Get Connected Spring 2017

Connect Housing's (charitable housing association in Yorkshire) tenant newsletter.

Connect Housing's (charitable housing association in Yorkshire) tenant newsletter.


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<strong>Spring</strong> <strong>2017</strong><br />

Evolve<br />

New activities for<br />

men in Kirklees<br />

£2,240,000 funding<br />

for new homes<br />

Latest benefit cap<br />

help and advice<br />


2<br />

In this issue:<br />

3 High Five<br />

Latest news and events<br />

4<br />

Affected by the<br />

benefit cap?<br />

Help and advice about<br />

the benefit cap<br />

6 The CRF helped<br />

our heroes<br />

A special guest joined<br />

the CRF general meeting<br />

8 New build<br />

developments<br />

Including £2,240,000<br />

funding for new homes<br />

10<br />

Happy birthday<br />

Our COPS group<br />

is 10 years old<br />

12 Stay safe online<br />

Internet safety tips<br />

14 Evolve Kirklees<br />

New activities group<br />

for men in Kirklees<br />

18 Wrap up for<br />

Winter<br />

Helping those in need<br />

and homeless charities<br />

19 Engage Leeds<br />

Introducing a new<br />

housing support<br />

service in Leeds<br />

Welcome<br />

It’s <strong>Spring</strong> again – the<br />

season that brings new<br />

growth, longer days and<br />

hopefully blue skies.<br />

On that theme, we have lots<br />

of new developments and<br />

opportunities to share.<br />

We’re delighted to welcome<br />

new staff to Connect, who<br />

will be working with us as<br />

part of Engage Leeds, which<br />

you can read more about on<br />

page 19.<br />

We have been allocated<br />

over £2 million funding to<br />

build another 68 new homes<br />

across West Yorkshire.<br />

We’re also using new<br />

technology to develop 10<br />

energy-efficient homes in<br />

Leeds. You can find out more<br />

about this on pages 8-9.<br />

We’re looking for new<br />

tenants to join our Board<br />

– take a look at page 3 to<br />

see how you can help run<br />

Connect and have your say.<br />

The CRF is looking for new<br />

members and you can find<br />

out more on page 6.<br />

Thank you<br />

If you’re over the age of<br />

50 then COPS need you!<br />

They want new people to<br />

help shape older people’s<br />

services – see page 11.<br />

It’s also a year since we gave<br />

<strong>Get</strong> <strong>Connected</strong> a new look.<br />

We’ve had great feedback –<br />

thanks to everyone who got<br />

in touch. If you’d like to be<br />

part of the next issue or give<br />

us feedback we’d love to hear<br />

from you.<br />

Share your<br />

thoughts<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 />

/ConnectHousing<br />

@ConnectHousing<br />

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

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

a big thank you to the Connect Residents Federation (CRF)<br />

and Kevin Mitchell (Help for Heroes); all of the Connect<br />

Older People’s Strategists (COPS) especially Annette and<br />

Chris; everyone from the Hidden Memories Café; Kane and<br />

Kara from Swan Lane; Evolve football coach Jonny Morgan,<br />

volunteer Glen, Kieran and all the Evolve participants; and<br />

Louise Venton who helped us Wrap up for Winter.<br />

High Five<br />

News you can use<br />

Easter closure times<br />

We will be closed on Friday 14th April and Monday 17th April.<br />

For all emergencies including repairs and anti-social behaviour<br />

incidents during this time please call 0300 5000 600.<br />

Be appy!<br />

The allpay app is a free<br />

mobile app that allows<br />

you to make rent payments<br />

from your phone anytime, anywhere.<br />

It’s available to download from the<br />

Apple App Store, Windows Phone<br />

Store or Google Play.<br />

The allpay app is completely secure –<br />

all you need is a payment swipe card.<br />

If you would like to know more or need<br />

to order a payment swipe card just call<br />

us on 0300 5000 600.<br />

May Bank<br />

Holidays<br />

We will be closed<br />

on Monday 1st May and<br />

Monday 29th May. You can<br />

still call 0300 5000 600<br />

