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Get Connected Summer 2016

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 />

THE MAGAZINE FOR RESIDENTS<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 />

2


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 />

3


MONEY<br />

MATTERS<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 />

HOW DOES IT WORK?<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 />

4


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 />

WHAT IS 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 />

WHAT IS CHANGING?<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 />

NEW WEEKLY BENEFIT CAP<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 />

5


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 />

6


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 />

7


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 />

9


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 />

KITCHENS<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 />

BATHROOMS<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 />

BOILERS<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 />

WINDOWS<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 />

MEET ACTION FEEDBACK<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 />

11


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 />

YOUR GAS SERVICE<br />

APPOINTMENT<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 />

MONOXIDE<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 />

SMELL GAS<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 />

12


COMMUNITY<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 />

13


SUPPORT<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 />

14


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 />

GIVING SOMETHING BACK<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 />

THANK YOU<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 />

15


<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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