Get Connected Summer 2016

Get Connected is Connect housing's tenant magazine that is sent our quarterly with news and exciting happenings reported on.

Get Connected is Connect housing's tenant magazine that is sent our quarterly with news and exciting happenings reported on.


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<strong>Get</strong><br />

<strong>Connected</strong><br />


<strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2016</strong><br />

Making a<br />

difference<br />

Support for young<br />

homeless people<br />

Improvement programme<br />

Community news<br />

Money Matters

In this issue:<br />

High Five<br />

Latest news and events<br />

Here to help<br />

Find out about our free<br />

Money Matters service<br />

3<br />

4<br />

Welcome<br />

The big news to share with all residents is that from 1st August <strong>2016</strong><br />

we say hello to our new Chief Executive – Helen Lennon. We find<br />

out more from Helen about what the future holds (see page 8) and<br />

we wish a fond farewell to Jenny Brierley for over fourteen years<br />

of dedication to Connect.<br />

Quizzes, crafts<br />

and conversation<br />

All the latest from the CRF<br />

True to our values<br />

Meet Helen Lennon,<br />

our new Chief Executive<br />

600 homes<br />

being improved<br />

This year’s improvement<br />

programme<br />

Be safe<br />

Staying safe in<br />

your home<br />

6<br />

8<br />

10<br />

12<br />

Helen was previously<br />

Director of Neighbourhoods<br />

and Communications and<br />

we have taken the opportunity<br />

(as we do when we get any<br />

job vacancy) to look at whether<br />

to replace that role.<br />

In order to get best value for<br />

money, rather than replace<br />

this post, we have made<br />

some changes to how we<br />

organise ourselves. The result<br />

is a structure based on three<br />

Directors, instead of four, which<br />

will still enable us to manage<br />

the organisation successfully<br />

and deliver our vision.<br />

Martyn Broadest is Director<br />

of Homes, Christine Fox is<br />

Director of Neighbourly Places,<br />

and Sean Flynn continues<br />

as Director of Finance and<br />

Resources.<br />

These changes are internal<br />

and don’t affect how we<br />

deliver our services.<br />

It’s Connect’s 10 year anniversary<br />

this year and we hope you will<br />

join us at our event on 20th<br />

September. We’ll be sharing<br />

more details soon, but please<br />

save the date. It will be an<br />

event that celebrates local<br />

communities and looks forward<br />

to the next chapter in our story.<br />

We hope you enjoy this issue of<br />

<strong>Get</strong> <strong>Connected</strong> – happy reading.<br />

Share your<br />

thoughts<br />

<strong>Get</strong> in touch by<br />

phone, email,<br />

Facebook or Twitter<br />

Diamonds are<br />

forever<br />

Stories from the<br />

community<br />

Making a<br />

difference<br />

Social enterprise at our<br />

young single homeless<br />

scheme<br />

Back cover<br />

All the details you need<br />

to get in touch<br />

13<br />

14<br />

16<br />

Thank you<br />

0300 5000 600<br />

communications@<br />

connecthousing.org.uk<br />

/ConnectHousing<br />

@ConnectHousing<br />

Tenants, volunteers and community partners have all been involved<br />

in this issue of the magazine and we’d like to say a big thank you to<br />

Christie, Diane, Eunice Clarkson, Hazel, Sue Hendry, Jackie Jones,<br />

Joanne, Kath, Maureen, Mr & Mrs Ogden, Rose, Nicola Sharp,<br />

Sheila and Tony.<br />


High Five<br />

News you can use<br />

This popular monthly event helps people who are experiencing<br />

memory problems. It’s a friendly and welcoming space where<br />

you can take part in activities to spark memories, meet people in<br />

similar situations and find out more about the different services<br />

available. Carers, family and friends also welcome.<br />

For more information call Sandra Clibbens on 0113 2311561<br />

(Monday to Friday, 2.30pm to 4.30pm).<br />

Hot off<br />

the press<br />

We have updated our<br />

‘Protect Yourself’ leaflet,<br />

which offers guidance and<br />

support for people who<br />

are experiencing abuse or<br />

suspect that others might<br />

be. Download the leaflet<br />

at www.connecthousing.<br />

org.uk/protectyourself<br />

or call us on 0300 5000 600<br />

if you’d like to receive a<br />

copy by post.<br />

4<br />

August Bank<br />

Holiday<br />

We will be closed on<br />

Monday 29th August. You can<br />

still call 0300 5000 600 and<br />

speak to our out-of-hours service<br />

to report an emergency repair<br />

or anti-social behaviour.<br />

Save the date<br />

When: Tuesday 20th September<br />

Where: 21 Bond Street, Dewsbury, WF13 1AX<br />

We are holding a special event to officially open our new<br />

community space in Dewsbury and to celebrate Connect’s<br />

10 year anniversary. It will also feature our Annual General<br />

Meeting. For those of you who were part of last year’s<br />

Connect the Dots festival – that was just a taster of what’s<br />

to come and we hope you can join us. We will be releasing<br />

more details soon…<br />

Boost<br />

your<br />

happiness<br />

We recently ran an eight-week course,‘Exploring<br />

What Matters’, which was designed by Action for<br />

Happiness. It was run at Kirklees Recovery College and<br />

was a huge success – feedback from participants included<br />

“life-changing”. The course was run by volunteers and reflects<br />

our commitment to improving health and wellbeing in the<br />

community. Don’t miss out: due to high demand we are running<br />

the course again. It will start on Thursday 3rd November,<br />

1pm to 3pm, at our Dewsbury office. The cost is £2 a week.<br />

To book your place please contact<br />

Lindsey Gibbs on 0300 5000 600.<br />


MONEY<br />


Here<br />

to help<br />

Say hello to Michelle, Katie, Ben, Cheryl and Kim; or to give them their official title<br />

– the Money Matters Team. At a time when many people are under huge financial<br />

pressure, they deliver a service that is making a real difference to tenants.<br />

