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Street Talk 70 Easter 2022

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Street

No 70

Spring 2022

Talk

Tenants &

Residents Magazine

Happy Easter

from all at

Ocean Housing

... see page 2 for front cover story

Easter Opening:

Our offices will close for Easter at 5:00pm on

Thursday 14th April 2022, reopen at 8:30am

on Tuesday 19th April 2022.

Out of hours emergency contact number: 01726 874450.


2

in this issue . . .

on our front cover . . .

P 2 - 3

P4 - 5

P6 - 7

P8 - 9

P10 - 11

P12

Happy Easter from Andie.

Positive steps towards a

greener Cornwall.

Building Futures.

Welcome to Amy.

Anti social behaviour.

Equality, diversity & inclusion.

How are we performing?

Top money saving tips.

Tenant satisfaction measures.

Safety checks.

Wellbeing is important.

Exciting new website and app.

Supporting vulnerable people.

Healthwatch.

Easter egg hunt competition.

Christmas competition winners.

Meet Robert, one of our youngest residents within the

Chapel Field community. Robert’s mum, Maria, is the Vice

Chair of the Together with Ocean group (TWO). Maria says,

“We meet monthly to share our feedback. There are a

variety of ways to be involved. It’s perfect for me, as I can

work it around Robert’s school pick-ups. Come and join us

for a meeting and see what we do!”

Contact the Tenant Partnership

team for more

information.

Happy Easter

from Andie!

I hope you like the newly refreshed Street Talk – I think it’s

brighter and fresher!

The challenges of the past two years are behind us, what

a lot has changed in all of our lives. Hopefully, despite

necessary ongoing caution around Covid, we will all be able

to make plans to share time with family and friends once again.

Ocean has remained remarkably robust and resilient despite everything, thanks to the huge efforts of

the dedicated staff and managers working alongside tenants to maintain services. Inevitably, we’re still

playing “catch-up” and things don’t go right 100% of the time, but I love the fact that Ocean really does

care passionately about providing quality services to all of its tenants.

There are plenty of challenges ahead too, not least how to make all of our homes more energy efficient

by 2030. We are prioritising investment in our existing homes and putting plans in place to carry out a

range of improvement works over the next eight years. Obviously we can’t upgrade all properties at the

same time, so there will be rolling programmes of works to carry out each year.

The clocks have now gone forward, meaning lighter evenings and longer days, to enable us to get

outside and enjoy the benefits of living in Cornwall.

It’s nearly Easter so enjoy all that you do at this time of year – and don’t eat too many chocolate eggs!

Andie Smith

Chair of Ocean Housing Board


3

Before

Positive

steps towards

a greener Cornwall

We are committed to reducing our

carbon footprint and playing our part

to tackle the climate change crisis.

Following our successful bid via West of England Combined

Authority (WECA), we have secured £760,000 of Government

funding, together with our match funding, this will

enable us to help tenants lower energy bills and make

homes warmer.

Energy Efficiency Lead, Liam explained, “We have 58

households in the Clay area that will benefit from this

project, which will improve the energy efficiency of our

properties. Not only will we be able to help tenants, but

the funding will make positive steps to protect the

environment by making homes more sustainable in the

long term.”

These homes will benefit from new heating, hot water

cylinders, a mix of double glazing, loft and wall

insulation. Depending on the recommended measures

for each home, these will improve the properties

overall energy performance to a ‘C’ rating or higher.

After

We look forward to taking

you on this journey and updating you with

the next phase of this project.


4

Building Futures

We are really proud to be delivering the ESF (European Social

Fund) Building Futures project which has an overall aim

of supporting people towards work, education, training or

volunteering.

Building Futures Key Worker, Jo says, “We understand that it is

all too easy for any one of us to feel a bit stuck and unable to

move forward. We know that it can seem as though there are just

too many hurdles to overcome. Often we struggle with barriers

that aren’t even visible to the outside world: our emotional and

mental health, memories of past trauma; worrying about money,

childcare, debts and benefits; a lack of self-confidence, not having

a good experience at school or simply not believing that we can

achieve something better for ourselves.”

If you, or someone you know is feeling stuck, is out of work and

feels ready to start thinking about reaching for something more,

please get in touch with us. We will never pressure you but we

will spend time getting to know you, as an individual and do all

we can to help you get to where you want to be, whether that

is finding a job, getting onto a college course or getting out

volunteering to build your confidence; whatever is right for you.

