N E W S L E T T E R O F
Issue 11 Summer 2010
For Riverside tenants in the North East
A step in the
PAGE 3 PAGE 4-5 PAGE 8
Hull tenants vote for
future with Riverside
Tenants on the North
in Hull have voted
in favour of an £85
into their city estate
through a housing
stock transfer to
A total of 451 tenants
(56.58%) voted ‘yes’ to
the transfer from Hull City
Council to Riverside, from
a turnout of 797 (64.9%).
This means that 1,229
tenants will transfer,
many of them benefiting
from Riverside’s pledge to
carry out modernisation
work and landscaping
to run-down areas of
Continues on page 2
Beating bullying by the book
Children at a Newcastle school are focusing on making
the right choices about their future, thanks to a book
sponsored by Riverside.
Working in partnership with the Children’s Safety Education
Foundation, Riverside paid £540 towards 60 books called
RESPECT! Your Life, Your Choice for the Excelsior Academy’s
PSHE (Personal, Social, Health and Economic) curriculum. Read
the full story on page 5.
Tenants are living well… 2 • Are you covered?… 4 • Service charge review… 4-5
Meet the staff… 6 • Final piece of the jigsaw… 6 • A fairer future…6
Handy hints… 7 • Riverside online… 7 • Brainteaser… 7 • Staff news… 8
Board observer vacancy… 8
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NEWS AND VIEWS SUMMER 2010 PAGE 2
vote for future
Continued from page 1
represents the estate
and is Chair of the
Group, said: “We are
with the result. It is
such an opportunity
for the estate and I
hope the people who
voted ‘no’, or didn’t
vote at all, will see
the benefits of the
Riverside has also
promised to refurbish
dozens of long-term
empty properties on
the estate so that
they can be rented
at Riverside, said:
“We are incredibly
grateful to URBaN
for their hard work
and support over
the last 18 months.
We are pleased that
the outcome has
been positive and
once consent of the
obtained we can begin
the regeneration of
Trevor from the Citizens’ Advice Bureau gives residents information on
Riverside organised its last Living Well event for St
Anthony’s Sheltered Scheme in Walker before handing
over management of the scheme to Riverside ECHG.
Residents attended a presentation from the Citizens’ Advice
Bureau, had a chair aerobics session and enjoyed lunch with
staff before playing Rookie Golf.
The Scheme Manager and residents passed on their thanks for
the event and said that they had thoroughly enjoyed the day.
Riverside funded five Rookie Golf sessions for St Anthony’s
and Riverside ECHG is looking for funding to purchase the
equipment needed so that tenants can join a local league with
Your Homes Newcastle residents.
Annual report to tenants
We’re busy working on our first annual report to tenants to be
produced under the new Tenant Services Authority regulations.
Details of the report, and a summary of our activities this year,
will appear in your next newsletter.
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Come and join us
Estate inspections are
your opportunity to get
involved on the ground, to
look at your area to ensure
problems are dealt with,
and that standards are
achieved and maintained.
If you are interested in
taking part in the inspection
please contact Riverside on
Tel: 0845 111 0000 or on
Tel: 0345 111 0000.