What is the service?<br />

Money Matters is a free and confidential<br />

service that provides:<br />

Help with welfare reform and benefits<br />

Budgeting and debt advice<br />

Ways of reducing fuel costs and improving<br />

energy efficiency<br />

Digital skills training<br />

Help creating CVs, job searching,<br />

volunteer and apprenticeship opportunities<br />

Health and wellbeing support<br />


Just call or email the Money Matters Team<br />

– Michelle is the first point of contact and<br />

she will book you an appointment and listen<br />

to what you say. The appointment will be with<br />

Ben, Katie or Cheryl and they can visit you<br />

at home, or meet you at one of our offices.<br />

They will talk to you at this first visit and<br />

find out more about the help you might need.<br />

The service is flexible and will be tailored<br />

to meet your individual needs. Kim leads<br />

the team and makes sure the service offers<br />

the right support in response to the latest<br />

welfare reform changes that affect tenants.<br />


The<br />

numbers<br />

£410,512<br />

As a result of the team’s<br />

work, tenants secured a<br />

total of £410,512 in savings<br />

and additional benefits.<br />

100%<br />

The service has a 100%<br />

satisfaction rating and<br />

100% of tenants reported<br />

lower stress levels and<br />

better wellbeing as a<br />

result of using the service.<br />

£6.92<br />

For every £1 Connect<br />

invests in the service,<br />

£6.92 is generated in<br />

value for our tenants<br />

and communities.*<br />

*Valuation using the<br />

Housing Associations’<br />

Charitable Trust social<br />

impact calculator.<br />

<strong>Get</strong> in touch ››››<br />

To see how our free and confidential service<br />

might be able to help you, or to find out more<br />

about the benefit cap, please contact:<br />

Michelle Cox, Money Matters Team<br />

T: 0300 5000 600<br />

E: moneymatters@connecthousing.org.uk<br />

Welfare reform update:<br />

changes to the benefit cap<br />


The benefit cap sets a limit on the total amount in benefits<br />

that most working-age people can claim. The cap applies to<br />

the benefits you get as a household. This means that benefits<br />

received by you, your partner and dependent children who live<br />

with you, are all included.<br />


On 8th July 2015 the government announced further<br />

reductions to the benefit cap. These changes will take effect<br />

from Autumn <strong>2016</strong> and will mean that the total amount of<br />

weekly benefit (including Housing Benefit) that a household<br />

will be able to claim is reduced. This means some households<br />

will receive less money than before.<br />


Proposed changes from Autumn <strong>2016</strong> (outside London)<br />

£385<br />

£258<br />

The service<br />

is unique and<br />

exceeded my<br />

expectations.<br />

The commitment<br />

and expertise<br />

of the team has<br />

had life-changing<br />

outcomes for<br />

me for which<br />

I cannot thank<br />

you enough.<br />

Tenant<br />

Two parent family<br />

Single parent family<br />

WHAT NEXT?<br />

If you are going to be affected, you should have received<br />

a letter from the Department for Work and Pensions<br />

(DWP) between 31st May and 10th June <strong>2016</strong> explaining<br />

what is happening.<br />

