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Get Connect 10th Anniversary edition - Tenant Magazine

Welcome to our 10th anniversary autumn / winter edition of our Tenant Magazine - Get Connected.

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THE MAGAZINE FOR RESIDENTS<br />

Winter 2016<br />

<strong>10th</strong><br />

<strong>Anniversary</strong><br />

Edition<br />

People’s homes, health<br />

and happiness matter<br />

Thrive at <strong>Connect</strong><br />

Winter Safety<br />

1


2<br />

In this issue:<br />

3 High Five<br />

Latest news and events<br />

4<br />

Taste the<br />

difference<br />

Find out about our free<br />

Money Matters service<br />

6 A word<br />

from Eunice<br />

Understanding the<br />

CRF and how they<br />

scrutinise <strong>Connect</strong>’s<br />

performance<br />

7 Open all hours<br />

A quick guide to our Out<br />

of Hours repairs service<br />

8 Improving<br />

services<br />

Find out how we are<br />

working hard to improve<br />

the service Sure provide<br />

10<br />

Winter safety<br />

A guide on staying warm<br />

and safe this Winter<br />

12 Older people<br />

News and stories<br />

from Hawthorn Mill<br />

14<br />

18<br />

The launch<br />

of Thrive<br />

All about our new<br />

community space<br />

in Dewsbury<br />

Supporting<br />

communities<br />

Introducing our new<br />

Community Housing<br />

Officers<br />

Welcome<br />

This year at <strong>Connect</strong><br />

we celebrated two key<br />

milestones: our <strong>10th</strong><br />

birthday and the launch<br />

of Thrive, our new<br />

community space<br />

in Dewsbury.<br />

Our vision and values have<br />

always driven us to help<br />

improve the lives of tenants<br />

and communities through<br />

housing and support.<br />

Despite the challenging<br />

circumstances over the<br />

last few years, our passion<br />

has grown and we’re<br />

more determined than<br />

ever to continue making<br />

a difference.<br />

Thrive, a new community<br />

space based at our Dewsbury<br />

offices is one way we hope<br />

we can achieve this. We<br />

welcomed over 150 people<br />

including tenants, small<br />

local businesses, community<br />

groups and partners to the<br />

launch in September.<br />

Our Chief Executive,<br />

Helen Lennon, spoke<br />

about why our vision is<br />

for a fairer society, where<br />

people’s homes, health<br />

and happiness matter.<br />

You can read more about<br />

Thrive on pages 14 -17.<br />

In our latest Annual Review,<br />

we have shared ten ways<br />

to thrive with <strong>Connect</strong>.<br />

You can read it here –<br />

www.connecthousing.<br />

org.uk/AnnualReview16<br />

We hope you enjoy this<br />

issue of <strong>Get</strong> <strong>Connect</strong>ed –<br />

happy reading!<br />

Share your<br />

thoughts<br />

If you’d like to be part<br />

of the next issue or if<br />

you’ve got a story you’d<br />

like to share, then we’d<br />

like to hear from you.<br />

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

phone, email,<br />

Facebook or Twitter<br />

0300 5000 600<br />

communications@<br />

connecthousing.org.uk<br />

/<strong>Connect</strong>Housing<br />

@<strong>Connect</strong>Housing<br />

Thank you<br />

<strong>Tenant</strong>s, volunteers and community partners have all<br />

been involved in this issue of the magazine and we’d like<br />

to say a big thank you to Eunice Clarkson and Donna from<br />

the Hidden Memories Dementia Cafe at Hawthorn Mill.<br />

High Five<br />

News you can use<br />

<strong>Connect</strong>’s offices will close for the holidays at 5pm on Friday 23rd December<br />