and speak to our out-ofhours<br />

service to report<br />

anti-social behaviour or<br />

an emergency repair.<br />

Help run<br />

Connect!<br />

Keeping<br />

Leeds tidy<br />

Connect is proud to be involved with the<br />

Litter Free Leeds movement after attending<br />

the Clean Leeds Conference in February.<br />

The event was run by Leeds City Council<br />

and explored ways in which issues such<br />

as graffiti and littering can be tackled.<br />

Connect will be working with other<br />

organisations to help keep your community<br />

and Leeds litter free. For more information<br />

please visit: www.twitter.com/clean_leeds<br />

We’re on the lookout for another tenant to join<br />

our Board, due to one of our current tenant Board<br />

Members stepping down later this year. It’s an<br />

opportunity for you to help shape the way we deliver<br />

services and have your say. The Board is made up of<br />

volunteers who are responsible for making sure that<br />

we are properly managed and set our future direction.<br />

“Being a Board Member is an opportunity to learn<br />

how Connect is run and to have a say in that yourself.”<br />

Robert Chamberlain, Connect tenant and Board Member<br />

Contact Sobia Iqbal on 0300 5000 600 or<br />

email sobia.iqbal@connecthousing.org.uk<br />


MONEY<br />


MONEY<br />


Affected by the<br />

benefit cap?<br />

About<br />

the service<br />

Money Matters is a free<br />

and confidential service<br />

that provides:<br />

Help with welfare reform<br />

and benefits<br />

Budgeting and debt advice<br />

Ways of reducing fuel<br />

costs and improving<br />

energy efficiency<br />

Digital skills training<br />

Help creating CVs, job<br />

searching, volunteer<br />

and apprenticeship<br />

opportunities<br />

Health and wellbeing<br />

support<br />

We’re here to help<br />

The benefit cap is a government policy that<br />

restricts the total amount a household will be<br />

able to claim in benefits. The cap only applies<br />

to people of working age and does not affect<br />

people of pension credit age.<br />

The first cap was applied in April 2013 and the new<br />

lower cap was rolled out between 7th November 2016<br />

and 30th January <strong>2017</strong>. In some cases, families will<br />

see a reduction of their entire Housing Benefit award,<br />

leaving them with just 50p.<br />

What are the rates?<br />

£384.62<br />

Couple, with or<br />

without children<br />

£384.62<br />

Single parent family<br />

(children living with you)<br />

£257.69<br />

Single person<br />

v<br />

Which benefits are included in the cap?<br />

• Bereavement Allowance<br />

• Child Benefit<br />

• Child Tax Credit<br />

• Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) –<br />

Assessment or Work Related Activity Group<br />

• Housing Benefit (unless you live in<br />

supported/‘specified’ accommodation)<br />

• Income Support<br />

• Job Seeker’s Allowance<br />

• Maternity Allowance<br />

• Widowed Parent’s Allowance<br />

• Widowed Mother’s Allowance<br />

• Widow’s Pension<br />

• Universal Credit<br />

Are any benefits excluded from the cap?<br />

You should be excluded from the cap if you or<br />

your partner receive any of the following:<br />

• Pension Credit<br />

• Working Tax Credit<br />

• Support component of ESA<br />

• Industrial Injuries Benefits<br />

• War Disablement Pension/Armed Forces<br />

Compensation Scheme<br />

• War Widow’s/War Widower’s Pension<br />

• Carer’s Allowance*<br />

• Guardian’s Allowance*<br />

You should be excluded from the cap if you or a<br />

dependent family member receive any of the following:<br />

• Disability Living Allowance (DLA)<br />

• Personal Independence Payment (PIP)<br />

• Attendance Allowance or Constant<br />

Attendance Allowance<br />

• Armed Forces Independence Payment<br />

*Before 7th November 2016 these benefits were included in the cap.<br />

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

If you are concerned about how the benefit<br />

cap will affect you please contact:<br />

Michelle Cox,<br />

Money Matters Team<br />

T: 0300 5000 600<br />

E: moneymatters@<br />

