Door to Door- July 2017

List of Contents

Changing the Narrative- CommsHero Event

The month of May saw branded doughnuts, personalised stationery and a cacti desk buddy as Broadland Housing attended the 1st CommsHero event for tenants. Adam Clark, Senior Housing manager, and 2 tenants attended for an event like no other. The day was all about sharing experiences, learning new techniques, how to use social media to communicate with tenants, and simply to have fun.

The event was hosted by We Are Resource, who provide marketing communications and was held at The Green Man in London. This is an open community space for Phoenix Housing, a low energy building with a natural green sedum roof which encourages plants and insects to make it their home. At the beginning of the event everyone who attended was given branded stationery to use throughout the day, as well as a superhero mask to really get into character.

Visual minutes were drawn by Fran O’Hara, which gave everybody a creative and colourful outline of the day, including quotes and messages to think about after the event. Adam Clarke, a keen Tweeter, also tried his hand at drawing key messages he got from the day.

PlaceShapers Chair Sinéad Butters said: "If the door is open an inch, kick it wide open!" which was one key message that everybody took from the day.

Adam Clark said: "We proudly took part in the CommsHero event which positively focused on how we support tenants to tell their story. We heard some really engaging presentations and discussions which challenged us to listen better and change the narrative around social housing. A stand-out message from the event was "stuff gets better when we work together" - we know tenants have a vital role to play in helping to improve our services. Our challenge is to create exciting opportunities for this to happen."

Chantelle shares her experience...

The CommsHero Event was like attending the red carpet! It was a magical day, full of learning opportunities. I learned so much listening to both tenants and landlords’ stories’. It was interesting to see how landlords come together with organisations to improve the service offered to tenants. One thing which really stuck me, was just how powerful social media is and how convenient it is when communicating with tenants. As a tenant and employee I’ve seen this benefit and I’ve tried setting up a ‘Twitter Group’, introducing Twitter to staff members. I met some inspiring people at the event. It’s an experience I will forever cherish.

 

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New Horizons - Opening the door to work

We’re supporting people in the King’s Lynn area get back into work, through an exciting project called New Horizons.

Launched in October 2016, New Horizons offers 20 hours of individual coaching to people who are in the most need. The 1-to-1 sessions build confidence and skills with money, getting online and going back to work, setting realistic goals that will help people gain employment.

Lou Marrs, our New Horizons Coach, based at our King’s Lynn office, explains: "We can offer this service to anyone who hasn’t worked for some time, particularly people who find it difficult to go out of the house for any reason, or those who find it hard to make ends meet because they have money worries."

Before she joined Broadland Housing, Lou worked supporting vulnerable adults with mental health difficulties in their homes. She helped them to sustain their tenancy and check that their benefits were correct. "I’ve worked with people over long periods of time. Often, they’ve overcome difficult life events, and sometimes they’re able to move forward with their lives because of the challenges they’ve faced. As a New Horizons coach, I help individuals build confidence in their money and online skills, and take steps toward work."

We also helped New Horizons to develop the Making Money Count website. Easy to use, the website was launched in May 2017 and offers everyday help with money, being online, finding work and renting.

New Horizons is a Building Better Opportunities project, supported by the Big Lottery Fund. and the European Social Fund. It is led by housing association CHS Group in partnership with Axiom Housing, Broadland Housing, Cross Keys Homes, Centre 33, Norfolk Citizens Advice Bureaux, Papworth Trust and Rural Cambridgeshire Citizens Advice Bureau.

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My Story - Into the wild By Mark Leggett

I have always liked photography. My ex-wife bought me my first SLR camera for my 50th birthday four years ago. Two months later my dad died and then two days after that my wife left me, so I threw myself into photography big time.

I love taking photos of nature and wildlife and the reason why is because of my dad. We were both into wildlife, birds especially, and we also kept birds in our garden, so growing up being around nature really inspired me to be a nature and wildlife photographer. I love all of the photographs I have taken of wildlife, but would probably say I like the bird of prey photographs the most.

