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					             Winter 2010

            The newsletter for residents of Rochford Housing Association


    I remember…

    Residents of Britton Court, a sheltered scheme in Rayleigh, shared their memories of days
    gone by with pupils from a local school as part of September’s Rayleigh Arts Festival.

                                           At a special event, called ‘I                items were used for, what they
                                           Remember’, Max Bolding, Lisa                 meant to them and what memories
                                           Hawker and Roxy Curry from                   they brought back.
      Good day at                          Rochford Council introduced residents
                                           to pupils from FitzWimarc School. The        The pupils enjoyed tea and biscuits
                                                                                        with the residents and it proved to be a
      Goodmans                             pupils spoke to the residents about
                                           things they used to do in their younger      very rewarding day. The young people
                                                                                        learned more about the past and the
                                           days and what life was like back then.
                                                                                        residents chatted to them about their
      The residents of Goodmans,           The residents then had to pick items         own lives as youngsters today. The
      a sheltered scheme in Great          from a selection of objects, including       only drawback was that time was
      Wakering, enjoyed a                  some borrowed from Chelmsford                limited - some residents commented
      successful event in aid of a         Museum. They explained why they              they could have gone on all day.
                                           had made their choice, what the
      good cause in September.
      They held a bazaar to raise
      money for First Responders -
      trained volunteers who provide
      emergency medical help. Their
                                           Piano man
      work is vital in more remote         Congratulations to Alf Smyth of              the 'Best Pub Pianist' competition. Alf’s
      areas where ambulances may           Bellhouse who has recently                   curiosity for how music is written lead
      take time to arrive.                 achieved Grade 5 in Theory of                him to apply for a course in harmony
      Around 40 local people joined        Music. He began                                              and counterpoint at
      the 18 residents for the bazaar,                                                                  London Birkbeck
                                           playing the piano and
      which included knitted                                                                            College for which
                                           piano accordion at the                                       he gained a certificate
      garments, cake stalls, a tombola
                                           age of eight, learning                                       in 2000.
      and raffles. Although it is only a
      small scheme, the impressive         by ear when growing
                                                                                                      He has since gone on
      sum of £400 was raised.              up in north London.
                                                                                                      to study Musical
      Resident Tom Costello said: “The     For over 50 years Alf                                      Techniques and
      responders do an excellent job,      has played piano in                                        Composition and
      they have been called to our         public houses, mainly                                      Theory of Music. Not
      scheme many times and                on the weekends, and                                       one to rest, he has
      helped our tenants, it’s good to     describes this as "one                                     already started his
      support a local charity.”            of the best parts of my life". In 1981, he   Grade 6 in Theory of Music Course -
                                           gained a place at the London finals of       we wish him the best of luck.

 story                                    Centenary celebrations
                                          Staff and residents joined in a             fellow residents who gathered to wish
                                          special birthday celebration recently       her well. Rochford Housing’s
                                          at Spa Court, a sheltered scheme in         managing director Emma Keegan
                                          Hockley.                                    also joined in the celebrations and
                                                                                      presented Lily with a bouquet of
                                          The occasion was the 100th birthday         flowers. Congratulations on your 100th
                                          of Edith Bettell, better known to her       birthday Lily - here’s to many more.
                                          friends and family as Lily. While she
                                          may be entering her second century,
                                          Lily still likes to keep active and still
                                          looks as fit as a fiddle.                      Election results
                                          At the party, which was organised by           Back in June, we began our
                                          scheme manager Sandra Callender,               search for new tenants to join
                                          Lily was joined by friends, family and         our management board. The
                                                                                         candidates were narrowed
                                                                                         down to five and we asked you
                                                                                         to vote for the candidates you

Double diamond                                                                           felt would best represent your
                                                                                         views on the board.

It was celebration time for two
couples at Millview Court, a
sheltered scheme in Rochford, as
their sixtieth wedding anniversaries
fell just a few weeks apart.

