Grapevine - December 2018

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Latest News from Tai Tarian



Page 4 - Tai Tarian and Police Working Together

Page 6 - New Homes Open

Page 18 - Discover Haven at Tai Tarian


In this issue...

















End High Cost Credit

Campaign Continues

Tai Tarian and Police Working

Together to Make Communities


New Homes Open

Universal Credit – One Year On

Hard Work Pays off for Kyle

Dean’s Day

Handyperson Service

Talbot Reds – More than

just rugby

Domestic Abuse – Help is

at Hand

Mobility Scooters

Discover Haven at Tai Tarian

Community Challenge


On the Board

Christmas Recipe

Christmas Opening Hours



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Carrying out annual gas safety

checks is extremely important

and could save your life.

Tenants who keep their annual gas safety check

appointment are entered into a monthly prize

to win a £50 gift card courtesy of Westward

Energy Services.

For the latest news from

Tai Tarian, follow us on

social media.



Our work with actor Michael Sheen to help

people in the local community who are struggling

with debt is picking up pace.

Earlier in the year we became key members of

an organisation called the End High Cost Credit

Alliance which was founded by Sheen and aims

to tackle the unfair targeting of high cost credit at

those who can least afford it.

This work is being driven locally by the recently

launched Wales Affordable Credit Action group.

This is led by our organisation and includes

partners such as Credit Unions Wales, Principality

Building Society, Public Health Wales and Neath

Port Talbot Council for Voluntary Service.

We are committed to working with communities

to come up with solutions to the problems of

high cost credit and as part of this work have set

up a confidential group called Making Money

Work Better.

This group, which is made up of tenants and local

members of the community, have been bravely

sharing their stories of struggling with debt to help

us understand the reality of their experiences.

Together we hope to find ways of helping people

to manage their money better and provide

financial advice and support to those in need.

Two members of the group recently shared their

stories at the Wales Talk Money Conference, led

by the Money Advice Service, at Cardiff Castle.

The event was part of a special Talk Money

Week that aimed to encourage everyone to have

an open conversation about money so people

can feel more in control and know that help is


Another area of progress that is being made is the

launch of a new training programme that will help

our staff to have the confidence to talk to you

if you have any financial worries, offer support

and signpost you to services that can offer debt


For more information on the

work of the Alliance please visit






Tai Tarian and South Wales Police have got

together to help combat anti-social behaviour

in our communities. Frontline staff from both

organisations got together back in September to

discuss ideas and to come up with a plan on how

to tackle the problem.

Following a day of discussion, three priorities

were identified. These were:

• More visible joint patrols

• Community drop in sessions

• Better sharing of information between

both organisations

So, with the new priorities agreed, one of our

first joint patrols took place in the Melyn and

Cimla areas. Staff from our Tenancy Relations

team and community police offers visited

communities where anti-social problems had

previously been reported. They spoke to residents

and gave advice on what to do if problems reoccurred.

This new joint working partnership is already

bearing fruit with two people losing their flats due

to anti-social behaviour.

Speaking about the new closer working

arrangements, PC Rhys Thomas from the

Neath Community Policing team said:

“Working in partnership with Tai Tarian is

important. We might have information that’s

useful to Tai Tarian and they may have

information that’s useful to us. Sharing this

information and working together sends a

strong message to the community that we

are here, we are doing what we can and we

will fight back against anti-social behaviour.”

Tai Tarian’s Tenancy Relations Manager is

Claire Michael. She said:

“We are aware of the problems in our

communities and we are working hard to

resolve them. We are being pro-active and

by working with the police we will get

problems solved. The closer the relationship

we have with them the better.

We can’t work in isolation, we can’t tackle

anything on our own. We need to work together.”



As part of this new partnership, Tai Tarian and

South Wales Police have opened their first

community drop-in office.

The office is situated at Flat 36, Bush Row,

Melyn. It is designed for locals to pop in and

have a chat with our Tenancy Relations Officer

or local police officers about any housing,

policing or safety issues you may have.