connecthousing.org.uk<br />

What to do if you<br />

can’t afford your<br />

rent shortfall<br />

CHECK<br />

Make sure that the<br />

benefit cap has been<br />

applied correctly. A lot<br />

of errors are being made.<br />

It is important that you<br />

check whether any of the<br />

exclusions apply to you.<br />

APPLY<br />

Some people don’t realise<br />

they are entitled to certain<br />

benefits (particularly PIP<br />

and DLA) that exclude<br />

them from the benefit<br />

cap. Make sure you apply<br />

for any benefits you are<br />

entitled to. You may be<br />

entitled to Discretionary<br />

Housing Payments (DHP)<br />

to help you cover the<br />

shortfall and we can help<br />

you apply.<br />

LOOK<br />

Take a look at your income<br />

and outgoings. Can you<br />

make any savings that<br />

would help you pay the<br />

rent shortfall? We can<br />

help you look at this if<br />

you’re struggling.<br />

4 FIND<br />

The cap doesn’t apply to<br />

people who are working<br />

enough hours to receive<br />

working tax credits.<br />

Finding suitable work<br />

will stop the cap being<br />

applied. We can help<br />

with your job search.<br />

4<br />


CRF<br />

The CRF helped<br />

our heroes<br />

On Tuesday 14th February, the Connect Residents Federation (CRF) held<br />

their bi-monthly general meeting at Hawthorn Mill in Leeds. Their guest<br />

speaker was Kevin Mitchell, a volunteer from Help for Heroes, who spoke<br />

about his experiences and the work of the charity.<br />

Kevin told the CRF about<br />

how the funds they raised<br />

are used to build and support<br />

recovery centres, create<br />

specialised hospitals, provide<br />

travel for families to visit<br />

injured loved ones, deliver<br />

mental health support,<br />

as well as physical and<br />

educational programmes.<br />

He also shared stories of<br />

how the charity helps injured<br />

servicemen and women get<br />

their life on track and live<br />

independently.<br />

This inspired the CRF to<br />

donate generously to the<br />

charity raffle, resulting<br />

in a record breaking CRF<br />

donation of £101!<br />

After a delicious buffet,<br />

members spent the<br />

afternoon chatting and<br />

crafting. They also got<br />

creative and decorated<br />

candle holders and<br />

stained glass ornaments.<br />

It was a great afternoon and<br />

the CRF invite you to come<br />

along and try it for yourself.<br />

I’ve had<br />

the best<br />

afternoon!<br />

I’m really<br />

surprised at<br />

how fun the<br />

meeting was<br />

and I will<br />

definitely<br />

be attending<br />

again.<br />

First-time CRF attendee<br />

Try a taster<br />

session<br />

The CRF is holding a taster<br />

session on Tuesday 16th<br />

May, 11am to 1.30pm in<br />

Leeds. The session will<br />

combine fun activities and<br />

the group will tell you, in<br />

their own words, about the<br />

role of the CRF and what<br />

it means to be a member.<br />

Lunch and transport will<br />

be provided, all you have<br />

to do is book your place.<br />

So if you’re not currently<br />

a member of the CRF, then<br />

this taster session might be<br />

just what you need to help<br />

you decide whether to join.<br />

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

out more about joining the CRF contact:<br />

Lisa Longbottom, Tenant Involvement Officer<br />

T: 0300 5000 600<br />

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

Join the CRF<br />

The CRF is an independent<br />

organisation run by tenants<br />

for tenants. They scrutinise<br />

Connect, help to shape and<br />

improve services and they<br />

want you!<br />

• You don’t have to<br />

attend every meeting<br />

to be a member<br />

• General meetings are<br />

bi-monthly for two hours<br />

• Transport to and from<br />

meetings is provided<br />

by Connect<br />

• The meetings usually<br />

feature a guest speaker,<br />

refreshments, a fun<br />

activity and a charity<br />

raffle<br />

• It’s a great way to<br />

meet other tenants<br />

in a relaxed social<br />

atmosphere<br />

Diary dates<br />

<strong>2017</strong><br />