                                                                                         After weeks of voting, your votes
                                                                                         have been counted and the
                                                                                         results are in. We are delighted to
                                                                                         announce that the successful
                                          Six weeks later, Millview was again in         candidates are Audrey Murphy
                                          party mood as residents joined                 (pictured above left) from Rayleigh
                                          Bernard and Doreen Valentine (Bunny            and Patricia O'Shea (pictured
                                          and Dolly to their friends) in their           above right) from Hawkwell -
                                          celebrations. HRH did not disappoint           congratulations to both.
                                          once again as the postman arrived
                                          with what can only be described as             Audrey and Patricia took up their
Pam and Len Edwards married in            truly Royal Mail.                              positions at our Annual General
Basingstoke in July 1950 and went on                                                     Meeting on 29th September.
to have six children, six grandchildren   The Valentines, pictured with their
and two great grandchildren. When         telegram, also hosted a buffet lunch           Rochford Housing’s managing
asked about their life together the       for friends and neighbours. They met           director, Emma Keegan said:
couple said “We have always been a        at Stambridge United’s football                “Tenant representation on our
very close family. With six kids to       ground, Bunny being the football               board was a key part of the
bring up it was mostly love and hard      hero and Dolly the glamorous fan.              promises we made to residents
work, but looking at the family now it    They married in Southend, going on             when we took on the management
was well worth it.”                       to have three children, six                    of their homes in 2007.
                                          grandchildren and 11 great
The couple, pictured with a telegram      grandchildren.                                 “I am pleased to welcome both
they received from the Queen, invited                                                    Audrey and Patricia on board
friends and neighbours to join them       The couple say they have known                 and hope with their help we can
for a buffet lunch. They had a family     good and bad times, but agree that             continue to improve services for
party later that weekend.                 love has kept them together.                   our residents across the district.”

        your home
        this winter
    Every winter, thousands of properties suffer burst pipes
    and their occupiers suffer the misery and inconvenience                          Stay dry
    that go with them. Yet most of these bursts could easily
    have been avoided.

    Here are some of the things you             pipework can block with ice and
    can do to make your home less               cause pipes to burst
    vulnerable to freezing weather:
    n   Find the tap that turns off the
        water supply to your house -                                                 Damp is not only unpleasant, but
        make sure it works because if                                                it can also cause a lot of damage.
        you suffer a burst pipe you will
        need to turn it off quickly to                                               It encourages mould on walls and
        prevent flooding. It will usually                                            furniture and can rot window
        be somewhere on the ground                                                   frames. Some damp is caused by
        floor, maybe under the sink or in                                            condensation and you can do a
        the utility room                                                             lot to avoid excess condensation
                                                                                     and keep your home dry. Here are
    n   If you are leaving your house
                                                                                     some handy hints to help keep
        unoccupied for more than a few
                                                                                     your home dry and comfortable:
        days, keep a low background         n   If pipes freeze you can thaw
        heating on - five degrees should        them out using warm air or           n   Wipe down windows and
        be enough. Pouring salt down            warm water - beware of using             windowsills regularly -
        sinks, baths and basins can help        electrical appliances near water         preferably daily
        prevent freezing. Ask someone           as this can be dangerous. If the     n   Don’t dry clothes on radiators
        to visit your home every day and        pipes are part of the hot water
        open your loft door to keep the                                              n   Cover pans when cooking
                                                system, turn off or extinguish the
        loft area, water tanks and              source of heat (immersion heater,    n   Avoid using paraffin or
        pipes warm                              gas boiler, coal fire etc)               portable gas heaters - they
    n   Report dripping taps so                                                          add to the moisture in the air
                                                        n   If a burst occurs -
        they can be repaired -                              turn off the main        n   If you use a tumble dryer, make
        ensure that taps are                                water supply and             sure it is vented to the outside
        turned off and ball                                 turn on the taps in      n   Keep your home well-ventilated
        valves and taps are                                 your kitchen and             and open windows in the
        repaired as they can                                bathroom. Switch off         kitchen or bathroom when you
        cause waste pipes to                                the boiler and the           are cooking or bathing or just
        freeze. Drips can                                   immersion water              afterwards to let out the steam.
        freeze up before they                               heating system.          But remember - if you are going
        drain away; if left for
                                                                                     out please close all windows for
        long enough
                                                                                     security reasons.

Stay warm with
storage heaters
Storage heaters run on Off Peak
electricity, so are the cheapest form of
electric heating if used correctly.

