A right royal affair

viridianhousing.org.uk
  • No tags were found...

Summer 2012 - Viridian Housing

SUMMER 2012

A right royal affair

Celebrating the best of summer 2012

4 5 8 14

Move On scheme

Do you have a spare

bedroom?

Homes for sale

The Olympics in focus


SUMMER 2012

Publisher

Viridian Housing

Colwell House

376 Clapham Road

London SW9 9AR

Ph: 0330 123 0220

Fax: 0203 202 3601

0330 123 0221 (minicom)

Email: communications@

viridianhousing.org.uk

Copyright

All material published in Link is

copyrighted and may only be

reproduced with the permission of

the editor.

Inside this issue…

6 Jubilee celebrations

Jubilee fever and festivities get our residents involved.

13 Walsall residents doing it for themselves

Find out how Walsall residents are working together

to improve their estate.

14 Need room for visitors?

Read about our short term accommodation options

for the Olympic period.

About us

Viridian Housing is a not-for-profit

organisation that provides housing

to over 30,000 residents in the

Midlands, West Sussex, London

and the south east. Our mission

is to provide high quality, good

value housing for mixed income

communities.

3 News

11 Around the houses

14 The Olympics in focus

16 Resident involvement

17 Our services

18 Noticeboard

19 Safety zone

20 Lifestyle

22 How are we doing?

Link editorial

committee

Do you fancy yourself

as a writer?

Do you have something

to say about this

magazine?

Get involved in the Link

editorial committee by

attending quarterly meetings

or drop us an email.

Welcome to the summer

edition of Link, our quarterly

magazine for residents

The country has been abuzz with excitement in the lead up to summer

and now it’s finally here! In this issue, we’ve highlighted two of the most

anticipated events of the year; the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the 2012

London Olympics. You can also read about what we’ve been up to and the

ways in which we are improving our services to you.

As usual, a big thank you

goes to all the colleagues

and residents who helped

put together another great

edition of Link magazine.

Happy reading!

Luisa Lagerwall

Editor

Want to get in contact with us?

Communications team 0330 123 0220

communications@viridianhousing.org.uk

www.viridianhousing.org.uk/about_us/our-publications/Link

From left: Teri-Lorelle Anderson, Luisa Lagerwall,

Olive Parker, and Maria Elefthrey catch up over a

cup of tea and discuss the summer issue of Link.

2 Link


NEWS

to you

project update

This month our Closer to You housing pilot in north

London is coming to an end. The aim of the pilot has

been to reduce the number of homes in the care of

each Housing Officer so that we can get closer to you.

Housing Officers are getting to know you better by

building relationships through more home visits. So far,

the pilot team have visited over 300 residents and have

received very positive feedback.

The pilot has been successful so far because:

Housing Officers are easier to contact and calls are

directed to their mobiles.

Housing Officers are managing smaller areas.

Housing Officers are the central point of contact for

rent, lettings, and general housing queries.

We want to extend a warm thank you to all residents

who have helped us in the project so far. Look out for our

updates on how we plan to use what you’ve taught us

to improve.

Contact the Closer to You team

0330 123 0220 0330 123 0221 (minicom)

customerservices@viridianhousing.org.uk

www.viridianhousing.org.uk/about_us/closertoyou

Viridian and placeability join forces

Our work at Viridian is about improving

residents’ quality of life in the broadest

possible sense. Placeability is an organisation

with a very similar vision, they are dedicated

to helping disabled people, the long term

unemployed, and those with learning

difficulties find temporary employment.

Ellnora recently started working with Viridian after

placeability helped her secure an interview. “Being given

the opportunity for this position has made me so happy. I

have not worked for 15 years and have always wanted to

work in the care industry. After two years of job seeking,

I was so happy to be given an interview at Newstead

House. I couldn’t be happier now that I’m finally doing

something I’ve always wanted to do, I love it.”

Charlotte Paxton, Head of Supported Housing at Viridian,

said: “Our work with placeability has complemented our

own social impact work immensely. We now have access

to a range of resources, which are helping people get

back into work.”

Ellnora settling in to her

new job at Newstead House

summer 2012

3


NEWS

Shanti residents

go to the beach

Shanti Women’s

Aid hosted a

fundraising event

in November last

year, and were

recently able to

enjoy the fruits of

their hard work.

With sand in their toes

at Bournemouth beach.

In May, the women used the money

raised to take a trip to the beach with their children.

By making and selling aprons, gloves and scrumptious Asian food,

the women raised an impressive £1,300 to go towards a two day

holiday to Bournemouth. The quality of their work was admired by

those who attended the event and the women were thrilled to host

a successful fundraiser.

After the trip one resident said:

“This was the first time I have ever been to the beach – I had

never seen the sea before! I thoroughly enjoyed myself.”

Shanti Women’s Aid aims to provide an extensive service to Asian

women who are fleeing domestic violence. The service offers safe

accommodation, emotional support and advice for a new start.

