert on the inside front cover of this edi on) as well as offering residents advice on being more energy efficient and saving money on their bills. “We are delighted to have been given this opportunity to work at Wales & West” said Lynn. “Helping residents save money on their fuel bills or apply for the WHD has been very rewarding.” Howard, 61, said: “I am a plasterer by trade but have been out of work for a year. This is a new direc on for me, something I never thought I would do

before. When you are out of work you can lose your confidence but this is beginning to help me to get back into work.” Lynn, 46, added: “I’m a single mum and it’s been hard ge ng back into work because I need to find people to look a er my seven-year-old daughter. I went for this post because it’s flexible, which really helps me.”


18 | www.wwha.co.uk | intouch | Making A Difference Awards

Who are your unsung heroes?

Who do you know who makes a real difference to your neighbourhood? Someone who goes the extra mile to help friends and neighbours? Perhaps they have started a youth or community group? Maybe they tend a beau ful garden, or perhaps they grow fruit and veg – or have started growing their own on an allotment? Maybe they have overcome big problems to get back to work? Or entered college to get some new qualifica ons behind them? Whatever their story – we want to hear it.

On Friday October 19th we will be holding our fi h annual Making A Difference Awards. Now firmly established as a highlight of Wales & West Housing’s year, the awards celebrate the great efforts of all our unsung heroes and heroines – as well as being a cracking night out. All shortlisted nominees – and the people who nominated them – will enjoy a top-notch three course dinner and entertainments in the Village Hotel, Coryton, Cardiff. You can see more for yourself on YouTube – search for Wales & West Housing’s Making A Difference Awards, where you can see short videos of the previous three year’s ceremonies.

This year’s categories are: Good Neighbour Fresh Start Fresh Start (new build) Eco Champion Green Fingers (Re rement) Green Fingers (General Needs) Community Project and, David Taylor Local Hero. It’s free to enter – you’ve nothing to lose and everything to gain by recognising the community spirit of the people around you. Simply fill in the nomina on form on the following pages and post it back to us at Wales & West Housing, 3 Alexandra Gate, Ffordd Pengam, Tremorfa, Cardiff CF24 2UD. Or, if you prefer, you can nominate someone using the Contact Us page on our website. The closing date for entries is: Friday, August 31st.


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CoŵŵƵŶit y WƌŽũĞĐƚ

EŽŵŝŶĂƟŽŶFŽƌŵ


20 | www.wwha.co.uk | intouch | Making A Difference Awards KƵƌDĂŬŝŶŐĂŝīĞƌĞŶĐĞǁĂƌĚƐƌĞĐŽŐŶŝƐĞĂŶĚ ĐĞůĞďƌĂƚĞƉĞŽƉůĞǁŚŽŚĂǀĞŚĂĚĂƉŽƐŝƟǀĞŝŵƉĂĐƚŽŶŽƚŚĞƌƉĞŽƉůĞ͛ƐůŝǀĞƐ͘ zŽƵŬŶŽǁǁŚŽƚŚĞLJĂƌĞͲƚŚĞƵŶƐƵŶŐŚĞƌŽĞƐŽĨLJŽƵƌ ĐŽŵŵƵŶŝƚLJ͕ŽƌĚŝŶĂƌLJƉĞŽƉůĞĚŽŝŶŐĞdžƚƌĂŽƌĚŝŶĂƌLJƚŚŝŶŐƐ͘ tŚŽĚŽLJŽƵŬŶŽǁƚŚĂƚĚĞƐĞƌǀĞƐĂŶĂǁĂƌĚ͍dĞůůƵƐĂďŽƵƚƚŚĞŵŽŶƚŚŝƐĞĂƐLJͲ ƚŽͲĐŽŵƉůĞƚĞĨŽƌŵĂŶĚƐĞŶĚŝƚďĂĐŬƚŽƵƐďLJ&ƌŝĚĂLJϯϭƵŐƵƐƚϮϬϭϮ, email us at awards@wwha.co.ukŽƌƐŝŵƉůLJĐĂůůƵƐŽŶϬϴϬϬϬϱϮϮϱϮϲ͕ĂƐŬĨŽƌ^ĂƌĂŚ͕ ^ŚĂƌŽŶ͕<ĞƌŝŽƌŽŵŝŶŝƋƵĞĂŶĚƚĞůůƵƐĂůůĂďŽƵƚƚŚĞŵ͘ dŚŝƐŝƐLJŽƵƌĐŚĂŶĐĞƚŽƐŚŽǁLJŽƵƌĂƉƉƌĞĐŝĂƟŽŶŽĨƚŚĂƚƵŶƐƵŶŐŚĞƌŽ͘zŽƵŚĂǀĞ ŶŽƚŚŝŶŐƚŽůŽƐĞͲĂŶĚƚŚĞLJŚĂǀĞĞǀĞƌLJƚŚŝŶŐƚŽŐĂŝŶ͊