They switch on at night and store         electricity it will use. If it’s too high,
up heat inside a core of firebricks       you will be wasting money.
so that when you need heat the
next day you can let it out.
                                          When the room is warm enough and
                                          before you go to bed, make sure that
                                                                                       Struggling with
There are two controls on most
models: INPUT and OUTPUT.
                                          the OUTPUT is turned right down. If
                                          you don’t you will use more electricity,
                                          heat an empty room and leave you
                                                                                       fuel bills?
INPUT tells the heater how much           with less heat for the next day.
heat to store up at night.
                                          When the weather gets too warm, just
OUTPUT (often called BOOST or             switch your heaters off at the wall.
ROOM TEMPERATURE) tells it how
much heat to let out into the room.       A well controlled storage heater
                                          should give you 10 hours of useful
Set the INPUT to its highest setting in   heat a day or more.
cold weather (usually 6 or 9). In mild
weather, you may not need it so high.     If your room is cold by evening,
                                          check that the OUTPUT is turned
The higher the INPUT the more heat        down overnight, and the INPUT is
the heater will store, and the more       set high enough.                             If you are a British Gas or EDF
                                                                                       customer, you could get help
                                                                                       with your bills. The British Gas
                                                                                       Energy Trust and the EDF Energy

Go EBICO                                                                               Trust are charitable organisations
                                                                                       that help customers in difficulties.
                                                                                       If you apply and are successful,
Sanctuary Group has teamed up             They can’t guarantee to be the               you will receive a grant - this
with EBICO, a not for profit energy       cheapest in all areas, but they are          does not have to be repaid, but
company which has been leading            competitive and use any surpluses            you must be a current British Gas
the way in cutting household              to fund community energy-saving
                                                                                       or EDF customer.
                                          schemes. There’s no pressure to sign
energy bills since 1998.
                                          up and you can switch away again             The money does not necessarily
EBICO supplies gas and electricity        whenever you want.                           have to be to cover energy bills
throughout Britain, in partnership                                                     but may, depending on your
with Scottish and Southern Energy.        For more details on switching your
                                          gas and electricity to EBICO, call           circumstances, cover things like
The company offers a single, fair         0800 458 7689 or 01993 608404                funeral expenses or payment for
price for all customers, including        or visit http://www.sanctuary-               essential items such as cookers.
those who pay by a prepayment             group.co.uk/housing/pages/                   For details, telephone
meter. There’s no standing charge,        ebico.aspx.                                  01733 421 060 or visit
a free priority service for elderly or                                                 www.britishgasenergytrust.org.uk
vulnerable customers and free                                                          or www.edfenergytrust.org.uk.
energy saving advice.

    How are we doing?
    In each edition of Your Voice, we will provide you with information about our performance. Here
    is the latest performance information for Rochford Housing Association from April to September
    2010. Figures refer to rented, sheltered and supported accommodation except where stated.

                     Satisfaction with repairs service                                 Average re-let times
                     (Source: National Residents’ Survey)                              Average time taken to re-let an empty property

                                                                            1 Apr -
                                                     81%               30 Jun 2010
                                                                                                                            29 days

                                                                             1 Jul -
    We use feedback on repair satisfaction levels to help us           30 Sep 2010
                                                                                                          18 days
    identify where service improvements can be made and
    discuss this feedback with both contractors and internal         We have improved our processes and our performance has
    maintenance staff.                                               improved. We are committed to ensuring this continues.

                     Income management
                     Percentage of income lost due to empty homes                      Percentage of rent unpaid

            As at                                                            As at
      30 Jun 2010
                                                     0.60%                                                          3.81%
                                                                       30 Jun 2010

           As at                                                            As at
     30 Sep 2010
                                                      0.61%                                                                 4.80%
                                                                      30 Sep 2010

    We are pleased that the income lost due to empty                 Payments of housing benefit that we receive affect our
    properties has remained low.                                     reporting of arrears performance information, meaning the
                                                                     two figures are not directly comparable. We work closely to
                                                                     support residents and can refer people for specialist help
                                                                     from the Citizens Advice Bureau or The Pensions Trust.
                     Complaints resolution
                     Average number of calendar days to resolve complaints

           1 Apr -                                                   We saw an increase in the number of complaints; some
      30 Jun 2010
                            9 days
                                                                     were complex and needed lengthy investigations so they
           1 Jul -
                                                   25 days           took longer to resolve.
     30 Sep 2010