The office is open on Mondays, Wednesdays

and Thursdays between 11am-3pm. Pop in

and say hello, no appointment is necessary.

More drop-in centres are planned for other

areas of Neath Port Talbot in the new year.

Keep an eye out for details of when they’re

coming to your community.

If you wish to report anti-social behaviour in your community please contact your

Tenancy Relations Officer on 0300 777 0000 or contact the police by calling 101.

In an emergency call 999.



It’s been an exciting couple of months for us with

the opening of three new housing developments.

Back in September, two new bungalows on

Moorland Road in Sandfields were let.

Amongst the first tenants to move in was Mrs

Siimei Hui, husband Tatkwong and son Siwai.

She said she was thrilled with her new home:

“Our new home is perfect for my husband who

has recently suffered a stroke. It’s all on the

ground floor so is really easy to get around. I’m

so happy, we all are, it is so lovely both inside

and outside, and I know we are going to enjoy

living here.”

Following on from Moorland Road, we opened

up four new flats at Wembley in Melyn. Tenants

moved in there in October.

Our biggest development was on the site of our

old Cartref flats in Skewen. Following demolition

of the old complex, 12 new flats, four houses and

a bungalow were constructed.

Tenants started moving into their new homes last


Elsewhere, construction is continuing on

building eight new homes at Llys Wern in

Caewern, Neath whilst we will also be converting

an old office block into flats at Llansawel

Crescent, Briton Ferry.

School Competition Winner

Our new properties at Cwrt Cartref were built

by local firm, Hale Construction.

During the work, they ran a competition in

conjunction with nearby Coedffranc Primary

School, asking pupils to design a safety

poster to warn of the dangers playing on

building sites.

After sifting through all the entries, Tilly Myatt-

Cook’s design was chosen as the winner. She

was presented with a digital camera, with

the runners up receiving book vouchers. The

school was also presented with a laptop as

a thank you for putting pupils forward to take

part in the competition.

David Harrhy, Hale Construction’s Managing

Director said: “As a local company we believe

strongly in engaging with the community in

which we work and asking the children of

Coedffranc Primary School to design safety

posters allows us to do just that. It also

reinforces the very important message that

building sites are dangerous places.”

Tilly’s poster will now be displayed at all Hale

Construction sites across Wales.




It’s over a year since Universal Credit started

being rolled out across Neath and Port Talbot

jobcentre areas. During this time, our Universal

Credit team has helped hundreds of tenants

claim this new benefit and over the next four

years, will be helping many more claimants.

Universal Credit replaces six benefits and tax

credits; Income-based Jobseekers Allowance,

Income-related Employment and Support

Allowance, Income Support, Child Tax Credit,

Working Tax Credit and Housing Benefit.

It’s for working age people and is paid to those

in or out of work, to carers, and those too ill to

work. It’s a means tested benefit so entitlement

depends on income, savings, and personal


Payment is made once a month, paid directly into

a bank account. It is paid one month in arrears

based on income and circumstances during

an assessment period. So far, only people who

have had certain changes in their circumstances

have had to claim Universal Credit. This is called

natural migration.

However, it is expected that from July 2019

until 2024, the Government will start a rolling

programme to invite those in receipt of the six

main benefits to claim Universal Credit. This is

called managed migration.

It’s important that you know that Universal Credit

has to be claimed online and is managed in an

online journal.

An advance loan can be applied for in the first

month to help claimants manage their essential

bills. This includes an amount for housing costs

which you must use to pay your rent. This will

help to reduce the money you owe us.

If you have any queries or concerns about

Universal Credit please contact our team

for advice on 01639 315000.

Reporting Changes

If you are on Universal Credit and have any

changes in your circumstances, then it is your

responsibility to notify the Department of Work

and Pensions. Failure to report a change ‘on time’

can result in underpayments and overpayments -

and a Civil Penalty or Sanction can be imposed.