One of my favourite images is a great owl flying towards me. I had been waiting for that shot for years! There are lots of things that are important to have in a photograph: a good background is needed as well as a clear and sharp image. Sometimes when I’ve been taking photographs outside in the gardens where I live, the light can change very fast. By the time you’ve changed your camera settings the light could have changed again, I sometimes find this quite difficult.

In the years I have been into photography a lot of people, especially on Facebook, have looked through my photos and said that I have inspired them into giving photography a go. For someone starting up, I suggest firstly get a good SLR camera. Canon is the one they are all using now, although I use Sony. You also need a good long lens, 75-300mm or 70-400mm would be fine. I recommend leaving your camera settings to auto or sport until you get to know your camera a bit more.

My photographs have been displayed in the N&N hospital, at Norwich Arts Exhibitions and on the Banham Zoo Facebook page. I hope you like my photographs, and for anyone thinking about starting, good luck!

We would like to thank Mr Leggett for sharing his story with us. Get in touch with your stories today by calling 0303 303 0003 or email tenantengagement@broadlandgroup.org.

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Welcome to St James' Lodge...

On a lovely sunny morning in May half term, we enjoyed getting crafty at St James’ Lodge, King’s Lynn. We were aware that the communal entrance needed a splash of colour, so we decided that it would be a great idea to ask the scheme if the children would like to display their own work in the entrance. All of the residents were invited to take part in our summer-themed painting morning, and each child produced their very own canvas using paints, stamps, stickers and even hand and finger prints.

There was a lot of interest throughout the morning and it was so nice to see the children helping their friends and siblings, giving them ideas on what to paint. Even the staff who attended wanted to join in, and after one of the children said “everyone can be creative”, they ended up painting too. Some of the keen painters looked outside to find inspiration for their canvases and used their finger tips to create leaves for the tree. Some of the children were painting for the full 2 hours, very contently and making sure every patch of the canvas was covered for it to stand out.

The new artwork displayed at St James’ Lodge has brightened up the entrance and made it much more welcoming for residents. All of the parents and children enjoyed the morning of arty fun and said they’d like to have more activities planned for the future to bring the whole community together.

A big thanks to everyone who took part!

 

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Our out and about journey so far...

Over the last 3 months our teams have been out and about visiting tenants to launch our new digital service, to make contacting us quick and easy from the comfort of your own home.

So far over the visits, we have registered 64 tenants to Tenants Online via our website. This allows you to access your rent account, update contact details, report repairs and anti-social behaviour.

We have also had an increase of likes and engagement on our local Facebook pages BHA Norwich, Dereham, East and King’s Lynn. This is another service we provide where you are able to contact us and let us know what is happening in your area. You can also report repairs and anti-social behaviour through this service. Please note this service is only monitored during the office hours of 9-5.30pm Monday to Friday.

Have your say!

Many of you have signed up to our digital panel, where you will receive short online surveys to give us your views and opinions to improve our services. Get involved by contacting us!

Not yet registered?

Go to www.broadlandgroup.org and click on the Tenants Online tab. If you would like support to access our online services, our digital skills trainer can help with:

• accessing the internet • using email • social media • Microsoft programmes • shopping online safely

Dates for your diary

Norwich

14 August 2017 10am - 2pm The Lathes

22 September 2017 10am - 4pm Dowson School Site

17 October 2017 10am - 2pm Howard Terrace

East

26 July 2017 9.30am - 2.30pm Rafeman close/ Hudson Way

24 August 2017 10am - 2pm Howlett Close/Aylsham Road

27 September 2017 9.30am - 1.30pm Bishy Barnabee Way/Horn-Pie Road

25 October 2017 9.30am - 1.30pm Stanley Drive/ Mount Pleasant Drive

West

8 August 2017 1pm - 4.30pm High Street/Paradise Road (Downham Market)

9 August 2017 10am - 3pm Chaston Walk

11 September 2017 10am - 1pm Dairy Crescent

21 September 2017 10am - 1pm Churchwood Close

5 October 2017 10am - 3pm Mill Court

6 October 2017 1pm- 5pm Leonard Close/Lavender Road

For more information, please contact tenantengagement@broadlandgroup.org or call Jessica on 01603 750113.

