wear January 2011
Inside this issue Look out
• Local services - have your say for our money
• Let’s talk gas safety throughout
• Holmewood’s ‘Art of Living’ project this issue!
• Gentoo Home Buyer
Gentoo would like to say
congratulations to our two
winners of the last
Wear Living competition!
• Anne McConnell from Farringdon
found all the missing words in our
• Kayleigh and Rebecca Green
aged five and six years old from
Glebe found all six pieces of rubbish.
Spend your £25 vouchers wisely!
Please see page 41 for further
details on this edition’s competition.
If you or someone you know would like this information in large print, on CD, or in Braille then please
If you or someone you know would like this information in another language, please contact us.
Interpretation services are available.
If customers would like to receive their next edition of Wear Living electronically, please email
Wear Living is produced by the Communications Team and the Customer Communications Group of Gentoo Group. Any correspondence
should be addressed to the Communications Team, Gentoo Group, Emperor House, 2 Emperor Way, Doxford International Business Park,
Sunderland, SR3 3XR.
Tel: (0191) 525 5000 (0191) 525 5999. All material remains the Copyright of Gentoo Group.
*Calls from mobiles are not free and are charged at the provider’s standard rate.
Front cover image: For the purposes of Health and Safety no operations were ongoing and vehicles/machinery were immobilised.
Any risk was eliminated during the shooting of our front cover image.
In this edition of Wear Living CIPR North East Silver PRide
Award 2010 - Best Magazine
Directly to you .................................. 3-4
What you think about Wear Living .......... 5
Opportunities at Gentoo ......................... 6
Census 2011 ....................................... 7
Halloween party at the Nidderdale Centre 7
Doxford Park Estate Forum ..................... 8
New recycling bins ............................. 11
We are delighted to announce that our Wear
Australia Tower ................................... 11 Living publication has been awarded Silver
Schools Against Waste ......................... 12 in the ‘Best Magazine’ category. The CIPR
PRide Awards recognise excellence in PR and
Homes update ...............................13-14 communications across the UK.
Unite Mediation .................................. 15 As a CIPR silver winner our
Devolved budget update....................... 16 work has been judged to be
amongst the best in our area
Top tips to help you by leading PR experts.
manage your money .......................17-18
Downhill Surgeries .............................. 19
Awards for All ..................................... 20
The Box Youth Project ......................... 20
Local services - have your say .........21-22
Let’s talk gas safety ............................. 23
Angels in the City ................................ 23
Local pupils on hand to help
make a greener future .......................... 24
Global Entrepreneurship Week .........25-26
SYF Respect Day ................................ 27
The Genfactor ..................................... 28
Holmewood’s ‘Art of Living’ project ........ 29
Repairs safety round up ....................... 30
Putting Hendon and East Sunderland
‘Back on the Map’ ............................... 33
Gentoo Home Buyer ............................ 34
Resident involvement .....................35-36
Allocations and lettings ........................ 36
Repairs and maintenance ................37-38
Competition time ................................ 41
Bill’s recipe ........................................ 42
You Said, We Did ................................ 43
By Ian Porter, Managing Director, Gentoo Sunderland
Welcome to the January 2011 edition of Wear Living, the twice-yearly magazine created in
partnership with our Customer Communications Group.
In my last message to you, Since the last edition of Wear public services, businesses and
I told you about some of the Living, so much has changed individuals alike.
extra services and work carried for Gentoo and other housing Last year we successfully secured
out by Gentoo that makes us providers, and I want to share an unprecedented Kickstart
‘more than a landlord’. We have with you what some of those grant of £34m to build 443
created job opportunities for changes mean for Gentoo and our new homes by March 2011 in
local people through supported customers. various locations across the City.
apprenticeships and giving local Most significantly 2010 saw However, the Comprehensive
people the authority to decide what a change in government from Spending Review has included
improvements could be made in Labour to a Conservative-Liberal a significant cut in the amount
their neighbourhoods through our Democrat coalition. Any change of money available, subsidising
‘devolved budgets’. in government brings with it the building of affordable housing
new policies, through direct grants from the
particularly for those government. Gentoo has always
organisations such sought an innovative approach
as Gentoo who to financing the building of new
provide an essential affordable homes. Rest assured we
public service. One will continue to look for funding
of the incoming to enable us to continue building
government’s new homes and improving
key priorities is to neighbourhoods.
tackle the public The Comprehensive Spending
finance deficit with Review also included the new
a ‘Comprehensive government’s intention to reform
Spending Review’, the benefits system. This could
which described result in changes to Housing
the government’s Benefit which may increase how
spending plans much rent benefit claimants are
for the four years expected to pay themselves. In
up to 2015. Their direct response to this threat, we
proposals were wide recently re-launched the customer
ranging and will affect debt and benefit service with
our communities, partner agency Sunderland Advice
The government’s Housing Minister customers to scrutinise housing
Grant Schapps, has announced provider’s performance. Gentoo
a fundamental review of the way has always encouraged customers
social housing is provided. For to be involved in giving us their
many of our current customers the feedback, helping us to improve
impact will be minimal, with many our services. We continue to work
existing rights and responsibilities in close partnership with customers
maintained. The thrust of the on our Local Customer Panels and
review is to shift power from Management Committees.
central government to local housing
providers and customers. Some of The announced reform includes
the changes included in the review social housing customers being
are: given strengthened powers to
ensure that their landlords provide
• Flexible tenancies - local quality housing and are held to
housing providers can choose account when problems arise.
to use a ‘fixed term’ rather Landlords will be expected to
than a ‘lifetime’ tenancy in support panels (or equivalent
suitable circumstances with bodies) giving customers the
Service. Since it re-launched
new customers (not current opportunity to scrutinise the
in August 2010, it has already
transferring customers). services being offered and to be
helped more than 450 customers
consolidate their debts, agree • Affordable rents - as government involved in resolving disputes.
affordable repayment plans and grants to support house building We continue to work closely
redeem £50k worth of benefits that are reduced, local housing with other agencies including
they were previously not claiming. providers may be able to raise the City Council and the Police
Just one of the many measures funds by setting ‘affordable rents’
and are setting up more localised
Gentoo has put in place to provide at up to 80% of local market
responsive services to deal
financial support and opportunities rent levels.
with issues that occur in our
to maximise income for customers. • Fairer allocations - currently neighbourhoods. Difficult financial
Many customers will also have anyone can apply to live in climates require increased
received support from our Income social housing. Priority for social collaboration and joined up
Management teams. These teams housing will continue to go to the solutions to ensure service to
provide ongoing assistance and most vulnerable in society and customers’ is maintained and
closely monitor the upcoming those who need it most. improved.
changes to the benefit system – With the Tenant Services Authority I’m sure you will agree that the
responding appropriately where (our regulator) being abolished challenges facing us in 2011 are
this may impact on some of our and a changing regime, there far reaching and require us to
customers’ ability to pay their rent. will be an increased use of be adaptable and flexible whilst
continuing to deliver excellent
performance in our day-to-day
business of being a landlord;
carrying out repairs, supporting
vulnerable customers, and
maintaining and improving estates
As always, we appreciate your
What you think
about Wear Living
which format you would
like to receive it in, only 32% of
16% of people would like who had customers
to view Wear Living online. magazin not read the
Therefore, we will look into of reaso e a number
“I have ns for th
various other options of been in is.
not been hospital
delivering the magazine. at home so I h
“I haven much la ave
This could involve more ’t had ti tely.”
Living ye me to re
information in your local t but I d ad Wea
o enjoy r
estate newsletters. it.”
in this edition> Anti
Wearside Awards update in your area Some customers had
page > 10 page > 12
page > 30
thoughts on what they 28% of
would like to see in Wear would li tomers
Living. Below are some of Wear Liv to see
Gentoo is always on the look out their suggestions, which we regularly g more
custome , with o
to improve the service we deliver will aim to focus on in the r wan ne
to you. Since the Summer 2010 next edition. a month ting to have
edition of Wear Living, Gentoo n.
“I would like to hear more news
has conducted research into what about my local area.”
you think about Wear Living. 97% of
“I would like to see things about cu
With the help of the Customer local causes and charity stories.” we talke stomers
Communications Group members, aware o d to were
the Communications Team “Money saving tips on use of with 68 ar Living,
contacted a sample of customers household items.” custome of these
and asked questions as part of a Thanks for your answers, we now reading rs actually
brief questionnaire. have some areas that we can work azine.
Some of the questions included: on to improve our magazine. If
you have any further comments
1. What do you ﬁnd most to make about Wear Living, you
interesting about Wear Living? can contact a member of the
2. What would you like to see Communications Team on
more of? (0191) 525 5000
3. Would you read an online Winter 2010
or by emailing
version of the magazine if it email@example.com.
There is always something that
Everyone contacted was happy to you as a customer can get
take part and we have analysed involved in, if you would like
your feedback to help make our further information about how
next edition even better. you can help Gentoo, please
From the questionnaire results, the contact a member of the
overall feel of the magazine was Customer Involvement Team
that people enjoyed receiving and on (0191) 525 5000.
Gentoo is looking into how we
can change how often customers Inside this issue
Gentoo Launch the Esplan
ade / Digital Switchover
receive Wear Living. When asked
History Lesson with Gento /
o / Spotlight on the Concie
MIKE ORCHARD IS T
THE HOUGHTON AND
Between April and September, Mike
Orchard dealt with 28 new cases of
anti social behaviour (ASB) within
the Houghton and Hetton areas,
and of these cases, 10 were led
by the police and 18 were led by
Gentoo. Mike works closely with
the Neighbourhood Policing Team
to make sure we are tackling ASB
together. In addition, Mike also
completed 35 office interviews,
sent 16 letters and made 54 home
Opportunities visits to prevent ASB escalating to
the point where legal enforcement
The team contacted 91% of
customers reporting category 1 cases
(the most serious cases of ASB)
Over the next six months Gentoo We are looking for interested within 24 hours of the report being
will be looking at how our volunteers to help us develop received and 83% of customers
customers can scrutinise the work this scrutiny role for customers. reporting category 2 cases. A total
that we do, to provide us with You would work alongside of 9 Notices of Seeking Possession
feedback on what we do well and staff and Board members to were issued to ASB perpetrators and
to help improve services. There help shape our final customer 3 Acceptable Behaviour Agreements
are a lot of details to work through scrutiny model. You don’t need were completed. The team were also
to decide how this will work in any prior experience but do successful in gaining one injunction
practice, to make sure it is effective need to be prepared to work to stop a perpetrator from causing
and worthwhile. together in a team. Expenses further nuisance.
will be covered and meeting
times can be flexible to meet the For details of forthcoming meetings
needs of the group. you can contact the Hetton
Community Police Team on
03456 043 043 ext. 66550.