Building Futures

Changing the lives of people in Cornwall

Do you feel pressured

to seek work,

overwhelmed,

fearful and unable to

face change?

We also offer a ten week therapeutic program called Ignite to

help build confidence and self-esteem if this is something you

feel would be helpful.

We know times are hard at the moment and, although we don’t

A friendly

welcome to Amy

– Neighbourhood

Services Officer

Meet Amy Elphick-Calle, who is the new Neighbourhood Services officer

covering our East Cornwall homes, including, St Austell, St Blazey,

Par, Tywardreath, Fowey and Lostwithiel. Amy explains, “I have

worked within the Housing Sector for the past eight years,

most recently for the local authority working to prevent

homelessness. This new role is busy and challenging. I look

forward to meeting the tenants and residents and helping to

make a difference in peoples’ lives and improve the

community feeling in the areas I cover.”

have a magic wand, we will

do everything we possibly

can to help.

If you’d like to

TALK

TO US!

We would

love the

opportunity

to help you

T: Becky Kat 07923 218635

T: Jo Horne 07841 210783

Email: newopportunities@oceanhousing.com

find out more or just have a chat,

please contact us at,

help@oceanhousing.com

or 01726 874450.

Would you welcome

help with getting

into employment,

volunteering, training

or study?

IGNITE

is a 10 week therapeutic

group supporting your

mental wellbeing, raising

your self-esteem and guiding

you back to positivity.


5

Anti-Social

Behaviour and

neighbour

nuisance

We adopt a harm-

centred, problem

solving approach to

reports of Anti-Social

Behaviour (ASB). This means

looking at and prioritising where

harm is most likely to occur, so it can be managed

and minimised.

We will:

l Communicate clearly with our residents to explain

ASB and our approach, so they understand what they

can expect from us and what we expect from them

l Expect residents, members of their household and

visitors to be considerate, tolerant and

understanding of others and behave reasonably,

in accordance with the responsibilities set out in the

tenancy and lease agreements

l Encourage residents to resolve their own matters

with their neighbours where it is safe and

appropriate do so, while being clear about the

circumstances in which we may take action and how

we will proceed where that is the case

l Be clear what is considered ASB and what is not

l Consider using a wide range of options to tackle ASB

– acknowledging that each case is different

l Work in partnership with other agencies to prevent

and tackle ASB

Equality,

diversity and

inclusion

We want everyone to feel that they

are treated fairly and with respect

when they come in to contact with

an Ocean member of staff. That’s

why we train all of our new staff in

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

(EDI) to ensure that they recognise

and respect equality, fairness

and difference. We want everyone

to feel welcome

and

when

work

valued

they

for

Ocean or live

in an Ocean

home.

To support this aim, we have

developed a Reasonable

Adjustments policy which sets

out our duty to accommodate

and provide support in accessing

our services. The policy gives

examples of when this might

be applied in practice and can

be downloaded from our new

website at www.oceanhousing.com

Please take the time to have a look

at the policy and see if it affects

you or someone you know in an

Ocean home.

l Expect residents to report issues to the correct

agency. For example, criminal behaviour to the Police

and noise to Environmental health.

Any issues regarding Anti-Social Behaviour should be

reported to us at the earliest opportunity.

A wide range of methods can be used to report ASB,

email help@oceanhousing.com, call 01726 874450 or visit

our website www.oceanhousing.com


6

How are we performing?

The Customer Experience team

endeavour to answer as many

calls at first point of contact as

possible. This is to ensure wait

times are kept as low as possible

and our trained and skilled staff

are able to answer your query at

first point of contact.

86% of tenants were

happy their calls

were dealt with at

first point of contact,

exceeding our target of 75%

Gas safety checks are a legal requirement and

so we are pleased to report

we have completed

100%

of these checks to date, this year.

From April to December 100%

of tenants advised they were satisfied with the

planned maintenance service they received,

we set ourselves a high

target of 96.5%

From April to December the

average calendar days for

standard re-lets was 25.66 days.

This is disappointing, as the target

is 19 days. Some of our homes

continue to take longer to let than

we would like, for a number of

reasons, and the team are working

hard to address those.

Target 19 days

Year to date 25.66 days

We aim to ensure that when we re-let our

properties they meet our minimum empty homes

standard i.e; are safe, clean, in sound condition

with all services in working order. Tenants are

not always satisfied with the standard and we are

always looking to make improvements.