#BHGoutandabout and #BHGphotooftheday for a chance to appear in the next edition of Door To Door.

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New look for Sorrel and Campion

As part of the SHIFT award win, Broadland Housing was recognised for recent upgrade works to its Sorrel and Campion House scheme.

The life cycle of many of the scheme’s components was due for renewal and it was decided that in order to help reduce running costs for tenants, more energy-efficient options would be considered when looking at boilers, doors etc.

The energy performance of the new upgrades will be monitored over the coming year to see what savings have been made and will form a basis when looking at upgrades at other schemes. All the changes have had a dramatic and positive impact upon the look and feel of the scheme, as well as providing sustainability and reducing costs. This has resulted in residents taking a greater pride in their home and environment.

  • New biomass boiler- The scheme has transitioned from a communal gas boiler to a new biomass boiler, which works by burning wood pellets from a sustainable source. This is more environmentally friendly, and more cost-effective and efficient to run, which has resulted in a reduction in the service charge that residents pay towards heating expenses.
  • New improved windows and doors to all flats- All residents have received an upgrade to their flat windows and external front doors. Wooden-framed windows have been replaced with a more-energy efficient variety and are designed to prevent heat loss, which will reduce the amount of energy required to heat the flat.
  • Bin compound - Improvements have been made to the existing bin area, to make the area cleaner and tidier and attempt to reduce fly-tipping in the compound. Since the bin store has been re-designed, fly-tipping across the scheme has reduced and the environment has improved as a result of the changes.
  • Communal lighting- New energy-efficient motion sensor LED lighting is being fitted throughout the communal corridors in the scheme. Previously, communal lights were running constantly. Changing the lighting system throughout the scheme will save a significant amount of energy, which will result in lower cost energy bills over time and therefore a reduction in service charge costs to residents. The technology used also means that corridors are brighter and more aesthetically pleasing. LEDs last a lot longer than the standard light bulbs used in the old lighting system. External lighting is also being replaced and will operate on a solar sensor, which will switch external lighting on as the natural daylight fades.
  • Landscaping and changes to communal gardens- With the help of our Estates Services Team, the communal gardens have been redesigned and are undergoing transformation. Previously the scheme consisted of large lawn areas and few plants and trees to attract wildlife. The scheme has been redesigned with the purpose of not only creating a more wildlife-friendly environment, but with an aim to create a more pleasant environment for residents to enjoy. The new planting includes a wildflower area, flowering fruit trees and woodland plants. Residents have been actively involved in the re-landscaping project, and some residents have bought their own bird boxes and feeders to introduce wildlife to the communal gardens. The scheme caretaker, Daniel Nolan, created a bird table from salvaged/recycled timber. A composting area has also been created to re-use garden waste to produce compost, which can be used at Sorrel and Campion and other schemes in Norwich.

Throughout the improvements at Sorrel and Campion, residents have been encouraged to be involved in the progress. Consultation events were held to seek resident feedback and ideas, and some residents have been actively involved in the re-landscaping works. A drop-in session was also held to discuss and promote issues such as recycling, energy saving, sustainability and the environment.

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Introducing our new tenant Board members

We’re delighted to welcome two new tenant members to our Board:

Samantha England

Samantha has spent most of her career in the field of health and social care. Currently she is the Health and Social Care Assessor for NVQs at Babington Business College, Derby. She won the ‘Babington Best’ award in March 2017.

Samantha’s previous roles include Service Manager for Leaf Care Services, Training Adviser for the YMCA, support worker for Better Health Care, and wellbeing team member for Norfolk Eating Disorders.

Samantha is a member of her local Patient and Participant Group (PPG) for her local GP surgery, and also a member of the Independent Advisory Group (IAG) and Chair of the Ethics for Norfolk Constabulary. She is qualified in a range of holistic therapies. She has provided services for Norwich Mind and the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital in the UK, as well as practising in Marbella, Spain.

Siobhan Trice

Siobhan is the Business Officer for a local ecological consultancy, where she is responsible for general office management and financial reporting. Previously she worked as Business Development Manager for Loddon Equestrian and Adnams plc. She has also worked as a Distillery Tour Guide and Contact Centre Coordinator for Adnams.