    Take the right road                           take into account the needs and
                                                  circumstances of each person to
                                                                                               They have a Breakfast Club held
                                                                                               every Thursday between 9.30am
    Can’t face life without drugs                 help them make a positive change.            and 11.30am at the Parish Rooms,
    or alcohol?                                                                                82 West Street, Rochford (opposite
                                                  Open Road uses a range of                    Rochford Railway Station). As well as
    Open Road is an Essex-based                   complementary therapies on an                breakfast, you can also get
    registered charity that aims to               individual and/or a group basis to           acupuncture treatment, advice on
    reduce the harmful impact of drugs            help minimise the health problems            relapse prevention and general
    and alcohol on users, their families,         associated with drugs and alcohol.           advice from the drugs support team.
    partners and society.
                                                  They also work closely with local
    They offer alternative therapies,             partners to provide safer
    counselling, information, support             communities by addressing the                For more information on Open Road,
    and advice. Their service is totally          problems of crime associated with            call 0844 499 1323 (charged at local
    confidential and FREE of charge. They         drug and alcohol misuse.                     rates) or visit www.openroad.org.uk.
    deal with people as individuals and

Fire - keep safe                                                                   Too old to
Simple steps that could save your life:
n   make sure you have at least one
                                          n   close all doors and unplug
                                              electrical appliances when going
                                              to bed.                              If you think you’re too old to
    smoke alarm fitted and that it is
                                                                                   exercise, the residents of
    working. If you do not have one,      We would advise you not to light
                                                                                   Millview Court, a sheltered
    or it is not working, contact us      candles but if you do, make sure
                                                                                   scheme in Rochford, would have
    at once on 0800 012 1991              they are placed:
                                                                                   to disagree - especially on
n   test your smoke alarm at least        n   on a heat-resistant surface - take   Tuesday mornings at 10am.
    once a week and keep a spare              extra care with night lights and
    set of batteries in the house             tea lights, which get hot enough
n   don’t overload electrical sockets         to melt plastic

n   plan an escape route, keep the        n   in a proper candle holder
    route and exit clear and make         n   out of the reach of children
    sure everyone in your house               and pets
    knows how to escape
                                          n   out of draughts and well away
n   make sure windows can be                  from fabrics (such as curtains
    opened in an emergency                    and furniture)
n   put cigarettes out properly           n   with at least 1 metre (3 feet)
n   check that your upholstered               between the candle and any
    furniture is fire-resistant               surface above it

n   take extra care in the kitchen -      n   with at least 10cm (4 inches)        This is the time when local people
    never leave chip pans unattended          between candles.                     join residents for a weekly
n   keep your cooker clear of             Never leave a candle unattended          workout. Sessions are led by
    flammable objects                     and put them out with a snuffer or       Gaynor from Southend United
                                          spoon - blowing them can send            Community and Education Trust,
n   never leave young children alone      sparks and hot wax flying. Double        who help promote the ‘Fit for Life’
    in the kitchen                        check that they are completely out.      programme. The exercise classes
n   never leave lit candles                                                        started as a ‘one off’ event,
                                          For more help and advice on fire         funded by Rochford District Council
    unattended - put them in secure
                                          safety, contact the local fire service   to promote National Falls
    holders and away from materials
                                          on 01702 614433.                         Awareness Week in June, but it
    that could burn
                                                                                   proved so successful that it is now
                                                                                   a weekly event.
    Sweeeet!                                                                       The exercises are all designed for
                                                                                   over 55s. It is a seated exercise
You may remember the sweet jar            which exactly matched the number         routine and you can go at your
competition held at                                   of rent accounts with        own pace. The sessions last about
the residents' fun                                    arrears that week.           45 minutes and are often followed
day in July. Its aim                                                               by a nice cuppa - all for £1.50.
                                                      We had 42 entries, with
was to raise                                          guesses ranging from         Newcomers are welcome. For
awareness of the                                      150 to 1,000, but the        further information, please
number of Rochford                                    winner was Reece             telephone Mary Lyons, scheme
Housing tenants                                       Emery, with a guess of       manager of Millview Court, on
                                                      507. This was the            01702 547702 or e-mail
with current rent
                                                      closest to the actual        Mary.lyons@sanctuary-
                                                      number, 505.                 housing.co.uk
The jar was full of
different sweets                                        Reece (pictured) won the
                                          jar and its contents - well done!