You can contact Mike on
If you would like further information
(0191) 525 5000, but should
or would like to apply, contact Kay
you witness an incident of anti social
behaviour please report it promptly to
any local housing office or by ringing
(0191) 525 5000 Gentoo’s 24 hour nuisance helpline
or email firstname.lastname@example.org on 0800 028 4445*.
Halloween Party at the
Nidderdale Centre, Hetton
Gentoo organised a
‘spooktacular’ Halloween Party
at the Nidderdale Centre, Hetton
for the residents of Moorsley
2011 Census: and Peat Carr. The party took A fancy dress competition
help tomorrow take shape place on Thursday 28 October and raffle was held for
and support was received from children, with three prizes
On 27 March 2011 all homes a number of partner agencies
will be taking part in a Census. awarded for the best dressed!
including, Acumen, Groundwork
The Census is carried out every North East, Job Linkage, Council Thanks to everyone who was
ten years to count people and Enforcement Officers, The Food involved in the event a good time
households in England and Wales. Chain, Police and Fire Brigade. was had by all!
It’s vital that you complete your
There was something for Weekly drop in sessions are
confidential Census questionnaire
everyone, from cake decorating, held at the Nidderdale Centre
as the information gathered is
paper activities, plant pot on Thursday mornings 9.30am
used to make decisions about
decorating to garlic bulb potting, till 11.30am and everyone is
our community. Our area receives
apple bobbing, face-painting and welcome.
funding from the government,
based on the number of people airbrush tattoos.
living here, funding that can The event was a great success
be used for housing, schools, with over 150 people attending,
hospitals, transport and other many in fancy dress! There were
important services. So, in early all kinds of ghosts, ghouls and
March you will receive a white monsters amongst the crowd!
envelope through your door with a
purple Census logo on it just like
the one shown above. Inside the
envelope you will find your 2011
Census questionnaire. The form
is straightforward to complete and
should not take too long to do. If
you want you can fill the form in
online, otherwise once you have
completed it simply post it back.
Either way it’s all confidential so
no one will see your personal
information and if you need help
there is a wide range of support
available such as language Walk or cycle
guidance booklets, large print not only does it save
format, as well as online help and you money; you’ll get
telephone call centres. ﬁtter and help the
If you’re interested in working for
the 2011 Census field team find
out more at www.census.gov.uk
or apply online at
www.censusjobs.co.uk. SAVING TIP
SUE ABRAHAM IS T
THE CENTRAL AREA
By Norma Merrit,
Group Member. Betty Gibson said: “Once again The Neighbourhood Enforcement
another excellent Halloween Officer for Central Area has
LOTS OF SPOOKY FUN Party. The fancy dress is more changed from Alan Downey to Sue
difficult to judge every year. Abraham. Although the service
Thanks to an Aspire grant from
Thank you to the organisers for remains the same for customers,
Gentoo, for prizes, disco and
their hard work – a night enjoyed Sue will now deal with the
decorations, the Forum were able
by all.” most serious cases of anti social
to hold their annual Halloween
There was true community spirit behaviour (ASB). For this half year
Fancy Dress Disco in the
shown at this event with help period there were 50 new ASB
from The Box Youth Project and cases dealt with, 13 of these cases
All children received a hot dog, were led by the Police working
the Community Association, an
lucky bag and drink and were closely with Gentoo to prevent
evening that was enjoyed by
entertained by Flash G Disco. further incidents.
both children and adults.
Doxford Ward Councillors Betty We use enforcement action to stop
Gibson and David Errington had ASB where we can, however we
a very difficult job deciding the also use a variety of other methods
fancy dress competition winners, at the early stages of a case to try
as there were around 100 to stop it. There were 105 early
children and 50 adults in intervention activities carried out
attendance. for this half year period, including
The winners were: office interviews, letters and home
Under 5’s visits. We also contacted 97% of
Noella Kielf and customers reporting category 1
Harrison Bolt (the most serious cases of ASB)
within 24 hours of the report being
5 - 9 years received and 100% of customers
Abbi Chambers and CHRISTMAS LUNCH reporting category 2 cases. We
Lewis Davie also served 10 Notices of Seeking
Tuesday 21 December proved
10 - 12 years to be a highlight for our coffee Possession and completed 2
Deanna Davie and morning members as we Acceptable Behaviour Agreements.
Cameron Watts organised a Christmas Lunch In addition, Gentoo referred 4
for them in appreciation for their cases to Unite, a mediation service
support throughout the year. which seeks to help parties resolve
After lunch there was a big You can contact Sue on
raffle and games of bingo. All (0191) 525 5000, but should
members received a present and you witness an incident of anti
had fun in the spirit of Christmas. social behaviour, please report
it promptly to any local housing
Photography by Pat Carroll, officer or by ringing Gentoo’s
Customer Communications 24 hour nuisance helpline on
Group Member. 0800 028 4445*.
This is a
chance to see
Gentoo Green has
made and has in
store for this
Do you care about the world in
which you live?
Would you like to meet with
like-minded people to lighten
your load on the planet by
making simple and lasting
changes in your home and in St Andrew’s
your life? Garden in Southwick
EcoTeams is a long established
and highly effective programme. Frank Wilson is the maintenance
Working with family, friends, manager at St Andrew’s Church
colleagues and other members and has been developing the
of the community through garden for several years, which
a series of action-focused was originally a dumping ground
meetings, online groups or for rubbish.
educational visits to areas of Frank’s ambition is to turn
local interest. We can work with the garden over to the local
you to reduce your fuel bills,
community by April 2011, with a
improve a local area or simply
give you the tools to make a view to local people owning and Frank has just been awarded
difference. running the garden. He hopes £850 to add more raised beds
Climate change, increasing this will encourage more people (with further disabled access).
stress on natural resources, to connect with nature through There are also a number of large
growing mountains of rubbish, gardening, food growing and by compost areas on a three year
worsening air and water simply having a beautiful space cycle, and a small greenhouse in
pollution – it can be difficult to to be proud of. the corner.
know where to begin. Over the years Frank has fenced There is a large bit of land not
Gentoo is currently working it off and split the space into in use that he wants to build a
with 16 EcoTeams, made up of three sections. The top section commercial greenhouse on with
Gentoo Sunderland customers has a grassy area, where he has seating areas, where kids can be
from all areas. To date Gentoo made his own timber framed educated about gardening and
has been able to provide water-
structures and put benching in, locally grown food.
butts for community gardens,
power saving devices and along with plants and flowers.
also helped set up recycling The middle section is
facilities for Gilhurst House and a banked flower bed
Holmewood in partnership with and patio area and
Sunderland Council and Nomad beyond this are raised
(North East registered social beds, a couple of
landlord who own Holmewood). which have wheelchair
A number of other exciting access. In them he has
developments have arisen started growing some
from the EcoTeams initiative, vegetables.
including a new community
garden at Holmewood and new
vegetable patches at Albany For more information on EcoTeams or if you would like to get involved
House and St Andrew’s Church in the project at Southwick, please contact Joseph Buckman in the
garden in Southwick. Green Team on (0191) 525 5000.
The Green Debate heating controls, double glazing,
insulation and even solar panels
capable of heating water and
Gentoo Green is currently charges/fees in return for the producing free electricity.
working on a project entitled installation of energy reducing Once we have analysed the
‘The Green Debate’. With a technology to their home, with the results of the debate we will
lack of funding to support aim of reducing their fuel bills. report back to everyone involved.
housing providers finance We would like to open the debate The results from the work will
‘green’ investment, ‘The Green up to our customers to gauge also be fed back to central
Debate’ seeks to establish if what the general opinion is on government early next year to
social housing customers have paying for energy efficiency help shape the ‘Green Deal’
a willingness to pay more (and measures – the measures could so it is more favourable for
if so, how much) in additional include new efficient boilers and social housing.
Survey By completing the surv
returning it to your local
you will be entered into
ey below and
a free prize
1. Would you be prepared to pay a small weekly charge to get draw to win a £50 B&Q
energy and money saving technology installed in your home, voucher.†
if the savings were greater than the costs?
Yes No (Please go to question 3)
2. If yes, what would you be prepared to pay to have an energy efficient combination boiler, double glazing,
solar panels and various other measures installed in your home?
Over £5 per week Less than £5 per week Other (please state)
3. Would you be prepared to pay a bit extra for?
combination boiler Yes No
Double glazing Yes No
Electric fire Yes No
Mains fed shower Yes No
(water heating from
the suns energy) Yes No
Things that generate
free electricity Yes No
Please return completed surveys to: Your local Gentoo office, FAO Dylan Hawick, Gentoo Green
†No purchase necessary. One entry per person. Closing date for surveys/entries 31.03.11. Winner of the £50 B&Q voucher will be selected at random and
notified within 28 days of the closing date. All entrants must be over 18 years old. No cash alternative.
Name: ....................................................................................... Phone:..............................................................................