and will re-open on Tuesday 3rd January at 9am. For all emergencies<br />

including repairs and anti-social behaviour incidents during this time<br />

please call 0300 5000 600.<br />

Clearing a house is never an<br />

easy task. The British Heart<br />

Foundation offer a free collection<br />

service of any unwanted furniture<br />

and working electricals.<br />

Their service is professional,<br />

reliable and friendly.<br />

For more information please<br />

visit bhf.org.uk<br />

Value for<br />

Money (VFM)<br />

Holiday closure times<br />

Here to help<br />

VFM is a test we apply to check<br />

that the maximum benefit has<br />

been achieved from the money<br />

and time we invest in delivering<br />

services. Our annual VFM<br />

report is available to read and<br />

tells you how we think we have<br />

done. You can read the full selfassessment<br />

document here:<br />

www.connecthousing.org.uk/<br />

valueformoney<br />

All aboard<br />

The AccessBus is a dial-a-ride<br />

bus service providing door-todoor<br />

local transport, seven days a week<br />

between 9am and 5pm. Anyone can<br />

register for the service and it’s extremely<br />

helpful to people who are unable to use<br />

standard bus services. The buses are fully<br />

accessible, fitted with seatbelts and the<br />

most up-to-date wheelchair restraints.<br />

For more information visit:<br />

www.wymetro.com/BusTravel/<br />

accessrural/AccessBus/<br />

The CRF<br />

needs you!<br />

<strong>Connect</strong> Residents Federation (CRF) are<br />

recruiting. The CRF works in many ways to help<br />

improve services at <strong>Connect</strong>, one of these being<br />

<strong>Tenant</strong> Inspection. They have decided the next<br />

area for inspection in 2017 will be repairs.<br />

<strong>Tenant</strong> Inspectors are volunteers who are<br />

interested in improving services for tenants.<br />

The CRF need more inspectors and will<br />

make sure they are fully trained and supported<br />

throughout the process. Being a <strong>Tenant</strong> Inspector<br />

is a great way to learn more about how <strong>Connect</strong> works.<br />

To find out more please contact Lisa Longbottom,<br />

<strong>Tenant</strong> Involvement Officer on 0300 5000 600.<br />

3


MONEY<br />

MATTERS<br />

MONEY<br />

MATTERS<br />

Taste the<br />

difference<br />

<strong>Connect</strong>’s Money Matters Team ran the ‘Downshift Challenge’ at our Thrive launch<br />

event in September. They were on hand to talk about the work they do helping<br />

tenants with budgeting and debt advice, benefits, fuel poverty and finding work.<br />

The team asked event attendees to take the<br />

‘Downshift Challenge’ to see if they could<br />

taste the difference between premiumbranded<br />

and value-branded products.<br />

The challenge wasn’t about forcing people<br />

to drop down a brand level, but to ensure they<br />

weren’t spending money for no reason. If you<br />

can’t tell the difference with the lower brand<br />

level goods, then why pay more for them?<br />

Participants had to guess which the more<br />

expensive product was by taste alone.<br />

Then decide if the additional price was<br />

worth it.<br />

Over 100 people took part in the challenge<br />

and couldn’t believe the price variations for<br />

little difference in taste. Some people even<br />

thought the non-branded items tasted better!<br />

About 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<br />

improving energy efficiency<br />

Digital skills training<br />

Help creating CVs, job searching,<br />

volunteer and apprenticeship<br />

opportunities<br />

Health and wellbeing support<br />

Benefit cap update<br />

In the Summer issue of <strong>Get</strong> <strong>Connect</strong>ed, we informed<br />

you about the benefit changes announced by the<br />

Government in July 2015.<br />

If you are affected by these changes you should already have<br />

received two letters from the DWP (Department for Work and<br />

Pensions) advising of how these changes affect you. Below<br />

are the dates that these changes start and the new proposed<br />

maximum benefit amounts will be.<br />

• If your benefits were already capped at the existing<br />

maximum amount, then your entitlement will have<br />

been reduced to the new limit from 7th November 2016.<br />

• If your benefits are not currently capped but you will<br />

be affected by the new amount, that will take place<br />

on 19th December 2016 if you live in Kirklees and<br />

9th January 2017 if you live in Leeds.<br />

New weekly benefit cap<br />

Proposed changes from Autumn 2016<br />

£385<br />

Two parent family<br />

Single parent family<br />

£258<br />

Single person<br />

Any cap in your benefit entitlement will be taken from your<br />

Housing Benefit, which means that if you are affected you<br />

will have a shortfall in your rent to pay.<br />

Michelle Cox is currently contacting all tenants who are<br />

affected by the benefit caps as she may be able to help.<br />

Michelle can help you find out if you qualify for any additional<br />

financial help through Discretionary Housing Payments,<br />

if you meet any of the exemption criteria and help you<br />

understand what you need to pay. If you are concerned about<br />

the benefit cap or have any other financial worries, please<br />

contact Michelle using the details on this page and the<br />

Money Matters Team will try their best to help.<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<br />