                Rate your neighbourhood
    Your home is important to you - and so is your
    neighbourhood. We want to make sure the area
    you live in is clean and tidy - just as you would
    expect it to be.
    We want to do all we can to make sure your
    neighbourhood is as pleasant as possible. We carry out
    regular visits to your area to see if there’s anything we can
    do to improve the general appearance and cleanliness,
    but we also need to hear from you.
    Please tell us about any issues that are affecting your
    neighbourhood; for example: is there a problem with
    graffiti, abandoned vehicles, or vandalism? Or is there
    anything else you think we should know about?
    We really value your opinion. To make it easy for you to
    give us your feedback simply complete our online Rate
    your Neighbourhood questionnaire in the ‘Your home’
    section of www.sanctuary-housing.co.uk
    Your feedback will really help us to set priorities for the
    areas we visit next, so please help us to help make your
    neighbourhood as good as it can be.

    Value for money
    We’d like to thank everyone who                maintenance in-house. This is             looking at using light sensors to
    sent in value for money ideas                  being piloted in the north of             switch off lights when they are
    following our article on delivering            England and if successful, we will        not needed to save energy.
    better value which appeared in our             look at rolling it out elsewhere.
                                                                                        n    We have introduced national
    last newsletter. We are always happy       n   In Ely, we have formed a                  contracts for purchasing items
    to hear your ideas, so please keep             partnership with East                     such as kitchens, bathrooms and
    them coming.                                   Cambridgeshire District Council to        boilers - this has saved us almost
                                                   carry out grounds maintenance             £1.5 million.
    We are still looking at your                   work, sharing experience, training
                                                                                        When we make savings, we then
    suggestions but in the meantime, here          and equipment. Feedback from
                                                                                        need to decide where to invest the
    are some examples, including some              residents has been very positive.
                                                                                        money to provide even better services.
    taken from different parts of the          n   At Hyde Park in Sheffield, we
    country, of things we are doing and            saved £50,000 by negotiating a
    planning to do to provide better value.        heating contract - tenants now           Please let us have your
                                                   pay less for their heating and hot       suggestions. Send them to
    n   After the success of our Internal
                                                   water. We even managed to get            Joanne Bain, Head of Service
        Maintenance Service - which has
                                                   the deal backdated, so most              Improvement, Sanctuary
        delivered savings on average of
                                                   households got a refund.                 Group, Chamber Court, Castle
        29% compared with contractors’
                                                                                            Street, Worcester WR1 3ZQ or
        costs - we are bringing some           n   When we need to replace                  email joanne.bain@sanctuary-
        jobs such as communal cleaning             lighting systems as part of              housing.co.uk
        services and grounds                       refurbishment works, we are

   What you told us
   National Residents’ Survey 2010
                                                                                 If you have comments or feedback
                                                                                 you would like to share with us on any
                                                                                 issue relating to your home and the
                                                                                 service provided please contact your
                                                                                 local office.
                                                                                 Our survey prize draw has been held
                                                                                 and all winners have been notified.

                                                                                  Survey details: Between 16
                                                                                  March and 18 April 2010 Ipsos
                                                                                  MORI conducted 4,507
                                                                                  telephone interviews with
                                                                                  Sanctuary Group residents using
                                                                                  a randomly selected sample of
                                                                                  general needs tenants, sheltered
Thank you to everyone who took         For value for money, 80% said their
                                                                                  tenants, supported tenants and
part in our annual satisfaction        rent was good value and 57% would
                                                                                  home owners.
survey. In total, 4,500 residents      speak highly of us. Most general
took part and you gave us valuable     needs residents said they were unlikely
                                       to move house within three years.
information on how to improve our
services. The survey was carried
out by Ipsos MORI using specially
                                       For sheltered residents, 86% of those
                                       who had used the emergency call
                                                                                   Do you have
trained telephone interviewers
working to Market Research
                                       system in the past year were happy
                                       with the speed of calls being               a stair lift?
                                       answered and 90% said staff were
Society guidelines.                                                                If so, we’d like to hear from
                                       helpful. A similar number were
A wide range of residents from all     satisfied overall with the scheme           you. Our national compliance
over the country took part and 83%     manager service.                            team is currently compiling
of those who responded said they                                                   details of all the stair lifts in
were satisfied with our services       Unsurprisingly when residents were
                                       asked about their priorities, 59% rated     our properties. This will help us
overall, including 82% of general
                                       repairs and maintenance as the most         to find out where they are and
needs residents and 89% of
sheltered residents.                   important, followed by the overall          to make sure we are fulfilling
                                       quality of homes and keeping tenants        our servicing obligations for all
Satisfaction with the repairs and      informed. These remain top priorities
                                                                                   stair lifts installed.
maintenance service was slightly       for us too and, whilst we have made
lower at 71% of all residents - most   many changes in these areas                 If you have a stair lift and are
were happy that dirt and mess was      recently, we will continue to make          not sure if it’s being serviced,
kept to a minimum, but less happy      improvements in the future.                 please contact your local office
with the time taken to get a repair.                                               or send an email to
                                       We are currently carrying out more
Most (82%) felt we were good at        detailed analysis of the data and           NationalComplianceTeam@
keeping residents informed and 61%     this will be used to help us improve        sanctuary-housing.co.uk.
thought their views were taken into    and change our services based on            We can then help you by
account. Some 78% preferred to         your feedback.                              making sure the correct
be kept informed by letter and 46%                                                 servicing arrangements are
by newsletter - fewer wanted to                                                    being made.
attend meetings.