If you are worried about these changes please get in touch.<br />

Our Money Matters Team can see if you meet any of the<br />

exemption criteria, check how much you need to pay<br />

towards your rent, help with budgeting and support you<br />

to access debt advice.<br />

Our benefit cap factsheet can be downloaded at<br />

www.connecthousing.org.uk/benefitcap or we can<br />

send you one by post.<br />

Single person<br />


CRF<br />

Quizzes,<br />

crafts and<br />

conversation<br />

Tuesday 24th May was the ‘Meet the CRF’ taster event and tenants came along to<br />

take part in an afternoon of quizzes, crafts and conversation. We joined in the fun<br />

and caught up with Eunice Clarkson, Chair of the Connect Residents Federation (CRF).<br />

Everybody has been having<br />

a really good time. I’ve been<br />

telling the new tenants all about<br />

our thriving communities. A lot of<br />

people were especially impressed<br />

with the transport Connect<br />

provided to and from the event.<br />

The aim of the<br />

event today is<br />

to promote the CRF<br />

and hopefully gain new<br />

members. We want to<br />

let tenants know about<br />

the strong group that<br />

we have, that is run for<br />

tenants by tenants.<br />

Everyone is welcome to join,<br />

but we aimed this event at<br />

new tenants especially, an<br />

event like this can really show<br />

what the CRF is all about.<br />

One of the benefits of these<br />

meetings is that it promotes<br />

and creates new friendships<br />

and can combat loneliness by<br />

helping people get out of their<br />

house and mingle with the<br />

friendly CRF members. ‘Meet<br />

the CRF’ is an annual event and<br />

we’ll continue with it, especially<br />

after the success of today.<br />

Come! Try! Enjoy! Just like the<br />

people here did today.<br />

<strong>Get</strong> in touch ››››<br />

If you’d like to attend a meeting or find out more<br />

about becoming a member of the CRF contact:<br />

Lisa Longbottom, Tenant Involvement Officer<br />

T: 0300 5000 600<br />

E: lisa.longbottom@connecthousing.org.uk<br />


The Connect Residents<br />

Federation (CRF) is an<br />

independent organisation,<br />

run by tenants for tenants.<br />

Diary<br />

dates <strong>2016</strong><br />

CRF general meetings<br />

are not just for members<br />

– why not come along and<br />

see what it’s all about?<br />

Tuesday 13th September,<br />

1-3pm, Huddersfield<br />

Tuesday 8th November,<br />

1-3pm, Leeds<br />

In the loop<br />

In order to share information<br />

in the best way, the CRF<br />

recently asked members<br />

whether they prefer to<br />

communicate by post or<br />

digitally. Thank you to<br />

everyone who completed<br />

the survey – we had a<br />

massive 51 responses and<br />

the CRF will be using this<br />

feedback to shape how they<br />

communicate.<br />

Congratulations!<br />

Well done to Betty, winner<br />

of the survey prize draw,<br />

who has won a £50<br />

Love2Shop voucher.<br />

Q<br />

&A<br />

Joanne, Volunteer<br />

The CRF relies on the support of volunteers. When Joanne<br />

applied to gain hands-on admin experience, the perfect<br />

match was made! Joanne has been volunteering for four<br />

months and talks to <strong>Get</strong> <strong>Connected</strong> about how she’s finding it.<br />