Contact Shanti Women’s Aid

Hydeh Nafariah

020 8874 7262

Hydeh.nafariah@viridianhousing.org.uk

www.viridianhousing.org.uk/find_a_home/Shanti+Housing

Uzma receiving the keys to her new home

from Tim Mecham, Lettings Officer.

Moving on,

moving up

Uzma Shakil, winner of the Resident of

the Year award, recently moved into

her own Wandsworth home through

the Move On scheme. For over a year,

Uzma was living in the Shanti supported

shared housing scheme for Asian

women fleeing domestic violence.

With great courage and determination,

Uzma has overcome her circumstances

and now strives to help women still

suffering in similar situations. Uzma

passed her English exams and singlehandedly

teaches other Shanti residents

how to sew and make garments to earn

some extra money. Despite everything,

she is looking forward to beginning a

new positive chapter in her life. “It’s

so nice to have my own space – the

Move On scheme has given me back my

independence.”

Each year a number of one bedroom and

studio units are allocated specifically to

home seekers from our supported shared

housing schemes or hostels. We do this

to encourage independent living and to

improve the quality of life of residents

who are able to live on their own.

For more information about the Move

On scheme, contact your regional

Housing Officer or Support Worker, or

call the Customer Service Centre.

Contact the Customer Service Centre

0330 123 0220

0330 123 0221 (minicom)

Beautiful handmade goodies sold to raise funds.

customerservices@viridianhousing.org.uk

4 Link


NEWS

Do you have a spare bedroom?

The coming Government changes to the housing benefits

could have a big impact on you, and you may be affected

if you have more bedrooms than you need. To help you

manage these changes, we are offering rewards and

support to help you move into a more suitable home.

Our rewards for you are:

Your action

Giving up one bedroom in an under

occupied home

Giving up two bedrooms in an under

occupied home

Giving up three bedrooms or more in

an under occupied home

Exchanging homes with another

Viridian resident living in an

overcrowded property

Your reward

£4,000

£7,000

£10,000

£4,000

Please note that:

Incentives will be awarded after the move has

taken place.

Any rent arrears will be deducted.

These incentives are only applicable to those who

have spare bedrooms, or who swop homes with

another Viridian resident.

For more information, contact your Housing Officer,

or call the Customer Service Centre.

Contact the Customer Service Centre

0330 123 0220 0330 123 0221 (minicom)

HomeSwapper

HomeSwapper is a website that helps residents swap

homes if they wish to move. The swap not only offers a

better choice for finding a suitable new home, it can also

be quicker than waiting to move on our transfer list.

HomeSwapper is easy to use and automatically matches

you with other residents who may be interested in your

home and have a home that you may be interested in.

All you need to do is register at www.homeswapper.

co.uk then, once your registration has been approved

by us, you will be able to access information about

residents who may wish to exchange properties

with you. We have partnered with HomeSwapper

to enable all our residents to register for free.

For more information, contact your Housing

Officer, or call the Customer Service Centre.

Contact the Customer Service Centre

0330 123 0220 0330 123 0221 (minicom)

summer 2012

5


NEWS

Jubilee celebrations

Queen Elizabeth II is the second longest serving British monarch and the countrywide

festivities of her Diamond Jubilee will be remembered for years to come. Here are just a

few snap shots of ways which you celebrated:

Manningford Court residents

enjoyed live music, dancing

and a buffet meal. They

also received a surprise visit

from Jean Wooldridge and

Doreen Hayward disguised

as the Queen and her lady

in

waiting.

Jean and Doreen having a royal time!

Connie, Mary and Joan all dressed up!

Heathcote House

residents enjoyed a fun-packed

day by barbecuing and raising

money for charity. Residents had

been hard at work making crafts

to sell and their efforts were a

great success!

Charlotte, Head of Supported

Housing, enjoys a snack.

Helen Graham House

celebrated by hosting a

Stella having a great time at the Helen

Graham House tea party.

tea party. Scones with cream and jam, cucumber

sandwiches, egg and cress, ginger beer, lemonade

and endless cups of tea were the order of the day.

Dancing and music brought together a whole mix

of residents to enjoy the occasion together.

Heathcote House ladies chat and catch

up during the festivities.

6 Link


NEWS

Yummy food on offer at the

street party.

David Browne, Major of Haringey, shares a

joke with residents.

The neighbourhood comes alive

with people.

Erdington Edi was all abuzz z

with community spirit

when their street party

took off. Over 200 people turned out for what

some residents called the greatest party of the

year! Money was also raised to go towards the

care homes on the estate.

Dwyer House had a jubilee party enjoyed by

enthusiastic residents. They joined to watch

the film, The Queen, had a delicious

tea, and

ended the

afternoon

with singing,

dancing and

a

game of

bingo.

Jubb Powell l

House

hosted

a very

successful

street

party when people from all

around the

neighbourhood joined in the celebration. Face

painting, a fire brigade demonstration, arts and

crafts, and a great spread of food were enjoyed

by young and old.

Royal residents join in the fun.

Residents enjoying an afternoon

of celebrations together.

Old Oscott Hill got

in on the action

by throwing an

intimate jubileethemed

party.