The Categories Community Project Has someone done something in your neighbourhood that has ĐŚĂŶŐĞĚůŝĨĞŝŶLJŽƵƌĂƌĞĂĨŽƌƚŚĞ ďĞƩĞƌ͍zĞƐ͍dŚĞŶǁŚLJŶŽƚĐŽŶƐŝĚĞƌ ŶŽŵŝŶĂƟŶŐƚŚĞŵĨŽƌƚŚŝƐĂǁĂƌĚ͍ /ƚ͛ƐŽƉĞŶƚŽŝŶĚŝǀŝĚƵĂůƐŽƌŐƌŽƵƉƐŽĨ ĂŶLJĂŐĞƐĂŶĚƚŚĞƉƌŽũĞĐƚĐĂŶďĞ about absolutely anything that has ďƌŽƵŐŚƚĂďŽƵƚĂďĞŶĞĮƚƚŽLJŽƵƌ community. ƉƉƌŽƉƌŝĂƚĞŐƌŽƵƉƐŵŝŐŚƚŝŶĐůƵĚĞ ƌĞƐŝĚĞŶƚƐ͛ĂƐƐŽĐŝĂƟŽŶƐ͕ƐƉŽƌƚƐŽƌ social clubs, arts or community ŐƌŽƵƉƐ͘

Eco Champion Do you know someone who is into ƌĞĐLJĐůŝŶŐ͍ŽƚŚĞLJĚŽůŝƩĞƌƉŝĐŬƐ͍ ŽƚŚĞLJŚĞůƉLJŽƵĮŶĚŽƵƚŚŽǁ to save money and energy by ĐƵƫŶŐLJŽƵƌĨƵĞůďŝůůƐ͍ŽƚŚĞLJ reduce, reuse or recycle? Have they started growing their own ĨƌƵŝƚĂŶĚǀĞŐ͍ /ĨƐŽ͕ǁŚLJŶŽƚĞŶƚĞƌƚŚĞŵĨŽƌƚŚŝƐ LJĞĂƌ͛ƐĐŽŚĂŵƉŝŽŶĂǁĂƌĚ͍ We ĂƌĞůŽŽŬŝŶŐĨŽƌŝŶĚŝǀŝĚƵĂůƐ͕ĨĂŵŝůŝĞƐ ŽƌŐƌŽƵƉƐʹŽĨĂŶLJĂŐĞͲǁŚŽƐĞ ĞīŽƌƚƐƌĞĂůůLJƐŚŽǁƚŚĂƚƐŝŵƉůĞ ƐƚĞƉƐŵĂŬĞĂďŝŐĚŝīĞƌĞŶĐĞǁŚĞŶŝƚ comes to being ‘greener’.


Making A Difference Awards | intouch | www.wwha.co.uk | 21 'ŽŽĚEĞŝŐŚďŽƵƌ What makes a good neighbour? dŚĞLJĐŽŵĞŝŶĂůůƐŚĂƉĞƐĂŶĚƐŝnjĞƐ but what they all have in common is that they have a listening ear, ŚĞůƉŝŶŐŚĂŶĚƐ͕ĂŶĚĂǀĞƌLJǁĂƌŵ heart.

Green Fingers ;ƌĞƟƌĞŵĞŶƚͿ / Green Fingers;ŐĞŶĞƌĂůŶĞĞĚƐͿ Who do you know who has worked ŚĂƌĚŽŶĂŐĂƌĚĞŶƉƌŽũĞĐƚ͕ƉĞƌŚĂƉƐ ƉƵƫŶŐŽŶĂĨĂŶƚĂƐƟĐŇŽƌĂůĚŝƐƉůĂLJ͕ ŐŽƌŐĞŽƵƐŚĂŶŐŝŶŐďĂƐŬĞƚƐƉĂƟŽƐŽƌ tubs.

We want to celebrate those ĂƉƉĂƌĞŶƚůLJ͚ƐŵĂůů͛ĚĂLJƚŽĚĂLJ ĂĐƟŽŶƐƚŚĂƚĂĐƚƵĂůůLJŵĂŬĞĂ ŵĂƐƐŝǀĞĚŝīĞƌĞŶĐĞƚŽƐŽŵĞŽŶĞ ĞůƐĞ͛ƐůŝĨĞ͘dŚŝƐĐĂƚĞŐŽƌLJŝƐĂůƐŽ ŽƉĞŶƚŽĂůůĂŐĞƐ͘

dŚĞƐĞƚǁŽĂǁĂƌĚƐĂƌĞĂůůĂďŽƵƚ ĐĞůĞďƌĂƟŶŐƚŚĞĞīŽƌƚƐŽĨŐƌĞĂƚ gardeners out there whose handiwork makes somewhere ůŽŽŬŐŽŽĚ͘KƉĞŶƚŽĂůůĂŐĞƐ͘ WŚŽƚŽŐƌĂƉŚŝĐĞǀŝĚĞŶĐĞŝƐ ĞƐƐĞŶƟĂůĨŽƌƚŚŝƐĂǁĂƌĚ͘