Changes to report

• Changes to the household

• Changes in income/savings

• Finishing and starting work

• Rent changes

• Becoming sick

• Caring responsibilities

• Moving home

Jargon Busting

Universal Credit brings with it a lot jargon which

can be tricky to understand! Here’s a snapshot of

some common terms.

• Claimant Commitment – the agreement you

sign prior to receiving money

• Journal – your online UC account

• Alternative Payment Arrangement (APA) –

a managed payment of UC where rent money is

paid direct to landlords

• Advance – a sum of money paid at start of

a UC claim to help you manage until your first

payment. This has to be repaid.

• Personal Budgeting Support – help to budget

monthly UC payments

• Digital Support – help to claim UC online and

to manage online claim

• Third party deductions – deductions from UC

payment direct to a landlord for rent arrears

• Work coach – Jobcentre employee who will

help with claims

• Case manager – the person responsible for

managing UC claims

• Natural Migration – being moved to Universal

Credit when making a new claim due to a

change in personal circumstances

• Managed Migration – When existing benefit

claimants are moved on to Universal Credit




Local people are being given opportunities

to develop their careers, thanks to one of our

initiatives. Special clauses included in contracts

ensure that any company working with us

must provide a benefit to the community. This

can include a commitment to employing local

people or contributing to local projects.

One company who has committed to this

scheme is SERS Energy Solutions, who install

wall insulation. Having won the contract

to carry out the external refurbishment of

properties in the Sandfields area of Port Talbot,

the company committed to employing local


Kyle Johnson, 27, is one of the workers

employed as a result. Having joined SERS

via an agency earlier this year, Kyle has now

secured a permanent, full time position with the


Speaking about the role, Kyle said, “I’m really

grateful for the opportunity SERS and Tai Tarian

have given me. I started as a semi-skilled

roofer, but I’ve now been able to learn new

skills and develop my career.

“I’m continuing to develop thanks to SERS’

training plan and am looking forward to the


Mike Roberts, Managing Director of SERS

Energy Solutions said, “As a leading external

housing refurbishment contractor, we

recognise the importance of giving back to

the communities in which we operate and fully

support Tai Tarian’s initiative.

“We are delighted with the progress Kyle has

made since joining us and is now an integral

part of the site team.

“He shows a tremendous attitude and

commitment, and his work is of the highest

standard. This has been noticed by tenants,

who regularly tell us what a pleasure it is to

have him work on their homes.”

Tai Tarian’s Senior Liaison Officer, Steve Grey

has been heavily involved in the refurbishment


He said, “Our social clauses are an important

part of our contracts and show that we invest in

people as well as our properties.

“This means that the wider community benefits

from our investments and can contribute to

solving long-standing social issues affecting

Neath Port Talbot.

“We are thrilled that Kyle has seized this

opportunity and we wish him a long and

successful career.”



If we’ve ever carried out a repair at your

home, chances are you will have met one of

our inspectors.

We have 10 of them plus two assistants based

around Neath Port Talbot and they are the ones

who will visit your home to take a look at what

needs fixing and arranging for any work

to be carried out. They’ll also oversee the work

and keep you updated on what’s happening.

One of our most experienced inspectors is Dean

and we recently spent the day with him to get an

idea of what his role involves.

Like all the other inspectors, Dean has a particular

area which he oversees. His covers the Skewen,

Longford, Cadoxton and Caewern areas of


Originally a carpenter, Dean became an inspector

five years ago. Talking about his job, he said:

“It’s quite a hectic role but one I enjoy doing as

it allows me to get out and about and meet our

tenants. I have to mix inspecting properties with

supervising staff whilst also being alert to any

problems or issues our tenants may be facing.

We meet Dean at 8am at Tai Tarian headquarters

where he’s going through the list of visits he has

to make that day.

Once those calls have been loaded on to his iPad

we jump in his van and head to the first property

of the day in Skewen.