Residents also

raised some

money to go

towards the

housing scheme fund.

Ruby proudly waving her flag.

summer 2012

7


NEWS

Shared Ownership

opportunities available

A chance for you to get on the housing ladder

Viridian is committed to offering all our residents affordable

homes to buy and we are proud to introduce the following

housing developments:

An exclusive look into a

beautiful Seven home.

Seven, Croydon – 1 and 2 bedroom apartments from £62,000

Rosebay Drive, Haringey – 1, 2 and 3 bedroom apartments from £43,500

Garratt Lane, Wandsworth – 1, 2 and 3 bedroom apartments from £66,250

Roehampton Lane, Wandsworth – 1 and 2 bedroom apartments from £63,750

Roan Works, Merton – 1, 2 and 3 bedroom apartments from £45,000

These homes are in great locations and are furnished with all the modern conveniences of comfortable living. For those

who can afford to invest in property, now is a great time to enter into the market. Shared Ownership allows you to partbuy

and part-rent your home, with the opportunity to increase the share you own in the future, right up to 100%.

Seven in Croydon was the first to go onto the market in June 2012, and the others will be available later in the year.

For more information, please get in touch with our Sales team.

Contact the Sales team 0800 012 1442

Seven stylish new homes designed

for contemporary living

in west croydon

WEST CROYDON

COMING SOON

New 1 and 2 bedroom

apartments available on

a Shared Ownership basis.





bathroom suites

1 & 2 bedroom apartments from

£62,000 *

Computer generated image

For further information please contact our sales team on:

020 8307 7966

www.sevencroydon.co.uk

* Based on 40% share of full market value.

Prices correct at the time of going to print.

www.firststepslondon.org

8 Link


Link is getting a makeover and we need your help to get it right. We want Link be a magazine

for you, with stories you want to read! Help us by giving your feedback here.

1. What types of articles do you like to read in Link? Rate the below statements from very interesting to uninteresting.

NEWS

Tell us what you think about Link!

Real life stories from residents

Very

Somewhat

Interesting

Uninteresting

interesting

interesting

A view of Cambridge Court

A new beginning at

Cambridge Court

Mrs McIlree and Mrs Povey recently moved into their brand

new homes in Cambridge Court. Nominated via Croydon

Council to Viridian for the new property build at Pampisford

Road, Purley, they were both delighted at the opportunity

to take the next steps towards a positive future.

In December 2010, Mrs McIlree lost her husband of 46

years two weeks after he suddenly fell ill. Six months later,

she lost all her belongings, and her husband’s ashes, in a

fire which destroyed her home. When she began looking

for a permanent residence she found council homes

unsuitable and approached Viridian for help. “My delight

to be offered this lovely home by Viridian is hard to

express. It’s new, bright, and quiet. Now I feel I am able

to look forward to a new life for myself.”

Mrs Povey, who has lived in Croydon for 30 years, admits

that her life has had its share of turbulence. “My last

five years have been greatly marred by the loss of my

beloved son and the sudden death of my mother.” This

grief was compounded by the death of her husband

who lost his battle against cancer. Mrs Povey goes on

to add that, “I know we all have ups and downs. My

biggest up this year is my Viridian home. I look forward

to many happy years at Cambridge Court.”

A true home is a sanctuary and Viridian is honoured to

help provide a new start for these brave women.

Mrs Povey and Mrs McIlree

in their new homes

Information (such as money saving hints and tips)

Updates from Viridian (such as our new services or products)

Positive articles about how we are making a difference to residents’ lives

Stories from your area

Fun bits (such as trivia questions or health tips)

2. How easy or difficult is Link magazine to read and understand? Very easy Easy Diffi cult Very diffi cult

3. Please tick the words that describe how you would like Link to look and feel?

Informative Heart-warming Positive More images Less images Serious Inspiring

Energetic Bright and fun Other, please specify: __________________

The length of Link is: Just right Too long Too short

5. What other magazines do you read regularly?

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Thank you for

completing our survey

To find out what you think of our magazine, we

included a survey in the last two editions. These are

some things you told us:

The majority of residents think our articles are

interesting, with updates from Viridian on new

products being considered the most interesting.

95% of residents find our magazine either easy or

very easy to read.

Most residents want a newsletter that is informative,

positive, bright, fun and inspiring.

Over two-thirds of residents feel that the current

length of the magazine was just right.

We would like to extend our thanks to all residents

who gave their time to help us. We look forward to

incorporating your feedback!

Get involved in our focus groups!

We are hosting focus groups in August to discuss the

redesign of the Link magazine. We’re also launching

a new website and welcome your input. If you are

interested in being involved in either of these focus

groups, please contact the Communications team.

Want to get in contact with us?

Communications team 0330 123 0220

communications@viridianhousing.org.uk

summer 2012

9


NEWS

Viridian fights fraud

We have partnered with other housing professionals to ensure that

you are not affected by tenancy fraud in your housing scheme.

The Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH), in partnership with Viridian Housing

and supported by the Audit Commission, Grant Shapps, and the National Fraud

Authority (NFA), launched the country’s first Tenancy Fraud Forum in April.

Tenancy fraud costs taxpayers a whopping £900 million each year! The

aim of the forum will be to create a national alliance of local authorities

and social landlords who will focus on rooting out fraudulent activity in

communities around the country.

The forum is a platform to share ideas and to implement best practice across the

industry and will encourage partnerships within the housing sector to form the

basis of a structured network that can recognise and respond to instances of fraud.

“Our forum will be the only one of its kind in the United Kingdom. We

recognised the growing number of issues around tenancy fraud and the

cost for both landlords and the Government. This forum will provide a great

platform to foster the change this industry needs,” said Katrina

Robinson, Forum Chair and Head of Legal Services at Viridian Housing.

Alan Bryce, Head of Counter Fraud

Audit Policy and Regulation at the Audit

Commission, and Katrina Robinson,

Solicitor and Head of Viridian Legal

Services, at the Tenancy Fraud Forum.

Moving forward, the forum will meet to discuss topical issues with

experts in the field to encourage action against fraud. The forum will

also set up regional groups in locations across the country.

If you suspect someone is subletting, you can email us in complete

confidence at subletting@viridianhousing.or.uk.

For further information or to get involved:

Legal Services team 0330 123 0220

0330 123 0221 (minicom)

www.tenancyfraudforum.org.uk

Delegates at

the Tenancy

Fraud Forum

Fancy yourself a model?

It’s that time of year when we start to think about putting together

our annual report for our residents, customers and stakeholders. This

year we want to create a memorable video to communicate all our

key successes and projects in the last year. To do this, we are looking

for residents to help us with some of the photography for the video.

If you are interested in having your photograph taken professionally,

and you don’t mind us using it in our video, please get in touch! You

will also receive a print of your photograph, which you can keep.

Want to get in contact with us?

Communications team 0330 123 0220

communications@viridianhousing.org.uk

10 Link


AROUND THE HOUSES

Is something exciting happening in your community? Let us know!

0330 123 0220 0330 123 0221 (minicom) communications@viridianhousing.org.uk

Freepost RSSL-TTHU-SYSR, Viridian Housing, Colwell House, 376 Clapham Road, London, SW9 9AR

London

New garden furniture for Harding House

Harding House, a deaf resident scheme

in London, has a new hand-crafted and

bespoke bench thanks to the wonderful

initiative of Richard Troupe. Richard,

33, has been living in Harding House

since early last year and recently used

his carpentry skills to enhance the

communal living areas. Having learned

carpentry at Doncaster College for the

Deaf, Richard knew he would be able

to fix some wooden chairs that were

intended for the rubbish dump.

Richard Troupe, at Harding House,

shows off his handiwork.

“In the past I have made lots of things – a boat, a lamp

like a windmill, and a mirror,” says Richard. “I spent about a

week and a half making the bench and I was really happy

with how it turned out. Making the

bench has helped build my confidence

in

my practical skills.” Bursting with

creative ideas for new projects, Richard

wants to make a twin for the bench as

well as a garden table for all at Harding

House to enjoy.

Eager to further develop his skills,

Richard also wants to try his hand

at burning designs using a hotiron

technique. “For my next mirror

project, I’m going to concentrate on the artwork on

the frame. I’m going to burn a flower design onto the

woodwork.” Richard loves doing carpentry and aspires to

one day work in the industry – his passion is inspiring!

A note from our Environment Officer

This month I visited our partners at Middlesex University

and the student halls of residence we operate on their

behalf. I’ve been hearing some great things about the

environmental work undertaken by everyone and was

very impressed with what I saw!

I was given a tour of the University’s new Grove facility

(Arts, Design and Media) by Susie Page, Middlesex

University Environmental Manager. The Grove has been

described as a world class building and utilises an exciting

design that promotes a range of sustainable features

intended to reduce the energy

consumption and carbon

footprint of the University.

Our colleagues have also

been working closely with

students in the halls of

residence to promote green

awareness via a number of

initiatives, including: energy efficiency

stickers; the Keep Warm promotion over

winter; the Green Cuisine drive to promote

environmentally friendly cooking; Student

Switch Off competitions; and other on-going work to

reduce energy consumption. The exciting participation

in National Green Week also saw students getting

involved in a number of fun activities!

Hilary Morris, Deputy Head of Contracts for Middlesex

University, said: “The effort made by the Local Halls

teams to highlight and encourage participation in

environmental initiatives is fantastic and complements

the University’s aim of promoting an environmental

agenda with our students.”

I was very encouraged to see the dedication and

enthusiasm of everyone I met in promoting green agenda.

Birte Berlemann, Environment Officer

summer 2012

11


AROUND THE HOUSES

West Sussex

A great result for Jordan and Josh

Twins, Jordon and Josh Jones, from Worthing, have been

taking part in the Cup Final Football Programme which is run

by coaches from Brighton and Hove football club.