General meeting:<br />

Tuesday 13th June, 6-8pm<br />

Huddersfield<br />

AGM <strong>2017</strong>:<br />

Tuesday 11th July, 4-7pm<br />

Venue TBC<br />

6<br />


HOMES<br />

HOMES<br />

funding to build<br />

68 new homes<br />

8<br />

We are delighted to announce<br />

that we have been allocated<br />

£2,240,000 from the Homes<br />

and Communities Agency.<br />

With this funding we are planning<br />

to build another 68 new homes<br />

across West Yorkshire as part of<br />

the Shared Ownership Affordable<br />

Homes Programme 2016-2021.<br />

Our programme will also include more<br />

homes to support people experiencing<br />

mental health problems.<br />

We’re thrilled to secure<br />

this funding which helps<br />

us to continue to create<br />

affordable housing in<br />

West Yorkshire. We’re<br />

committed to helping<br />

people who want to step<br />

onto the housing ladder<br />

through our innovative<br />

home ownership options.<br />

Phil Lacey, Senior Development Officer,<br />

Connect Housing<br />

Eco-friendly<br />

living for an<br />

affordable<br />

future<br />

In a first for Connect Housing and<br />

the City of Leeds, we are excited to<br />

share the news that we are building<br />

ten new energy-efficient homes for<br />

low rent in East Leeds.<br />

These two-bedroom properties, located on<br />

Boggart Hill Road in North Seacroft, are<br />

being built to the Passivhaus Low Energy<br />

Building Standard. They will be highly<br />

insulated and airtight with a whole-house<br />

energy-efficient ventilation system. The<br />

homes will have solar panels with battery<br />

storage and an intelligent heating system.<br />

All of which will deliver lower bills for<br />

residents, with energy use for a typical<br />

household expected to be in the region<br />

of £200* per year.<br />

We will work with residents to help them<br />

get the best out of their new home and to<br />

understand the dos and don’ts of living in<br />

a low carbon property.<br />

The new homes will be ready in September<br />

<strong>2017</strong> and the tenancies will be allocated<br />

through Leeds Homes. The scheme is 100%<br />

Affordable Housing and funding of £280,000<br />

has been received as a grant from the<br />

Homes and Communities Agency.<br />

For updates on the progress of<br />

these unique homes visit our blog at<br />

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

*Based on current energy costs and standard industry<br />

modelling.<br />

Connect is really<br />

pushing the<br />

boundaries of low<br />

energy living with<br />

these new properties.<br />

I’m really excited to<br />

see how they turn out<br />

and perform for the<br />

lucky tenants that<br />

get to move in.<br />

Martyn Broadest,<br />

Director of Home, Connect Housing<br />


Happy<br />

Birthday<br />

10<br />

OLDER<br />

PEOPLE<br />

This year our Connect Older People’s Strategists (COPS) are celebrating<br />

their 10th birthday. COPS are a group of tenants aged 50 years and over<br />

who are young at heart and are interested in improving services for older<br />

people at Connect.<br />

The group have achieved a<br />

lot in 10 years. They have<br />

created informative sheltered<br />

housing promotional videos,<br />

leaflets about exercise and<br />

healthy eating and developed<br />

a ‘keepsake of my wishes’<br />

booklet, which many people<br />

have found invaluable.<br />

Members of the group<br />

meet up to three times<br />

a year to discuss areas<br />

in older people’s services<br />

that residents think are<br />

important. Involving tenants<br />

in the design and delivery<br />

of Connect’s services is<br />

an important part of our<br />

strategy. At the meetings<br />

we listen to the group to<br />

discuss any changes they<br />

would like to make to the<br />

services we offer.<br />

The group are extremely<br />

proud of what they have<br />

achieved so far and so are<br />

we! We are grateful to them<br />

for their dedicated work on<br />

behalf of older people and<br />

value the work they do.<br />

To say thank you to the<br />

members, we organised<br />