Fresh Start / Fresh Start ;ŶĞǁďƵŝůĚͿ

Local Hero ;ĂǀŝĚdĂLJůŽƌ^ƉĞĐŝĂůǁĂƌĚͿ

>ŝĨĞĐĂŶďĞĨƵůůŽĨƵƉƐĂŶĚĚŽǁŶƐĂŶĚ these two categories are all about those ĂŵĂnjŝŶŐƉĞŽƉůĞǁŚŽ͛ǀĞŽǀĞƌĐŽŵĞ ƚŽƵŐŚƟŵĞƐƚŽƚƵƌŶƚŚĞŝƌůŝĨĞĂƌŽƵŶĚ ĨŽƌƚŚĞďĞƩĞƌ͘WĞƌŚĂƉƐƚŚĞLJŚĂǀĞŐŽƚ ŶĞǁƋƵĂůŝĮĐĂƟŽŶƐ͕ŽǀĞƌĐŽŵĞŝůůŶĞƐƐ ŽƌƐƵƉƉŽƌƚĞĚĨĂŵŝůLJŵĞŵďĞƌƐƚŚƌŽƵŐŚ ĚŝĸĐƵůƚƟŵĞƐ͘KƌŵĂLJďĞƚŚĞLJ͛ǀĞ ƌĞƚƵƌŶĞĚƚŽǁŽƌŬĂŌĞƌĂůŽŶŐƟŵĞ away. Whatever their story, we want to ŚĞĂƌŝƚ͘KƉĞŶƚŽĂůůĂŐĞƐ͘&ƌĞƐŚ ^ƚĂƌƚ;ŶĞǁďƵŝůĚͿŝƐƐƉĞĐŝĮĐĂůůLJĨŽƌ ŝŶƐƉŝƌĂƟŽŶĂůƉĞŽƉůĞǁŚŽŚĂǀĞŵŽǀĞĚ ŝŶƚŽŽƵƌŶĞǁůLJďƵŝůƚĚĞǀĞůŽƉŵĞŶƚƐŝŶ ƚŚĞƉĂƐƚƚǁŽLJĞĂƌƐ͘

dŚŝƐĂǁĂƌĚŝƐĨŽƌƚŚĂƚƉĞƌƐŽŶŽƌ ƉĞƌƐŽŶƐǁŚŽŚĂǀĞƋƵŝƚĞƐŝŵƉůLJ ƐƚŽŽĚŽƵƚĨƌŽŵƚŚĞĐƌŽǁĚĨŽƌ whatever reason. /ƚ͛ƐŽƉĞŶƚŽŐƌŽƵƉƐŽƌŝŶĚŝǀŝĚƵĂůƐ ŽĨĂŶLJĂŐĞĂŶĚĐĞůĞďƌĂƚĞƐƚŚĞŝƌ ĞdžƚƌĂŽƌĚŝŶĂƌLJĂĐŚŝĞǀĞŵĞŶƚƐ͘ dŚŝƐĂǁĂƌĚĐĂŶĐŽǀĞƌĂďƐŽůƵƚĞůLJ ĂŶLJƚŚŝŶŐƚŚĂƚLJŽƵĨĞĞůŝƐǁŽƌƚŚLJŽĨ ĂŶĂǁĂƌĚ͘^ŽŐĞƚLJŽƵƌƚŚŝŶŬŝŶŐ ĐĂƉƐŽŶĂŶĚŶŽŵŝŶĂƚĞ someone today.

/ĨLJŽƵŬŶŽǁǁŚŝĐŚĐĂƚĞŐŽƌLJLJŽƵƌŶŽŵŝŶĂƟŽŶĨĂůůƐŝŶ͕ƉůĞĂƐĞƟĐŬŽŶĞŽĨƚŚĞ ďŽdžĞƐĂďŽǀĞ͘/ĨLJŽƵĂƌĞƵŶƐƵƌĞǁŚŝĐŚŽŶĞƚŽĐŚŽŽƐĞ͕ĚŽŶ͛ƚǁŽƌƌLJ͕ũƵƐƚĮůůŝŶƚŚĞ ŶŽŵŝŶĂƟŽŶĨŽƌŵŽǀĞƌůĞĂĨĂŶLJǁĂLJĂŶĚǁĞǁŝůůƐĞůĞĐƚĂĐĂƚĞŐŽƌLJĨŽƌLJŽƵ͘


22 | www.wwha.co.uk | intouch | Making A Difference Awards

WůĞĂƐĞƚĞůůƵƐ͗ zŽƵƌŶĂŵĞ͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘ zŽƵƌĂĚĚƌĞƐƐ͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘ ............................................................................................................. zŽƵƌƚĞůĞƉŚŽŶĞŶƵŵďĞƌ͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘ zŽƵƌĞŵĂŝůĂĚĚƌĞƐƐ͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘ tŚŽĂƌĞLJŽƵŶŽŵŝŶĂƟŶŐ͍͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘ tŚĂƚŝƐƚŚĞŝƌĂĚĚƌĞƐƐĂŶĚƉŽƐƚĐŽĚĞ͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘ ............................................................................................................. ............................................................................................................. dŚĞŝƌƚĞůĞƉŚŽŶĞŶƵŵďĞƌ͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘ dŚĞŝƌĞŵĂŝůĂĚĚƌĞƐƐ͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘͘ Why do you think they deserve this award?