Target 96%

Year to date80%

Only 69% of residents

were satisfied with the handling

of their Anti-Social Behaviour

case from April to December.

Where someone is not happy with how their case

was handled, we always review what we did to see

if we can improve. We cannot always meet

peoples’ expectations in terms of outcomes and

that can affect their view on how we dealt with

the matter.


7

Top money saving tips!

Many households will start to notice a rise in the cost of living this year.

With so much happening all at once, it can be difficult to understand

exactly what is changing and why, so we’ve outlined some top tips to ease

the financial worry.

l There are various way in which you can reduce your energy usage. For energy saving tips visit:

www.which.co.uk Smart meters can also assist you to monitor your usage and help you make

reductions.

l Southwest Water has a number of schemes and social tariffs which can be found on their website

www.southwestwater.co.uk or call 0344 346 1010.

l Get ahead of the game and start saving now for next winter. Try and put a little extra on your

electric and gas during the summer months, when you are using less energy. Perhaps set up

a savings account via www.westcountry.org.uk to assist with the increased costs of winter

and Christmas.

l Community Larders are open to everyone and enable surplus food from the supermarket to be

distributed to the community. This not only reduces food waste but also reduces our impact on

the environment and helps save money – everyone’s a winner! To find your local larder visit:

www.hubbub.org.uk/the-community-fridge#find

l We are authorised to issue food bank vouchers. We can arrange for a voucher to be emailed or

texted to you. These can be redeemed at your local foodbank for an emergency food parcel.

l Our tenants can get £140 off their winter electricity bill 2021/2022, under the Warm Home Discount

Scheme. Contact your energy provider to find out more.

We are here to help, we can

offer guidance and advice on

budgeting and money saving or make

a referral to a partner agency.

If you have any concerns regarding your

rent or financial situation, please contact

the Financial Inclusion team at

help@oceanhousing.com

or 01726 874450.


8

Tenant Satisfaction

Measures,

what we do and how

it is changing

The

importance of

safety checks

Everyone will remember the tragic night of the 14 June 2017,

when a fire broke out and engulfed the Grenfell Tower block

of flats in West London. Since that night, the Government

have been consulting with tenants and landlords on what

we need to do as a sector to address some of the key issues

that contributed to this disaster.

As part of a wider review of regulation in the sector, the

Government has proposed a set of Tenant Satisfaction

Measures (TSM’s) aimed at giving tenants a greater voice

and opportunity to challenge their landlord.

There are 22 TSM’s, a number of which will come from tenant

perception about how their landlord is performing and then

reported annually against all other housing associations in

the country. We have recently submitted our response to

the consultation working with our tenant group. Together

with Ocean Chair, Paul says,

“As tenants, the new tenant satisfaction measures

allow us to confidently compare our own housing

association against a national standard, but also

compare them against each other. This allows us to

question the performance and quality of their services,

to ultimately help us hold them to account.”

If you want to know more about TSM’s and the proposed

changes to consumer regulation check out the Regulator

of Social Housing website at www.gov.uk/government/

organisations/regulator-of-social-housing

Your safety is paramount to us

and it is a legal requirement

that we carry out safety checks

on all of our properties, to

ensure all compliance checks

are complete. If you get a letter

from us, with an appointment

you cannot keep, please let us

know as you could be putting

yourself, family and neighbours

at risk. If you do not notify us

or we are unable to gain access

to complete these checks, then

we will make an application

to the County Court for an

Injunction; an order from the

court to enforce access. If we

reach this step then you will be

liable for the associated court

costs.

If you are worried about this

situation, please contact us

at help@oceanhousing.com or

01726 874450 and a member of

the team will be able to help.


9

Your wellbeing is Important!

Mental health includes our emotional, psychological and social

well-being. It affects how we think, feel and act. It also helps determine

how we handle stress, relate to others and make choices. Now more

than ever we realise how important it is to look after our

mental health at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through to adulthood.

If you or someone you care about is struggling with their mental health, please contact one of the

support agencies below.

NHS Mental Health Support - 24/7 NHS mental health response line for support and advice. Support is

available to anyone, regardless of age.

Valued Lives is a Cornish Mental Health Charity visit www.valuedlives.co.uk or telephone 01209 901438.

Shout offer text support only, Text SHOUT to 85258 if you are over 18 or Text YM if under 18.