The tenant has reported a leak from her shower

coming in to the kitchen below. After a quick

investigation, Dean spots where the leak is

coming from and makes and adjustment to

stop it happening again. He also arranges for a

plasterer to visit and repair the damaged ceiling.

Our next call is to a house on an adjoining street.

The Tai Tarian Housing team have asked

Dean to carry out an inspection of a property

where the tenants have applied for a house swap.

He takes a look around and can’t see any issues.

He reports back to the team that he is happy with

the condition of the house and that the swap

can go ahead.

The next call is to our Godrecoed Haven scheme

in Cadoxton. Dean has received reports from the

tenants of a communal door not closing properly.

Dean quickly identifies the problem and repairs it

himself. He says:

“If I come across a job like this, that can easily

and quickly be fixed, it makes sense that I

repair it myself rather than booking a carpenter

to come out to do it. It means there is less

disruption for our tenants and the problem

gets sorted quicker.”

He reports what he has done to one of the

tenants. Whilst there, she makes him aware that

the lino on the central staircase is coming away.

Dean takes a look and decides that this could

be a potential trip hazard. As he isn’t carrying

the necessary equipment to fix it himself, he

immediately calls one of team who’s working

nearby to come around straight away to fix it.


From Cadoxton, we make our way to Bryncoch

and the final call of the day. The tenant has

reported the ceiling in her living room has been

damaged. Dean takes a look and decides that it

needs re-plastering. Before booking in a plasterer,

Dean must check the asbestos register. Properties

of this age can have asbestos in their ceilings, and

although he doesn’t think it is present here, he

needs to make sure.

He calls our asbestos team who check our

register. They confirm that there is no asbestos

present and so Dean goes on to book the

plasterer in.

Whilst at this address, the tenant alerts us to a

problem with the floor in her daughter’s bedroom.

Dean takes a look and sees that some of the

floorboards have come loose and so books for

a carpenter to come and fix them. He arranges

for both the plasterer and carpenter to attend on

the same day so disruption to the tenant is kept

to a minimum.

On our way back to the office, Dean tells us how

his role has evolved over the years.

“Technology has improved a lot over the past

five years. We all carry iPads, so when we

come across a job that needs doing, we can

book it in there and then. We can see instantly

who is available to do the job and liaise directly

with the tenant about what day or time suits

them the best. We can also book any materials

needed and take pictures to show exactly

what needs doing. It has freed up a lot of time.

In my opinion, one of the most important

aspects of my role is good communication.

We’re going into people’s homes and so it’s

important that I clearly explain to them what

work we’re going to be doing and when we

will be doing it. Hopefully, by doing this we can

really help to make a difference to our tenants

and their homes.”

Meet the Repairs team

Our inspectors are part of our Property

Maintenance team who all work together

to help fix any problems in your home.

The team is made up of our inspectors, assistant

inspectors, planners and our tradesmen and women.




Did you know you can now use Time Credits to

pay for our Handy Person service?

It is a scheme designed by staff and tenants to

reward you for your involvement with Tai Tarian.

‘Credits’ are earned based on the time you

volunteer with Tai Tarian which can then be

exchanged for a range of services or activities in

the community.

One tenant who has been collecting Time

Credits is Hilary Blundon from Crynant. They

were earned through volunteering on various

Tai Tarian projects and used them to pay from

gardening work, courtesy of Melvyn, Tai Tarian’s

Handy Person.






When Becky Watt decided she wanted to take up

rugby but couldn’t find a suitable women’s team

to join, there was only one thing to do - set up

her own.

So, in November 2017, after many months of

hard work, dedication, meetings and phone calls,

the Talbot Reds were born. Becky explains how it

all came about:

“When I decided to take up rugby I was shocked

to find that the only two established women’s

teams in the area were in Morriston or Seven

Sisters - that was too far me to travel.

Also, I’d never played rugby before and had no

idea if I’d be any good at it, so the thought of

walking into a team of established, experienced

players made me a feel little bit nervous.

