October 2017 Edition

List of Contents

Take the next step in getting the most out of the internet!

This year our Tenancy Support team will be providing drop in sessions for all tenants to help you get the most out of the internet. Whether you are completely new to the internet or just need a little bit of extra help, we are here throughout Get Online week, 2 - 8th Oct and are able to provide 1-2-1 and group sessions in your home, local area office or in a place of your choosing.

These sessions will cover the following:

Tenants Online service

Learn how to connect and use the internet

Internet shopping

Keep in contact with friends and family via email, Skype and social media, using Facebook & Twitter

Help with comparing energy prices and services

Keep a track of your finances

Book days out/holidays

The campaign is also encouraging everyone to #try1thing you’ve not previously done before. This could be booking an appointment, online shopping or applying for a job. We want to help you get the most out of the internet.

Our upcoming sessions for all tenants:

-Monday 2nd October - 11- 4pm, Drop in session @ York Place, Dereham

-Tuesday 3rd October- 2- 5pm, Phone in session from 2pm

-Wednesday 4th October- 11- 4pm, Drop in session @ King’s Lynn Office

-Thursday 5th October- 2- 4pm, Drop in session @ The Cedars, Norwich (residents only)

-Friday 6th October- 11- 4pm, Drop in session @ Great Yarmouth Office

Get social with us at Broadland Housing Group on Facebook.

For more information call 01603 750128 today!

 

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Out and About catch up

We are coming to the end of our out and about visits for 2017. We have really enjoyed visiting you and finding out more about what is happening in your community and what matters to you.

Thank you to everyone who took the time out of their day to talk to us and entered the prize draw competition.

We have had the opportunity to talk to you about some new digital services we have, including how you can access your account online and how you can engage with us without leaving your home. A big congratulations to everyone who was lucky enough to win a £10 love2shop voucher in our monthly prize draw competitions.

 

Dates for your diary 2017:
5th Oct - Mill Court, Holt, 10 - 3pm
6th Oct - Leonard Close/Lavender Road, King’s Lynn, 1 - 5pm
17th Oct - Howard Terrace, Norwich, 10 - 2pm
25th Oct - Stanley Drive/Mount Pleasant Drive, East Harling, 9.30 - 2.30pm
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Are you looking to move home?

When two or more tenants swap their homes, it’s called a mutual exchange. If you have a secure or assured lifetime tenancy with us at Broadland Housing, you can apply for a mutual exchange.

You can usually swap with:

• another Broadland tenant

• a tenant of another housing association

• a tenant of a local authority

House exchange is a website designed to bring people together who are looking to swap their homes. Using the site is easy and free. Simply visit here and complete your details online.

Once you have registered and your details have been approved, your property will appear in our database.

You will be able to:

• search for a property to move to

• advertise your current home and search for people who are interested in your property

• search for two way or three way exchange possibilities.

28% of Broadland tenants are looking for a larger home.

92% are looking to stay within our area.

20% are looking for a home nearer to family.

51 Broadland tenants completed an exchange using House Exchange in the last financial year

420 Broadland tenants registered with House Exchange in the last financial year

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Tenants get creative with garden design at York Place, Dereham!

With a new communal garden in the pipeline, York Place tenants were buzzing with landscaping ideas, which first were looked at in July this year.

The sheltered housing scheme in Dereham is being expanded to include 6 flats and 2 bungalows, with a new garden area for all tenants being built on the old bowling green.

Meeting tenants at York Place was Ed Mumford-Smith, Head of Planning, and local landscape designer Chris Yardley who explained the plans and invited tenants’ ideas for the garden design.

Tenants considered different plants for colour, scent and ‘bee-friendliness’. They also looked at design features such as planters accessible to tenants in wheelchairs, bird feeders and a pergola.