a celebratory meal to mark<br />

their birthday, which took<br />

place on Thursday 16th<br />

March at Manor Golf Club,<br />

Drighlington.<br />

It was a full house and<br />

all members were in a<br />

celebratory mood. The<br />

group welcomed Sue<br />

Hendry, founder of COPS,<br />

as the guest of honour.<br />

They looked back at the<br />

achievements of the past<br />

10 years and planned a time<br />

capsule (a box containing<br />

items such as the leaflets,<br />

photographs and DVDs)<br />

intended to be opened in<br />

five years by future COPS.<br />

COPS give<br />

people of our<br />

age group a<br />

great service.<br />

We have a good<br />

laugh at every<br />

meeting and<br />

pull each other’s<br />

legs. It’s the<br />

bees knees!<br />

Chris, COPS member<br />

COPS<br />

need you!<br />

Rather than reflecting on<br />

the past, COPS feel it is<br />

important to move forward<br />

and work towards what can<br />

be achieved in the future.<br />

In order to do this, they<br />

would like your help.<br />

If you are a Connect tenant<br />

over the age of 50 and<br />

interested in the services<br />

and wider issues affecting<br />

older people, COPS is<br />

the group for you. You’re<br />

welcome to join a session<br />

and meet like-minded<br />

people, have fun and help<br />

design the services.<br />

The group meets three<br />

times a year (usually at<br />

Hawthorn Mill in Leeds) and<br />

tenants from all areas and<br />

walks of life are welcome.<br />

Connect can arrange free<br />

transport to and from the<br />

meetings and lunch and<br />

refreshments are also<br />

provided.<br />

Each session involves a<br />

bit of ‘work’ together and<br />

a bit of fun thrown into the<br />

mix. It’s a time to chat and<br />

make new friends.<br />

If you are interested in<br />

joining COPS, contact:<br />

Sarah Lumb, Senior<br />

Scheme Manager<br />

T: 0113 2311 561<br />

E: sarah.lumb@<br />

connecthousing.org.uk<br />


Back in December, our Hidden Memories Café<br />

hosted their annual Christmas party. It was<br />

bigger than ever before, with entertainment,<br />

a huge banquet and fun activities.<br />

The success of the party was all down to a generous<br />

volunteer, Donna, who raised £200 towards the<br />

Christmas bash. There was live entertainment from<br />

a fantastic singer who got everyone on their feet, singing<br />

their hearts out and dancing like nobody was watching!<br />

There were Christmas games with many presents, festive<br />

activities and fabulous food.<br />

Fortunately, you don’t have to wait until next Christmas<br />

to join in the fun – the Hidden Memories Café happens<br />

on the first Thursday of every month from 1pm until 3pm<br />

at Hawthorn Mill in Leeds. It’s designed to support people<br />

who suffer with Alzheimer’s disease, dementia or any<br />

form of memory loss. It’s proven to help with isolation<br />

and loneliness amongst its participants.<br />

The café also welcomes people who care for dementia<br />

sufferers, such as carers and relatives, who may find<br />

it beneficial to chat to other people in similar situations.<br />

If you would like to attend the Hidden<br />

Memories Café or find out more, contact:<br />

Louise Clark, Scheme Manager<br />

T: 0113 2311 561<br />

E: louise.clark@connecthousing.org.uk<br />


SAFETY<br />


Stay<br />

safe<br />

online<br />

We spoke to two young residents,<br />

Kara and Kane at our Swan Lane<br />

scheme, who have recently taken<br />

part in some internet safety sessions.<br />

They’ve put together some helpful<br />

tips on how to keep your private<br />

information safe and protect<br />

yourself from computer crime.<br />

The internet can be a valuable and fun<br />

resource for entertainment, making<br />

friends, keeping in touch and learning.<br />

However, there are also a number of<br />

risks associated with going online so it<br />

is important to learn how to stay safe<br />

when you’re ‘logged on’.<br />

Most of us are connected via our laptops,<br />

mobile phones, tablets or personal<br />

computers, which means there are<br />