New recycling bins
Sunderland City Council has • Food tins
introduced a new recycling • Aluminium drinks cans
system to make it easier for you • Aerosols
to recycle more of your waste
• Plastic bottles (milk, drinks,
from your doorstep whilst also
household cleaner, shampoo
helping to reduce the amount
bottles, etc as long as they
that has to be sent to landfill. We all know how stressful moving
have a 1 or 2 within a triangle
Most residents should now have on the base). home can be and the residents
a new blue wheelie bin with a of Australia Tower had a taste of
In the inner box:
separate inner box to use for that experience earlier this year
recycling instead of your old Paper including: newspapers, when they all had to move from
Kerb-it box. If you haven’t got magazines, junk mail, telephone Aberdeen Tower.
yours yet you will be receiving directories, envelopes and printed- However, regardless of the
one soon. You can now put more paper. Shredded paper can be upheaval members of the Australia
recyclable materials into your blue included in the inner box, but it Tower Luncheon Club and coffee
wheelie bin including cardboard must be included loose and not mornings continued to keep
and plastic bottles. The inner be put into a plastic bag or other their spirits up by taking part in
box will hold your newspapers, container. a camping trip, this was such a
magazines and paper separately If you would like further success they are now planning to
and the rest of the material for information please visit take a four-day cruise next year!
recycling will go into the main www.sunderland.gov.uk. As well as organised trips, the
part of the bin. You will still keep Alternatively contact club get together every week to
your green household waste bin Sunderland City Council on enjoy time together for activities
and brown garden waste bin if (0191) 520 5503 or visit such as pie and pea supper, bingo
you have one. The collection email@example.com. and for the health conscious, a
schedule will remain the same slimming club. They meet every
– weekly for household waste Tuesday 10.15am to 12.15pm
and fortnightly for recycling and and Thursday 10.30am - 1.00pm
garden waste. and then again 6.00pm - 8.00pm
Remember Christmas cards and in the Australia Tower Community
wrapping paper can be placed Room.
in the inner box of your bin to be This year, organiser Joyce Moon
recycled! successfully applied for an Aspire
Q. What can I put in the new Grant, which enabled the purchase
recycling bin? of new equipment for the Club.
Aspire is delighted in supporting
A. In the main body of the bin:
this club because it is a great
• All types of cardboard
example of how a club such
as this can enrich peoples lives
• Any clear or coloured glass by bringing them together and
bottles or jars increasing community spirit.
Schools Aga inst Waste aims
to inform kids in
the North East
An exciting new initiative
has been launched in the
North East that is free for
all school children to use.
sorting, reuse and recycling, waste or ask your teacher to register
It is aimed at helping schools,
prevention and how waste impacts your class.
students and staff to learn all
on the environment. The content For any further information contact
about waste and recycling issues
has been designed with an exciting Ben Grant, Project Officer, NEIEP
and can help schools who are
mix of videos, interviews and on b 07554 333679 or at
working towards green awards
interactive games. firstname.lastname@example.org.
such as the Eco-Schools Awards.
Students completing the course will
Schools Against Waste is an
gain a certificate for their record of
exciting, interactive online learning
achievement which is approved
course that is free to use in all
by NCFE. Green jobs are on the Stop smoking!
North East schools. The course
increase with the environment A 20-a-day habit
has been coordinated by the North could cost you nearly
and waste sector set to grow in £2000 a year.
East Regional Improvement and
the future. For help and information
Efficiency Partnership together with see your GP or visit
the region’s 12 Local Authorities To find out more about the fun www.giveupsmoking.co.uk
and Waste Aware North East. The course visit
digital format has been built by the www.schoolsagainstwaste.co.uk
Gateshead based Environmental MONEY
Academy, a nationally recognised SAVING TIP
centre of excellence for training.
The course is free to use by all
schools in the North East of
England and has four different
versions covering the four key
stages so there is something for
everyone. The Schools Against
Waste content focuses on waste
and waste issues in relation to
homes and schools. This includes
waste collection, management and
our new homes
Gentoo Homes has opened several new showhomes in and around Sunderland to showcase its new
and improved homes for sale and affordable rent.
Jill Haley, Head of New Homes incorporating renewable home will look. With limited stock
Marketing and Customer Care at technologies such as solar panels available buyers will have to move
Gentoo Homes, said: “We have to give customers the opportunity fast to secure one of our sought
some fantastic incentives available to reduce their energy use and after new homes.”
on our new homes and in some giving the planet a little something
cases buyers may even be able to back too. St Catherine’s
move in without a deposit. “So far buyers have only had artists St Catherine’s is perfect for buyers
“Our new house types are bigger impressions to base their decisions looking for contemporary living
and better than ever, embracing on, however our show homes, in a central location. The range
and exceeding current design showcasing our new and improved of competitively priced two, three
and quality standards. The new house types, are almost complete and four bedroom homes will
homes are more energy efficient meaning buyers will be able to appeal to both first time buyers
and environmentally responsible, get a real feel for how their new and those looking for a perfect
your central heating
1°C - this could cut
your heating bill
St Catherine’s SAVING TIP
family home. Its situation, just off property is built to Eco standards the A19 and A690, has excellent
the A1231 with easy access to the including solar panels to save links to Sunderland, Durham
A19, A182 and A1, makes it ideal energy. and Newcastle and has already
for commuters to all areas of the prompted massive interest from
region. Leaﬁelds potential buyers. It is in close
The Fairway showhome is a Situated in the north of Sunderland proximity to Mill Hill Primary
spacious three bedroom home the location of our ever popular School and the William Doxford
with excellent accommodation for Leafields makes it ideal for shopping centre, which offers a
families and couples alike. The commuters to all areas of the large supermarket, pharmacy and
property benefits from a driveway, region. Just off the A19 with newsagents.
garage and landscaped gardens. access to the, A1231, A182 and The Fenwick showhome really is
A1, it is ideally positioned for one to be seen, a contemporary
Hutton Rise various local shops and amenities four/five bedroom family home
Hutton Rise is well situated off and close to a new local primary offering well proportioned
the A690 within easy reach school and popular local park with accommodation over three floors.
of all major links leading into easy access to the harbour and the The hallway leads to a large open
Sunderland, Durham and coast. plan kitchen/dining area with
Newcastle. There are also excellent Live life in style in the Regency french windows leading to the rear
local bus services and public showhome. This elegant spacious garden. The first floor provides
transport links making it ideal for four bedroom home has an access to a family living room,
commuting. attractive interior with french bedroom and family bathroom.
This new development is just a windows from the living room The third floor accommodates a
short stroll away from Houghton- offering view to the garden. Built to further three bedrooms, a study or
le-Spring town centre where you eco standards to help save money fifth bedroom and one with an
will find a wide range of local and energy. The property has an en suite. The property benefits from
amenities. attached garage and gardens to the an integral garage and gardens to
The Meadow showhome is a front and rear. front and rear.
well designed three bedroom
home ideal for family living. The Beckwith Green For more information or to
property benefits from a spacious Beckwith Green is perfect for arrange a viewing, please call the
kitchen/dining with utility, the first buyers looking for more space and Gentoo Homes sales team
floor comprise three generous style at an affordable price. The (0191) 525 5000 or visit
size bedrooms one en suite. The development, on the doorstep of www.gentoohomes.com.
mediators reminded the parties of
the ground rules - everyone
should listen and treat each other
with respect, anyone could ask
for a break at any time and
anything said in the meeting was
confidential. Caroline and Rachel
got a few minutes to say what
had brought them to the meeting,
what they thought the issues
were that needed to be discussed
and what they hoped to achieve.
Could mediation help you? Caroline wanted some
reassurance that she would be
treated respectfully and that
Gentoo’s Neighbourhood Safety the situation. Each neighbour was things would continue to be as
Team has a number of tools it given the opportunity to explain quiet as they had been recently.
can use in order to prevent and the dispute from their perspective. She said that she liked Rachel
resolve cases of anti social and would be willing to help her
behaviour (ASB). One of these Julie spoke first and said that if she could. Rachel said that her
tools is mediation and this she was sick of the noise from main issue was that she had
service is provided by Unite, parties. When it was Amy’s turn reason to believe that Caroline
a registered charity that has she said that she and Jason had been discussing her with
provided independent ‘conﬂict recognised that children make other neighbours and she wanted
resolution’ services since 1993. noise and that it wasn’t really this to stop. Her second issue
that much of an issue but the was Caroline’s cat fouling her
Here are two real-life case studies noise from the computer was lawn.
where Gentoo customers have really too much.
found that mediation has helped Caroline and Rachel agreed that
them to resolve neighbour When they began looking at they should speak directly to
disputes. The names of those options for resolving the issues each other and only each other
involved have been changed to Julie said that she would speak if any future issues arose. Rachel
protect their identity. to Chris about the volume of his asked Caroline to use a litter tray
computer. Amy said that she for her cats to prevent them
Gentoo referred these cases to understood Julie and Chris’s fouling Rachel’s lawn and
Unite who separately visited each concerns about the parties and Caroline agreed to do this.
of the neighbours to learn more that in future she would give All points were written up in
about what had caused the advance notice. an agreement.
dispute and how it could be
resolved. Julie and Amy agreed to discuss
any problems that might arise in Bringing people together in a joint
the future. meeting mediation session
Case Study 1 creates an environment where
people can say what’s really on
Julie and Chris live next door to Case Study 2 their minds and how a situation
Amy and Jason. Julie and Amy
had previously been friends, a Caroline and Rachel had lived is affecting them. This then
dispute had been caused by next door to each other for 10 allows them to identify what their
excessive noise from parties, years but their relationship had interests are and what needs to
computer games and the children broken down due to noise, cat happen to really make things
in the property. fouling in the garden and a better for the long term.
general lack of communication.
A joint meeting was held and If you think that mediation might
ground rules were set. Each The Mediators checked if Caroline be a useful way to resolve a
neighbour was thanked for or Rachel had any concerns neighbour dispute you are
attending and told how positive it about attending a joint meeting. involved in, please contact your
was that both wanted to resolve At the joint meeting, the local Neighbourhood Enforcement
Officer on (0191) 525 5000.
DELIA M CDONNEL AN
Devolved DOWNEY ARE OD
Budget Update T
ENFORCEMEN H AREA.