The tenants’ top 3 priorities were:

easy access to the garden for wheelchair users or those with limited mobility

plenty of seating to ensure shade from direct sun at different times of day

year-round colour

"I always start a garden design with an idea of what I’d like to see, with lots of variety, different textures, colour all year round, the buzzing of insects, birds flying in, but a garden that looks cohesive overall. It was really interesting to get tenants’ feedback today. I’ll now go away and incorporate their suggestions as far as possible" said Chris Yardley, landscape designer.

Draft designs for the new garden are due to be presented to residents in October, and planting will take place in the spring.

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Good Neighbour Awards

Woodcote tenants joined Executive Frontline Director, Ivan Johnson and Scheme Manager, Stephen Baxter at the scheme’s weekly coffee mornings recently for the presentation of ‘Good Neighbour’ and ‘Act of Kindness’ awards.

The meeting was led by Stephen, and while tenants gathered to make tea and coffee, one tenant mentioned it was the busiest coffee morning they had seen for a while, with news, bingo led by the tenants and a poem by Janet Walker who lives at Woodcote. Tenants said it was great to see such a wonderful room full of friends and neighbours helping one another. After the usual events at the coffee morning, Stephen then passed onto Ivan, who thanked everyone for coming along to the awards presentation.

First to receive his award was Mr Dugdale, who has unfalteringly assisted our tenants in so many helpful ways, particularly with transport. Next to receive their award were Mr and Mrs Trenerry, who have been responsible for driving forward the expansion of the highly successful social club in a way that has been particularly sensitive to the needs of the whole scheme.

Mr Headicar also received a Good Neighbour Award for his exeptional advocacy for residents, both individual and collective and for years of promotion of Woodcote within Hethersett and District. The last certificate awarded was to Mrs Laker for her hard work and enduring commitment to the enhancing of the garden and grounds of Woodcote scheme to enrich its appearance for the benefit of all its residents.

Ivan noted how much these tenants in particular had helped everyone at the scheme. He said: "It’s great to see the community coming together. We’d really like to see more of these awards presented in other schemes. These tenants have made a real difference at Woodcote and it just goes to show that with a little help and a positive attitude, the whole community here benefits."

Anyone can be nominated for a ‘Good Neighbour’ or ‘Act of Kindness’ award. Please get in touch if you know someone who deserves this award. They do not need to be a Broadland Housing tenant.

Call 01603 750113 or email tenantengagement@broadlandgroup.org today! 

 

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Better Together

This year, the Tenancy Support Team of Broadland Housing Association will be forming a ‘Better Together’ campaign to increase awareness of loneliness to our tenants, staff and stakeholders as well as promoting what is going on in your local area in the run up to Christmas and beyond. The initial campaign will run from the 27th November to the 1st December but it won’t stop there, we are hoping to continue to promote awareness of this subject throughout the year.

Christmas is a time when many people, regardless or age or situation, can feel alone and isolated and ‘Better Together’ will be looking at the things going on in our local communities, as there is such a range of services, events and activities that we can get involved with. This can help us to make new contacts, support networks and friends.

During the ‘Better Together’ week, we are hoping to visit some of our more rural schemes including the Forest Heath area and North Norfolk as well as holding drop in sessions at area offices, where tenants and staff can learn how to Skype to keep in touch with friends and family. There will also be lots of activity on our social media pages and publicising of volunteering opportunities. More details on dates and times will be released nearer to the time.

In the meantime, if you are looking for someone to come to you to have a chat, there are a number of organisations who offer a befriending service. Age UK offer a service that can either come to you or they can give you a telephone call at a set time, if this is the preferred option. The contact number for Age UK is: 01603 613574.

The Royal Voluntary service, Scope UK, Voluntary Norfolk, Heron and Dementia awareness all offer befriending services as well, and there are many more support organisations available. We will be happy to give you further information about these organisations.

During the campaign week from the 27th November – 1st December, we will also have foodbank collection boxes available in our area offices, where we would welcome any donations to take to the local food banks to support those in need this Christmas.

If you would like to find out more about the ‘Better Together’ project, or find out more about the options available to you, please get in touch through our Facebook page or website. If you would prefer to phone, you can contact one of the project team on: 01603 750188 or 01603 750137.