Join us on an estate inspection
AREA HOUSING OFFICER MONTH
Doncaster (North Swaithe/Braithwell) Anita Law July
York (Coggan Close) Anita Law July
York (Hollybank House)
(to coincide with Coggan Cl)
Walker (Church Walk and Ellesmere) Lynne Fiddes July
Gillian Hamilton/Joanne Scott
Wallsend (Frank St) Gillian Hamilton/Joanne Scott July
Whitley Bay (Victoria Ave) Gillian Hamilton/Joanne Scott July
Blyth (Plessey Ct, Redwood Cres) Gillian Hamilton/Joanne Scott August
Durham (Bridge St, Claypath, Providence) Lynne Fiddes August
Sunderland (Esplanade) Lynne Fiddes August
Teams (Temple Gn) Lynne Fiddes August
Heaton Zone 2 (Mowbray St, Hotspur St, Warwick St, Cardigan Ter,
Heaton Hall Rd, Cheltenham Ter, Stannington Pl, Second Ave, King John
Ter, King John St, Chillingham Rd)
Gillian Hamilton/Joanne Scott
AREA HOUSING OFFICER MONTH
Durham (Ramsey/Turnbull/Alington and Harvey Ave) Lynne Fiddes August
Seaton Delaval (Wheatridge Pk) Gillian Hamilton/Joanne Scott August
Haydon Bridge (The Showfields) Jo Pringle August
Benwell (Terraces) Gillian Hamilton/Joanne Scott July
Elswick (Hawthorne Ter and Cross Pde) Jo Pringle September
Rye Hill (Summerhill and Winchester) Gillian Hamilton/Joanne Scott September
Westgate Road (Greenfield Pl, Hill and Hope House) Gillian Hamilton/Joanne Scott September
Blyth (Plessey Crt and Redwood Cres) Gillian Hamilton/Joanne Scott October
Annitsford (Cloverhill/Woodcroft) Gillian Hamilton/Joanne Scott October
Bensham (Kelvin, Rayleigh, Rawling) Jo Pringle Once per month jointly with NMI
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NEWS AND VIEWS SUMMER 2010 PAGE 4
Are you covered?
A step in the right
Have you ever thought what you
would do if your home was burgled,
caught fire or flooded?
Riverside doesn’t insure your furniture
and belongings, so if you don’t have
your own policy then your possessions
are at risk.
Our new tenants’ home contents
insurance scheme with Royal & Sun
Alliance offers very low premiums, and
special premiums for tenants who are
aged 60 or over, or living in sheltered or
If you aren’t already insured, pick
up a prospectus and application
form from your local housing office
or call the Customer Service Centre
on Tel: 0845 111 0000 or on Tel:
0345 111 0000. Or call the Home
Contents Insurance Team direct on
Tel: 0151 285 1384 for advice and an
You can either send in your
completed form or call Royal & Sun
Alliance on Tel: 08456 718172 to
apply for cover.
Our new insurance scheme offers:
• peace of mind at an affordable price
• cover that’s easy to understand
• the option to claim by phone
• new-for-old cover (except for clothing
• no excess – you don’t have to pay the
first part of any claim
• lots of ways to pay and no bank
account needed – premium payment
options are weekly, fortnightly,
• cover against fire, theft, vandalism,
storm, flood and burst pipes
• cover available for accidental damage
and belongings outside your home.
No additional home security is required
and all postcode areas are covered.
Riverside is making a fresh start after
launching its new strengthened repairs and
maintenance service, provided by new partners
Many of you have been involved in the tendering
selection process – from visiting other service
providers to choosing Mears as the preferred
The new contract will run for five years with the
option to extend for a further five years based on
You’ll still see some of the same friendly faces as
employees from Wilmot Dixon Sustain, our previous
contractor, have become employed by Mears and are
based at their main office in Newton Aycliffe.
Why the fresh start?
The decision supports the Audit Commission’s
recommendation in March 2008 to market test
our current service and secure best value for both
Riverside and you.
So, what does this mean to you?
You’ll be pleased to hear there will be no disruption
to the service you receive.
You can still report repairs in the same way:
• by calling us on Tel: 0845 1110000 or on Tel:
0345 111 0000.
Here come the men in red
From now on repairs and maintenance operatives will:
Riverside is carrying out a project to review its
service charges across the group and is inviting
tenants to tell us what they think of the services
they receive from the current system.
Charges are passed on to tenants when we provide
services including the cleaning of communal areas like
halls and stairs, window cleaning and gardening.
Not all properties need the same services so the cost
differs, depending on where you live. We pay for work
to be done and pass on the cost to tenants.
At the start of each year, we estimate how much
we think these services will cost throughout the
year and split the cost equally between all those
who receive the service. At the end of the year we
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by the book
Our new contractors will soon be a familiar sight
• be wearing red uniforms that have the Mears
logo on them.
• be arriving in a vehicle marked as Mears
working in partnership with Riverside
• still carry an ID badge, which they will show you.