Siobhan has been a Broadland Housing Group tenant since May 2016 when, with her husband and family, she moved into one of our help to buy intermediate scheme homes. Siobhan is delighted with her new home and appreciates the opportunity the scheme has given her to become a homeowner one day.

Sam and Siobhan join our existing tenant Board member, Richard Hawthorn.

Michael Newey, our Group Chief Executive, said: "We’re delighted to welcome our two new tenant members to the Board. Sam and Siobhan bring with them diverse skills and experience, which will help us ensure that our services are fit for purpose for our residents. The Board and executive are looking forward to working with them over the years ahead."

 

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Fire Safety in your home

Many of you will be aware of the recent, tragic fire at Grenfell Tower in London. Following such an incident it is natural to consider the fire safety where you live and within your home. We are taking the opportunity to offer some guidance on how to keep safe at home.

We take fire safety very seriously and have a programme of regular fire risk assessments. Additionally where schemes have a communal fire system installed, this is subjected to regular testing by our own staff and is maintained by our independent contractor to ensure the equipment is working correctly. However, if you have any concerns about your communal fire system, please contact your Neighbourhood Officer to discuss this.

There are conditions within your tenancy agreement relating to communal areas which are there for the safety of you and your neighbours. Any communal areas, balconies or corridors must have clear access, with no personal belongings being stored in them. Importantly, under no circumstances should barbecues, fires or open flames be lit on a balcony or in an enclosed communal area.

Fire safety in your own home is your responsibility and we want to encourage you to consider some simple steps you can take to reduce the risk in your home such as:

• Regularly testing the smoke alarm in your home; we will replace alarms if they are dated more than 10 years old. We will not be able to replace batteries.

• Knowing your escape route and what to do in the event of an emergency;

• Keeping your escape routes clear;

• If you live in a flat, please ensure your entrance door is closing effectively.

Please report any defects to our Customer Service team on 0303 303 0003.

For further information on fire safety in your home please check the Norfolk and Suffolk Fire and Rescue Services websites, here you can also find out if you are eligible for a free home safety check;

www.norfolkfireservice.gov.uk/nfrs/

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Good to be Green

Now is a great time to start making small changes to help you save money in and around your home as the weather gets warmer by getting outdoors. Here we have some of our top tips on how best to enjoy the Summer months…

For you...

Get outdoors - it’s time to feel the physical and mental benefits and enjoy those open spaces.

The heat is on - spend time in the shade between 11am and 3pm, take extra care with children and always use at least factor 15 sunscreen.

For your home...

It’s dry outside- you could save up to £18 a year by drying your linen outside instead of using a tumble dryer.

By filling up your kettle with only the water you need could save you up to £7 a year.

Save the rain- collect rainwater in a bucket to water your plants instead of using the tap.

For your community...

Connect with people around you, your family, friends and neighbours. Share your skills and learn new skills from others.

Planning a BBQ? Remember charred doesn’t mean cooked, and avoid cross-contamination!

"Broadlands Best Allotment" competition...

Having your own allotment has many benefits, it brings people together, provides healthy and fresh food at a low cost and allows you to enjoy being outdoors.

With National Allotment Week taking place on 14th - 20th Aug, we would love to hear about your allotment, the hard work that goes on and see some of your best home-grown fruit and vegetables. Enter before 31st August 2017 for a chance to win 1 of 3 exciting environmentally friendly prizes to help you in your allotment. Please send photos to tenantengagement@broadlandgroup.org. If you would like us to visit your allotment please call Jessica on 01603 750113.

Look out for the launch of our NEW gardening competition in the next issue of Door to Door.

 

 

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Get in touch

Facebook Pages

We now have our local Facebook pages up and running to keep you up to date with what’s happening in your local community. You can also share events, contact us and report concerns using this service. Please note this service is only monitored during the office hours of 9 - 5.30pm Monday to Friday.

 

Customer services changes

We have recently made some small changes to our options when calling our Customer Services Team.

•Press 1 for rent payments and your current balance.

•Press 2 if you know the full name of the person you wish to speak, 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.

Find us on twitter @BroadlandHsg

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