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

Michelle Cox, Money Matters Team<br />

T: 0300 5000 600<br />

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

Money advice<br />

this Winter<br />

Winter Fuel Payment<br />

You could get between<br />

£100 - £300 tax-free to pay<br />

your heating bills if you<br />

were born on or before 5th<br />

January 1953. Usually this<br />

is paid automatically if you<br />

get the State Pension.<br />

If you qualify but don’t get<br />

paid automatically, you<br />

can make a claim. Visit:<br />

www.gov.uk/winter-fuelpayment<br />

Cold Weather Payment<br />

You may get a payment<br />

if you receive certain<br />

benefits. Payments are<br />

made when your local<br />

temperature is recorded<br />

as, or forecast to be, an<br />

average of 0°C or below<br />

over seven consecutive<br />

days. You’ll get a payment<br />

of £25 for each seven-day<br />

period of very cold weather<br />

between 1st November<br />

2016 and 31st March 2017.<br />

Visit www.gov.uk/coldweather-payment<br />

Christmas<br />

Christmas should be a<br />

happy occasion spent with<br />

family and friends, but for<br />

some it can be a time of<br />

financial worry and stress.<br />

There can be a great deal<br />

of pressure to spend<br />

money on presents and<br />

entertaining, even though<br />

bills, including rent, have<br />

to be paid. If you’re having<br />

difficulty with debts or<br />

struggling to pay your rent<br />

please contact our Money<br />

Matters team.<br />

4<br />

5


CRF<br />

HOMES<br />

A word<br />

from Eunice<br />

Open<br />

all hours<br />

The CRF (<strong>Connect</strong>s Residents Federation) is an independent<br />

organisation, run by tenants for tenants. This month we caught<br />

up with Eunice Clarkson, Chair of the CRF, to talk about scrutiny.<br />

When our offices are closed, we use an Out of Hours (OOH) service so that<br />

you have a contact in the event of an emergency repair. The cost of using<br />

this service is quite expensive so we would like to remind you to please<br />

only use it when absolutely necessary.<br />

I think it is really important<br />

to have scrutiny at <strong>Connect</strong><br />

and the CRF take this part of<br />

our job very seriously. A great<br />

example of this is looking<br />

at <strong>Connect</strong>’s performance,<br />

– if there are any areas of<br />

concern, working with the<br />

relevant staff to find out<br />

why, and what they’re going<br />

to do to improve. Our role<br />

is to ensure that as ‘The<br />

<strong>Tenant</strong>s Voice’ we can<br />

hold <strong>Connect</strong> to account<br />

and influence some of the<br />

decisions they make.<br />

One of the groups that the CRF<br />

are members of is the Service<br />

Improvement Forum (SIF).<br />

The SIF meets regularly<br />

throughout the year and<br />

makes recommendations<br />

to the Board and Directors<br />

at <strong>Connect</strong> for consideration<br />

to improve services. I think<br />

this is the most valuable<br />

of the groups we attend; it<br />

allows us to understand what<br />

is happening now, what the<br />

plans are for the future and<br />

represent tenants at a very<br />

strategic level.<br />

The CRF also use <strong>Tenant</strong><br />

Inspectors to review<br />

services that are in need of<br />

improvement. We use loads<br />

of information such as survey<br />

results, complaints and the<br />

feedback from other tenants<br />

to decide what area to look at.<br />

Diary<br />

dates 2017:<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 14th February,<br />