If you are in doubt about the caller or you
would like to check their identification
then call us on Tel: 0845 111 0000 or on
Tel: 0345 111 0000 before letting them
into your home. Genuine callers will
never mind waiting while you check their
Remember, don’t let anyone in to your home
unless you have seen their ID badge. If in
doubt keep them out.
look at how much the services actually cost and
identify any over or under-recoveries, which are
then passed on to the tenants.
The review is focusing on key areas, including
the quality and type of services provided
and the processes in place to assist in the
management of service charges.
If you would like to comment on service
charges, write to us at Freepost Plus
RRHG-HXRT-AKSR, Riverside, Quality &
Performance, 2 Estuary Boulevard, Speke,
Liverpool, L24 8RF. All responses will be
entered into a prize draw for the chance to
win £25 in high street shopping vouchers.
Children at a Newcastle school are
focussing on making the right choices
about their future, thanks to a book
sponsored by Riverside.
Working in partnership with the
Children’s Safety Education Foundation,
Riverside paid £540 towards 60 books
called RESPECT! Your Life, Your Choice for
the Excelsior Academy’s PSHE (Personal,
Social, Health and Economic) curriculum.
Children aged 12 to14 are learning from the
book’s real life situations to examine various
Excelsior’s Michelle Malone with students Jade
Jacques and Georgia Hendry, and Carolyn
Hewitt from Riverside, Maria Anderson and Kirsty
Williams from Benwell Neighbourhood Initiative
and Deon Krishnan from the Excelsior Academy
citizenship issues. It covers topics from antisocial
behaviour, racial harassment and
bullying to alcohol, drugs and solvent misuse.
Riverside’s Head of Community
Engagement Carolyn Hewitt said:
“We are committed to making our
“By raising awareness of the consequences
of young people’s behaviour on their
community and equipping them with the
right information, we are encouraging
them to make decisions for themselves
which impact on their community in a
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NEWS AND VIEWS SUMMER 2010 PAGE 6
Meet the staff
Mark Nockels is Housing
Services Co-ordinator for the
What do you enjoy most about
your job and why?
Part of my role is to show prospective
tenants around properties, I really
enjoy meeting new applicants and
seeing the letting through from beginning to end, then seeing
how they have settled into their new homes during the new
What is your biggest work related achievement so far?
My role has many diverse responsibilities including
co-ordinating the mediation service. Resolving tenants’
issues through mediation leads to more sustainable
communities where residents are happy to live.
What would be your one desert island item and why?
My Big Boy BBQ – in the hope that there would be plenty of
food around to cook on it!
What is your favourite book or film and why?
Quadrophenia is my favourite film against the backdrop of the
riots in 60s Brighton. It perfectly captures the teenage need
to belong and identify with your peers, but I am not telling
whether I was a Mod or a Rocker!
Who would play you in a film about your life and why?
I have always fancied myself as a bit of a Clint Eastwood.
Sadly I am told that John Goodman is a much closer match.
Riverside has amalgamated
with its sheltered and
supported specialist ECHG.
The amalgamation went
ahead as planned on 31 March,
allowing Riverside to cut down
on legal red tape and cut
This is the second stage of a
process started last April when
other areas of the business
joined together. ECHG will now
be known as Riverside ECHG but
will still offer tenants the same
level of service.
Deborah Shackleton, Chief
Executive of Riverside, said: “The
idea behind the reorganisation
is to cut red tape and make
savings which will allow us to
invest more time and money
into providing more new homes
and improving local services.”
A fairer future
Riverside is helping young people boost their chances of
finding employment by encouraging them to build on their
We are holding a job fair for over 16s on Thursday September 16
where residents can speak to representatives from companies like
Nissan, Rok and Mears about apprenticeships and other opportunities.
Attendees will be able to find out about careers as nail technicians,
mechanics or developing IT, photography, literacy and numeracy
skills. Information will be available on self confidence building,
preparing a CV and interview techniques.
Lunch and transport will be provided and childcare available to those
with children under four.