“That’s when I had the thought that if I wanted

to play, but couldn’t find a suitable team, then

there must be others in the same boat as me. So

I started looking in to how I could set up a brand

new team.

“I spoke to some friends at Cwmafan RFC who

said they would help us, and then got the backing

of the Welsh Rugby Union to set one up.

“A friend of mine then sent out a Facebook

message asking who might be interested in

playing. We had about seven responses initially,

but from there word started to spread.

Within 24 hours of setting up our Facebook

group, we had 48 followers. Within a week that

number had grown to 90, with 30 of them saying

they wanted to play.

“We recruited a coach, and held our first training

session, and from there things have gone from

strength to strength.”

The new club prides itself on being open and

welcoming to all, whether or not they have played

rugby before. It attracts both experienced players

and women who are totally new to the sport.

Becky said:

“Of the girls who turned up to the first session,

only six had any sort of rugby experience. The

rest of us were totally new to the sport and had

never touched a rugby ball before. They were

nervous and lacked both confidence and the

most basic of rugby skills. It was tricky for our

coach to plan training sessions that kept the

experienced players interested but weren’t too

daunting for our newcomers. But just a year later,

they’re all getting stuck in and there’s no stopping

them now.”

Next season they hope to enter the league

system, but have to play 10 friendlies first:

“We put off playing games initially as we wanted

to get all the girls up to a certain standard first.

We didn’t want

to rush in, injure

people and put

them off. We’ve

now played

four of those 10

games with the

rest scheduled for

later in the season.

Getting into the

league would be a

huge boost for us.

It would give us

greater exposure

and find it easier

to attract players

and sponsors.”

For Becky though, setting up this team was about

far more than just rugby. She wants it to be a hub

of the community and be a place that gives social

opportunities to those who otherwise might feel


“Part of the reason for setting this team up was

to get girls with little or no social life out of the

house and to meet new people. We want the club

to evolve into a community initiative, whether it’s

to help to tackle isolation, support people with

mental health problems or simply giving people

the opportunity to get fit. I have lots of ideas,

including setting up a walking rugby team aimed

at older people. We can do so much more than

just play rugby.

The club continues to go from strength to

strength and is continuing to attract new players.

“We welcome anyone over the age of 18 – any

ability, any fitness level, any experience. They can

join at any time, there’s no need to wait until the

start of the season. We can also help arrange lifts

to training for anyone who can’t get there or lend

each other kit if needed. It’s a proper team effort

and we all support and help each other.

“Anyone who feels nervous about joining just

needs to remember that most of us were in their

position this time last year, so you’ll get plenty of

support and encouragement from us.

“We’ve come so far in just over a year. Looking

back when we started we had no pitch, no

coach, no kit, no clue! We’ve come so far in such

a short space of time and if we continue in the

same vein then the future for women’s rugby in

Port Talbot is looking very bright.”

Anyone interested in joining the Talbot Reds can

find out more information by searching for Talbot

Reds on Facebook.

Give us a try!

Tai Tarian tenant, Lauren, is just one of the

girls to have joined the Talbot Reds. She said:

“It’s such an exciting time to be part of the

Talbot Reds team. I’ve made so many new

friends since joining and I really enjoy getting

stuck into the training and playing in the games.

I would say to anyone thinking about joining

to just come and try it out. We welcome

anyone, of any ability and there is always

someone on hand if you need any help or

advice. Come and give it a go.”




One in four women and one in six men, will experience

domestic abuse at some point in their life.

There are different types of domestic abuse, including

physical, psychological, sexual, financial and

emotional abuse, and being cut off from your family

and friends. It is one person taking control of another

and using their power over you. Once domestic

abuse has started it often becomes more frequent

and more violent.

Domestic violence is not acceptable. If you are

affected by domestic violence then help is at hand.

If you are in immediate danger then call the police.

You can also seek advice from your Tenancy Relations

Officer or contact one of the organisations listed here.