many potential risks and dangers<br />

of being online. These can include<br />

inappropriate content, communicating<br />

with people you don’t know, fraud or<br />

identity theft and sharing personal<br />

information with unsafe sites.<br />

There are a number of simple measures<br />

which you can take to protect yourself<br />

against these risks. The precautions are<br />

as simple as choosing safe passwords<br />

and ensuring you have the right security<br />

software installed, to learning how<br />

to distinguish between genuine and<br />

fraudulent websites and emails.<br />

10 golden rules<br />

for being cyber smart<br />

Don’t give out personal information<br />

such as your address or phone<br />

number.<br />

Don’t give out your password.<br />

Your bank will never ask for your<br />

password via email or on social<br />

media but there are a lot of scams<br />

that will do.<br />

On social media, be careful who<br />

you accept as a friend. Only add<br />

people that you know.<br />

Check that a website is secure and<br />

genuine before entering personal<br />

information. Secure sites such as<br />

banks will have a small padlock<br />

symbol in the address bar or in<br />

your browser window and a web<br />

address beginning with https://<br />

(the s stands for ‘secure’).<br />

Don’t open emails or attachments<br />

from people you don’t know. They<br />

could contain harmful viruses.<br />

Use a strong password. Use a<br />

mix of numbers, lower-case and<br />

upper-case letters and avoid<br />

words connected to your name<br />

or date of birth.<br />

Be aware when you post personal<br />

pictures or videos on social media<br />

– once you put a picture online it<br />

can be viewed by most people.<br />

Do not bully anybody online.<br />

Be respectful to other people,<br />

even if you don’t agree with them.<br />

If you’re using a public or shared<br />

device, make sure you log out of<br />

any accounts you have used in<br />

the session.<br />

Never arrange to meet someone<br />

who you’ve met online alone.<br />

Made for men of all ages, Evolve is a new way<br />

of getting active and trying something different.<br />

Find out more on pages 14-17 >>><br />

12 13

Something<br />

great is<br />

evolving<br />

Evolve Kirklees offers sporting and creative activities for all men,<br />

no matter what their skill level, ability or experience. This new project<br />

was created by our very own Support Services team and is run by<br />

volunteers. We went along to one of the weekly football sessions<br />

at The Zone in Huddersfield to see what it was all about.<br />

The first thing that struck<br />

us when we arrived was<br />

the friendly, buzzing<br />

atmosphere. The staff<br />

and volunteers warmly<br />

welcomed the participants<br />

as they made their way onto<br />

the pitch.<br />

To kick things off Coach<br />

Jonny warmed up the<br />

players with various<br />

exercises and taught the<br />

group a new skill. Then<br />

it was time to play some<br />

matches and for the teams<br />

to put their new skills to<br />

the test.<br />

When the teams are on the<br />

sideline, it is an opportunity<br />

for them to catch their<br />

breath, have refreshments<br />

and chat to other players<br />

and volunteers.<br />

Feedback shows that these<br />

sessions are helping people<br />

make new friends, providing<br />

hours of weekly escapism,<br />

improving fitness, teaching<br />

new skills and offering<br />

support.<br />

These football sessions<br />

are just the start. The word<br />

Evolve means to develop<br />

gradually – and that’s the<br />

plan for this project, that it<br />

will be shaped by feedback<br />

and ideas. Future activities<br />

planned include rugby,<br />

photography and gardening<br />

– all things the men taking<br />

part so far have said they’d<br />

like to see happening.<br />

Evolve Kirklees is run by Connect<br />

Housing and funded by Kirklees<br />

Council, NHS North Kirklees<br />

Clinical Commissioning Group, and<br />

NHS Greater Huddersfield Clinical<br />

Commissioning Group.<br />

KIERAN<br />

Kieran has been playing<br />