Lifeline FOR THE NOR
You may recall in previous that sessions, which are to be
issues of Wear Living we held at the Washington Primary
informed you that the ﬁve Care Centre (near The Galleries)
Local Customer Panels every Tuesday between 1pm
(LCPs) who represent our and 4pm and at the Easington
customer base in each of the Lane Community Action Point Since our last update, one of your
every Wednesday between Neighbourhood Enforcement
local management areas
1.30pm and 4.30pm, will Officers (NEOs) has changed area.
across the City, had each Sue Abraham has moved to the
been allocated £20,000 to be just as successful.
Central area and Alan Downey has
spend on schemes in their For more information please taken over from Sue.
neighbourhoods. This money contact Lifeline Sunderland During the last six month period
is in addition to our existing on (0191) 565 8070 or we have dealt with 83 new cases
budgets and was the first visit www.lifeline.org.uk. of anti social behaviour (ASB).
time Gentoo had given a Of these cases, 30 were led by
If you have any good ideas the police but involved close
budget directly to customers. about estate improvements partnership working with Gentoo.
Lifeline Sunderland is one of or how the devolved budget The remaining 53 new cases
the latest organisations to in your area could be spent, were led by your Neighbourhood
benefit from funding thanks to why not come along to the next Enforcement Officers.
this new devolved LCP budget. LCP for your area? They are The team contacted 99% of all
The LCP for the Washington open to the public and we customers reporting a complaint
and Houghton and Hetton would love to hear your views. within 24 hours of the report being
received. The team also carried out
areas have allocated funding to You can get more
76 office interviews, sent 64 letters
a charity which will enable information by visiting and made 95 home visits in an
them to set up and provide www.gentoosunderland.com attempt to stop ASB escalating.
various therapies to those with or by calling (0191) 525
For the most serious cases, 17
drug and substance addictions Notices of Seeking Possession
5000, where you will be put
within the Washington and and 13 Acceptable Behaviour
in contact with your Local
Easington Lane areas. Agreements were issued. The
team were also successful in
Therapies available will provide Manager.
gaining an injunction to stop a
individuals with a perpetrator from entering certain
comprehensive substance streets to cause further nuisance.
misuse programme including The team referred 15 cases to
auricular acupuncture; Unite for mediation to look for
Plan your meals
exercise; aromatherapy and for the week – cooking
a resolution to some neighbour
motivational interviewing with your own food generally
keeps meal costs down, You can contact Delia or Alan on
the ultimate aim being the especially when compared
reduction of and eventual to expensive take-aways (0191) 525 5000, but should
cessation of drug use. or ready meals. you witness an incident of anti
social behaviour, please report
The service has proved to be it promptly to any local housing
incredibly successful in other MONEY officer or by ringing Gentoo’s 24
areas and Lifeline are confident SAVING TIP hour nuisance helpline on
0800 028 4445*.
TOP TIPS T O help you
manage your money
Gentoo knows that money is Get confidential help with debt • Premiums that start at just
tight for everyone at the minute, and benefits £1.06 per week for those
whether it’s through increased aged under 60, and just 61p
We now offer a free service for
fuel bills, a change in benefits or per week for those aged over
customers who would like help
over-spending at Christmas, we 60!
managing debts, or would like to
could all do with a little help check they are receiving the • No excess – most insurers
and support making our pennies correct benefits. include an excess which
go further! means you could end up out
This service is EXCLUSIVE to
of pocket if you make a claim.
The Gentoo Money Matters Team you, our customers and is being
provides a number of services delivered by our partner • No increase in premium if you
that can help you to manage your Sunderland Advice Services (SAS make a claim.
money. – AgeUK). As well as many years • New for old cover (except
Get a FREE Money MOT! of experience in helping people to clothing).
manage their debt, it is also an
Gentoo is working in partnership alternative accredited office for • Optional accidental damage
with FISCUS to offer our the Department of Work and cover.
customers a free financial health Pensions (DWP) and therefore • Variety of payment options.
check in the form of a Money keep a stock of all DWP benefit
MOT. The appointment will take • Help valuing your contents so
forms. This authority means a
place from your home or in one you don’t end up under or
reduction in the time taken from
of our area offices and will over insured.
a benefit being identified to you
include the following: actually receiving it. • Optional one-to-one
• A benefits check. appointment in your home to
To make an appointment with the
discuss your specific
• Fuel supplier advice. SAS, or to get a free benefit check
call 0300 123 2004
• Tips for being more energy For more information about our
efficient. Switch your Home Contents home contents insurance scheme
• Home contents insurance Insurance provider! call 0300 123 2004 or call
overview. Over the last 12 months Gentoo (0191) 525 5000 and ask to
has been involved in a campaign speak to the Tenants’ Insurance
• Opportunity to set up a
to tell people about the Team. Alternatively,
importance of home contents you can pick up
• Advice about affordable credit. a booklet at
• Debt management support. any of
While many of you already have Gentoo’s
• Help drawing up a household home contents insurance, it area Don’t pay
budget. might be worth asking the offices. full price for days out
• Support opening a bank question; “Have you got the and theme park tickets.
best deal?” Visit www.lastminute.com
account. to source cheap or
Gentoo has a policy designed free deals!
specifically for our customers
offering the following perks:
• WFCU savers have the Well alongside their savings
opportunity to take out a programme Wearside First Credit
WFCU loan themselves. Union (WFCU) offer loans which
To find out more about Wearside could work out much, much
Start Saving cheaper than what you are
First Credit Union savings plans,
OK, so saving might be the last or to arrange to open an account paying now!
thing on your mind, but it’s never call 0300 123 2004 and They offer loans from £100
too early to start saving for speak to a member of the Money to £5000** and can help
Christmas 2011! Matters team. consolidate existing debt and
Wearside First Credit Union Alternatively you can visit www. support you to save whilst
(WFCU for short) offers you the wearsideﬁrst.com to find out you repay.
chance to do just that and we more about WFCU products, To find out more or see if you
have negotiated a special deal services and how they operate. are eligible for a loan contact
with them to make it even easier. Wearside First Credit Union on
Ditch your doorstep lender loan
Gentoo customers can enjoy: for a cheaper option! (0191) 514 7491 or visit
• Hassle free sign-up - Gentoo Do you have a loan with a
staff can now come out and doorstep lender, or worse, For more information on saving
scan your ID so you can open a loan shark? money and accessing the services
an account without ever offered in this article, call the
Would you like to take control of Money Matters team on
leaving your home!
your finances and pay less each 0300 123 2004.
• No joining fee! month?
• Minimum deposit of just £1.
• Save as much or as little as
you want, whenever you
• Flexible ways to save – you
can make savings deposits at
any of Gentoo’s area offices,
at WFCU’s head office on
Waterloo Place (Sunderland)
via standing order or through
• Easy access – you can access
your money at anytime and
have it transferred into your
nominated bank account via
cash or cheque (depending
on amount required).
• Life savings insurance at no
• Give something back - by
saving through WFCU
you are supporting the
through their affordable
**Terms and conditions apply.
Visit www.wearsidefirst.com for
futher information. All information
correct at time of print.
JOANNE FREEMAN IS EcoTeams
FOR THE SOUTH ARE
My name is Joseph Buckman, I have set up an EcoTeam
and I am looking for members to join.
In the last six months your
Officer, Joanne Freeman, has
dealt with 13 new cases of
anti social behaviour (ASB) in
partnership with the local Police
team. Joanne also took on 11
new cases in which she was the
Joanne sent a high number of
letters, made numerous home
visits and carried out various Joseph Buckman at Gentoo Green on (0191) 525 5000
office interviews. This activity or email email@example.com
helped stop any behaviour from
escalating to a more serious
level. Joanne contacted 96%
of ASB complaints within 24
hours, Joanne served 3 Notices
of Seeking Possession and
was successful in gaining a
postponed possession order on
a perpetrator’s property. Joanne
has undertaken a new initiative
to further strengthen our links
with the local Police teams and
will now be located within the
Farringdon Hall Police Station for
two days a week to undertake In response to customer choosing to use alternative
joint visits and patrols. feedback, following the closure methods to contact us.
You can contact Joanne on of Downhill Area Ofﬁce in As a result of this, we have taken
(0191) 525 5000, but October, we set up three the decision not to continue with
should you witness an incident monthly surgeries which were
of anti social behaviour, please the surgeries. May we take this
held in November, December opportunity to remind you that
report it promptly to any local and January.
housing officer or by ringing should you require a home visit
the Gentoo 24 hour We have found that the by your Neighbourhood Housing
nuisance helpline on attendance to these surgeries has Manager, please contact us on
0800 028 4445*. been low, with customers (0191) 525 5000 to arrange.
Does your community
need some money?
■ Wheatsheaf Garden Club was racism, discrimination and
awarded a grant of £3,997 in stereotyping to help improve
August 2010 to establish a community cohesion.
gardening club for members
■ Columbia Village Community
Did you know that the Lottery of the community to come
Association runs the local
Grants programme ‘Awards together and share their skills
community centre and
for All’ is looking to make and provide fresh fruit and
activities for the community
more grants in the vegetables to local people.
and was awarded a grant
Sunderland area? The award will improve
of £1,303 in June 2010.