The boys began attending holiday clubs and tournaments five years ago, but

have never had the chance to be coached by people as experienced as those

working within the programme. Their Mum, Louise Jones, says it’s a great

part of their social lives and they look forward to going along in the school

holidays. She is happy for them to attend as she knows where they are and

that they are safe.

Needless to say, the experience of the coaches has truly made a difference

in keeping the children engaged. Week after week, the kids return to learn

new skills and develop confidence in their game. It has been a wonderful

football success to see the players, such as Jordan and Josh, truly excel in

something they are passionate about!

Home sweet home

Viridian resident, Amy Phillips, has lived in her home for over six

years and in all this time has never managed to save quite enough

to carpet her home to help the health issues of her children.

“Each time I managed to put something aside, something else would come

up and I would need to spend my savings,” Amy recently told her Housing

Officer, Clare Payne.

During a routine home visit, Clare asked Amy about the sorts of things that

would make a real difference to her and her family. The more they spoke,

the clearer it became that if Amy could somehow improve her home it would

have a positive effect on how she felt. Improvements to her home would also

help with her children’s health issues as she was struggling to heat a home

with cold hard floors. Amy wanted her children to be proud of their home

and to feel comfortable inviting friends around.

Clare encouraged Amy to apply to Viridian for a grant from the Training,

Education, Employment and Emergency (TEEE) fund. This fund makes

provisions for people who are suffering with health issues in their homes.

Amy was successful with her application and she has now been able to

carpet her home. “Carpets are one thing I thought I would never have,”

Amy said. “My house now feels like a home.”

To find out more information about the TEEE fund, contact your Housing Officer.

Amy Phillips enjoys her new carpet

12 Link


AROUND THE HOUSES

Midlands

Walsall residents

doing it for themselves

On 15 March, the West Midlands team arranged a street meet event on a small

estate in Walsall. A skip was ordered for residents and the day was promoted

as a collective clean-up effort.

Housing Officer, Louise McQuaide, and Senior

Housing Officer, Derrick Swallow, rolled up their

sleeves and joined in armed with spades, brushes,

and shovels to help tidy up the cul-de-sac. But when

they arrived, they were taken unawares. None of

the equipment Louise and Derrick brought along

was needed as the residents had organised their

own workforce and cleaned up the estate. They

had weeded the kerbs, swept up the litter, and one

resident even cleared space in a communal area for

a small garden.

The Housing Officers heard wonderful reports of the

great community spirit on the estate and that there

have been many instances of neighbours helping

one another.

As a thank you for all their efforts, Derrick met

the residents at a local DIY store and let them

choose new plants to replace some dead shrubs.

These plants have now been planted and the keen

gardeners are looking forward to a good display for

years to come.

Jannsen Parker and Liam King, from Juniper Drive, get involved in Walsall clean up day

summer 2012

13


THE OLYMPICS IN FOCUS

Need room for visitors?

The Olympics is one of the most anticipated events of 2012. The arrival of so many

visitors to London promises not only a great sporting atmosphere, but the opportunity to

showcase our city to the world.

You may have relatives or friends visiting over the

period, which makes witnessing the event all the

more special. If you’re stuck for a place to offer your

visitors to stay, why not consider one of the short

term accommodation options offered by Viridian?

We offer affordable and centrally located

accommodation to suit a broad range of

requirements. We pride ourselves in delivering very

competitive rates and excellent facilities to make your

stay with us as comfortable and pleasant as possible.

To check out our accommodation and to complete an

online booking form, please visit our website.

Viridian offers convenient and

comfortable accommodation for

visitors over the Olympic period.

0330 123 0220 0330 123 0221 (minicom)

www.viridianhousing.org.uk/find_a_home/short-stay-accommodation

g _ accommodation@viridianhousing.org.ukg

Make the most of the Olympics

Our capital is hosting the Olympics, but how will you make the

most of your Olympic experience?


at whipping up a Spanish paella dish or great big stack of American pancakes.


your favourite events together.


the games live on a big screen TV.


Let the games begin!

14 Link


THE OLYMPICS IN FOCUS

Colleagues get in the spirit

Some of our colleagues have really got into the sporting spirit of the Olympics and

have volunteered to help out during the games. We chatted to them briefly about the

upcoming event and got the inside scoop:

Name: Birte Berlemann

What do you do at Viridian?

Environment Officer

How are you involved in the

Olympics? I’ll be taking part in

the opening ceremony.

What inspired you to get

involved? I love the excitement of sporting events

and particularly the Olympics, with all kinds of

sporting events in one city. I wanted to be part of

that excitement and celebration. Who knows when I

will next be living in an Olympics host city?

Which sporting event are you most looking forward

to? Gymnastics - I used to work in a sports club and

I taught gymnastics for 10 years. Watching it still

takes me back to those years and to the special

atmosphere of the competitions.

If you could compete, which event would you

compete in? High diving - I’ve jumped off a three

metre high platform twice in my life and survived the

splash both times. Surely that must be a good start

to my career?

If you won an Olympic medal, who would you

dedicate it to?

I would give it to my parents; they would be very proud.