football with Evolve for eight<br />

weeks. He spoke to us about<br />

his experience so far.<br />

Q. How did you hear<br />

about Evolve?<br />

A. I found out about Evolve<br />

from my brother. I’ve been to<br />

every session. I keep coming<br />

back because I enjoy it.<br />

Q. There are lots of teams<br />

out there – why Evolve?<br />

A. It’s fun and I enjoy meeting<br />

new people from different<br />

countries. I get to mingle with<br />

new people instead of seeing<br />

the same old faces. I learn a<br />

lot from different cultures, so<br />

it’s really good. Everyone joins<br />

in and has a laugh, everyone<br />

talks and gets along – that’s<br />

what football does.<br />

Community is all about team<br />

work, it’s how it is. For the<br />

love of the game of football,<br />

that’s what we do it for.<br />

Q. What Evolve activity would<br />

you like to try next?<br />

A. Anything that is a new<br />

experience and is good for my<br />

CV and to build opportunities.<br />

I wouldn’t mind playing a bit<br />

of badminton. I’m a sporty<br />

person, I like to run and keep<br />

myself fit, that’s my number<br />

one priority.<br />

Q. Would you recommend<br />

Evolve?<br />

A. Yes, definitely. I’ve already<br />

recommended it to a few<br />

friends and they now attend.<br />

We keep getting more people<br />

to join as we’re advertising<br />

through word of mouth and<br />

Facebook. It’s going to get<br />

bigger and we’ll have to book<br />

more pitches!<br />

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

If you’re interested<br />

in getting involved in<br />

Evolve, please contact:<br />

0300 5000 900<br />

evolve@connect<br />

housing.org.uk<br />

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


Keep up to date with<br />

Evolve via social media<br />

/EvolveKirklees<br />

@EvolveKirklees<br />

It’s fun and I enjoy<br />

meeting people from<br />

different countries.<br />

I get to mingle with new<br />

people instead of seeing<br />

the same old faces.<br />

Kieran<br />

14 15

Volunteers who<br />

make it work<br />

Q. What did you enjoy about<br />

your first session last week?<br />

A. I was amazed at the<br />

amount of people who<br />

showed up to the football<br />

session. It’s only been<br />

going for about two months<br />

and they’re getting a good<br />

response. Some of the<br />

people that are here are<br />

going through problems, so<br />

it’s good escapism for them.<br />

Q. Would you recommend<br />

volunteering?<br />

A. Yes, I would recommend<br />

it because it’s a very good<br />

experience. It all came to<br />

light because of Cheryl,<br />

she saw something in me<br />

that I couldn’t see. That’s<br />

why I am here.<br />

When you see them playing<br />

football, it’s like the world has<br />

been lifted off their shoulders.<br />

They look happier. Football is an<br />

international language – half of<br />

the players can’t talk to each other<br />

because of a language barrier,<br />

but they point and understand.<br />

Glen, Volunteer<br />


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

becoming a volunteer please contact:<br />

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

T: 0300 5000 653<br />

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

The Evolve project is possible because of the volunteers who generously<br />

give their time to help run it. These volunteers are part of Connect’s<br />

volunteering scheme - which helps people gain valuable experience and<br />

make positive changes to both their own lives and the lives of others.<br />

GLEN<br />

We caught up with Glen (pictured left)<br />

a Connect tenant who helps out at the<br />

football sessions through our volunteering<br />

programme.<br />

Q. How did you find out about Evolve?<br />

A. Cheryl from Connect‘s Money Matters<br />

team put me onto the possibility of doing<br />

social work. I mentioned that I wanted to<br />

try something different as originally I was<br />

an engineer but I got made redundant, so<br />

I was trying to work out what type of job<br />

I wanted to get into. She said because I’m<br />