Community groups, schools, physical wellbeing as well
They will use the award to
town/parish councils and as bringing the community
start up a new Youth Club
health bodies are all eligible to together to raise aspirations
for the area. This will enable
apply for grants of between and skills.
access to activities and
£300-£10,000 for new ■ Thornhill School was awarded facilities which young
projects that will help build a grant of £9,500 in June people in the area currently
stronger communities, give 2010 to create positive rap do not have access to.
people better chances in life; music after school to spread
improve the environment or a message of respect for To find out more about Awards
encourage people to be difference. The project will for All call the BIG advice line on
healthier and more active. culminate in the school 0845 410 20 30 or visit the
Here are some examples of recording a CD and performing. website at
previously funded projects in It will raise awareness of the www.awardsforall.org.uk.
the Sunderland area: problems associated with
THE BOX YOUTH PROJECT
4TH ANNUAL CELEBRATION EVENT
representatives and local
The young people in
attendance were able to
sample various activities
including face painting,
nail art, bracelet and card
making. They also had access
During National Youth to the music decks, the new IT
Week the Box Youth Project suite and playstations. There The Management Committee are
celebrated four years in their was also a delicious buffet, looking for new committee
building at Hall Farm. The which was enjoyed very much members so if you would like
milestone was marked with an by all. to help or have any other
anniversary celebration. queries please contact Lisa
The Youth Box Project will be
Despite heavy rain the Wilson Riddell, Project
hosting the XL Youth Village
event was well attended Manager on (0191) 522 5031
on a Saturday between
with staff welcoming young or email
5.30pm-8.30pm from the 22
people, along with the Theboxyouthproject@
January - 26 March 2011.
management committee, agency Everyone welcome. googlemail.com or visit
Local Services -
In the last edition of Wear Living, we explained to you that the new regulator for housing (the Tenant
Services Authority) had tasked all housing providers like Gentoo to work with customers to shape our
‘local offer’. This local offer describes how services will be delivered in your area.
Following the appointment of thousands of responses to this Over the coming months, Gentoo
the coalition government, the survey and one of the questions will be hosting a number of
Tenant Services Authority has we asked was for you to select events to give customers a further
been disbanded. Now, housing three services you felt we should opportunity to give us their
providers have been told they focus on from a list of ten feedback and to tell us what they
must continue this work and we different services. think about the ‘local offer’ in
have until April 2011 to develop The results so far have indicated their area.
and introduce these new local that customers consider their As well as these drop in events,
standards. three key services to be: our staff will also be asking for
Gentoo has already started a • Repairs and maintenance your feedback at events being
customer consultation process held by other organisations on
• Looking after your your estates, or at your Tenants
and you may recall receiving
neighbourhood and Residents Association or
a postal survey as part of our
Annual Report to Customers • Security or anti Local Customer Panel meetings.
that was issued during the social behaviour in We will also be carrying out
summer. So far we have received your neighbourhood a number of surveys with
have your say!
FEB FEB FEB FEB
Monday 7th 2011 Monday 7th 2
011 Monday 7th 2011 Wednesday 9
Housing Ofﬁce The Galleries Houghton Athenaeum
Conishead Centre Housing Ofﬁc Housing Ofﬁce Buildings
9am - 4pm 9am - 4pm Skyline Centre Fawcett Stree
9am - 4pm 9am - 4pm
FEB FEB FEB FEB
Friday 11th 2011 Friday 11th 2
011 Friday 11th 2011 Monday 14th
Housing Ofﬁce Civic Building North Moor
s Housing Ofﬁce
Arndale House Hylton Road Housing Ofﬁc
9am - 4pm 9am - 4pm
Cornhill Centre e
9am - 4pm
9am - 4pm
FEB FEB FEB FEB
Monday 14th 2011 Wednesday 1
6th 2011 Thursday 17th 2011 Thursday 17th 20
Hetton Centre The Galleries Concord
Welfare Road e Housing Ofﬁce Housing Ofﬁce
9am - 4pm e 1pm - 6.30pm Arndale House
1pm - 6.30pm
1pm - 6.30pm
customers - either face to face provide, the more you can be
when you call into one of our assured that the services we
offices, when we visit you at deliver will be as you would want Switch off lights
home, when we meet with you them to be. and appliances.
in communal areas in your multi Leaving an appliance
For more information, contact on standby uses 80%
storey block or sheltered scheme, your local Neighbourhood as much energy as it
or by telephone. Also, look out for Housing Manager on does being on.
an online survey on the Gentoo (0191) 525 5000.
All of the information we collect MONEY
will be used to shape our ‘local SAVING TIP
offer’ so the more feedback you
LET’S TALK THE
With the cold weather here, You might remember it used to be
you’ll be thinking about keeping known as CORGI but now it’s
warm this winter. called the Gas Safe Register. All
gas engineers have to be Gas registered when they turn up at
You probably already have your
Safe registered by law. your front door – if they don’t
central heating switched on - it’s
important to make sure this and Get your gas boiler, gas fire and show you then don’t be afraid to
all of your gas appliances are gas cooker checked once a year ask to see it. Always check the
working safely and correctly. by a Gas Safe registered engineer. card.
Annual servicing not only helps You can also call the Gas Safe
Did you know the Gas Safe
keep your heating and hot water
Register is the only official list of Register free on 0800 408
working properly, it helps keep
gas engineers who are legally 5500* and we can tell you if the
allowed to do work on your gas gas engineer is on the list and
boiler, gas cooker and gas fire? All Gas Safe registered engineers qualified for the work you need
This list is there to help protect carry an ID card so they can them to do. Alternatively visit
you from unsafe gas work. show you they are Gas Safe www.GasSafeRegister.co.uk.
Angels in the City
Alcohol and alcohol related These groups of volunteers
issues are at the heart of many from churches across
problems faced by people today, Wearside want to help, care
sometimes they just need and listen to those who find
someone to listen to stop themselves in such situations.
situations escalating out of They offer help without any
control. judgment or criticism and
Many residents of Sunderland this help could take the form
enjoy a night out in the town, but of just pointing someone to the Aspire was approached by a
at times too much alcohol can taxi rank, helping give first aid to volunteer of the group, in the
leave some people feeling an injured person, or just taking hope of helping their group buy
disorientated and vulnerable. We the time to sit and talk to them. uniforms, so they can be easily
now have a group of ‘Angels’ that They also offer practical help by identified by people in need.
have descended onto our streets giving water to party goers who Aspire was very happy to support
called ‘The Street Pastors’. You will have had too much to drink, flip this cause and feel proud to know
find them patrolling around the flops to women with sore feet and there are people out there willing
main bars of the City every Friday, provide space blankets when to give their time to help others
Saturday and Monday night. they are required. selflessly.
on hand to help
make a greener
future Pupils were led by Service
As part of National Tree Planting as part of a drive to
Week in November, Gentoo encourage community
began a challenge to plant 55 involvement and
trees in two days with the help commitment to environmental
of local pupils. The houses at Leafields are
sustainability. designed to be friendlier to the
National Tree Planting Week is Albert said: “The pupils have environment as well as offering
organised by the tree council and really took the role very seriously stylish and comfortable
every year over half a million with a number of them stating accommodation. Each of the
adults and children take part. that they would like to sleep in a properties have solar panels fitted
Pupils from Southwick Primary tent next to the trees to ensure to provide hot water, water butts
took turns to help Gentoo plant they don’t get damaged in any installed in the gardens for re-use
lime trees on the Leafields way. By involving local children of rain water, energy efficient
development, Faber Road. In in the tree planting exercise it is boilers and a high standard of
total, nine pupils were on hand to hoped that a sense of pride will insulation – all of which aim to
help plant the trees which are stop any vandalism from taking cut fuel bills, whilst at the same
hoped to form a lasting legacy for place and that the trees will be time reducing the impact on the
the area. around for years to come.” environment.
Last year, the Enterprising Futures team helped to
celebrate Global Entrepreneurship Week,
a worldwide movement of entrepreneurial people,
with millions unleashing their enterprising talents
and turning their dreams into reality.
design and embroider day and
‘Enterprise Week’ began life evening bags offering limited
Earth Scent Hand Made
in 2004 as a national event edition and unique bags. Wendy
in the UK. By 2008, so many also offers a made to order
Wendy Barnes of Houghton is in service making matching bags for
countries had begun to take
the process of setting up Earth weddings, prom dresses
part, it became known as ‘Global
Scent. Earth Scent produces a and special occasions.
wide range of handmade soaps.
Wanting to support as many of The soaps are unique in their The Flower Hut, Florist
their customers as possible, the novelty presentation and the Elaine Morrow, a Gentoo
team arranged for a selection of selection is by no means customer from Thorney Close set
new businesses to come into exhaustive. up The Flower Hut in July. With
Gentoo’s Head Office each day the help of the team, Elaine
of the week to offer their services Baroque Bags
managed to secure premises in
to staff. Wendy Kitching from Ryhope set Ashdown Road, Farringdon.
The line up for the week looked up Baroque Bags in November Elaine offers flower arrangements
like this: 2010. Baroque Bags individually for any occasion.
Lady Bra Bra so contacted the Enterprising Emma specialises in bespoke
Futures team to see what help cakes, made to customer
While working in a care home in
was available. requirements and has already
the City, Adele Thomson realised
made a terrific selection, gaining
there was a demand from older Liliarnos Sweets excellent feedback.
people to be measured and fitted
with quality bras and underwear. Lillian Davison set up Liliarnos in
October after noticing that there Kimberley Haley, Beauty
Through her new company Lady was a high demand for sweets in Therapist
Bra Bra, Adele can visit residents her area, but not enough sweet Kimberley Haley, a beauty
in care homes or in their own shops. Living in Ford Estate, therapist was very popular with
private dwelling, to measure, there are a lot of young children, staff at Gentoo when she visited,
fit and supply bras. who are too young to walk to the offering some fantastic beauty
nearest sweet shop alone, so treatments. Kimberley currently
Julie’s Little Angels Baby Lillian created a sweet delivery works at a salon called Profile in
Clothes service and now has a thriving Sunderland and has been
Julie Anderson of Peat Carr has trade. running her own business since
two young children and knows February 2010.
the difficulties she has in finding Miss Tilly’s Cake Company
nice, good quality clothing at Emma Annan always knew she Full contact details for all of the
reasonable prices for them. Julie had a creative side but it’s only above businesses can be found
thought that she could provide a recently that she turned her on the business directory of the
good range of baby clothing hobby into a business and set up Enterprising Futures website,
online and through home visits, Miss Tilly’s Cake Company. www.enterprisingfutures.org.
Very big hit at our resp Learn to respect the road, its not as
rnament, Everyone had a go throug y. easy as it looks, shows people how hard
5-a-side football tou involved hout
it is to drive, gives them a chance to
got the day.
every young person mpetition. think before jumping in a car.
and enjoyed the who
A lot of young people commented
SYF RESPECT DAY saying “When is the next
On Monday 16 August Southwick Respect Day?”