1 - 3pm, Leeds<br />

Tuesday 11th April,<br />

6 - 8pm, Leeds<br />

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

out more about becoming a member<br />

of the CRF contact:<br />

Lisa Longbottom, <strong>Tenant</strong> Involvement Officer<br />

T: 0300 5000 600<br />

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

The Out of Hours service is a ‘make safe’ service which<br />

means that our contractor will normally be instructed<br />

to just make the repair safe; the outstanding full repair<br />

then being carried out by us during normal opening hours.<br />

Please only use this service for a genuine emergency repair.<br />

If you call out an emergency contractor for a less serious<br />

repair you may be charged.<br />

We have included a quick guide so you can check if you<br />

require the Out of Hours service.<br />

Emergency repair<br />

An emergency repair is<br />

something which could<br />

cause danger to health,<br />

your safety or serious<br />

damage to property.<br />

This includes; severe roof<br />

leaks, burst pipes, loss<br />

of water, loss of power<br />

or lighting, loss of heating<br />

in cold weather or a<br />

dangerous electrical fault.<br />

Non-emergency repair<br />

Non-emergency repairs are<br />

things you can reasonably<br />

live with for a short time<br />

without immediate risk<br />

to your safety, security<br />

or health.<br />

This includes; internal door<br />

repairs, kitchen cupboard<br />

repairs or plastering.<br />

Before<br />

you call<br />

Before calling the service<br />

you should consider the<br />

following:<br />

• Is this causing<br />

damage to my home?<br />

• Is my family at risk<br />

of harm if this repair<br />

is not fixed immediately?<br />

• Could this issue<br />

wait until I speak to<br />

a member of <strong>Connect</strong>’s<br />

repairs team?<br />

• Is this repair my<br />

responsibility?<br />

• Is there anything<br />

I can do to prevent<br />

damage being caused?<br />

If you would like to find<br />

out more information on<br />

the Out of Hours service,<br />

please call 0300 5000 600.<br />

6 7


HOMES<br />

100<br />

We know that in the past tenants have<br />

reported dissatisfaction with our gas<br />

contractor, Sure. We have since put<br />

a number of measures in place to<br />

improve their service.<br />

Michael Boaler, our new Mechanical and<br />

Electrical Services Manager and Bianca Roe,<br />

the Technical Compliance Officer, have worked<br />

hard to improve the service Sure provides.<br />

of Sure’s repairs have<br />

been completed on the<br />

first visit.<br />

boilers have been<br />

replaced due to being<br />

old and inefficient.<br />

of repair appointments<br />

with customers have<br />

been kept.<br />

of tenants have been satisfied<br />

with the work Sure carried<br />

out in their homes.<br />

of reported unsafe appliances<br />

were successfully repaired or<br />

replaced by Sure.<br />

They work alongside each other to ensure<br />

<strong>Connect</strong> achieves compliance in areas such as<br />

gas, electrical safety, Legionella and fire safety.<br />

They act on any dissatisfaction reported by<br />

tenants as well as new laws in this area to<br />

ensure your safety.<br />

The following facts give a flavour of how<br />

well our gas contractor has been doing<br />

since 1st April 2016.<br />

of gas service<br />

certificates are<br />

up-to-date in<br />

line with The<br />

Landlord’s Gas<br />

Safety Record.<br />

Earlier this year<br />

our internal<br />

auditors checked<br />

our systems and<br />

confirmed that we<br />

were effectively<br />

managing gas<br />

safety. Our gas<br />

auditors who<br />

monitor the<br />

quality of the<br />

work also confirm<br />

that the work<br />

is to a high<br />

standard and your<br />

safety is assured.<br />

Michael Boaler<br />

Meet Larry<br />

Riseley – your<br />

new Estates<br />

Officer<br />

Your feedback has<br />

consistently told us<br />

that the appearance<br />

and upkeep of your estate<br />

is very important to you.<br />

At the same time,<br />

<strong>Connect</strong> is obliged to do<br />

all we can to make sure<br />

fire safety equipment<br />

and escape routes in an<br />

emergency are properly<br />

maintained. To meet<br />

these demands, we have<br />

created the new post<br />

of Estates Officer in the<br />

Property Services team.<br />

Larry took up his post<br />

in November and<br />

will be visiting all our<br />

estates every few weeks<br />

specifically to check the<br />

following:<br />

• Regular cleaning and<br />

gardening works are<br />

being done to the<br />

required standard<br />

• Fire safety<br />