a people person, that I should give it a try.<br />

She put me in contact with Tom, the<br />

Volunteer Services Co-ordinator at<br />

Connect, who interviewed me.<br />

He felt that I was good at talking and<br />

expressing myself, so I might be good at<br />

volunteering. I thought I would give it a try.<br />

Q. How are you finding volunteering<br />

at Evolve?<br />

A. The more I am doing it, the more I’m<br />

thinking, “yeah, there’s something really<br />

good here”. The reason I got into social work<br />

is because men don’t usually talk about their<br />

problems, so I wanted to be someone who<br />

could help men to be more open and talk<br />

about themselves.<br />

My CV looked a bit empty, so the more things<br />

I do, the fuller it will get. My friends always<br />

come to me with their problems, I am like<br />

a psychiatrist sometimes! I never knew,<br />

but Tom saw it in me.<br />

16 17

Wrap up<br />

for Winter<br />

Wrap up for Winter was a successful project that collected warm clothes for<br />

several local homeless charities in December 2016. It was a collaboration<br />

between Connect Housing, Leeds and Yorkshire Housing, Yorkshire Housing,<br />

and Leeds City Council.<br />

Engage<br />

Leeds<br />

Housing support services in Leeds are changing.<br />

Connect is proud to be part of a new city-wide<br />

visiting housing support service which launched<br />

on Monday 3rd April <strong>2017</strong>.<br />

The new service is called Engage Leeds and we will<br />

be working alongside our partner organisations, GIPSIL,<br />

BARCA and Riverside, to help people reach their goals<br />

and move towards independence.<br />

This represents a significant increase in Connect’s<br />

provision of support services in Leeds. We look forward<br />

to telling you more about the Engage service in the next<br />

edition!<br />


Engage Leeds<br />

will help:<br />

• Prevent homelessness<br />

• People sustain their<br />

accommodation<br />

wherever possible<br />

• People integrate into<br />

their local communities<br />

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

www.engageleeds.org.uk<br />

@Engage_Leeds<br />

Winter is an especially<br />

tough time for those who<br />

are vulnerable, homeless<br />

or in fuel poverty, and with<br />

an estimated 3,569 people<br />

sleeping on the streets every<br />

night in the UK, we wanted<br />

to do our part and help out<br />

in any way we could.<br />

Each organisation<br />

collected donations from<br />

their tenants, staff and<br />

contractors. The collections<br />

were shared with several<br />

charities at an event at<br />

Leeds Civic Hall on 20th<br />

January. The charities were<br />

Leeds Street Outreach, St<br />

Georges Crypt, St Anne’s<br />

and Emmaus and they all<br />

distributed the warm clothes<br />

to people who access their<br />

services.<br />

In total, we collected<br />

over 40 bags of winter<br />

clothes and coats! But the<br />

collection didn’t stop there.<br />

After speaking with the<br />

charities involved, it became<br />

apparent that there was a<br />

great need for toiletries too.<br />

Bradford-based company<br />

McBride stepped in and<br />

donated a whopping 15<br />

bags of toiletries. A huge<br />

heartfelt thank you goes out<br />

to everybody who donated<br />

and helped make this<br />

project a huge success.<br />

The project<br />

has made a<br />

real difference<br />

to those in<br />

need and it’s<br />

great to hear<br />

such positive<br />

feedback from<br />

the charities.<br />

We were all<br />

overwhelmed<br />

by the donations<br />

we received –<br />

thank you!<br />

Lisa Longbottom,<br />

Connect Housing<br />

18<br />


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

MONEY<br />


touch<br />

0300 5000 600<br />

www.connecthousing.org.uk<br />

hello@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 />

/ConnectHousing<br />

@ConnectHousing<br />

Leeds Office<br />

205 Roundhay Road<br />

Leeds, LS8 4HS<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 />

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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