                                                                          News from
                                                                          the National
     In each issue, we bring you an            issue) was the result of a review by    Connaught and he was confident
     update from the National Residents’       the housing consultancy company         that the impact on tenants would be
     Forum (NRF) - a panel made up of          Housing Quality Network. Members        negligible. He added that there are
     residents from across the country         expressed their views and Group         adequate funds available in
                                               Chief Executive David Bennett said      departmental budgets.
     who examine Sanctuary’s plans and
                                               that all feedback currently being
     give their views on how services are                                              Catherine Roper-Roberts, Service
                                               collected would be considered
     delivered nationally. Here are some                                               Improvement Manager - Property
                                               before any decision is made.
                                                                                       Services, said Property Services has
     of the highlights of the meeting held
                                               Ian McDermott, Group Director -         now completed a review of the Aids
     in September.                             Property Services, gave the Forum an    and Adaptations Service and added
     Kate Still, Director of Community         update on the situation regarding       that a three-month pilot of the new
     Investment and Involvement,               our contractors Connaught, after the    service would take place in
     explained that the proposal to pay        firm called in the administrators. He   Sanctuary Midlands in 2011, before a
     Group board members (see last             said that plans are already in place    national roll out during 2011/12.
                                               to protect works being carried out by

     How do I report a repair?
     When your home is in need of a            Text: If you have a hearing             Charter Community Housing:
     repair, you want it to be done quickly.   impairment or any other disability      07815 946025
     So do we, which is why we have            then you can contact us by using
                                                                                       Minicom phone number:
     been trying to make it as easy as         these 24 hour text numbers.
                                                                                       01482 580576
     possible for you to report your repair.   Rochford Housing: 07824 609748
                                                                                       Online: Via our website at
     You can report a repair in the            Sanctuary Midlands/Asra Midlands:       www.sanctuary-housing.co.uk
     following ways: telephone, email, by      07785 772834
                                                                                       Our website also has some handy
     text or online.                           Sanctuary Scotland and Sanctuary        hints which should help you deal with
     Telephone: Our Customer Service           Cumbernauld: 07768 323547               simple repairs, such as dealing with
     Centre is staffed 24 hours a day, 7                                               frozen pipes, resetting a trip switch or
                                               Sanctuary London & South East:
     days a week, including weekends                                                   clearing a blocked toilet or sink.
                                               07785 772617
     and Public Holidays. See back page                                                Please see the Handy Hints section
                                               Sanctuary North and Shiregreen,
     for details.                                                                      in the Repairs Handbook which is
                                               Sheffield: 07717 816793
     Email: cscrequests@sanctuary-                                                     downloadable from our website or
                                               Sanctuary Shaftesbury and               you can request a printed version
     housing.co.uk but please do not use
                                               Riviera Housing Trust: 07795 265843     by contacting your local office.
     this email to report emergency or
     urgent repairs.                           Sanctuary East (incorporating
                                               Sanctuary Hereward): 07824 609749

Over the past few months,
we have been gathering
personal information from
our residents to help us to
understand your needs
and to make sure everyone
is being treated fairly,
regardless of their age,
gender (including
transgender), race,
religion, disability or
sexual orientation.