Talking about domestic violence helps. Talk to

a trusted friend, family member or professional.

Remember, you are not alone!

Who can help?

If you are affected by domestic abuse or sexual

violence, or are worried about a friend or relative

who is, you can call the Live Fear Free Helpline

for free, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

The helpline provides confidential support and

information on domestic abuse, sexual violence

and violence against women in Wales.

Call them on 0808 80 10 800

You can also call into the One Stop Shop in

Neath for support and advice.

Where - No 17, Victoria Gardens,

Neath, SA11 3AY

When - Open Monday – Friday, 10am – 3pm

Call 01639 622 350 for more information



Hoarding is when someone collects a large number of

items and stores them in a cluttered and disorganised

way in their home. It is considered a problem when

the amount of possessions clutters the living spaces

and stops the person from using their rooms as they

were intended. It can also adversely affect their ability

to undertake day-to-day activities.

Estimates suggest that serious hoarding problems

affect around 100,000 people in Wales. If not tackled,

it’s a problem that will probably never go away. It can

also lead to mental health problems and can pose a

fire risk.

Signs of compulsive hoarding can include:

• Difficulty getting rid of items.

• A large amount of clutter in the office, at home,

in the car, or in other spaces.

• Making it difficult to use furniture or appliances

or move around easily.

• Losing important items like money or bills in

the clutter.

• Feeling overwhelmed by the volume of possessions

that have ‘taken over’ the house.

• Being unable to stop taking free items, such as

advertising flyers or sugar packets from restaurants.

• Buying things because they are a “bargain”

or to “stock up”.

• Not inviting family or friends into the home due to

shame or embarrassment.

• Refusing to let people into the home to make repairs.

Usually hoarding begins with a smaller number of

possessions but as time goes on, more items are

collected and the situation spirals out of control.

This often results in piles of possessions spread

throughout the home.

If you want help with hoarding or are worried about

someone who is, then get in touch with your Tenancy

Relations Officer who will be able to refer you to

our team of specialists who will be able to help. We

recognise that dealing with hoarding can be a lengthy

and difficult experience but we will work jointly with

you to build up trust and agree step-by-step actions

which will show the progress being made.

You can find out more about hoarding by visiting



Mobility scooters are a great asset

to many of our tenants. They can

support you to live more

independently and improve

the quality of life, allowing

you to get out and about.

However, if you’re thinking

about buying one, there are

several things to consider first. As a responsible

landlord, we must balance your need for a scooter

with our duty to maintain a safe living environment

for everyone.

So before you buy one, please think about these

important points:

• Check the scooter is the right size

It needs to fit through doorways, narrow corridors

and entrances. Is there sufficient space so you do not

damage doors or frames whilst entering and leaving

your home?

• Check your home has enough room

to store a scooter

Can the scooter be stored safely? Does it cause an

obstruction should you have to evacuate your home

in an emergency? Scooters must not be stored in

communal areas of flats.

• Check access is suitable

Can you safely move the scooter from the street

to the storage area?

• Think about charging the scooter

Where and how – scooters or their batteries must be

charged within your home unless a specific provision

for charging has been made within a

storage area.

• Cost

You must meet the costs of purchasing, running and

maintaining the mobility scooter as well as charging

and storage costs.

• Insurance

We recommend you have appropriate insurance in

place for any mobility scooter. This should include

liability insurance in case of damage to the building or

injury to other people.

• Driving the Mobility Scooter

Are you competent and confident to drive the mobility

scooter safely?

• Our Permission

If you live in a flat with a communal area or in Haven

accommodation you must seek our permission

BEFORE buying a Mobility Scooter. You will also need

our permission BEFORE installing a shed or altering

your home or outhouse building to store a scooter.

If you have any questions or queries then

contact our Tenancy Relations Team on

0300 777 000.


Our team of Tenancy Relations Officers is here to help you with any tenancy

related queries you may have.