Q. Why are you volunteering<br />

with the CRF?<br />

A. I have been in retail for<br />

a number of years, but due<br />

to health reasons I now have<br />

to look at changing my career<br />

path and getting a desk job.<br />

This is ok, but because I lack<br />

experience in administration<br />

it’s hard to get into that type<br />

of work. A friend said, “Why<br />

don’t you volunteer? Don’t<br />

look at it as you’re not getting<br />

paid – you’re getting paid in<br />

experience.” And that’s what I did!<br />

Q. What does a typical<br />

day involve?<br />

A. I volunteer for a few hours<br />

at a time and I’ve done printing,<br />

photocopying, envelope stuffing,<br />

collating documents etc.<br />

I’m learning a lot.<br />

Q. Any stand out moments?<br />

A. Yes, the photocopier –<br />

I’ve never used one before<br />

and I now know how to use it.<br />

It was a light bulb moment!<br />

Q. Anything you don’t enjoy<br />

or would change?<br />

A. No, I wouldn’t change<br />

anything. <strong>Get</strong>ting told how<br />

to do something doesn’t<br />

stick with me. I need to be<br />

shown, I learn quicker that<br />

way. That’s why I came here.<br />

Q. Would you recommend<br />

volunteering to anyone else?<br />

A. Oh definitely. Volunteering<br />

builds your confidence. Having<br />

volunteering on your CV also<br />

shows that you’re willing to<br />

learn any aspect of the job.<br />

My arthritis, I didn’t want it,<br />

but in a way I’m glad that it<br />

happened – otherwise I would<br />

not have tried volunteering.<br />

<strong>Get</strong> in touch ››››<br />

If you’d like to find out more about volunteering<br />

opportunities at Connect, please contact:<br />

Tom Dunn, Volunteer Services Co-ordinator<br />

T: 0300 5000 600<br />

E: tom.dunn@connecthousing.org.uk<br />


UPDATE<br />

True to<br />

our values<br />

Connect is delighted to announce the appointment of Helen Lennon as our<br />

new Chief Executive from 1st August <strong>2016</strong>. Helen has worked for Connect for<br />

over 20 years (most recently as Director of Neighbourhoods and Communications)<br />

and following an open recruitment process, Helen has been chosen by the Board<br />

to lead the organisation.<br />

We invited Nicola Sharp,<br />

tenant and committee member<br />

of Connect Residents Federation<br />

(CRF), to talk to Helen and<br />

discover more about her journey<br />

so far and plans for the future.<br />

Nicola Sharp: What made you<br />

choose housing as a career?<br />

Helen Lennon: I was brought up<br />

in a council house which gave me<br />

a great foundation in life. When<br />

I left university I wanted to do<br />

something with a social purpose,<br />

so I worked in a day centre for<br />

homeless people. I loved the<br />

job and it was an eye-opener –<br />

I saw the value of the work we<br />

did to help people get back into<br />

a home. There were two routes<br />

for me to take from there; social<br />

work or housing. I felt that the<br />

housing side was more for me.<br />

NS: When did you join Connect?<br />

HL: I first joined as a tenant in<br />

1988. I lived for two and a half<br />

years in a flat in Chapeltown.<br />

I thought Connect (then The<br />

8<br />

I would like all<br />

of our tenants<br />

to have a sense<br />

that they are<br />

investing in<br />

something<br />

bigger – by<br />

renting from<br />

Connect they<br />

are investing<br />

in their<br />

communities.<br />

Helen<br />

Ridings) was a great company,<br />

so when the opportunity arose<br />

to work for them after I had<br />

moved out, I jumped at it.<br />

NS: Have you seen a lot<br />

of changes at Connect?<br />

HL: Oh yes! We were much<br />

smaller when I started and<br />

we only worked in Leeds.<br />

The merger in 2006 was a great<br />

opportunity as it meant we could<br />

help more people across three<br />

local authorities and continue<br />

to build homes and offer lifechanging<br />

services to a broader<br />

range of people. What hasn’t<br />

changed are our values. We have<br />

stuck to these, no matter what<br />

changes are happening around<br />

us – that’s important to me and<br />

the reason I have stayed.<br />

NS: How will you engage<br />

with tenants?<br />

HL: This is very important<br />

to me. We have an ambition<br />

to support residents to create<br />

neighbourly places to live.