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My story...

I first moved into my flat in Dereham in March 2011, the place was empty and I didn’t have a lot to start with to make it a home, just a few little bits and a camp bed. I had help from the Tenancy Support team at Broadland Housing, who referred me to the Benjamin Foundation for funding a new bed and wardrobe. I also received a community care grant for carpets which I was grateful for. As money was tight, I did what I could gradually over time.

At the front of my flat there was a large big bush and every month it was cut back but I asked Broadland if it could be removed instead. I wanted a project and I wanted to inspire my neighbours to do the same and make small changes to the look of their gardens. I like being creative and wanted it to look different from others in the block. Since then it’s had a knock-on effect, with the neighbours wanting to improve their gardens. They added white stones similar to what I had used, I then painted the fence blue and white and added a palm tree to make it stand out.

I had to really plan, as cost was one of the difficulties I faced. Half the garden I had done in a week and then thought ‘how am I going to do this?’, but then I found you can get a lot of good stuff for free and looked out for sales and reduced items. I added hanging baskets, bird boxes and baths to attract wildlife. We’ve had robins, starlings and doves visit, which I can see from my living room window. The bird boxes I’ve painted in bright pink so they can be seen in the Winter mist.

I’ve been all round the world and remembered in the past some places having lots of pots and different colours, so I wanted to base it around those memories. One of the Estate Services team inspired me the most to do something with the garden. It’s made me change the inside of the flat too, with light bright colours working with natural daylight. I started with one room at a time. It takes a while but you can’t rush it, anyone can do it and when friends come round they will say ‘wow’.

The area had problems with anti-social behaviour and fly tipping in the past and since I have made changes to the look of the garden at the front of the flat and the neighbours too, it has really made a difference to the place (without making myself sound like a hero), it now has a good feeling about it. Even the postman and people walking past have commented on it. You can leave your door open as more people talk to each other, there’s no more trouble or fly tipping. Everyone is looking out for each other.

I’m hoping to enter the gardening competition next year and would like to help others before the Summer to transform their garden. I’m happy to give ideas or pop round to see what can be done.

We would like to thank Mr Gordon for sharing his story. If you would like to get in touch please call 01603 750113 for information and help from Mr Gordon in your garden.

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Brave The Shave

A BIG well done to one of our tenants Chrisi who took part in ‘Brave the Shave’ for Macmillan Cancer Support and raised a huge £401.52 for men, women and children living with Cancer, helping them and their families today and in the future.

Chrisi said she felt inspired to do something to help others, and on the day lots of friends, family and neighbours gathered to show support let the scheme. She said "you’re never too old to do nothing. If you can’t run, there’s always something you can do to help others". Her friends mentioned they knew she could do it and reach her target. They shared before and after photos of the morning’s event on social media to inspire others to do the same and get involved for a great cause.

Will you brave the shave? For more information click here

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A poem- My little bungalow

I love my little bungalow

It meets my needs just fine.

Jesus found it for me

Just in the nick of time.

 

I wrote and thanked the owners

And blessed them for their work.

A Charity. No profit.

The spirit of Dunkirk.

 

Without my little bungalow

then homeless I would be.

I wouldn’t last five minutes

Without electricity.

 

I certainly would perish

In the cold, under the stars

The moon would be my bed light

As men would fly to Mars.

 

How close I came to ruin

But God is always good.

Remind me of His mercy.

When I’m in a very low mood.

                                                                                                                                 By Mr Langston.

 

Thank you to Mr Langston for writing this poem and sharing his story with us.

 

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Tenants Online

Our Tenants Online service is easy to access from the comfort of your own home from your phone, tablet, laptop or computer. The online service allows you to check your rent statement, update your contact details, report anti-social behaviour, repairs and much more.

 

Click here to register for free and choose a secure password. The best password is impersonal and unpredictable, but memorable.

Using this service allows you to contact us easily and quickly at any time of the day that best suits you.