They can offer support in managing your tenancy and refer you to other

Tai Tarian departments or external organisations if you need more specialist

help. They are also responsible for dealing with Anti-Social Behaviour issues

and can offer help and support to you in dealing with any problems.

Our Tenancy Relations Officer team cover the whole region,

with each officer responsible for a particular area.

You can find out who is responsible for your area by

visiting www.taitarian.co.uk/tenant-area or calling

0300 777 0000 and asking to speak to our

Tenancy Relations team.



Exclusive living for the over 55s

Our Haven developments are the perfect place to enjoy an exciting new chapter in your life. There are 15

schemes to choose from, located throughout Neath Port Talbot. These self-contained rental apartments

offer you independent living at its best.

The developments offer:

• Modern one and two bedroom apartments

• Stylish kitchens and wet rooms

• Lounge and outdoor space for socialising

• Lift access to all floors

• Secure access

• A manger to look after the development

• Maintenance free living

Why Choose Haven?

We spoke to some of the residents to find out what they love about living in a Haven scheme.

Peter Jenkins:

“I enjoy the peace and quiet of living at Haven. We’re situated on a quiet

cul-de-sac and have a beautiful garden. We’re also just a stone’s throw from the

canal, perfect for relaxing, country walks.”

Shan Nicholas:

“The flats are beautiful. They’ve all been recently refurbished and have been

brought right up to date. The living areas are light and airy whilst we all have lovely,

modern kitchens and walk-in showers. It really is a pleasure to live here.”

Jill Cuggy:

“The best thing about Haven is the sense of community we have here. We enjoy

coming together for social activities such as coffee mornings and lunches. We all

get on really well together and there’s a real friendly atmosphere here.”

For details of current availability at Haven or to find out more, call our lettings team on 01639 506082


Haven Housing News in Brief

Love is in the Air

Congratulations to Keith Evans and Maralyn Thomas, both

residents of one of our Haven Housing schemes who got

married earlier this year. The couple had been engaged for

many years before tying the knot back in the summer.

They were married at Neath Register Office before enjoying a

reception and party with friends, family and fellow tenants. They

then embarked upon a two week cruise for their honeymoon.

Many congratulations to them both.

Macmillan Cancer Fundraising

Tenants across our Haven Housing schemes have been

holding coffee mornings and cake sales in order to raise

money for Macmillan Cancer Support.

Throughout October their efforts raised almost £560 for the

charity. In addition to this, our staff also held a cake sale

and raised a further £170.

Well done to all those who contributed.



In previous years our Community Challenge took

on the tasks of refurbishing community facilities

such as schools, village halls or foodbanks.

However, this year we took on a new focus as

we looked to improve outdoor spaces in our


The first event of the new look Community

Challenge was held in Croeserw in May, with

tenants and members of the community sharing

their ideas and thinking of great ways to better

use our land. We also worked with Buglife

Cymru, an environmental charity that encourages

the survival of bees and bugs by planting

native flowers.

Eco Team

To promote the challenge and to encourage

participation, our Tenant Empowerment team

have met with the Eco team at Glyncorrwg

Primary school. They delivered bee building

workshops and helped with community

litter picks.

Following that initial meeting, it was decided to

create wildflower gardens and nature trails in the

area and our Tenant Empowerment team are

working with the community to bring these plans

to life. Work on creating the gardens began in

October and will be fully open by the Spring.

If you live in the Croeserw area and wish to

get involved in this project, please contact

the team on 01639 508455.



Tai Tarian are working with Buglife Cymru to

create wildlife friendly gardens on our land. So

far, we have planted bee-friendly flowers at our

head office in Baglan and at some of our Haven

Housing schemes.

Tenants have been helping our Neighbourhood

team to design the garden, prepare the land and

sow the seeds.

If you would like more information on the project

or get involved then get in touch with Amy on

01639 508455.


As a way to promote our Community Challenge

and our work with Buglife, a new category was

introduced into our annual garden competition

this year - Best Bug-Friendly Garden.