We have six new Community<br />

Housing Officers starting<br />

shortly who will have smaller<br />

geographical areas to cover.<br />

The intention is that they get<br />

to know people in those areas<br />

really well and develop a better<br />

understanding of what our<br />

tenants want from Connect<br />

in an ever-changing world.<br />

NS: Will you continue<br />

to work with the CRF?<br />

HL: Absolutely. The CRF<br />

does a phenomenal amount<br />

of work which is voluntary<br />

and gives Connect great insight,<br />

so it’s really important that<br />

this carries on and we continue<br />

to support them in new and<br />

different ways.<br />

NS: Finally, do you have<br />

a message for all of<br />

Connect’s tenants?<br />

HL: I see this job as a great<br />

responsibility. I’m carrying<br />

forward a legacy that goes back<br />

50 years. Connect was one of the<br />

organisations created at the time<br />

of the film ’Cathy Come Home’<br />

to respond to a housing crisis.<br />

We’ve still got a housing crisis<br />

and I want Connect to continue<br />

to be part of the solution.<br />

As a tenant, I felt good about<br />

renting from Connect because<br />

I felt my rent was being invested<br />

back into my community and<br />

residents’ lives. I saw this as<br />

ethical investment.<br />

We are in an era where the big<br />

push is for home ownership.<br />

Home ownership is not for<br />

everyone – it can be very<br />

stressful, insecure, uncertain<br />

and poorer quality than living<br />

in good, well-maintained social<br />

housing. I would like all our<br />

tenants to have a sense that<br />

they are investing in something<br />

bigger – by renting from Connect<br />

they are investing in their<br />

communities.<br />

Farewell from Jenny<br />

‘Home’ is my all-time favourite word. All of us need shelter<br />

and safety, but a home is so much more than that. A place<br />

where we can relax and grow and be ourselves. A place to<br />

bring up our families. A place where we can give and get<br />

the support we need. A place where we can become part<br />

of a community. Ensuring that everyone has a place they<br />

can call home should be a priority for a healthy society,<br />

but sadly too many people find this impossible to achieve<br />

in our current dysfunctional housing market. So this is<br />

where Connect comes in…<br />

Helping people – young or old, employed or not, long<br />

established or newly arrived – to find a place that is secure<br />

and truly affordable, where they can create a real home,<br />

is Connect’s goal, and taking responsibility for making<br />

this happen has been a huge privilege. Sometimes<br />

daunting, often inspiring, never dull! But I simply could<br />

not have done this job without great colleagues at Connect<br />

and without a true ‘critical friend’ in the CRF, constructively<br />

holding me to account on your behalf. So I want to say a<br />

heart-felt thank you to everyone who has worked with me<br />

and supported me along the way.<br />

Connect’s work is needed now more than ever. As I move on<br />

to a different challenge (making homes energy efficient and<br />

sustainable) I will greatly miss being part of Connect’s future.<br />

All good wishes for the future, to you and to Connect.<br />

Jenny Brierley, Chief Executive to July <strong>2016</strong><br />

I know that Helen will<br />

make sure Connect<br />

continues to thrive,<br />

to work hard to<br />

improve its services,<br />

and to put its values<br />

into practice every<br />

day of the week,<br />

helping to make<br />

‘home’ a reality<br />

for many<br />

more people.<br />

Jenny<br />


HOMES<br />

Connect is committed<br />

to investing in good<br />

quality homes.<br />

Each year we carry<br />

out a programme of<br />

planned maintenance.<br />

This is a significant<br />

proportion of our<br />

expenditure and<br />

this year the work<br />

includes the following<br />

improvements…<br />

New Boilers<br />

New Doors<br />

New<br />

Bathrooms<br />

New Windows<br />

New Kitchens<br />

New Roofs<br />

Homes Externally<br />

Decorated<br />

Bespoke projects<br />

Each year we carry out a number of bespoke planned maintenance<br />

projects. This year these include lift and door entry system<br />

replacements at Pennwell Garth and fire alarm replacements<br />

at Nowell Court.<br />

in<br />

10<br />

START<br />

We will contact you two<br />

months before work<br />

starts to explain what<br />

will happen and when.<br />

CHOOSE<br />

We will explain what choices<br />

are available and how to make<br />

your selection. You’ll have at<br />

least two weeks to choose.