We need to find out more about who         less formal methods, such as our          To find out more about the work of
is using our services and to make          telephone panel. If you would like to     the Disability Equality Forum,
sure that everyone can use them if         get involved, please contact us on        please contact Rachel Carranco on
they need to. We also look at our          0800 012 1991 or email us at              0800 012 1991 or email her at
lettings to make sure the people we        getinvolved.rochford@sanctuary-           enquiries.rochford@sanctuary-
house fairly reflects those on our         housing.co.uk                             housing.co.uk
housing register and in the wider
community.                                 We’d like to thank everyone who has

With accurate information, we can
plan for the future. Knowing how
                                           completed the information. To date
                                           we know that approximately 60% of
                                           our tenants are female and 88% of
many households contain someone
with a disability, for example, helps us
to budget for adaptations to suit their
                                           those who have provided
                                           information on ethnicity are white
                                           British, with the next largest
                                                                                       with your
needs. We may need to improve
access for those with mobility issues.
                                           significant group being white people
                                           from other backgrounds.
If someone is visually impaired, we                                                    Are you struggling to pay your
can ask them if they need information      Some 21% of households contain
                                                                                       rent? If so, please contact our
in large print or Braille.                 someone with a disability and the
                                           main area of disability involves            income team - they will be
We also need information about you         mobility issues. To help us to consider     happy to work with you to set up
to make sure that a variety of views       the needs of those households which         a manageable arrangement to
are represented when we ask you            contain someone with a disability, we       clear your rent arrears.
for feedback. At the moment, we’d          have set up a Disability Equality
like to encourage more people              Forum made up of staff and                  We are here to help
under the age of 40 to get involved        residents. We will report on the
in our residents’ associations, forums     forum’s findings and what we plan to        Call: 0800 012 1991 or Email:
and focus groups, or through other         do about them in future issues.             Rochford.incometeam@

        Voice of
        the streets
     Do you want to represent your            area and pass on any suggestions       We will pay any expenses you incur
     neighbourhood? If so, now’s your         for improving your neighbourhood.      in carrying out this role.
     chance! We would like to introduce       You will receive training and
     ‘Street and Block Voices’ - residents    guidance on the best person to
                                              speak to about various enquiries.         If you would like an informal
     who represent their local estate or                                                chat about becoming a
     community by acting as a contact         You could hold coffee mornings at a       representative, please
     between their neighbours and             communal place once or twice a            contact: Laura Guttridge on
     Rochford Housing Association.            year and we’ll help you to design         0800 012 1991, or email
                                              newsletters to tell your estate and       getinvolved.rochford@
     We’ll meet with you regularly and        neighbours about local events or          sanctuary-housing.co.uk.
     you can tell us about issues in your     projects they may benefit from.

     Rochford Standard works
     As you may know, the contractor we had originally
     appointed to complete our major works programme,
     Connaught Partnerships, went into administration
     earlier this year.
     We have approved the CG Interiors (CGI) team to take
     over the contract to deliver the remaining planned
     refurbished works programme for phase three. CGI’s
     project manager Colin Barnett said “We are extremely
     pleased to have secured the interim contract and the
     team are committed to delivering all the works originally
     planned for phase three of the schedule.” The CGI team
     has taken the office based at 3 Harvard Court, Boston
     Avenue, Rayleigh to use as the temporary centre of
     operations until the end of March 2011 and welcome any
     visitors connected with the project.
     Work on our Rochford Standard programme of home              If you would like more information about the
     improvements continues to progress well, and a number        Rochford Standard works or are interested in
     of properties have been handed back early. If you are        getting involved on the residents’ mini-focus group,
     interested in viewing the display property in Rayleigh, in   please contact us on 0800 012 1991 or e-mail
     which you can view the options available for your home,      getinvolved.rochford@sanctuary-housing.co.uk
     please contact us on 0800 012 1991 for an appointment.

Going walkabout
Housing officers Pauline Lengden       concerned about, which can include
and Michelle Flowers (pictured) will   outstanding repairs, grounds
carry out neighbourhood                maintenance, litter, abandoned
                                                                                     Pauline Lengden        Michelle Flowers
walkabouts in your area during         vehicles and untidy properties.
January, February and March.           The next round of walkabouts, which
                                                                                   For more information on any of
The walkabouts allow us to find out    take place between 10am - noon
                                                                                   these walkabouts please call us
first hand what issues you are         and 2 - 4pm, are detailed below so
                                                                                   0800 012 1991.
                                       do please come along.