arrangements are<br />

working as they<br />

should<br />

He will also deal with<br />

questions and queries<br />

about landlord services<br />

from you. So make sure<br />

you look out for him on<br />

your estate!<br />

INTRODUCING GERTIE<br />

If you would like further information<br />

about gas safety please contact:<br />

HOMES<br />

You’ve heard of Henry the Hoover. Well <strong>Connect</strong> now has<br />

Gertie the Gutter Vac. It’s a brand new piece of equipment,<br />

that makes cleaning out mud and leaves from roof gutters<br />

and drain gulleys so much quicker, safer and cheaper than<br />

the old manual method of ladders or scaffolding.<br />

The Property Services team have been trying it out, and are<br />

ready to start clearing blocked gutters over the winter months.<br />

Bianca Roe, Technical Compliance Officer<br />

T: 0300 5000 600<br />

E: bianca.roe@connecthousing.org.uk<br />

8 9


SAFETY<br />

Stay safe<br />

this Winter<br />

We want to share some practical tips and advice to help<br />

you stay warm and safe in your home this winter.<br />

1 KEEPING WARM 2 FROZEN PIPES<br />

4 GRITTING AND SNOW<br />

• Set your heating timer so that<br />

it comes on early in the day and<br />

switches off when you go to bed.<br />

• The recommended temperature<br />

is between 18 to 21 degrees.<br />

• If you can, keep well stocked with<br />

food in case bad weather prevents<br />

you from getting to the shops.<br />

• Wearing several layers of clothing<br />

will keep you warmer than one<br />

thick layer.<br />

• Keeping active, especially if your<br />

mobility is restricted, will keep<br />

your circulation flowing.<br />

• Make sure that you test your<br />

care and smoke alarms.<br />

3<br />

• If your water pipes have<br />

frozen and you’re without<br />

water, follow the guidance<br />

provided by Yorkshire Water.<br />

• Turn off your stop tap. In most<br />

homes you’ll find this under the<br />

kitchen sink, but it could be located<br />

in a cellar, garage or outbuilding.<br />

Visit: www.yorkshirewater.com/<br />

winterready for more information.<br />

BE HEALTHY<br />

• If you feel unwell but it isn’t an<br />

emergency you can call the NHS<br />

free phone on 111 for medical<br />

help. The hotline is available 24/7.<br />

• The flu vaccination is available on<br />

the NHS to help protect people<br />

who are at risk. Visit www.nhs.uk<br />

to see if you are eligible for a free<br />

flu jab.<br />

• If you have repeat prescriptions<br />

delivered, make sure you order<br />

them in plenty of time, especially<br />

if severe weather is forecast.<br />

We take reasonable steps to maintain<br />

safety by providing grit for use on<br />

key footpaths and communal areas<br />

required for access. We have to risk<br />

assess estates to ensure we get grit to<br />

where it is most needed.<br />

Low Risk: If there’s no grit bin on your<br />

estate you can collect self-help bags<br />

from our offices during prolonged<br />

periods of bad weather.<br />

Medium Risk: During severe winter<br />

conditions we’ll replenish grit bins on<br />

your estate every two weeks. We can’t<br />

spread the grit or clear footpaths.<br />

High Risk: We’ll top up grit supplies<br />

and clear footpaths for older people<br />

and designated supported housing<br />

schemes.<br />

If access by car is directly to your front<br />

gate, the surrounding footpath won’t<br />

be gritted.<br />

We’ll grit high risk estates when<br />

temperatures will not rise above<br />

0°C for three days in a row. Our<br />

staff will visit high risk areas every<br />

three working days depending on<br />

the weather conditions.<br />

5<br />

6<br />

CRIME PREVENTION<br />

• Don’t leave presents under your<br />

Christmas tree if they are visible<br />

from windows or doors.<br />

• If you’re going out, make sure<br />

your house looks occupied by<br />

using a timer switch to operate<br />

lamps as it gets dark and leave<br />

a radio on.<br />

• Keys should always be kept out<br />

of sight and not left near doors<br />

or windows.<br />

INSURANCE<br />

Although we insure the structure<br />

and fittings of the building, your<br />

belongings are not insured by us.<br />

You will need to have home contents<br />

insurance to cover this. If the<br />

unexpected happens, can you afford<br />

not to have insurance?<br />

If you would like help finding<br />

or switching insurance, contact<br />

our Money Matters Team on<br />

0300 5000 600 and they can help.<br />

10<br />

11


OLDER<br />

PEOPLE<br />

Festive<br />

fundraising<br />

Full<br />

of life<br />

On Monday <strong>10th</strong> October, tenants and staff at our older people’s scheme,<br />