The selection<br />

We choose replacement items based<br />

on quality, cost and energy efficiency.<br />


Oakwood Kitchens provide our high quality<br />

kitchens, which are built using materials<br />

sourced from sustainable forests. You will<br />

be able to choose from a wide range of units,<br />

worktops and handles.<br />


You will be able to choose from an attractive<br />

range of tiles and flooring. We also offer some<br />

choice of fixtures and fittings.<br />


We are currently installing Ideal Logic combi<br />

boilers, which are smaller in size, aesthetically<br />

attractive and give a high output of heating and<br />

hot water. They are also very efficient, meaning<br />

your heating bills will be lower.<br />

DOORS<br />

These are supplied by Manse Masterdor and<br />

where appropriate there will be a colour choice.<br />


Where possible we install white uPVC windows,<br />

chosen for their quality and style. They contain<br />

80% recycled content, which reduces their<br />

impact on the environment.<br />

<strong>Get</strong> in touch ››<br />

To find out about the improvement<br />

programme or book a home<br />

condition survey, please contact:<br />

Enya Booth<br />

Apprentice Building Surveyor<br />

T: 0300 5000 600<br />

E: enya.booth@connecthousing.org.uk<br />

Home condition survey<br />

Our improvement programme is driven by<br />

information about your homes. To make sure<br />

this information is up-to-date we are carrying<br />

out condition surveys.<br />

We aim to inspect 20% of our homes – and<br />

we’re looking to get a representative sample<br />

of the different styles, ages and locations of<br />

properties. We’ll be contacting a selection<br />

of tenants to arrange home condition surveys.<br />

If you’d like to take part, please contact us.<br />

What is a home condition survey?<br />

A home condition survey allows us to<br />

collect information about the property.<br />

This information is used to help us identify<br />

future replacement and maintenance.<br />

How long will it take?<br />

To survey the internal and external area<br />

of the property will take 20-30 minutes.<br />

What does it cover?<br />

Property condition: we assess the age<br />

and condition of the main elements of<br />

your home such as kitchens, bathrooms,<br />

boilers, windows, doors and roofs.<br />

Energy audit: this will allow us to check<br />

any potential improvements that could<br />

make your home more energy efficient<br />

and save on costs.<br />

Health and Safety risk assessment:<br />

to highlight any potential risks in your<br />

home. This will give you the chance to<br />

raise any concerns.<br />

Repairs: during our visit we can also<br />

report any repairs that need doing.<br />


We will make an appointment<br />

with you to run through the<br />

schedule and confirm your<br />

choices.<br />

We will give you details of the<br />

contractor and once work starts<br />

on site, regular inspections will<br />

be carried out by our team.<br />

We want to ensure the work<br />

is carried out to an excellent<br />

standard and on completion we<br />

will ask you to fill in a survey.<br />


SAFETY<br />

Be gas safe<br />

Poorly maintained gas appliances are<br />

a serious safety threat in the home, and<br />

carbon monoxide poisoning, although<br />

relatively rare, can be fatal.<br />



By law we must carry out a gas safety<br />

inspection each year to ensure your home<br />

is safe. Our gas contractor Sure will write<br />

to you to tell you when your annual service<br />

is due. It’s important you give access,<br />

so we can check your home is gas safe.<br />

Don’t forget this is a free service.<br />

CARBON<br />


You can’t see, smell or taste carbon monoxide<br />

and it can kill without warning in a matter of<br />

hours. Symptoms can often be mistaken for<br />

flu, and other signs that there may be a carbon<br />

monoxide leak in the home are brown staining<br />

around gas appliances and yellow-tinged pilot<br />

lights that frequently go out. This is why it is<br />

important for us to gain access and inspect all<br />

gas appliances. If you have a gas fire in your<br />

home, we will fit a carbon monoxide alarm which<br />

we will test every year, however please ensure<br />

you test it regularly too.<br />

IF YOU<br />