Name: James Wengraf-Townsend

What do you do at Viridian? Outreach Service Team

Leader – I manage a team of support workers and

customers to provide care to those who are deaf

and those who need assistance in developing their

independence.

How are you involved in the Olympics? I am a

Games Maker. I have volunteered to help at the

transport desk at Heathrow Airport. I will make sure

people who are arriving know where to go, and how

to get there. I will be guiding team members, sporting

association presidents, and important people involved

in the games to the right destinations.

What inspired you to get involved? My wife really

encouraged me to get involved – she was so excited

for the Olympics and she wanted me to volunteer.

When she passed away, I knew

that I still wanted to be involved

in her honour because it’s what

she would have wanted.

Will you be watching the

games? If I have time, I’ll

definitely be watching,

particularly all the British athletes.

If you could compete, which event would you

compete in? I guess I would compete in the Judo.

I used to be very into it but then I broke my arm,

which stopped me from being as active in the sport.

My hope is that Judo will be included in the Deaf

Olympics one day.

If you won an Olympic medal, who would you

dedicate it to? I would definitely dedicate it to my wife.

summer 2012

15


RESIDENT INVOLVEMENT

Updates from

Resident Involvement groups

Regional Scrutiny Panel

In May, we held four Regional Scrutiny Panel meetings

in West Sussex, London, Birmingham and Northampton.

At these meetings, we were thrilled to see new residents

working to improve services. Furthermore, we are

delighted to report that our panels are growing in

numbers and that all attendees have expressed interest

in becoming committed Scrutiny Panel members.

As an organisation, we are extremely pleased at how

passionate and eager residents are in helping shape

local services for their communities. The support and

input from these residents is invaluable to us and we

would like to thank everyone who is currently involved.

Resident Auditors

Our Resident Auditors are gearing up for their next

audit, planned to take place in July. Having completed

four audits last year, the team took a well deserved

break. They are excited to get back to business and are

starting with an audit on kitchen installations.

Tenant Participation Advisory Service awards

We are proud to announce that our very own Shaun

Lansfield, winner of the Outstanding Contribution award

2012, was shortlisted by Tenant Participation Advisory

Service (TPAS) for their Southern Region’s Resident of

the Year award.

Shaun did not win but being shortlisted is a great

achievement. TPAS received a huge number of

nominations and Shaun was one of the shining stars.

Congratulations Shaun!

Do you want to get involved?

We are looking for residents to join our

involvement groups!

Interested? Get in touch with us.

Resident Governance team

0330 123 0220 0330 123 0221 (minicom)

customerservices@viridianhousing.org.uk

Freepost RSSL-TTHU-SYSR, Viridian Housing,

Colwell House, 376 Clapham Road, London, SW9 9AR

Log onto My Viridian and tick the relevant

boxes in the ‘Getting Involved’ section.

Let us know if we do

something great!

Live It! is our colleague recognition scheme, which

rewards our people when they’ve done something

particularly special.

So if your know someone who has gone above and

beyond – let us know! You are welcome to nominate

at the reception in any of our offices, by sending us

an email or letter, or simply giving us a call.

Michelle Nock and Shaun Lansfield pose with his well-earned award.

0330 123 0220 0330 123 0221 (minicom)

communications@viridianhousing.org.uk

Freepost RSSL-TTHU-SYSR, Viridian Housing,

Colwell House, 376 Clapham Road, London, SW9 9AR

16 Link


OUR SERVICES

Improving our services to you

Each month, we conduct telephone surveys with

residents to find out what you think about our services.

If you get a call, please take two minutes to answer our

questions so that we can use your feedback to improve

what we do. Here are some examples of what your

feedback has told us recently:

Repairs

We are continually trying to improve our repairs service.

Following your feedback, we will now call customers

immediately after their repairs to check the repair has

been completed correctly.

New residents

Our customers expect the condition of their new

property to be of a high standard. As a result, we have

produced a leaflet explaining what you can expect when

you move into your new home. We have also started

offering incentives to encourage residents to leave their

properties in good condition when they move on.

Learning from your complaints

Between January and April 2012, the Customer

Solutions team dealt with 234 complaints through our

formal complaints procedure. Here are some examples

of how these complaints improved our service:

Lettings improvements

Following feedback we’ve received from you, we have

implemented some changes to improve our lettings

service. These are some positive changes you can expect

from the Lettings team:

We’ve developed a new Housing Application Form to

help collect the important information we need, to

assess housing requirements of applicants. We also

use this information to help us award priority to those

on the waiting list.

Our resident handbooks have been reviewed to

keep them fresh and relevant to the needs of our

residents. Look out for these new versions, which will

be available soon from any of our offices.

Our new Housing Transfer leaflet now includes a

comprehensive list of the locations of our homes,

ensuring that residents make an informed choice,

which may reduce waiting times.

To help new residents settle into their homes, we

are giving them a welcome pack which includes

some household cleaning products and other home

goodies. These will be available for all residents who

move into our general needs properties.