The winners in this category were Mr and Mrs

Morgan from Briton Ferry, who had a garden

full of fruits trees, pollinator- friendly plants and

flowers and a bee hotel. Mr and Mrs Morgan

were presented their award by Clare Dinham from

Buglife Cymru.

She said:

“It’s really great to see this new category

introduced in the garden competition as it

encourages residents to not only make their

gardens look great but also to provide an

important habitat for our pollinators. We look

forward to seeing more bug friendly gardens

in the future and working with Tai Tarian on the

Community Challenge.”

If you would like to create a bug-friendly garden,

please let the team know and they can provide

you with information on simple ways to do this.

Getting Involved on Facebook

Did you know our Tenant Empowerment team have their own “Getting Involved” Facebook

group? The group has been set up to give our involved tenants information about upcoming

events and opportunities.

If you would like to join, you can find us at www.facebook.com/groups/taitarianinvolvement.

Alternatively, contact Alex on 01639 508436 or involved@taitarian.co.uk.



Value for Money

As a not for profit organisation, delivering value for

money is crucial for us – it runs through everything

we do here. Every £1 we spend on our homes

and services has to work for our customers and


To ensure we do this, the Board has recently approved

our Value for Money statement. This document shows

how our costs and performance are measured and

how we deliver Value for Money in all areas of our


If you are interested in viewing our Value for Money

statement, it can be found on our website www.


Thank You Rosalyn and Alan

New legislation introduced this year requires us to

limit the number of Councillors on our Board to two.

This resulted in Councillors Rosalyn Davies and Alan

Lockyer leaving the Board back in October. They had

been with us for seven and six years respectively.

I would like to thank Rosalyn and Alan for their time,

commitment and hard work and to wish them well for

the future.

Paying Board Members

Following approval from Welsh Government last

year, we have taken the decision to start paying

our Board members.

Up until now, our Board has consisted of highly skilled

and experienced volunteers who give up their time

freely. As we grow as an organisation and due to

the increasingly complex environment in which we

operate, demands on their time and expertise are

growing. Therefore, to ensure we retain and attract the

right people for the Board, we have taken the decision

to pay them. This decision was taken following a very

thorough process which included consultation with

our staff and tenant members.

We are not alone in deciding to pay our Board. Other

housing associations in Wales are either considering

paying Board members or are already doing so.

Payment in public and voluntary sector organisations

is becoming more common and can help strengthen

their governance.

I am sure that this decision will only help Tai Tarian to

continued success in the future.


Recipe - Christmas Pizza

An ideal way to use up your leftover turkey.

Preparation time: 15 mins

Cooking time: 10-12 mins Serves: 2


• 145g pizza base mix

• 6 tbsp tomato pasta sauce

• large handful (about 100g) leftover

stuffing (a sausage stuffing works well for this)

• large handful (about 100g) leftover cooked

turkey, shredded or finely chopped

• 100g mozzarella, sliced

• small pack sage, leaves picked

• 1 tbsp olive oil


1. Heat oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7.

2. Prepare the pizza base mix following pack instructions.

Once rolled out, leave to rest for 10 mins, then top with the pasta sauce.

3. Scatter over the stuffing and turkey, then top with the mozzarella.

4. Toss the sage leaves with the oil, then scatter over the pizza,

drizzling over any remaining oil.

5. Bake for 10-12 mins until the crust is crisp and the cheese has melted.

Recipe from www.bbcgoodfood.com


Our teams are always snapping

away when they’re out and about

in the community.

Follow us on Instagram to see what

we’ve been up to. You can also follow

us on Twitter and Facebook.


Christmas Opening Hours

Our offices will be closing on Friday 21 st December for our Christmas break. We

will re-open with a limited service on Monday 31st December before closing again

for New Year’s Day. We will fully re-open on Wednesday 2nd January.

If you need to report and emergency repair during this time,

then please call our Out of Hours number – 0300 777 3000


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