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News Archive

Elim news archive

 

Welcome to the Elim News Archive. This page displays all past news articles in chronological order that have appeared on the Elim Housing Association home page. 

You can navigate to older articles by either scrolling down this page or by making use of the archive function on the right hand side. 

 

 

Elim news archive — articles for April 2016

Satisfaction increase!

Chart showing increases in satisfaction with communal cleaning and grounds maintenance services.

 

Following feedback from residents which suggested our communal cleaning and gardening services were not as good as they could be, we asked residents to tell us what was most important to them and then looked at ways we could improve the service.  This led us to enter into a contract with Centigen FM to carry out this work in our general needs schemes with communal areas.

As part of our ongoing commitment to delivering the right service for the right price we have been monitoring the contract closely.  This has included regular review meetings with Centigen, a 6 month review with the Resident Forum and a recent postal survey sent to all those receiving a service from Centigen.

We are really pleased to be able to say that the survey results show significantly improved satisfaction levels.  The number of residents reporting that they are satisfied with the cleaning service has increased from 64% to 78%.  The number reporting satisfaction with the grounds maintenance service has jumped from 26% to 76%.

We will be continuing to monitor the contract and level of service provided and so if you have any further feedback please speak to your Housing Officer.

 

Read Satisfaction increase!…

Contractor changes

 

Instead of employing trades people directly, repair works to our properties are carried out by independent companies who we agree a contract with. 

Our existing contracts for the South West expired in March 2016 and so we went out to the market and asked any company interested in working with us to submit a tender which explained how they would offer the service we need and at what cost. 

To keep the process impartial, the submissions are assessed using only the information included in the document not individual experience.  This information includes references from other organisations.

Following completion of this process, we are delighted to be able to advise that Emmdee Property Services will be providing the day to day repairs service in Bristol, North Somerset, South Gloucestershire & South Wales.

Director David Reynolds said that Emmdee were ‘absolutely thrilled’ to be working with Elim and Owner, Steve Devlin added “I have always wanted to work with Elim, being local like us, we have much in common and are both motivated by doing the right things and providing an excellent service.”

The Emmdee team have already started working in Elim’s property and are keen to receive any feedback from residents about what has been done well or how the service could be improved.

We are also pleased to be able to let you know that as part of the tendering process we have agreed a new contract to continue working with A1 Maintenance in Gloucestershire.  A1's Managing Director, Adrian Abbott, said that A1 were "proud of our long history of providing excellent service to Elim and look forward to this continuing."

Our arrangements in Birmingham are not yet due for review and so we continue to work with Asterisk Maintenance.

The process for reporting repairs is unchanged.  They should be reported to our Head Office team on 01454 411172 (option 2) during working hours with Emergency repairs outside of office hours being reported on 0800 169 2910.

If you have any questions about this please contact our maintenance team.

 

Read Contractor changes…

Prize draw winners

 

Everyone who returned a completed tenant profile questionnaire before the cut off date was entered into a prize draw to win one of three £50 prizes.

The prize draw was carried out on 1st April and we have now been able to give our lucky winners their prizes.  Tom from The Refinery received a £50 House of Frazer voucher, Nancy from Manor Gardens received a Debenhams voucher and Mike, also from Manor Gardens received a cheque for his prize.

We are still working through all of the information we collected so that we can understand it and use it to inform the way we work.  Once this is complete we will also follow up with individual residents who have raised concerns or who might benefit from additional information.

And, if you haven't yet returned your form, it's not too late! You can still Complete the tenant profile questionnaire online or post a paper copy back to us.

Winner Tom with his House of Fraser gift cards

Read Prize draw winners…

New phone system

Phone

As part of our continued commitment to making sure we offer the best service possible we are replacing our telephone system.

The new system will help us to offer an improved level of service for our customers.  For example, it will be easier for us to see which other members of the team are available if we need to transfer your call.  In addition, staff working outside the office will be able to set up diverts to receive calls from their landline on their mobile phone and also to access any voicemails allowing them to respond to urgent queries faster.

We will also be able to better monitor and report on the calls we receive, helping us to make sure we allocate the right resources so your call is answered by the right person as quickly as possible.

As we are changing to a completely new system it means that there will be a short time when we are not available to take your calls.  You will not be able to call our head office from 4pm on Thursday 14th April until 9.30am on Friday 15th April.  We will still be able to access and respond to emails or queries directed through our website and emergency repairs can be reported on 0808 169 2910 during this time.

Read New phone system…

Grow your own

As part of our social media polls, we asked you whether you would be growing your own this year.

There are lots of benefits to growing your own fruit, veg or herbs.  It can often be cheaper than buying them and you can try different varieties which may not be available in the shops.  Gardening is a good way to increase your physical activity and has been shown to have benefits for your mental health too.  Growing it yourself means you know exactly where it has come from and you can reduce food waste by only picking what you need. 

And you don’t need a garden or acres of space to get involved.  Lots of people have great success growing in pots in small gardens, balconies or even just on the windowsill. 

If you are really keen you may be able to apply for an allotment near where you live.  There is often a waiting list for these but you can find more details from your local council about what is available.

Shared or community gardens are a great option for those wanting to develop their knowledge or confidence, as well as for those who don’t have the outside space or time to commit to their own garden.  The work and produce are usually shared and social events provide a great opportunity to get to know people locally.

If you don’t know of any community projects locally look for details of local notice boards or have a look online.  A great place to start is www.farmgarden.org.uk

If you would like to get started but are not sure where to start, there are lots of resources around.  The Royal Horticultural Society offers advice and information on getting started including planning, preparation and care.

National Gardening week (this week 11th to 17th April) is a great opportunity to visit open gardens to get great ideas for your own garden – look out for events advertised locally.

Finally, if we have inspired you to get your trowel out we’d love to see pics of your homegrown potatoes, lettuce or tomatoes later in the year.  You can share them with us via Facebook or Twitter, or email them to info@elimhousing.co.uk 

Read Grow your own…

How do you pay your rent?

Pay your housing rent by Direct Debit and you could win £1,000 in shopping vouchers like Elim resident Dennis last year!

Ever wondered what you would do with £1,000? Well, 2016 could be the year you find out as we’re joining a national campaign run by Bacs, the not-for-profit organisation behind Direct Debit in the UK.

The housing rents initiative encourages people to switch to the ease and convenience of Direct Debit, with a fantastic prize of £1,000 in Love2shop vouchers up-for-grabs.

To be in with a chance of winning you simply have to be a new, or existing, Direct Debit payer - it really is that easy!

No queues, no filling out forms each month, simply set the Direct Debit up and that’s it, your housing rent will be collected each month – just think of the time you’ll save. And, thanks to the Direct Debit Guarantee, you are protected in the unlikely event of an error being made with a payment.

To be in with a chance of winning this fantastic prize, switch to paying your housing rent by Direct Debit before 31st August 2016. 

If you want to sign up speak to your Housing Officer who will be able to set a Direct Debit up with you over the phone or download and return a Direct Debit instruction form [pdf] 504KB now!

Read How do you pay your rent?…

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