WůĞĂƐĞĐŽŶƟŶƵĞŽŶĂƐĞƉĂƌĂƚĞƐŚĞĞƚŝĨŶĞĞĚĞĚĂŶĚĚŽŶ͛ƚĨŽƌŐĞƚƚŽ ŝŶĐůƵĚĞĂŶLJƉŚŽƚŽŐƌĂƉŚƐƚŚĂƚLJŽƵŵĂLJŚĂǀĞƚŽƐƵƉƉŽƌƚLJŽƵƌĞŶƚƌLJ͘


Going Green | intouch | www.wwha.co.uk | 23

Patricia Lavercombe and Martyn Bryant of Glan Yr Afon Court pausing for photos while hard at work transferring seedlings.

Dig for fun... Calling all residents…growing your own… Despite the we est June on record ever, many of you aren’t le ng it get you down and are growing your own fruit and veg up and down the country, writes Owen Jones, Environment & Sustainability Officer. It’s too early to tell what this year’s harvest is going to be like, but the recent rain doesn’t bode par cularly well for some of those sun loving crops… fingers crossed though that we get a lot of sunshine during August to make up for it! Our Environment Fund con nues to support our residents who form gardening clubs in order to grow their

own fruit and veg. Gardening clubs are a great way of sharing skills and passing on learning. It doesn’t ma er if you don’t know your runner beans from your radishes, or your curly kale from your purple sprou ng broccoli, you are almost guaranteed to have a neighbour somewhere in your community who does.


24 | www.wwha.co.uk | intouch | Going Green So if you are keen to start gardening why not speak to your neighbours to see if there is any interest in star ng up a gardening club? If there is then our Environment Fund may be able to help your group with some seed funding! All you need to do is speak to your Scheme Manager, Asset Management Officer or Housing Officer, agree a plot of land that could be used between you, and invite me, Owen Jones, to a mee ng of your gardening club for a chat about your plans. Gardening clubs are a great way of learning, passing on skills and staying fit and ac ve. Anyone can play a role, and people with reduced mobility can use specially adapted tools or even make use of raised beds, and, forming a club with

Mr & Mrs Dave & Freda Watkins, site superintendent Peter Merry and Yvonne Humphreys at Dan Y Mynydd, with their new raised beds

Martyn Bryant and scheme manager Amie Absalom with this year’s crop of runner beans, again at Glan Yr Afon

shared goals is a great way of bringing a community together.


Healthy Living | intouch | www.wwha.co.uk | 25

The Equality Act 2010...

so what does this mean for me? This is the third in our series of ar cles which explain the Equality Act 2010 – in the previous two edi ons we looked at Age and Disability, writes Claire Bryant, Equality & Diversity Officer. There are 9 ‘protected characteris cs’ within the Act and the aim of these ar cles is to break down the legal jargon into something that’s easy to understand for everyone.

So what are the 9 protected characteris cs again?

Age, disability, gender reassignment, sexual orienta on, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, sex, ethnicity, and religion or belief. In this ar cle we are looking at gender reassignment.

Girl or Boy?

There is no doubt society divides people into categories – boy or girl – depending on the male or female appearance of an infant at birth. Our reproduc ve organs, as well as our brains, have dis nctly different male and female characteris cs. These physical differences define our sex, whereas ‘gender iden ty’ describes the inner sense of knowing that we are men or women, and ‘gender role’ describes how we behave in society. Some people, however, find that the way they look on the outside doesn’t fit how they feel inside. The way they are expected to behave may be quite different

from the way they really want to behave. This causes a feeling of discomfort that is some mes described as gender dysphoria (dysphoria means unhappiness). However, this is not a mental illness. Gender dysphoria is a recognised medical condi on. Some individuals feel so strongly that they are not the gender they were born as, they undergo a combina on of hormone medica on and surgery to bring their body more closely in line with the underlying gender iden ty. This is called reassignment. Around the country, laws, policies and a tudes are changing, making life be er for transgender people overall, but many trans people suffer discrimina on in the workplace and elsewhere such as healthcare and in social se ngs. The new Act makes it unlawful to discriminate when providing goods or services or in employment, but really, what it’s all about is respect, trea ng people fairly and with dignity.