Hawthorn Mill in Leeds, celebrated the International Day of Older<br />

Persons (which they do every day, in all honesty!)<br />

The International Day<br />

of Older Persons is an<br />

opportunity to highlight<br />

the important contributions<br />

that older people make to<br />

society and raise awareness<br />

of the issues and challenges<br />

of ageing in today’s world.<br />

Each year, since 1998,<br />

Leeds has celebrated<br />

the International Day<br />

of Older People on<br />

1st October. Celebrations<br />

span for around a week<br />

and a half with a different<br />

theme each time. This year<br />

the theme was Health and<br />

Wellbeing with a focus on<br />

arts and culture.<br />

On the day participants<br />

enjoyed a range of crafty<br />

activities including drawing<br />

and painting on canvases,<br />

a quiz about world culture<br />

and dined on a healthy<br />

lunch.<br />

The participants were<br />

then challenged to make<br />

animal models using only<br />

fruit as materials. The final<br />

creations were fantastic.<br />

The day concluded with<br />

a mini awards ceremony.<br />

<strong>Connect</strong>’s Chief Executive,<br />

Helen Lennon, joined the<br />

event to judge the creations<br />

and awarded trophies and<br />

medals to her favourite<br />

art pieces.<br />

I wasn’t confident<br />

about my drawing<br />

so I was pleasantly<br />

surprised when<br />

I won first place!<br />

I want everybody<br />

to know that it<br />

was a ship on<br />

the sea and not<br />

a submarine<br />

though! I’ve had<br />

a good day, itwas<br />

lovely coming here.<br />

Margaret,<br />

Hawthorn Mill Resident<br />

Hidden Memories is a monthly event held<br />

at our older people’s scheme, Hawthorn Mill.<br />

It’s designed to help people who suffer with<br />

Alzheimer’s disease, dementia or any form<br />

of memory loss. Everybody is welcome to join<br />

these sessions throughout the year.<br />

We have a generous<br />

participant, Donna, who<br />

attends the cafe regularly<br />

with her mother, Winifred.<br />

She found out about the<br />

cafe through a Community<br />

Health Advisor six months<br />

ago and has been attending<br />

with Winifred ever since.<br />

Donna fund-raised for<br />

the Christmas event by<br />

completing a women’s 10k<br />

run at Temple Newsam<br />

and having a bake sale at<br />

her workplace. She raised<br />

£200 which she has donated<br />

towards the entertainment,<br />

activities and banquet at the<br />

annual Christmas party.<br />

I find the cafe<br />

great and very<br />

supportive. My<br />

Mum loves it.<br />

She has made<br />

friends that she<br />

recognises each<br />

month. It’s really<br />

good for people<br />

with dementia<br />

and carers too. It’s<br />

an opportunity to<br />

reduce loneliness<br />

and isolation.<br />

Donna, Daughter<br />

of Cafe participant<br />

If you would like to find out more about<br />

the Dementia Cafe please contact:<br />

Sandra Clibbens, Scheme Manager<br />

T: 0113 2311 561<br />

E: sandra.clibbens@connecthousing.org.uk<br />

The Hidden<br />

Memories Cafe<br />

The Hidden Memories<br />

Cafe runs on the first<br />

Thursday of each month<br />

from 1pm - 3pm at<br />

Hawthorn Mill Sheltered<br />

Housing, Cobden Road,<br />

Lower Wortley, Leeds,<br />

LS12 5HQ. <strong>Get</strong> in touch<br />

if you would like to<br />

attend but please RSVP.<br />

Dementia<br />

Friends<br />

Programme<br />

<strong>Connect</strong> has signed<br />

up to the Alzheimer’s<br />

Society Dementia<br />

Friends programme.<br />

It aims to change<br />

people’s perceptions<br />

of dementia and intends<br />

to transform the way<br />

the nation thinks, acts<br />

and talks about the<br />

condition.<br />

At <strong>Connect</strong> we are<br />

committed to providing<br />

a helpful and reassuring<br />

service to anyone<br />

experiencing dementia.<br />

12 13


Thrive<br />

COMMUNITY<br />

Last year we held <strong>Connect</strong> the Dots – a pop-up festival that gave people<br />