Cleaning and grounds maintenance

Residents were concerned about the quality and

consistency of cleaning and grounds maintenance

on estates. We will look at providing a schedule of

works to our residents and develop various ways of

monitoring the work.

Mailing customers

Some customers have asked to receive less mail from

Viridian. We will give customers the opportunity to

opt out of receiving publications, such as Link, by post.

Contact the Customer Service Centre

0330 123 0220 0330 123 0221 (minicom)

summer 2012

17


Want to give it a try? Get in touch with our Customer Service Centre on 0330 123 0220.

NOTICEBOARD

Sign-up for My Viridian

My Viridian is our online tool that helps you log

repairs, view your rent account information and

keep your tenancy information up-to-date. This

new service is completely free and can be accessed

through our website homepage. We are continually

improving this service, so if you have any feedback

please let us know. To access My Viridian, visit our

website and search ‘My Viridian’.

Pay your rent by direct debit

– the easy way to pay

Did you know you can pay your rent by setting up a direct debit?

Direct debits are a great way to pay bills without hassle and will

take just a few minutes to set up. You can set up a direct debit

to be paid weekly, fortnightly or monthly, and you’ll enjoy the

peace of mind of never missing a payment.

Other benefits are:

Direct debits are free to set up.

Payments are done automatically.

Your direct debit payments are completely secure.

Direct debits can be cancelled at any time.

If there is a mistake you will get a full refund from your bank.

They will assist you in setting up a direct debit using the payment management system, allpay.

You can also pay your rent via the newly

launched allpay Android or Apple app. Scan the

QR code on this page and follow the instructions.

QR code for Apple

QR code for Android

18 Link


SAFETY ZONE

Summer sun

You don’t have to be sunbathing to get sunburnt; it may

happen while you are playing sport, walking, or working

outdoors. To ensure you have fun in the sun, we have put

together a few sun facts to encourage you to enjoy the

sunshine safely this summer:

Top tips for

summer safety

Here are a few sensible tips to help you

enjoy the summer ahead:

Food safety

Food poisoning is usually mild, and most people get

better within a week. However, it is important to be

careful as sometimes the effects can be more severe.

Children, older people, and those with weakened immune

systems are particularly vulnerable to food poisoning.

If cooking on the barbecue, ensure that you cook your

food properly as eating raw meat can make you ill. Also,

be sure not to contaminate cooked meat with raw meat.

Raw or undercooked meat may contain germs that

cause food poisoning, but these are usually killed by heat

during the cooking process. As with all food preparation,

make sure to wash your hands before and after dealing

with raw meat to prevent the spread of germs.

Barbeque safety

There is nothing better than an afternoon barbeque

with loved ones and friends. Here are some things to

remember before turning up the heat:

Make sure your barbecue is in good working order.

Ensure the barbecue is on a flat site, away from a

shed, trees or shrubs.

Keep children, garden games and pets away from the

cooking area.

Never leave the barbecue unattended.

Keep a bucket of water or sand nearby for

emergencies.

Ensure the barbecue is cool before attempting to

move it and don’t tip hot coals into a dustbin.

Never use petrol or lighting fluid on a barbecue once

the fire is lit.

You should use sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor

(SPF) of at least 15, and remember, the higher the better.

Apply plenty of sunscreen and reapply regularly,

especially if you are swimming.

Check the expiry date on your sunscreen.

Don’t be afraid to use a good blob of sunscreen for

adequate sun protection.

Try to find shade when the sun is at its strongest,

especially between 11am and 3pm.

Be window savvy

When the weather is hot and stuffy, we are always

tempted to fling open our windows and let in as

much fresh air as possible. When you do, remember

these tips to avoid accidents:

Don’t leave children alone with low open windows.

Don’t place furniture near windows as children

may be able to reach open windows by climbing

on nearby furnishings.

Fit window restrictors to your window frames to

limit the amount they open.

On ground level windows, check that your restrictors

are secure and that large windows are locked.

Make sure you latch open windows to prevent

them swinging should a breeze pick up.

summer 2012

19


LIFESTYLE

Ultimate Chocolate Pudding

A simple and decadent

chocolate dessert, perfect

for summer.

Serves 4

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Total time: 2 hours 15 minutes

Ingredients

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup cornflour

2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

Pinch of salt

2 cups whole milk

4 large egg yolks

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces

3 ounces baking chocolate, chopped

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Whipped cream, for serving

Method

Set a fine-mesh sieve over a medium bowl. In a medium

saucepan, whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, cocoa,

and salt. Gradually whisk in the milk, then the egg yolks.

Cook the milk mixture over medium heat, whisking

constantly, until thickened to the consistency of

mayonnaise (7 to 8 minutes). Continue to cook while

whisking, for 1 minute more.

Remove from heat and pour through the sieve into the

bowl, pushing the mixture through gently with a rubber

spatula or spoon. Add the butter and chocolate and stir

until melted. Mix in the vanilla.

Press a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of

the pudding and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and

up to 2 days. Before serving, gently stir the pudding to

loosen it. Serve with the whipped cream.