Youth Forum held their first Just
About Respect Day for young The day was a huge success with
people in Southwick. just under 150 young people
attending and taking part in
The event was held at Thompson the various activities that were
Park between 12-4pm, there were provided.
many activities for young people to
enjoy on the day. The Forum would like to say a
We organised this Respect Day big thanks to the agencies who
The Respect Day was all about provided all the equipment to make
because young people rarely have
celebrating young people, and to the day a success and to all of the
their say in what happens in their
show people in the area the good funders who helped make our day
area and if we do its often not
things young people do. Over a possible.
taken into consideration. But this
few months the forum spoke to
occasion we did and we were By James Hodgson
lots of young people to see what
heard and every young person who (Forum Member).
they would like to do if there was a
took part enjoyed the day.
Every person likes to dance and
ile bus, a
Don’t think anyone
has New to the XL mob levision lot of people took part in learnin
at a respect day, so had these nsole, te
computers, a Wii co has got it! the dances and enjoyed it.
them and everyone e invited you name it this bu
Anyone can join the SYF, for further information
email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jeff Dingle - American Idol Season 3
(Judge and Performer Genfactor 2010)
Have you got the Genfactor?
For the past two years Gentoo a chance to shine and showcase 2011. This will be our third
has hosted our very own talent their talents. annual competition in search
competition, showcasing the of Sunderland’s best young
Gentoo is committed to improving
musical talents of young people performers!
the lives of young people and the
in the Sunderland area.
Genfactor aims to recognise and
Last year we saw a total of 78 highlight local talent.
entrants aged 10-16 from local
schools who were then narrowed
“This competition has really Could you be the
helped us to engage with young
down to 10 finalists, with 13-year
people in the community, next Genfactor
old Liam Jones being crowned
the 2010 winner, blowing the
providing them with an enjoyable winner?
activity in a safe environment.”
audience and judges away with If you are aged 10-16
his rendition of ‘Time to Say Gentoo Sunderland Community and think you have the
Goodbye.’ Involvement Ofﬁcer, John ‘Genfactor’ this is your
Hollinshead. opportunity to shine!
The competition has a strong
focus on rewarding the talent of Due to its success, Genfactor Look out for further details
young people and gives young will be returning, with the initial on how to apply.
performers in the local community auditions, taking place in April
Holmewood’s ‘Art of Living’ project
Gentoo has set out to achieve an ambitious vision ‘To improve the art of living beyond our imagination’.
Our vision encompasses more than property alone, we want to have a tangible, positive effect on the
way people and communities live, develop and improve.
12 Young People currently living Holmewood have been designing enthusiastic part in this activity
at our supported accommodation an ‘eco-garden’ which will include which underpins what we do as a
service known as ‘Holmewood’ an allotment to grow a variety of service to support young people to
have been looking at what the fruit and vegetables, a culture and think and act independently.
‘Art of Living’ means to them heritage section to reflect their Finally, both projects are driven to
personally by taking part in a interpretations of the ‘Art of Living’ raise awareness, participation and
number of discussion groups and and an innovative recycling and ownership and to support young
sessions, which have been run and compost section. people to integrate within their
facilitated by service staff. They have also been looking at local community (we’re inviting
As an outcome from these ways which Holmewood can local neighbours and some older
discussions, a topical agenda and generate its own energy and reduce people living in our older persons
project plan (developed by the its overall carbon footprint by doing services to get involved). The
young people) has been created ‘their bit’ to support the City of project also creates opportunities
with two themes: Sunderland to hit carbon reduction for young people to express their
targets. opinions, work as part of a team,
■ To develop an eco-garden and develop skills around planning
look into energy efficiency Young people at Holmewood have
and preparation, work within the
to improve environmental also been involved in improving
community, improve personal
sustainability, supported by their living accommodation. They
health and wellbeing, build self-
Gentoo Green. have developed a refurbishment
esteem, confidence and increase
plan and are currently being
■ To develop their home their environmental awareness.
supported to implement this.
environment (living For more information or if you
All the young people have been
accommodation) for them and want to get involved please
involved in completing health and
future young people who will contact Donna Grieves at
safety risk assessments covering
access the service. email@example.com.
the refurbishment, as well as
To plan and implement this sourcing and costing materials.
agenda, the young people at They have played an integral and
REPAIRS The advantages of upgrading:
• Cheaper - the cost of running
We take our landlord responsibilities
and your personal safety very
SAFETY a gas combination boiler is
less than running a solid
seriously and failure to comply
with our request to gain access to
ROUND UP fuel appliance. Savings from your home to undertake essential
£70 - £200 can be made maintenance will result in legal
over a year long period if used action being taken against you.
One off repair or ongoing care correctly in accordance with the Gentoo Launch New
It’s what we do. manufacturer’s guidance. Health and Safety
• Safer - solid fuel fires are more Factsheet
potentially dangerous than gas Gentoo has launched a new
systems in terms of carbon factsheet designed to give
monoxide leakage. customers essential information
• Convenience - Gentoo has to on how some repairs may affect
service the fire annually and health and safety. The factsheet
have recently changed our entitled ‘repairs and maintenance
working practice to include a health and safety’ is available
monthly cleaning of the throat online at
and is on display in local housing
• Environmentally friendly -
office reception areas.
solid fuel fires produce carbon
emissions and therefore add The factsheet contains valuable
Solid Fuel Appliances to your ‘carbon footprint’. information about:
Conversion to a combination • Gas and solid fuel appliances
We are encouraging all customers
boiler and electric fire suite will • Carbon monoxide
who have a solid fuel fire to make
reduce carbon emissions. • Asbestos
the change to a high efficiency
combination gas boiler. With For any further efficiency enquiries For more information on any
the new boiler, we are also offering customers can contact the Energy of these issues, or if you would
customers the opportunity to Savings Trust on like to receive a copy of the new
choose an electric fire and fire 0800 512012* or at factsheet, please contact Gentoo on
surround if they wish. www.energysavingtrust.org. (0191) 525 5000.
All works are completed in one Gas Servicing
day and we give compensation
Each year there are around 30
for any disturbance to existing
unnecessary deaths in the UK
decoration. The systems are room
due to poorly maintained or
sealed, which means that carbon
badly installed gas appliances.
monoxide is prevented from
As your landlord, Gentoo has a
entering your home, creating a
legal responsibility to carry out an
much safer environment.
annual gas safety check of the
Some customers have told us appliances within your home. This
that they are reluctant to switch inspection is designed to minimise
from solid fuel as they receive a the risk of injury or harm to you
concessionary fuel allowance as an and your family by checking
ex-British Coal employee. However, appliances and hard wired smoke
that fuel allowance can now be and heat alarms. It also ensures
changed to a cash payment in lieu that your appliances are operating
of fuel. as efficiently as possible.
For more information regarding the You will receive a letter from us
payment of your fuel allowance, to remind you when your safety
contact the National Concessionary check is due. We will ask that you
Fuel Office (NCFO) on contact us on free phone
0845 759 0529 or at 0800 587 7809* to arrange a
www.ncfo.co.uk. convenient appointment.
Building starts on ﬁrst
independent ‘stand alone’
children’s hospice in North East
Artist impression of new Grace House Hospice
Back in November, The Duchess that we can finish the build and for tailored to the needs of the whole
of Northumberland formally ongoing costs, but Wearside wants family and will be available 24
marked building work starting this, we all do.” hours a day, 365 days a year, for
on the Grace House children’s Construction work started on site as long as is needed.
hospice, which will provide a in Southwick on the 18 November The purpose-built hospice will
home from home for sick children and you will start to see the building be self-contained with bright,
across the North East, from the take shape over the year. homely rooms for children and
Scottish Borders to Teesside. accommodation for whole families.
Kathy Secker, founder of the Grace
Her Grace, patron of the charity, House Appeal, said: “It has been It will provide a much-needed
visited the site and officially broke a very special day. The start of the addition to existing services, giving
the ground to commemorate the build has been this charity’s dream parents a break, a chance to share
start on site of the long awaited and for some time and thanks to the their time with other children in the
much needed hospice. support of this community and family as well as the gravely ill. A
the wonderful people of the North chance to talk about their fears and
The Duchess said she was
East it is now becoming a reality. complex emotions, facing up to a
delighted to have been asked to future which can never be what
perform the duty and was excited Thanks to our inspirational partners
Gentoo, there’ll be bricks and they had hoped.
to see work begin. She added:
“We have 1,000 young children mortar here before you know it.” Kathy continued: “Work starting on
in this area who need to benefit Gentoo has supported the charity this site has been a great milestone.
from a facility like this and it’s really for several years and we have When finished, the hospice will
important that it is in the middle of agreed to design and build the new provide support to very sick children
a community, it’s not stuck out in hospice at cost price within the and their families across the whole
the countryside, it’s accessible for Southwick renewal area. Following of the North East. Fundraising, of
families and children.” a successful planning application course, will be ongoing as there is
earlier in the year, work will now no long-term sustained government
Grace’s mum Deborah was also funding for children’s hospices. We
delighted to see the construction commence on building the hospice.
would welcome your support.”
work starting and commented: Once completed, the new hospice
“I just feel really proud. This day will provide a wide range of If you’re not involved and would like
has finally happened and I’m support for families, offer respite to be, Grace House would love to
overwhelmed. This is the start of and terminal care, have a team of hear from you.
things really happening now and it’s dedicated professionals offering the Give them a call on
been a long time coming. We have most up-to-date medical skills and (0191) 516 6302 or visit their
to continue with the fundraising so palliative care, offer support that is website www.gracehouse.co.uk.