For a full list of mental health help and support agencies available in Cornwall, please visit our website

for their contact information at www.oceanhousing.com


10

Exciting new website and app!

Ocean is launching a new website and smartphone app! We know that the old

website was much loved by you, receiving over 7,000 views each month. The

Ocean smartphone app was also well used, with nearly 500 downloads in the

last 12 months alone.

David Jory, Head of Customer Experience explains, “From your feedback,

we knew that both the website and app could benefit from an update so

we worked with our Virtual Internet Panel (VIP) and Together With Ocean

(TWO) tenant group on some shiny new ones. It’s taken almost 12 months

to go from concept to launch but the result is a cleaner, faster and more

responsive website and app that are fit for the future.”

Why not check them out at www.oceanhousing.com or the Apple and

Google app stores and let us know what you think. We know you want to

do more digitally so watch this space for later in the year when we hope

to bring you even more digital self-service options from the comfort of

your mobile phone!

During the height of the pandemic we

made just under a thousand welfare

calls to our most elderly and vulnerable

tenants to make sure they had the right

support available to them. Since then

we’ve reflected on our offering to our

older tenants and have been really keen

to improve it. To help us do just that are

our new Older Persons advisors’, Annie and

Tracy. “I love the fact that our older

and vulnerable tenants will have more

face-to-face contact, which is what a

lot of them have missed over the past

couple of years.” says Tracy.

We will be introducing a new Intensive

Housing Management service for tenants

who live in our older persons homes. The

introduction of this service will enhance

our offering to older tenants and enable

us to manage homes and neighbourhoods

more effectively.

Improving services for

older tenants


11

Healthwatch!

Feeling

vulnerable?

Discuss

Provide

support

We are excited

to be supporting

HealthWatch and our

local communities

with coffee mornings

and focus groups

to discuss your

experiences using the

NHS. HealthWatch

are an independent

champion for people

who use health and

social care services.

Whether you use

GPs and hospitals,

dentists, pharmacies,

care homes or other

support services, we

want to hear about

your experiences.

We are looking for

tenants and residents

to take part in focus

groups to discuss

their mental health

and organise suicide

prevention activities.

Michelle from HealthWatch, with residents from Prince Charles House

Our first joint event

was held at our older persons complex, Prince

Charles House in St Austell. The event was well

attended by residents.

Prince Charles House resident, Carol told us,

“It was good to get together and discuss

how we’ve been feeling, especially over

the last two years. I’m looking forward to

further events in the communal lounge,

its good to chat with fellow residents and

check in on each other.”

It’s really important that you share your

experiences – whether good or bad, happy or

sad. If you’ve had a negative experience, it’s

easy to think there’s no point in complaining,

and that ‘nothing ever changes’. Or, if you’ve had

a great experience, that you ‘wish you could say

thank you’.

Remember, your feedback is helping to improve

people’s lives. So if you need advice, or you’re

ready to tell your story – we’re here to listen.

Please get in touch at

help@oceanhousing.com or 01726 874450 and

we look forward to arranging this for your

community too!


!

Easter Egg Hunt Competition

Can you spot all the Easter eggs hidden above?

The first correct entry drawn will win an Ocean

goodie bag and £60 shopping voucher.

Three runners up will win an Ocean goodie bag

and £20 shopping voucher.

The competition is open to anyone living in our

properties. Only one entry per household.

Closing date is Friday 27th May 2022.

Good Luck and Happy Hunting!

You don’t need a stamp, just cut out this slip

and pop it into an envelope addressed to:

FREEPOST RSES-LCCA-EJUJ, Easter Egg Competition,

Ocean Housing, Stennack Road,

St Austell, PL25 3SW.

How many Easter eggs have you

spotted above?

Name:

Address:

Telephone No:

Mobile No:

Email address:

Congratulations

to our Christmas edition winners, Paula, Shelia and Delia.

We hope you enjoyed spending your vouchers!

Postcode:

Please recycle your Street Talk. Printed on Re-cycled paper. Designed & produced by karenjacksondesign.com 01326 373108 Photography by Frame by Frame 01503 262684.

email: help@oceanhousing.com

www.oceanhousing.com

01726 874450

Out of Hours Numbers

Emergency Repairs: 01726 874450

Anti-Social Behaviour: 01726 874450

Contact us for a Large Print or Audio CD of this newsletter

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