For more information, contact Caroline Saul on Tel: 0845
111 0000 or on Tel: 0345 111 0000 or Email: caroline.saul@
Contact Caroline Saul
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Remove dead flies and
other bugs from the
windscreen of your car
by wiping with undiluted
Silence a squeaky door by
spraying the hinges with
To get rid of stubborn
rust stains on metal, just
saturate a pan scourer
with cola and scrub the
To remove candle wax
from tablecloths and
clothing allow the wax
to cool, then remove
as much as possible by
hand. Cover the stain
front and back with
brown paper, then use a
hot iron to melt the wax
into the paper. Repeat
with fresh paper until the
stain has vanished.
Protect kids from hurting
themselves on the bath
tap by putting a tennis ball
with a slit in it on the end
of the tap.
Looking for a fun way to
send party invitations?
Try writing them on an
inflated balloon with a
felt tip pen, deflate the
balloons and put into an
Spray the bottom of your
shoes with hairspray and
they will have more grip on
Use ice cubes to water
outdoor hanging baskets
when the weather is warm.
The ice will melt slowly and
ensure your blooms get a
Riverside has launched a new website that will transform
the way tenants access information online.
The new website is more tenant-focused and user-friendly than
the previous one. It will:
• have a fresh new look
• be easy to use, with powerful search capabilities
• offer dedicated ‘corporate’ and ‘tenant’ areas, allowing visitors
ease of access
• have YouTube and Flickr streams, bringing the latest in social
networking to the housing sector.
The site will also give tenants the ability to ‘personalise’
their homepage, based on the area that they live in, so that
the content they view will be relevant to their community.
Throughout the development of the website, we have
consulted with tenants through workshops and this
involvement will continue during the testing phase of
To find out more about the new Riverside website, visit
During the holiday season, you might be planning a trip to
the countryside so here’s an outdoors wordsearch to get
you in the mood. There are 10 words hidden within the grid
but can you find them all?
Fresh air Rambling Village Fete Livestock
Camping Green fields Silence Farmyard
C O U N T R Y L A N E S
A D F R B E W Q U I L I
M E Z I T O R A P L K L
P Q K E Y W U F V N J E
I H F A R M Y A R D H N
N S R W L V T H S Y R C
G R E E N F I E L D S E
D F S T D J O L P K A C
S P H H M F R N L I Y X
L N A Y S L T D U A U K
P L I V E S T O C K G F
O J R A M B L I N G N E
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NEWS AND VIEWS SUMMER 2010 PAGE 8
We have said goodbye to Chris
Thirlwell who worked in the Finance
Department and Lucy Charters who
worked in our Customer Service
Team, who have both gone on to
We also say hello to Caroline
Saul who joined our Community
Engagement team in May, Shaun
Bowden who joined our Property
Services team in June and Jade
Glendinning who joined our
Customer Services team in June.
Do you want to have the chance to
learn about how Riverside makes
decisions affecting the lives of
residents? If so, why not become a
tenant board observer?
If you are interested in applying
for the position, and would like
more information contact Head of
Community Engagement Carolyn
Hewitt on Tel: 0845 111 0000 or on
Tel: 0345 111 0000.
thanks to Riverside
Riverside used Community Chest funds to pay
for a coach to take children on a rock climbing
day out during the school holidays.
The group from the Pelaw View Centre
The children commented that they were ‘buzzing’
after the trip and volunteers from the Pelaw View
Centre sent in a thank-you letter as many of the
children had not had the chance to experience a
trip like this.
Community Engagement staff will continue to
support and work with the group from the Pelaw
View Centre and the North Durham Residents’
Association and are in the process of helping to
organise the annual Durham summer fayre.
If you require this magazine in another format e.g. large print or audio cassette or in another
language, please telephone % 0845 111 0000 or 0345 111 0000
We are happy and able to accept Typetalk calls.
business for neighbourhoods
The Riverside Group Limited: Registered office: 2 Estuary Boulevard, Estuary Commerce Park, Liverpool, L24 8RF
A charitable Industrial and Provident Society. Regulated by the Tenant Services Authority
Printed on 75% recycled paper with 25% from FSC-certified sources
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