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Customer Services changes

Some of you will already know we have introduced voice recognition when calling our customer services team. This allows you to state the name of the person you would like to speak with, and the call is then directly transferred through to them.

The new options you will now hear are :

Press 1- For rent payments and your current balance

Press 2- If you know the full name of the person you wish to speak to, excluding a Customer Services Team member

Press 3- For heating enquiries

Press 4- For a housing enquiry or to report anti-social behaviour

Press 5- For customer services, this includes reporting a repair

It is important for Broadland Housing Group to treat personal information lawfully and respectfully in order to maintain the confidence of those we deal with and to protect the rights of individuals.

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Office Opening times

  • Norwich

    Monday- Thursday 8.30am- 5.30pm

    Friday 9am- 5pm

  • King’s Lynn

    Monday, Wednesday & Thursday 9am- 5pm (1- 2pm closed)

    Tuesday & Friday Closed

  • Dereham

    Monday, Tuesday & Thursday 9am- 5pm (1- 2pm closed)

     Wednesday & Friday Closed

  • Great Yarmouth

    Monday, Wednesday & Friday 9am- 5pm (1- 2pm closed)

    Tuesday & Thursday Closed

    Christmas opening hours:

    18th December- 22nd December - Normal hours

    25th & 26th December - Closed

    27th- 29th December - 10- 4pm

      1st January 2018- Closed

      From 2nd January 2018- Normal hours

 

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Dont Forget!

Remember, you can now pay your rent via direct debit on any day of the month or, regularly every week, fortnight or 4 weeks.

If you currently pay your rent at a local shop or Post Office, setting up a direct debit will make paying your rent so much easier and hassle free.

To set up a direct debit, please call us on 0303 303 0003 and it only takes a matter of minutes over the phone.

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Universal Credit is on it's way!

Universal Credit is the new single monthly payment, which replaces the following Benefits:

• Income Based Job Seekers Allowance

• Income Based Employment and Support Allowance

• Income Support

• Working Tax Credits

• Child Tax Credits

• Housing Benefit

What does this mean for me?

If you are under pensionable age and receiving the above benefits, you will move over to Universal Credit in the near future.

My Housing Benefit is paid to you, do I need to do anything?

Yes, when you start receiving Universal Credit you will receive your housing costs in your monthly payment. You will then need to pay us the rent.

When will I get my first payment?

There will be approximately a 6 week delay from the day you move over to Universal Credit, to the day you receive your first payment so it’s important you are ahead with your rent now.

What should I do now?

Watch this short video here for more information.

 

Contact us today to make the next step!

 

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Good to be green

For you...

Keep warm- Try moving as much as possible to boost your circulation. Move around at least once an hour and avoid sitting still for long periods of time.

Eat seasonal- Switch processed foods to seasonal foods such as sweet potato, pumpkin and beetroot keeping you fuller for longer, and it will also help save you money.

For your home...

Keep clear- Radiators should be kept clear of any furniture as they will absorb a lot of the heat.

Keep the cold out- Check for draughts from under doors, windows and letterboxes and seal the openings to stay warm inside.

For your community...

Boost your mood- Try getting as much light as you can and head out for walks with friends and family.

Social interaction- Invite friends, family and neighbours round and enjoy doing something together.

 

 

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Best ask us...

After 6 months of having a Smart Meter installed into his home, Mr Mortimer shares his reasons why more people should have them.

Why have you got one?

My energy company supplies the Smart Meter and installation for free so I wanted to see what they were all about and liked the idea of knowing how much energy you are using on a daily basis.

What difference has it made?

It’s easier to give accurate meter readings and I can also track my household’s usage in real-time.

Have you saved any money?

Yes, I now find I’m more conscious on what I’m using.

Would you encourage others to get one?

Definitely, most people receive estimated bills and end up over paying. Each April I receive my money back if I’ve overpaid, but with no more estimated bills it gives me more security knowing I’m up to date. I would recommend this to anyone wanting to save money, it’s so easy!

A big thanks to Mr Mortimer for allowing us to find out more about his Smart Meter!

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