26 | www.wwha.co.uk | intouch | Residents Par cipa on

I’m over the moon with my new kitchen SEVENTY-seven year-old Mrs Madge Walters of Fairleigh Court in Cardiff has been a Wales & West Housing resident for seven years. Although the bustle of the traffic is not far away, she hears the birds singing every day and her home is strewn with colourful flower pots. Madge has lots of visitors having five children, nine grandchildren and five great-grandchildren so was “over the moon” when Wales & West Housing told her that her red-looking kitchen would be ge ng a brand new refurb by Cambria Maintenance Services. “I had a choice of paint, cabinet colours, les, flooring and worktop, and I could even include some of my own wall les which broke up the plain les on the wall. They only took five days to change everything and the Cambria workers, Gareth, Richard and Jason were very helpful, efficient and jolly with their work,” she told us. “When they were here I le them to it while I went out for lunch with friends, I trusted them implicitly.

“Prior to that, I was fi ed with a walk-in shower as I just couldn’t get into the bath anymore. When the work was finished I had a phone call to ask if I was sa sfied with the work, and I wrote a le er to say a big thank you.”


Planned Maintenance | intouch | www.wwha.co.uk | 27 Bathrooms Ty’r Porthmon, Brecon Llwyn y Mor, Swansea Ty Gwaunfarren, Merthyr Tydfil Hanover Court, Barry Windows / Doors St Donats Close, Llantwit Major Teilos Drive, Brackla, Bridgend Maes Hyfryd, Wrexham Ystad Goffa, Flint – Doors only Cwrt Leighton, Connahs Quay - Doors only

These are the schemes that we plan to upgrade for the remainder of 2012 as part of our ongoing programme to comply with the Welsh Housing Quality Standard: Kitchens Maes y Fynnon, Crickhowell Trem y Mynydd, Treorchy Maes Cefndy, Rhyl

Please contact our contracts team if you have any ques ons: Mike Wellock – Commercial Manager Sean Gough – Contracts Manager Simon Legg – Contracts Manager Kate Solomon – Contracts Manager Peter Jenkins – Contracts Manager Lucy Simms – Property Services Assistant Gemma – Property Services Coleman Assistant

£ ££

Win £250 if you have your boiler serviced 1st me around Miss Rae of Wrexham was the lucky winner of PH Jones’ prize of £250 for this quarter. All you have to do to WIN is have your gas boiler serviced on the FIRST appointment we make for you, or

if you can give us at least 48 hours’ no ce to postpone the visit. You will then be automa cally entered into the FREE DRAW. It’s so easy and you can WIN a cheque for £250.


28 | www.wwha.co.uk | intouch | Planned Maintenance

WWH residents recognised at na onal awards WWH residents from across Wales received three prizes at the na onal Tenant Par cipa on Advisory Service Cymru awards in May. The following, who received their prizes at the ceremony held in Llandudno, beat compe on from all social housing residents in Wales: • Sian Hope, of Wrexham, was awarded 2nd prize in the Ruth Radley Outstanding Achievement in Par cipa on award for her work with her local residents’ organisa on and our Resident Par cipa on Steering Group. • Lauren, also from Wrexham, received 2nd prize in the Young Tenant of the Year award for the work she has done in her local community. • Caerau Po ers, a gardening group from Caerau, Cardiff (pictured above) received the 3rd prize in the Improving the Environment award. The group has

only been working together for just over a year but they have, with the help of WWH staff and our Make It Happen and Environmental grants, transformed a once plain piece of land into an ecooasis in their large estate.

Do you know someone at your estate or scheme who deserves to be recognised?

Don’t forget to nominate them for our annual Making a Difference awards. Nomina ons are open now – see pages 18 to 22 for details of how to nominate.

Got an idea for a community project or ac vity? • Our Make It Happen grant could provide you with between £200 and £500 for a community ac vity. Contact me, Claire Hammond, Resident Par cipa on Strategy Officer, for more details on 0800 052 2526 or you can email Claire.hammond@wwha. co.uk • Our Environment Fund can help if you have an idea for an eco-friendly project such as growing fruit and veg, raised beds or na ve species of fruit

trees. Contact Owen Jones, Environment and Sustainability Officer for more details email owen.jones@wwha.co.uk

Don’t forget you can contact both Owen and Claire via our website’s Contact Us page at www.wwha.co.uk or by phoning 0800 052 2526.