Do you have a yummy recipe you’d like to

share? Send it to us via email or freepost and

you could see it in the next edition of Link.

Email: communications@viridianhousing.org.uk

Post: Freepost RSSL-TTHU-SYSR,

Viridian Housing, Colwell House,

376 Clapham Road, London, SW9 9AR

Simple household tips

Our favourite top three tips using simple household products to give your home a refreshing lift:

1. To get your drain running again, pour ½ cup soda,

then ½ cup vinegar, down a clogged drain. Cover it

with a wet cloth, wait five minutes, uncover, and flush

with steaming-hot water.

2. To clean your microwave, fill a microwaveable bowl

with some water and add a dash of vinegar, then put

the bowl in the microwave, shut the door, and turn it

on for 5 minutes. When the microwave stops, remove

the bowl, and simply wipe down the microwave to

remove any grease with ease.

3. To remove chewing gum, rub ice on the gum to freeze

it and scrape off as much as you can with a blunt knife.

20 Link


LIFESTYLE

Up for a challenge?

Try your hand at our Sudoku challenge, simply fill in the missing numbers so every

row, column and quadrant, contains the numbers 1 through 9. The solution to this

puzzle can be found on the bottom of the page.

Difficulty: Medium Target time: 12 minutes

3 6 4

1

8 7 5 2

3 8 1

1 5 2 8

4 9 2

5 7 1 4

3

2 6 5

Sudoku Solution

1 9 5 2 3 6 8 7 4

3 4 2 9 8 7 5 1 6

6 8 7 1 4 5 3 2 9

5 2 3 8 7 4 6 9 1

7 1 9 5 6 2 4 8 3

4 6 8 3 1 9 2 5 7

8 5 6 7 9 3 1 4 2

9 3 1 4 2 8 7 6 5

2 7 4 6 5 1 9 3 8

summer 2012

21


The period covered in this edition is April 2011 to March 2012.

Edition 12, Quarter 4, 2011-12

“How are we doing?” is our quarterly performance report which

provides residents with information on how we are performing.

Resident satisfaction

Satisfaction with our services

2011-12 performance

2011-12 target

Student service

Key worker service

Hostels service

Support service

ASB process

Customer Serv. Centre

Repairs service

Lettings service

58%

80%

78%

75%

79%

80%

85%

97%

95%

96%

95%

100%

95%

96%

95%

93%

0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100%

Six out of eight key services exceeded our customer satisfaction targets last year. The targets have been raised this year to make them

even more challenging. Our anti-social behaviour and repairs services are also developing and implementing service improvement plans.

Customer services

% of telephone calls answered within five rings (20 seconds)

100%

Total number of calls

received between April

2011 to March 2012

122,003

90%

80%

70%

60%

82% 80% 81%

81%

Number of calls answered

within five rings

% of calls answered

within five rings

98,822

81%

50%

40%

Our 2011-12 target is 80%

30%

20%

Apr-Jun Apr-Sep Apr-Dec Apr-Mar

% of calls to our Customer

Services Officers resolved

at first point of contact

76%

22 Link


Repairs and maintenance

% emergency repairs completed in 24 hours

100%

90%

95.2% 95.9%

96.3%

97.1%

Total number of emergency

repairs reported between

April 2011 to March 2012

5,861

80%

70%

Number completed

in target

5,687

60%

50%

% completed in target 97.1%

40%

30%

20%

Apr-Jun Apr-Sep Apr-Dec Apr-Mar

Our 2011-12 target is 100%

% of responsive repairs where an appointment was arranged and kept

100%

90%

Total number of repairs

appointments made

between April 2011 to

March 2012

42,884

80%

70%

81.4% 81.9% 82.2%

82.4%

Number of

appointments kept

35,316

60%

50%

% of appointments kept 82.4%

40%

30%

20%

Apr-Jun Apr-Sep Apr-Dec Apr-Mar

Our 2011-12 target is 97%

For more information

www.viridianhousing.co.uk/ourperformance

Resident Governance team 0330 123 0220

If you would like more information on how we are performing, please visit www.viridianhousing.co.uk/OurPerformance

or contact a member of the Resident Governance team on 0330 123 0220. If you need help understanding this

information or would like it in another language or format, for example in large print, Braille or on audio tape, please

contact your local or regional office or contact the Resident Governance team on 0330 123 0220.

summer 2012

23


Want to contact us?

Colwell House

376 Clapham Road

London, SW9 9AR

Tel: 0330 123 0220

Fax: 020 3202 3601

0330 123 0221 (minicom)

Email: customerservices@@viridianhousing.org.uk

Post any mail

to us for free!

Freepost RSSL-TTHU-SYSR

Viridian Housing, Colwell House,

376 Clapham Road

London, SW9 9AR

Want to get

involved?

Contact:

Customer Engagement team

Phone: 0330 123 0220

Email:

customerservices@@viridianhousing.org.uk

This document is also available in:

Audio

Tape

Different

languages

Large

print

Braille

www.viridianhousing.org.uk

Link is produced on 75% recycled paper

More magazines by this user
Similar magazines