Putting Hendon and East
Sunderland ‘Back on the Map’
City Council, Northumbria Police
and the Tyne and Wear Fire and
Rescue Service join forces with
Government Office North East
local residents to tackle a variety
commented on the friendliness
of neighbourhood issues. Teams
and professionalism of our grounds
worked together on a number of
maintenance team and volunteers.
community events including litter
BEFORE picking, tidying gardens, planting Lynne Moffett, Neighbourhood
bulbs and addressing anti social Housing Manager received an
behaviour. award from Alison on behalf of
the team, which was awarded for
Back on the Map is the New
their commitment and dedication.
Deal for Communities programme
Alison commented that from all the
for Hendon and the East End of
organisations involved that week
Sunderland. The £54m programme
the Gentoo team had collected
runs from 2001 to 2011 and is
and disposed of the most bags
AFTER delivering improvements to the area
of rubbish. In addition the SAFC
in housing and the environment,
Foundation staff were working with
health, community safety, education
The Gentoo grounds maintenance Gentoo on a two week placement
team and other volunteers were as part of the ‘Back in the Game’
given special praise for the work The Gentoo grounds maintenance venture, which helps people back
that they carried out for the team and other volunteers from into employment.
Hendon and East Sunderland Gentoo cleared resident’s gardens,
A ‘thank you’ lunch was provided by
Back on the Map ‘Week of Action’. including some empty properties of
Back on the Map for all volunteers.
rubbish, litter, old trees and shrubs.
Neighbourhoods in Hendon This was held on Wednesday 8
and the East End of Sunderland “The lads were fantastic” was an December at the Community Link
benefited from a Back on the Map opinion that was echoed by the Shop. The grounds maintenance
‘Week of Action’ which took place Council and staff from the Back on team, volunteers and the SAFC
between Monday 22 and Friday 26 the Map management team. Alison staff all attended for this much
November. The event saw partners Batey, Deputy Locality Manager deserved treat.
including Gentoo, Sunderland Local Partnerships and Place Team,
a job well done!
Gentoo Home Buyer
- a new easy way to own
your own home
Buyer is a new easy way
for buyers to own their own
home as you may only need up
to a 70% mortgage and just
5% deposit. Gentoo would then “The combination of Gentoo’s high
contribute 30% as a Home Buyer quality homes and our new Gentoo “Gentoo Home Buyer is perfect for
Loan which is totally interest free Home Buyer Scheme means that us as it allows us to buy a house
for five years, repayable at the anyone looking to buy their dream we love, at an affordable price for
end of the tenth year. The new home should definitely explore our which we can get a mortgage.
scheme is available across all developments as an option.” The sales staff were really helpful
Gentoo properties and is designed and guided us through the process
One lucky couple who have already
to make home buying more explaining everything we needed
taken advantage of the scheme are
affordable. to know.”
Mr and Mrs Majorkiewicz, who
Buyers will be offered a loan of have reserved a three bed semi Gentoo Home Buyer is opening
between 10% and 30% of the detached house with a garage at doors for more and more Gentoo
purchase price, depending on Gentoo’s Leafields development in customers and it could open doors
income, meaning they could only Southwick. for you. To find out more about this
need a mortgage to finance 70% of offer and any of Gentoo Homes
Kamila said: “We saw the property
the agreed sale price and a deposit developments contact the sales
advertised and loved the type of
of just 5%. The loan is not linked
house and its location, however team on (0191) 525 5000 or
to house price inflation, meaning
since the recession its been really visit www.gentoohomes.com.
buyers know exactly how much
difficult for first time buyers like us
they will be paying back as it’s
as banks are not as willing to lend
exactly the same amount as the
us the money we need.
day that they purchased.
Jill Haley, Head of New Homes
Marketing and Customer Care,
said: “With the Government led
Homebuy Direct Scheme coming
to an end last year we wanted to
provide a home buying product
that would help the many people
who are priced out of the property
market to get on the ladder.
“We appreciate the difficulties
buyers are facing at the moment
and wanted to make owning
your own home as simple and
straightforward as possible. So,
in partnership with Halifax and
Nationwide, we put together
Gentoo Home Buyer to make
home ownership accessible to
Mr and Mrs Majorkiewicz
and son choosing their new Gentoo Home.
Resident Involr ement !
we want you
Do you want to inﬂuence Are you interested in a speciﬁc Are you mainly interested in your
and improve the services we service? local area?
provide? We have service ‘focus groups’ Local Customer Panels are groups
Do you want to have your that are responsible for making sure of local residents who get together
that our services improve. Members to monitor the performance of
say in decisions that affect receive all performance information local services, and monitor where
your community? and all customer feedback in customers can work with staff to
Gentoo is committed to involving relation to each service. Based on suggest improvements. There is a
the community in what we do. this information on how the service separate panel for each of our five
We want to create sustainable is working, members make and local areas, so all information will
communities with excellent facilities agree recommendations on how we relate directly to your area. The
where people are proud to live and should change each service for the panels can make decisions which
feel safe. benefit of all customers. affect your neighbourhood.
To achieve this we need to involve
our residents in what we do. We
aim to give you a range of ways
you can get involved and improve
our services. Your feedback and
involvement is vital for us to be able
to deliver excellence and improve
the quality of life for people locally.
“I have actively been involved
with customer focus groups for
the last six years, focus groups
cover all service areas and being “I have multiple sclerosis, and
involved enables customers to keep my mind active I joined
like me to help shape services the local customer panel. They
to meet our needs and to give me a chance to voice my
establish acceptable standards. opinions and help Gentoo to
Discussions at meetings consider improve things around our area.
essential values and ensure
everyone is treated equally. I have also recently joined a
I would recommend other focus group, this helps me to get
ace you customers to consider getting out and about and meet with
“Focus groups are a pl d work other Gentoo customers older
can meet other peop
le an involved, there is opportunity
difference. I for personal development as and younger. Being involved
together to make a gives me a sense of achievement
I find them the group provides training
attend focus groups as find out when things are done.”
can programmes to help you develop
very informative. You
what is going on around you and your skills.” Carl William Brown,
views and be Local Customer Panel Member
can put forward your James Falade,
listened to.” Customer Focus Group Member
Audrey Carr, Custom
Group Member We are currently reviewing our customer focus groups and in April 2011
we will re-launch with a new structure and branding. We are
also in the process of reviewing the ways in which residents can get
involved and appreciate any feedback that you may have.
You do not have to
meetings to get in
! We are currently im
website in order th
at you can
contribute your view
Did you know we have speciﬁc
methods of involvement for young Gentoo Sunderland and
people? Sunderland City Council are
Join the G2Cru - a group working in partnership to look at
for residents aged 16-25 how we allocate our homes.
years. You can also get We are now in the second stage
involved by looking at the G2Cru of the consultation after a very
successful first stage. At the end of Renewal for those people
For further information on ways the first consultation we received presently, or in the future living in
to get involved or if you have any over 600 responses, 90% of which a Gentoo or Council renewal area.
feedback, please contact your local
were in favour of our proposals.
Customer Involvement Officer on Each week properties that become
(0191) 525 5000 or visit Taking on board the feedback from
available will be advertised through
www.gentoosunderland.com. the first consultation we have now
Choice Based Lettings in one of
produced a draft Housing Allocation
the four bands described above.
Scheme for Sunderland.
Applicants who have been
Basically, our proposals are that accepted into that band will be
we will have only one housing eligible to apply.
register and one application form.
If you would like to see the draft
We will prioritise our customers
policy which includes all of the
into different groups depending
proposals, it is available on the
upon their personal household
Gentoo website at
The four priority groups or bands the section ‘be involved’ under
as we intend calling them, are as ‘allocations review’. It is also
follows: available on the Council’s website
Urgent for those who need at www.sunderland.gov.uk.
immediate rehousing. For example If you have any comments to
“I attend the G2Cru meeti those people who are homeless make please contact Geoff Leask
I know my views will be he regularly as or who have a medical condition or Norma Shiell from Gentoo on
ard and things which means that they cannot (0191) 525 5000 or email
will happen as a result. Fo
the young people in our gro return to or remain in their present firstname.lastname@example.org
up with the name ‘G2Cru’ home. or norma.shiell@gentoosunderland.
have set up a Facebook pa com.
ge that we Priority for those who have a
asked for - which we were
involved in pressing but not urgent need to Alternatively you can contact Louise
designing. This helps us ke
and discuss issues; our qu in touch move. For example those who have Mainwaring from Sunderland City
estions are a medical condition which will Council on (0191) 566 1831
answered almost immedia
tely. The group eventually mean that they have to or email louise.mainwaring@
is a great way to meet new
met people I wouldn’t norm nds, I have be rehoused or those who need to sunderland.gov.uk.
ally meet and
I keep in touch with them move to give or receive support.
outside of the Your comments will help inform the
Choice for those people who do not development of our joint allocations
Jonathan Guthrie, Young have a real need to move but would system and we will publish results
Group member (G2Cru) like to live somewhere different. of all feedback received.
at a glance
Gentoo operate a
priority system for
repairs, this means that
we deal with the most
urgent repairs ﬁrst.
When you contact us to report a 3. Routine Repairs You can:
repair, we assess its importance These are repairs which need to • Telephone our Customer
and then put it into one of the be completed within 31 working Service Centre on
following categories: days. As an example this can (0191) 525 5000.
1. Emergency Repairs include repairs to kitchen units, This service is available
small adaptations for disabled between 8am and 7pm Mon
These are repairs which need to
customers, plaster patching and to Fri and 8am until 12 noon
be made safe within 24 hours.
repairs to bathroom fittings. Saturdays.
As an example this can include
gas leaks, dangerous electrics, 4. Major Repairs • Use the repairs free-phone
dangerous structures, etc. In located in all our local area
These are repairs which can offices.
addition customers who have be completed within 365 days
no heating and no hot water • Text us on b07725 151515,
depending on the amount of
fall under the ‘Tenants Right starting your message with
work required. These are usually
to Repair’ category and should the word REPR followed by
large jobs and as an example can
receive an initial visit within one brief details of what work is
include large joinery work and
working day. needed. We will contact you
making and installing window
if we require any additional
2. Urgent Repairs frames. Some major repairs to
These are repairs which need to your home can often be carried
out as part of a planned works • Fax us on (0191) 525
be completed within 7 working 5520, providing brief details
days. As an example this can programme, for example roofing
or fencing. of what work is required along
include repairs to roofs, faulty with a contact telephone
electrical sockets and switches, We offer a range of ways to report number.
and leaking waste pipes. a repair.