Le ers to Editor | intouch | www.wwha.net | 29

isor y Panel v d A nt a n e T P Intr oducing T A resident H W W a , f if rd a nel (T AP ). C a , P a n y n or a c is t v on d P A ides of nment’s Tenant r e ov G Hi, I’m James R h ls e W tenants on t he nt e s e r p e r I d an ent in 2009 t o m n r e ov G h ls e med by t he W or f e r e (RB W ), t he w o s h le w a s W nt e rd id oa s e B r of inister. he Regulat or y M t T AP is a gr oup o g t in s n io ou t H la u h g ls e e views on r advises t he W d n a s or t i feed residents’ on m or y body t hat is v d a nt e d n e p inde rds in Wales lo d n la l ia oc s d e on how register t c e oj views by r r p ou a y g e in iv k g a t ou r e y d e ly un ld like t o invit ou w We are current d n Q Z8LS. a Y s /T nt e /s id om s c e . r y e ir k e h it h t www.surveymon t a e communicate w n li on e ir a n eed back wil l be n f io r t ou s Y e u . q e t k i s ic b u e q completing a ge of W W H’s w a p t on ulat or y Board r g f e e h R t e h on t k of n li t r r There’s a hype nd wil l form pa a s ou m y on n a pletely n standards. io t a ic treated as com n u m om c ) review of t he Wales (RB W or T AP please t c e oj r p r ou , y e about t he surv e or m Federation, w o s n k nt a o n t e T e k h li ls e ld W If you wou administrat or, T. Or you can P A 8 A T 7 , 4 h F t i C m , il S f h , Mert hyr Tyd contact Hanna t S d n la e b le 723922. G 5 , 8 s r 6 e 1 b 0 m a on h m C p e 5 Mil bour n follow T AP on et ween 9am t o o b ls s a y a n d a c k e e ou w y e ic ntsfed.org.uk or a contact our of f n e t h ls e w @ h a g fr om you. n in n r a a e H h : o il t a m rd e a o w Y ou can als We look for s le Wa Twitter @T AP


30 | www.wwha.co.uk | intouch | An -Social Behaviour

Nuisance tenants evicted

a er drugs-related an social behaviour Repeated incidents of drugs-related an -social behaviour have resulted in the evic on of tenants from one of our proper es in Brackla, Bridgend. Bridgend County Court awarded landlord Wales & West Housing a possession order on 12 June 2012 enabling us to take back the two-bedroom home on Dan y Coed Rise, Brackla, Bridgend.

relessly with the police and other agencies to take the strongest and swi est ac on possible in every case in this community and across Wales. In this case, that ac on has resulted in securing an evic on.

Our An Social Behaviour Team joined forces with South Wales Police to secure the order following dozens of drugs-related incidents and complaints from neighbours rela ng to 19 Dan y Coed Rose which were in breach of the tenancy agreement.

“I hope this order will make residents feel safer in their own community and I would like to thank those living in Dan y Coed Rise and the surrounding area for their support and understanding while this ac on was being taken.”

Anne Hinchey, Chief Execu ve of WWH said: “We take the health and safety of all our residents very seriously at Wales & West Housing, as we will do what we can to support our law abiding ci zens to live in safe, peaceful and produc ve communi es. “We will not tolerate under any circumstances abuses of the law, especially regarding drugs, and Wales & West Housing will con nue to work

Bridgend Local Policing Inspector Paul Tinkler said: “This posi ve ac on demonstrates to our communi es that they should not and will not be expected to tolerate such behaviour, whether the home is rented or privately owned.

“I urge anyone who is a vic m of an -social behaviour or who has informa on on crime in their area to contact the police by calling 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”


Neighbourhood Watch | intouch | www.wwha.net | 31

Neighbourhood watch

will you volunteer?

Neighbourhood Watch is an organisa on supported by the Government and Police whereby residents can be co-ordinators for their own street and proper es, writes WWH resident Gill Johnson, of Clos Tan y Fron, Bridgend, pictured front le above, with Pat Goldsworthy and Housing Officer Claire Pepper.. The aim is to ensure good communica on between the community and the police regarding suspicious or actual criminal events taking place in their areas. Neighbourhood Watch is a great way to tackle problems and we always need more people. So if you’d like to put your name forward then please contact your

Housing Officer or local police officer. At Clos Tan y Fron, Brackla, Bridgend, we have set up a neighbourhood watch area which WWH supports. The Neighbourhood Watch team applied for community benches to enable residents to meet and would like to thank WWH for their support through the Make It Happen grant.


32 | www.wwha.co.uk | intouch | Money Ma ers

Will benefit changes

affect you? In the last edi on of Money Ma ers we focused on a wide range of benefit changes that could affect residents under the Government’s Welfare Reform Act. In this issue we are looking in more detail at the bedroom tax, a change to the amount of housing benefit you might receive depending on your household make-up and how many bedrooms this means you are en tled to under new housing benefit rules.

Please note that this change will only affect people of working age so if you are born on the 1st October 1951 or earlier (or 61 years & 6 months old) you should not be affected. This is the minimum age that you can receive Pension Credit so if you receive any type of Pension Credit you will not be affected. The Bedroom Tax

The Government has said that it will introduce new ‘size criteria’ for housing benefit claims in social housing. This will apply from 1st April 2013 to tenants of working age (currently those born a er 1st October 1951).

What do the changes mean? The size criteria will restrict housing benefit to allow for one bedroom for each of the following: • • • • • •

A single adult or couple Any other adult (16 years old or over) Two children under 16 of the same sex Two children under 10 regardless of sex Any other child Disabled resident or partner who has a non-resident overnight carer

Who will be affected? All claimants who are deemed to have at least one spare bedroom will be affected. This includes: • Separated parents who share the care of their children and who may hav been allocated an extra bedroom to reflect this. Benefit rules mean that there must be a designated ‘main carer’ for children (who receives the child benefit) • Couples who use their ‘spare’ bedroom when recovering from an illness or opera on


Money Ma ers | intouch | www.wwha.net | 33 • • • •

Foster carers because foster children are not counted as part of the household for benefit purposes Parents whose children visit but are not part of the household Families with disabled children Disabled people including people living in adapted or specially designed proper es.