a sneak peek of our new venue in Dewsbury. A year later that space has<br />

become Thrive! We used feedback from tenants, staff and partners to<br />

shape its design.<br />

A let’s get<br />

together<br />

and make<br />

things<br />

happen<br />

community<br />

space.<br />

Music is well known<br />

to be good for our mental<br />

and physical health and<br />

the club brings people<br />

together to sing and play.<br />

All musical abilities<br />

(including beginners)<br />

are welcome.<br />

Guests at the launch learned<br />

from a local knitting group<br />

who are part of The Crafting<br />

Club, which happens every<br />

Friday at Thrive. If you like<br />

sewing, card making and<br />

crafts in general, then this<br />

friendly group is the one<br />

for you!<br />

We’re planning Thrive’s<br />

calendar for 2017. This is<br />

a space for you and your<br />

communities and we would<br />

welcome any ideas about<br />

events and activities you<br />

would like to see, or even<br />

For more information about Thrive, what’s<br />

on or to hire the space please contact:<br />

Nuala Reilly, Community Networker<br />

T: 0300 5000 600<br />

E: info@thriveatconnect.org<br />

better, like to run there.<br />

The CRF are also planning<br />

to have a regular presence<br />

to recruit new members and<br />

join in existing activities.<br />

Could we do something<br />

similar in Leeds? There is a<br />

lot more happening in Leeds<br />

than in Dewsbury and we<br />

never want to duplicate what<br />

others are doing. However,<br />

we are considering how we<br />

can make better use of our<br />

Leeds office and we will keep<br />

you informed of any changes<br />

there.<br />

The September launch<br />

was an opportunity to<br />

show Thrive’s potential<br />

to support tenant and<br />

community activities. We<br />

were delighted to welcome<br />

over 150 people, including<br />

local Councillor, Eric Firth<br />

and MP Paula Sheriff.<br />

In the Creative Space, Lindsey<br />

from <strong>Connect</strong> and Simon<br />

from the Recovery College<br />

promoted a Happiness<br />

Course now being hosted<br />

at Thrive. It focussed on<br />

uncovering the simple,<br />

cost-free habits that help<br />

us live happier lives and<br />

contribute to a more caring<br />

and compassionate society.<br />

We hope to re-run this course<br />

in 2017, so keep a look out for<br />

details of the next sessions<br />

and a future Happy Cafe.<br />

Entertainment was provided<br />

by the Commoner’s Choir<br />

and a young dance group<br />

from Nouveau Wellbeing, a<br />

community interest company<br />

that encourages fitness<br />

and healthy living. They are<br />

running two exercise classes<br />

at Thrive every Thursday;<br />

Buggy Fit: Is a low-impact<br />

postnatal exercise class that<br />

helps ease mums back into<br />

shape from behind a buggy<br />

or pram.<br />

Pre-School Dance: A great<br />

way to prepare under 5’s for<br />

school by singing, dancing<br />

and playing games.<br />

Inspired by the Commoner’s<br />

Choir, every Friday afternoon<br />

Thrive is being filled with<br />

music through a music<br />

club open to everyone.<br />

What’s on at<br />

Thrive at <strong>Connect</strong><br />

We are hosting regular<br />

activities such as<br />

fitness classes, reading<br />

and writing lessons,<br />

craft clubs and music<br />

sessions.<br />

If you would like to know<br />

what’s happening over<br />

the next few months at<br />

Thrive please visit:<br />

www.connecthousing.<br />

org.uk/whatsonthrive<br />

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

/thriveatconnect<br />

@thriveatconnect<br />

14<br />

15


COMMUNITY<br />

What a<br />

wonderful<br />

community<br />

space in<br />

Dewsbury<br />

– so many<br />

activities<br />

and creative<br />

things<br />

happening<br />

Simona Manni<br />

HOMES FOR CATHY<br />

The 16th November 2016<br />

marked the 50th anniversary<br />

of the first showing, by the<br />

BBC of Ken Loach’s film<br />

Cathy Come Home.<br />

It shocked a nation into<br />

action. Within months<br />

Shelter and Crisis had<br />

been formed and housing<br />

associations had been set<br />

up all over the country<br />

(including the two<br />

associations that came<br />

together as <strong>Connect</strong>) with<br />

the aim of helping homeless<br />

people access affordable<br />

housing.<br />

Many of those housing<br />

associations are still around<br />

50 years later, having built<br />

hundreds of thousands of<br />

affordable homes to rent<br />

– but still there are people<br />

living on the streets and in<br />

Bed and Breakfasts. Shelter<br />

estimates 120,000 children<br />

will spend this Christmas in<br />

temporary accommodation.<br />

23 of those original<br />

1960/70s housing<br />

associations, including<br />

<strong>Connect</strong>, have come<br />

together to form the Homes<br />

for Cathy group, aimed<br />

at raising awareness of<br />

the homelessness crisis<br />

and to highlight the need<br />

for more homes and<br />

support for homeless<br />

people. To commemorate<br />

the anniversary, <strong>Connect</strong><br />

showed the film at Thrive<br />

on 7th December 2016<br />

and alongside other<br />

organisations in Leeds<br />

on <strong>10th</strong> December 2016.<br />

Available<br />

for hire<br />

If you are looking for<br />

a space to base your<br />

activities or hold an<br />

event – whether it’s a<br />

meeting room, cafe or<br />

community event then<br />

Thrive is available to hire<br />

for you! We have three<br />

unique spaces available<br />

which are:<br />

A sharing, inspiring,<br />

have a go creative space<br />

A Happy, friendly,<br />

get a brew cafe space<br />

A talking, thinking,<br />

try it out meeting space<br />

<strong>Get</strong> in touch for more<br />

information.<br />

Contact us<br />

hello@thriveatconnect.org<br />

/thriveatconnect<br />

@thriveatconnect<br />

16


Supporting<br />

Communities<br />

Supporting communities has always been one of our priorities. This year, we’ve<br />

created a new approach to neighbourly places. Our vision of a neighbourly place is<br />

where tenants are sociable, approachable and respect each other’s privacy and quality<br />

of life. It is a place where differences are tolerated and misunderstandings or disputes<br />