• Use our online repair reporting • Do not use electric switches carbon monoxide poisoning, but
service by logging onto or mobile phones as any here are some symptoms to look
www.gentoosunderland.com sparks may start a fire. out for:
An emergency repair service is • If the smell of gas is coming • Feeling tired and weak
also available 24 hours a day, from outside your home, you • Having a headache
7 days a week on should shut all doors and
windows to your home. • Feeling sick
(0191) 525 5000. Please
• If the smell of gas is very • Pains in your chest and
note that if you contact us outside
strong you should leave the stomach
working hours with a repair
which is not an emergency, you property straight away. • Problems with your vision
will be advised to contact us In an effort to prevent gas • Being out of breath
using the methods above. Our leaks from faulty appliances, Should you or someone you
priority for emergency repairs Gentoo are required to carry know experience any of these
is to ‘make safe’ – we will not out an annual gas service of all symptoms please contact our
always be able to fully complete appliances in your home. Failure emergency repairs hotline on
the necessary repair outside of to allow us access to carry out (0191) 525 5000 or the gas
normal working hours. this service will result in action hotline on 0800 587 7809*.
Gas and Carbon Monoxide being taken against you.
If you smell gas you should do Carbon monoxide is a poisonous During the winter months an
the following: gas which is released when a particularly when we experi
gas or solid fuel appliance has severe weather conditions
• Open all the doors and as
not been fitted on maintained we have recently, it is often
windows in your home. necessary for us to only res
properly, or when a flue or pond
• Turn off the gas at the meter chimney is blocked. Carbon to emergency and urgent rep
and phone National Grid on monoxide is dangerous because for the safety of both our sta
0800 111 999*. you can’t see, smell or taste it. and customers.
• Put out all naked ﬂames, It can be difficult to detect if During these times, please
including cigarettes. someone is suffering from be
assured that all routine rep
will be re-arranged for the
earliest available date.
We appreciate your patienc
during these conditions.
During the winter period it is
Your body produces moisture all
the time, when you breathe and
• Steam from bathing and
usual to experience some perspire. We also create moisture
• Lack of air circulating in the
condensation in your home. when we take a bath or shower,
cook or wash the dishes.
However, in this edition we hope • No ventilation in the house
to give you some helpful advice Where it can happen?
(this can be made worse by too
on how to prevent condensation Condensation usually occurs on much draught proofing).
and treat it when it occurs. cool parts of walls, particularly on
• Raising room temperatures
What is condensation? outside walls where there is not
much air movement. It often
Condensation happens when appears as a dark patch in How can I prevent
moist air comes into contact with corners near the skirting board condensation?
a cool surface. This is what and on the ceiling. The side walls
happens when your bathroom or windows are often affected as To help reduce the risk of
mirror steams up. they can also be quite cold. condensation in your home:
When this happens on your Areas with poor ventilation can • Adequately heat and ventilate
window, the glass mists up and be prone to condensation. This rooms at risk.
drops of water run down the could be behind furniture, • Keep your heating on low
window. When it happens on a particularly wardrobes and beds if throughout the day in cold
wall, the wall soaks up the they are placed against an weather. Use central heating
moisture and becomes damp, outside wall. programmers and thermostatic
which could lead to mould.
Moisture is most commonly radiator valves to ensure that
Condensation usually appears on found in bathrooms and is easily all rooms are comfortable and
cold outside walls and surfaces, seen on tiles in the form of nowhere in the house is very
and in places where the air does mould. To prevent mould cold. Try not to rely on a gas or
not circulate well. occurring, open the window and an electric fire to heat one room
wipe the tiles after bathing or while the rest of the house
What causes condensation remains cold (a number of
and where does it come showering.
rooms could be heated by
from? What are the main causes radiators compared to the cost
Condensation usually occurs of condensation? of heating one room by a gas or
during the winter because electric fire).
Condensation is often caused by:
properties are colder and • Don’t overﬁll cupboards and
windows are opened less so • Drying clothes inside the
wardrobes – make sure air can
moist air cannot escape. house.
• Steam from cooking in the
• Don’t keep furniture and beds
hard against walls. Make sure
• Keep doors open in rooms that
get lots of sunlight. This allows
Penetrating damp occurs if the
water is coming in through the
walls or roof (for example, under
the warm air to circulate in
air can circulate. your home. loose roof tiles or through cracks).
• Avoid drying clothes in your How can I get rid of Rising damp occurs if there is a
home. If you have to, don’t put condensation or mould? problem with the damp proof
wet clothes over the radiators, course. This is a barrier which
instead use a clothes airer/rack, Following the above advice stops moisture rising through the
open the window vents or should help you reduce house from the ground. The
windows in the room and keep condensation in your home, it usual evidence of rising damp is
the door closed. may even remove condensation a ‘tide mark’ on the walls that
altogether. shows how high it has risen.
• When using a tumble dryer There can also be a musty smell.
make sure the hose is placed If mould occurs then this can be
outside the window or door. easily removed, usually by wiping What do I do next?
it off with a disposable cloth and
• When cooking use the extractor some household cleaner. There is If after following the above
fan, if you have one, or open a no need to use strong chemicals. advice, and taking the steps given
window vent or window. Use Wipe over the area again every to prevent condensation, if you
lids on pans and keep the few days using diluted household continue to experience
kitchen door closed. cleaner to stop the mould condensation and problems with
growing back. This should mould, it may be necessary to
• When bathing or washing, have a technical survey carried
keep the bathroom door closed. become part of your regular
cleaning routine. out to your home.
Switch on the extractor fan. If
there is still a lot of water What is the difference This can be arranged by
vapour after you have finished between damp and contacting us on
then leave the fan on, or open condensation? (0191) 525 5000.
A number of customers will In the majority of cases our
How to keep your contact us to report damp in their customers have found that
home warm property but what they are following the advice given, and
actually experiencing is changing their behaviour where
• Don’t trap heat – avoid placing necessary, has significantly
large pieces of furniture in front condensation which could be
prevented by changes in improved the situation.
of a radiator as this prevents
the heat from circulating. behaviour.
• Keep curtains above radiators. Damp occurs when a fault in the
building’s basic structure lets in
• Thick curtains stop heating water from outside. There are two
escaping – remember to close types of damp – penetrating
them at night. damp and rising damp.
There are six coins hidden
throughout this edition of
Wear Living. Simply ﬁnd all six coins, cut them
out and stick them into the piggy bank
opposite for your chance to win a
£25 gift voucher!
Entrants must be aged 12 or under.
Address: ..................................................................................................................Age: ............
Tel: ............................................................. Email: ......................................................................
A S F I P L H U X A L N A W G E
N D W U M B
Y B A N K
O U N
There are 15 words hidden in the word
M W N T H J N N M L E A E B N G search opposite. Find them all for your
E G C J K B E M S B L A L A A Y chance to win £25 of shopping vouchers.
N S E D N H Y L P R T S R C Q E Entrants must be aged 12 or over.
T F H H K Y E S G B F A J C S F MONEY DEPOSIT
S B U D G E T I N G T V E O B F ACCOUNT FINANCE
S D N S K O D C A S H I G U B I CASH CREDIT
R B J D E P O S I T J N L N Y C DIRECT DEBIT ENERGY EFFICIENCY
A S V R J K O D B R S G B T D I BUDGETING DISCOUNT
Q N T S B R D N N F M S G D H E PAYMENTS SAVINGS
D I R E C T D E B I T H N D R N PIGGYBANK DEBT MANAGEMENT
G G D R B D R B R D T I D E R C BILLS
D E B T M A N A G E M E N T J Y
Address: ..................................................................................................................Age: ............
Tel: ............................................................. Email: ......................................................................
Competition details Closing date 31/3/11. Competition rules One entry per competition per household. The winner
will be chosen from entries received by the closing date. The Judges decision is final. No purchase necessary.
Return the completed entry to: Communications Team, Gentoo Group, Emperor House, 2 Emperor Way, Doxford
International Business Park, Sunderland SR3 3XR.
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At Gentoo we are always looking for ways to improve the services we provide. The most valuable
feedback comes from the people who know our services best - our customers. There are many ways for
customers to tell us how we are performing. Here are some of the service improvements made recently
as a direct result of listening to you.
You Said - You wanted us to You Said - You wanted You Said - We need
consider single people for some a consistent method for additional access to empty
smaller houses. customers to use when properties in case of fire or
checking our services. other emergency.
We Did - We now advertise
some two bedroom homes We Did - We have developed We Did - We now share
to include single person a bespoke estate photo book information on how to access
applicants. for customers to use when our empty properties with Tyne
This improvement was identified inspecting our estates. and Wear Fire and Rescue
using feedback from a customer This improvement was identified Service.
complaint. from our work with another This improvement was
housing association, Housing identified from a staff
You Said - When we asked
what you thought of the
SHARE reward card scheme You Said - You wanted more You Said - You would like
for Excellent Customers, you say in how we improved your to hear a local voice on the
told us you didn’t use it, hadn’t estates. telephone recorded message
heard of it, or that it didn’t which plays whilst you are
help you. on hold.
We Did - We have set up
devolved budgets for each of
We Did - As a result we have our five local management We Did - Our on hold
scrapped the scheme and are areas (see page 16 for more messages are now recorded by
looking at a better value use for information). Gentoo staff, so you receive a
the £10,000 it cost to run regional accent.
each year. This improvement was
identified using customer This improvement came from
This improvement was feedback. feedback from one of our
identified following a customer Customer Focus Groups.
Did you know…?
We have set up an 0300
number which you can call to
speak directly to the Money
Matters Team to get advice
and guidance on managing
0300 123 2004