How much will people lose? The cut will be a fixed percentage of the Housing Benefit eligible rent. The Government has said that this will be set at 14% for one extra bedroom and 25% for two or more extra bedrooms.

This means that if you get £100 per week Housing Benefit towards a rent of £130 and are deemed to be underoccupying by 1 bedroom, your benefit will be reduced by £18.20 (14% of your rent of £130). You would then receive £81.80 per week Housing benefit towards your rent of £130. Your payable rent would increase from £30 per week to £48.20.

Direct Debit

Winner WIN by paying your rent by Direct Debit.

Congratula ons to Mrs Games! Mrs Games of Western Court, a WWH Home Ownership re rement scheme in Cardiff was the lucky winner of £100 for the last quarterly direct debit draw of 2011. The cheque was presented by Pat Green the Scheme Manager, pictured right with Mrs Games. For your chance to WIN you need to pay your rent by Direct Debit. Please

contact your Housing Officer who will help with any queries you may have or our Customer Service Centre on 0800 052 2526.

Paying by Direct Debit takes out all the hassle of remembering to pay on me and it is so easy to set up.


34 | www.wwha.co.uk | intouch | Money Ma ers Below are some examples of how different households may be affected:

Example 1

Tony and Melanie have two children, Sophie who is 5 and Ben who is 3. They live in a 3 bedroom house and receive £80 Housing Benefit per week towards their full rent of £100, meaning that they pay another £20 themselves. Under the new size criteria rules they would only be en tled to Housing Benefit for two bedroom accommoda on, one for themselves and one for their children who are expected to share as they are under 10. The Local Housing Benefit department would reduce their Housing benefit award by 14% of their rent as they would deem them to be under-occupying. This would mean that they would receive £66.00 per week Housing Benefit, leaving a shor all of payable rent of £34.00 (rent = £100, 14% of this is £14.00 plus the £20 per week they already had to pay).

So what can you do? If you think you are going to be affected by the bedroom tax you need to consider what you are going to do. You may know someone in your area who is currently looking for a bigger property and may therefore want to exchange. If you do please contact your

Example 2

Jill is a single parent with four children, Tom and James who are 12, Carly who is 15 and Sarah who is 17. She lives in a four bedroom house and currently receives Housing Benefit of £80 per week towards her rent of £130, meaning that she has to pay £50 on top. Under the size criteria rules Jill would be en tled to Housing Benefit for a 4 bedroom property so would not have her benefit reduced. This is because she would be en tled to one room for herself, one room for Sarah as she is over 16, one room for Tom and James as they would be expected to share as and one room for Carly as she is classed as another child.

Housing officer to discuss this as we will not allow exchanges without first giving our permission. If you do not know of anyone who wants to exchange, are thinking of moving to a different area or want to consider a wider range of proper es then sign up to Homeswapper, the UK’s biggest home swap service.


Money Ma ers | intouch | www.wwha.net | 35

Example 3

Example 4

Barry is a single man living in a 2 bedroom flat who is currently unemployed.

Sheila lives by herself in a 2 bedroom re rement flat. She was born on the 1st December 1951.

He shares the care of his son with his former partner. She receives the Child Benefit as their son spends the majority of the week with his mum and stays with Barry on a Saturday night.

She receives Housing Benefit of £50 per week towards her rent of £75 as she works part me. Sheila is aware that because she is born a er the 1st October 1951 then she will be affected by the size criteria rules and have her Housing Benefit reduced by 14% of her weekly rent figure, leaving her with £39.50 per week. However, she has calculated her pension credit age using the pension calculator on www.directgov.uk which has told her that she will be eligible for Pension Credit from the 6th July 2013 so the shor all will only affect her for approximately 3 months.

Under the size criteria rules Barry’s Housing Benefit would be reduced by 14% as he would not be classed as the ‘main carer’ of his son and would only be en tled to Housing Benefit for 1 bedroom accommoda on.

As a WWH resident you can do this for free, giving yourself access to a wide range of proper es across the country. It’s easy to do, just log on to www.homeswapper.co.uk and input your details, making sure that the accommoda on you’re looking for matches your needs. Homeswapper will then automa cally match you to possible homeswaps.

Please note that you will need the permission of Wales & West before exchanging your property with anyone else. As your landlord we will do whatever we can to help you move if you are affected by this. We will be contac ng you in the near future to discuss your op ons but if you are worried about this change please don’t hesitate to contact us at any me.