If you can smell gas please leave the property<br />

as soon as possible and call the National Grid<br />

emergency line on 0800 111 999.<br />

Be water safe<br />

Legionnaires’ disease is an illness<br />

caused by breathing in small droplets<br />

of water contaminated by bacteria.<br />

It can affect anybody and is potentially<br />

fatal, but it’s very rare in the UK.<br />

Hot and cold water systems in homes are<br />

a potential source for bacteria growth. Bacteria<br />

can survive low temperatures, thrives at<br />

temperatures between 20–45°C, but is killed<br />

in high temperatures of 60°C and above.<br />

There are some simple things you can do<br />

to make sure the water in your home is safe.<br />

Set hot water cylinders at 60°C or<br />

above (take care not to burn yourself).<br />

Clean limescale from taps and<br />

shower heads every three months.<br />

Don’t leave your shower head<br />

sitting in water.<br />

If you’ve been away for over a week,<br />

run all your taps (and shower) for a<br />

few minutes before using the water.<br />

Have you experienced<br />

or seen a hate crime?<br />

Stop Hate UK is working to challenge all<br />

forms of hate crime and discrimination.<br />

They provide confidential reporting and<br />

support for victims and witnesses.<br />

You can call their free 24 hour helpline<br />

on 0800 138 1625 or visit their website<br />

www.stophateuk.org. You can also visit<br />

Connect’s Leeds office which is an official<br />

Hate Incident Reporting Centre.<br />

A hate crime is an incident committed<br />

against someone because of their disability,<br />

gender-identity, race, religion or belief, or<br />

sexual orientation and should be reported.<br />



Diamonds<br />

are forever<br />

Congratulations to Eddie and Kath Ogden, tenants at Hawthorn Mill, on their 75th<br />

diamond wedding anniversary. We joined them at their celebration and they shared<br />

their story.<br />

What was your wedding like 75 years ago?<br />

Eddie: We got married in Colne, Lancashire<br />

in a congregational church.<br />

Kath: He was in the RAF and only got back the<br />

evening before. He got his suit half an hour before<br />

the clothes shop shut. During the war you were<br />

given a certain amount of clothing coupons, it<br />

was never enough to buy a proper outfit. But our<br />

family borrowed some and I got my dress from<br />

Leeds. I remember when my friends got married,<br />

they couldn’t afford to get a dress, so I lent them<br />

mine. I lent my dress out six times.<br />

How did you get together?<br />

Eddie: It just happened.<br />

Kath: We only lived in a small village, so there<br />

wasn’t a lot of choice!<br />

Eddie: I was the best you could get!<br />

Kath: He was quite a catch. I used to admire his<br />

hands, they were pianists hands. People would<br />

say he has lovely hair or teeth, but I liked his<br />

hands. They’re a bit knobbly now though!<br />

Listen to each other<br />

and talk things through<br />

because communication<br />

is key. You’ve got to battle<br />

on when things get tough.<br />

Kath<br />

A huge thank you Sue!<br />

Sue Hendry, Manager of<br />

Hawthorn Mill, has retired<br />

after 22 years. Sue has<br />

made a huge difference<br />

to the lives of tenants, the<br />

local community and to<br />

Connect too. We asked<br />

her for a few memories...<br />

This place has been a big part<br />

of my life. When I started I had<br />

just a telephone and a diary, no computer.<br />

Eventually, I got a computer and went on<br />

a training course. The tutor asked me if<br />

I had ever used one before, I said ‘No,<br />

but I can use a microwave!’<br />

One of my best achievements has been<br />

the COPS (Connect’s Older People’s<br />

Strategists) group that I created and love.<br />

Connect staff come to ask the group<br />

what they think about new policies.<br />

Tenants were quite shy at first, but now<br />

they speak up and share their opinions.<br />

The summer events have been<br />

wonderful. I have a fond memory of a<br />

donkey escaping at one – he rampaged<br />

through the fair and ran up to a lady who<br />

was bent down and bit her bottom!<br />



Making a<br />

difference<br />

Accommodation services for young single homeless people (such as our own Swan<br />