are tackled by practical conversations.<br />

We are pleased to introduce<br />

our new Community Housing<br />

Officers, who are part of the<br />

Neighbourly Places Team, and<br />

will have a regular presence<br />

in your community. They<br />

manage smaller areas than<br />

in the past which means they<br />

have more time to get to know<br />

local tenants better, deal with<br />

general enquiries and help<br />

build community relationships.<br />

Their priority is to enable<br />

tenants, and other people<br />

living and working in your<br />

local area, to contribute in<br />

creating a neighbourly place.<br />

This is a new approach to<br />

the way that we support<br />

communities by encouraging<br />

and supporting co-operation<br />

and neighbourliness.<br />

It means we won’t be<br />

stepping in to resolve issues<br />

– we’ll be supporting you and<br />

your community to resolve<br />

more issues for yourselves<br />

and provide opportunities<br />

for people in your area to<br />

get together and make<br />

local connections. We still<br />

have a small team that will<br />

deal with the most serious<br />

anti-social behaviour cases<br />

where matters can’t be<br />

resolved in any other way<br />

and will take<br />

tenancy enforcement action<br />

where appropriate.<br />

Over the coming months the<br />

Community Housing Officers<br />

will be in your area finding out<br />

as much as they can about the<br />

local facilities and resources,<br />

the people and organisations,<br />

and the things that matter<br />

to you and the community<br />

where you live. If you have any<br />

questions about this new way<br />

of working and how you can<br />

contribute please ask your<br />

Community Housing Officer.<br />

If you would like more information on our<br />

Neighbourly Places Strategy, please contact:<br />

Ceri Lewis, Neighbourhood Services Manager<br />

T: 0300 5000 600<br />

E: ceri.lewis@connecthousing.org.uk<br />

INTOLERANT<br />

OF INTOLERANCE<br />

Intolerance is the unwillingness to accept views,<br />

beliefs, behaviour, or indeed, people different<br />

to you and yours.<br />

It seems that intolerance is on the increase<br />

in our society. It can show itself in many ways<br />

including what is known as ‘Hate Crime’ which<br />

is harassment or intimidation based on disability,<br />

race, sexual orientation, gender-identity, religion<br />

or belief.<br />

We understand that people may be under a lot<br />

of pressure in the current economic climate which<br />

can make us all less tolerant, but intolerance<br />

ultimately hurts us all.<br />

If you see, or experience hate crime, please let us<br />

know. As well as working with the Police and Local<br />

Authorities, we view hate crimes as a breach of<br />

tenancy which could lead to legal action against<br />

the person committing the act<br />

For information on Hate Crime visit:<br />

www.connecthousing.org.uk/hatecrime<br />

WRAP UP FOR WINTER<br />

<strong>Connect</strong> are proud to be taking part in the Wrap up for<br />

Winter project alongside Leeds and Yorkshire Housing,<br />

Yorkshire Housing and Leeds City Council. The aim<br />

of the project is to collect winter clothes and coats<br />

for homeless people.<br />

We will be accepting donations from now until<br />

Monday 16th January 2017. If you want to help make<br />

a difference and donate some warm clothes, items<br />

can be left at either of our offices in Leeds or Dewsbury.<br />

205 Roundhay Road, Leeds, LS8 4HS<br />

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

The collections will be shared with several charities<br />

at a special event on Friday 20th January 2017 so<br />

that they can distribute to the people who access<br />

their services. The charities who will benefit from<br />

the generous donations are: Leeds Street Outreach,<br />

St George’s Crypt, St Anne’s and Emmaus.<br />

If you would like to know more, please contact<br />

Lisa Longbottom, <strong>Tenant</strong> Involvement Officer<br />

on 0300 5000 600.<br />

COMMUNITY<br />

While we celebrate<br />

our diversity, what<br />

surprises me time<br />

and time again<br />

as I travel around<br />

the constituency<br />

is that we are far<br />

more united and<br />

have far more in<br />

common with each<br />

other than things<br />

that divide us.<br />

The late<br />

Jo Cox, M.P<br />

18


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

MONEY<br />

MATTERS<br />

touch<br />

0300 5000 600<br />

www.connecthousing.org.uk<br />

hello@connecthousing.org.uk<br />

<strong>Connect</strong> 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 />

/<strong>Connect</strong>Housing<br />

@<strong>Connect</strong>Housing<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 />

Dewsbury Office<br />

21 Bond Street<br />

Dewsbury, WF13 1AX<br />

This office is open as usual:<br />

Mon, Tues. Thurs, Fri: 9am - 5pm<br />

Weds: 10.30am - 5pm<br />

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

documents in large 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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