36 | www.wwha.co.uk | intouch | Charity Update

Help for

Heroes Dona ons for our nominated charity Help for Heroes keep on coming in and the current total in our ki y stands at £18,234.64. The charity teams in both our Flint and Cardiff offices arranged Jubilee teas which included luscious cakes, scones, and sandwiches all themed around the big day. Many of our re rement schemes celebrated the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee with the charity benefi ng from raffles at Llys Faen in Bridgend where volunteers from Help the Heroes gave a talk about the charity as well as dona ng £80.00. Ivor Solsberg, a resident at Oldwell Court in Cardiff donated his home-made dolls house to a H4H raffle. WWH staff also contribute odd pennies from their salary, while dress-down days every Friday are not only popular but a lucra ve way to raise funds – at £1 per person.

Climbing high for Ty Hafan

The Welsh Three Peaks Challenge takes a great deal of stamina and Mark, Jeff, Gary, Paul and John from our contractor Solar Windows recently completed this back-breaking triple mountain ascent in North Wales for Ty Hafan Children’s’

Hospice. The group aged from 29 to 51 began ascending Snowdon at 04:15 on Saturday 23rd June before tackling Cader Idris in atrocious condi ons. They completed the challenge by descending Pen Y Fan in the Brecon Beacons at 18:50. The boys raised nearly £2,500 with Wales & West Housing sponsoring £600 for their tremendous efforts. John Lewis, contract manager at Solar Windows who has worked in partnership with WWH since 2001 said “When it got difficult, we just remembered why we were doing it, for children worse off than ourselves, then we found the will to keep going.”


Your Views & News | intouch | www.wwha.net | 37

Thank you Lena! Mrs Lena Charles of Danymynydd re rement scheme in the Garw Valley, was given a lovely surprise when she was asked to hand out prizes at her old school, Blaengarw Juniors. Instead pupils presented with her with her very own gi s including a specially made cake, a bouquet of flowers and a copy of the register taken on her first day at the school on 12th June in 1922, when Lena was just four years old. The gi s were to thank Lena for all of her good work and reless eďŹ&#x20AC;orts in the community. If that wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t enough, Lena then presented Welsh BBC news presenter, Huw Edwards (pictured below with Lena) with a portrait of himself by a local ar st to say a big thank you from everyone at the Tabernacle Chapel,

Pontycymer, a er he supported them in their successful quest to restore the chapel organ. Well done Lena and thanks again for all your con nued hard work.


38 | www.wwha.co.uk | intouch | Your Views & News

Jubilee- ons!

Wales & West Housing residents throw a diamond party Nobody at Wales & West could quite jubilee’ve the weather over the Bank Holiday weekend, but were delighted to see that a touch of Welsh weather couldn’t dampen the spirits of our residents. Here’s a selec on of what went on. For more stories go to the Residents’ area of our website. Danymynydd

Yvonne Humphreys, Scheme Manager at Danymynydd, was elated to receive an unexpected le er from Buckingham Palace thanking her for invi ng The Queen and Prince Phillip to their Jubilee Garden Party on the 7th June. The le er also came with a booklet to commemorate the Queen’s celebra ons and thanked everyone at Danymynydd for their loyalty and support and wished

them a wonderful garden party. Yvonne has framed the le er and it is now in pride of place at Danymynydd in the resident’s lounge. The photo of the celebra ons shows residents with Queen Elizabeth (otherwise known as 94 year old Lena Charles), Duke of Edinburgh (aka 91 year old Trevor Veal) and maid in wai ng (Yvonne Humphreys).


Your Views & News | intouch | www.wwha.net | 39

St Clements

St. Clements Court in Cardiff celebrated the Jubilee in style when resident Trevor Bond cut off his locks to raise £150 for Rookwood Hospital Physio Department.

Tea with the Queen!

Chris ne Price, Scheme manager at Cwrt Andrew Buchan, and resident May Maggie had a great me as guests of Her Majesty the Queen at her official garden party in May. The duo were invited thanks to their work for Communi es First.

Cwrt Leighton

Cwrt Leighton Resident’s Associa on strung their street with bun ng and dished out jubilee mugs and bookmarks to each house at the North Wales scheme. Both children and adults sported their party hats and blew their blowers before tucking into a buffet fit for a Queen! The party proved it wasn’t off key when residents made use of their new karaoke machine, purchased with the money awarded by their Make it Happen grant. And the party ended with a rainbow when the children shrugged off the rain and made use of their recently refurbished play park, Rainbow’s End. Celebra ons also took place at Oldwell Court in Cardiff and Ty Brynseion in Merthyr Tydfil.


Personal alarms and telecare

Reliable, aďŹ&#x20AC;ordable and installed at your convenience We all value our independence but some mes we can all do with a li le extra help. Connect24 personal alarms bring you help and support at the touch of a bu on.

Call freephone 0800 052 2526 or email: contactus@wwha.co.uk or write to: Connect24 Personal Alarms Wales & West Housing FREEPOST CF3588 3 Alexandra Gate, Ffordd Pengam Tremorfa, CardiďŹ&#x20AC;, CF10 1YZ


Intouch Summer 2012  

The magazine for residents of Wales & West Housing

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