Lane and Hollinbank House) are facing uncertainty around how they will be funded<br />

in the future and the government is due to announce soon what will happen.<br />

We spoke to Ryan Dunne,<br />

Manager of our Single<br />

Homeless Service, about<br />

the difference these<br />

services make.<br />

The projects we<br />

run at Connect help<br />

young people who have had<br />

challenges in their lives,<br />

forge an independent future<br />

and be an active part of their<br />

community. Our aim is for<br />

them to live happy and fulfilled<br />

lives and to feel they belong<br />

somewhere.<br />

The support we provide<br />

gives them the information<br />

and learnt experience to help<br />

them thrive on their own,<br />

empowering them to grow,<br />

regardless of what might<br />

have happened in their past.<br />

We work with them in many<br />

different ways, from supporting<br />

them on a one-to-one basis,<br />

to group work around respect,<br />

confidence, sexual health,<br />

budgeting and activities such<br />

as cooking, art, photography<br />

and sewing.<br />

We are currently completing<br />

a social enterprise project<br />

where the young people have<br />

come together and decided to<br />

make bath bombs to sell on.<br />

This is a great opportunity for<br />

them to be creative and learn<br />

business skills at the<br />

same time.<br />

Photo above features<br />

Ryan (left) with tenant<br />

Christie (right).<br />

It’s home.<br />

There’s always<br />

someone to<br />

talk to here.<br />

Eventually I’d<br />

like to move<br />

into my own<br />

place and I’d<br />

like to go to<br />

university and<br />

train to become<br />

a midwife.<br />

Christie<br />


The sweet smell of success<br />

Residents at Swan Lane were recently given<br />

the opportunity to get creative and learn<br />

business skills at the same time. As part of<br />

an enterprise project, the young people came<br />

up with the idea of making bath bombs.<br />

The group has been involved in every stage of<br />

the process, from planning the shape, colour<br />

and scents of the bath bombs, getting stuck<br />

in and making them, designing the logos and<br />

packaging, right through to selling them.<br />


The group has decided to donate all proceeds<br />

from this venture to Forget Me Not Children’s<br />

Hospice in Huddersfield, which supports<br />

children with life shortening conditions and<br />

their families across West Yorkshire.<br />

Photo above features Places for People's<br />

Jackie Jones (left) with tenant Christie and<br />

Connect's Project Worker, Nikki Young (right).<br />


This project is part of an enterprise-learning<br />

programme run by Places for People, working<br />

in partnership with Lorna Young Foundation<br />

and funded by the Big Lottery. The programme<br />

supports young people in Yorkshire who are<br />

not in education, employment or training and<br />

helps enhance their skills, confidence and<br />

employment prospects.<br />


<strong>Get</strong> in<br />

touch<br />

0300 5000 600<br />

www.connecthousing.org.uk<br />

Connect Housing is<br />

a charitable housing<br />

association.<br />

Our passion is for a<br />

fairer society, where<br />

people’s homes, health<br />

and happiness matter.<br />

hello@connecthousing.org.uk<br />

/ConnectHousing<br />

@ConnectHousing<br />

Leeds Office<br />

205 Roundhay Road<br />

Leeds, LS8 4HS<br />

This office is open as usual:<br />

Mon, Tues, Thurs: 9am - 5.30pm<br />

Weds: 10.30am - 5.30pm<br />

Fri: 9am - 5pm<br />

New Dewsbury Office<br />

21 Bond Street<br />

Dewsbury, WF13 1AX<br />

Launch<br />

Event<br />

Tuesday 20th<br />

September<br />

We can come to you:<br />

Whilst we are refurbishing our Dewsbury<br />

office, if you would like to meet with a<br />

member of our team face-to-face, we can<br />

arrange a home visit. We also have access<br />

to meeting spaces within Huddersfield and<br />

can book an appointment to suit you.<br />

Just call us on 0300 5000 600.<br />

We can help you understand this information in your language. We can also provide documents in large<br />

print or audio. Please contact us.<br />

This magazine has been printed on FSC certified paper by a<br />

Carbon Balanced Publication Printer using vegetable-based inks.

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