Pauline Lengden

Area 1              Area 2             Area 3             Area 4           Area 5                      Area 6
4th Jan - am        13th Jan - am      19th Jan - am      27th Jan - am    8th Feb - pm                1st Feb - pm
16th Feb - pm       1st Mar - pm       10th Mar - pm      16th Mar - pm    24th Mar - am               31st Mar - am
Appleyard Avenue    Ferry Road         Essex Close        Creswick Avenue Hatfield Road                Salam Walk
Harrogate Drive     High Elms Road     Worcester Drive    Lansdowne Drive Bardfield Way                Boston Avenue
Plumberow Mount     Bedloes Avenue     Church Road        Station Avenue   Tendring Avenue             Hartford Close
Avenue              Birchdale          Jubilee Road       Crown Hill       Elsenham Court              Maine Crescent
Pulpits Close       Grasmere Avenue    Leslie Road        Francis Walk     Sheering Court              Regents Close
Lodge Close         Lower Road         Lodge Close        Bull Lane        Clavering Court             Vernon Avenue
Station Road        Oakleigh Avenue    Trinity Road       Parklands Avenue Fyfield Path                Wimarc Crescent
Hillcrest Road      Rydal Close        Warwick Road       Kings Road       Rettendon Close
Harris Court        The Walk                              Queens Road      Kelvedon Close
Shepherds Court     Windermere                            Hardwick Close
Sudbury Close       Avenue                                High Mead Court
Main Road           Goose Cottages                        Meadowside

Michelle Flowers

Area 7              Area 8             Area 9             Area 10               Area 11                Area 12
13th Jan - am       18th Jan - pm      20th Jan - am      3rd Feb - am          9th Feb - am           15th Feb - pm
3rd Mar - pm        15th Mar - pm      22nd Mar - am      24th Mar - am         9th Mar - am           30th Mar - am
Glebe Close         High Street        Scotts Hall Road   Doggetts Close        Rochford Garden        Sutton Road
Morrins Close       Twyford Avenue     Rowan Way          Greenways             Way                    Sutton Court Drive
New Road            Little Wakering    Anchor Lane        Oast Way              Ormonde Avenue         Warwick Drive
Shoebury Road       Road               Cagefield Road     Middlemead            Tylney Avenue          Rochefort Drive
St Johns Road       Coronation Close   Stambridge Road    Malting Villas Road   Percy Cottis Road      Queen Elizabeth
Seaview Drive       Rodwells                              Bobbing Close         The Drive              Chase
Old Hall Court      Evergreens                            Millbourn Court
Mercer Avenue       Kimberley Road
Orchard Close       Church Road
Olivers Crescent

     Ready for winter?
     During the recent snow and ice,               and ice often stick to the soles of     n    Finally, if you don’t need to go
     many people were confined to                  shoes and will melt almost                   outside, then stay indoors, stay
     their homes - here are some tips so           immediately as your shoes begin              warm and stay safe!
     you are prepared if we have                   to warm up. The result is a
                                                   slippery surface and the risk of
     another big freeze.
                                                   a fall.
     n   Stock up on extra food such as
         tinned foods and long life milk.
                                               n   Scooping up heavy piles of snow
                                                   is hard work for your back                  Flats
                                                                                               to let
                                                   muscles. Impatience or over
                                                   enthusiasm can cause you to
                                                   pull a muscle or suffer from
                                                   nagging backaches. Shovelling
                                                   "pros" recommend curved                     Rochford Housing Association
                                                   shovels versus flat ones; they              currently has a number of one
                                                   retain snow more effectively.
                                                                                               and two bedroom flats
                                                   Choose a shovel of a reasonable
                                                   weight. If it's slightly smaller than       available for rent to those
                                                   most, it might take you longer to           aged over 60.
                                                   do the job, but you’re more likely
                                                   to hurt yourself by constantly              Each flat is self contained,
                                                   lifting a heavy shovel.                     including its own kitchen, lounge
     n   Avoid wearing high-heeled                                                             and bathroom. Residents have
         shoes or boots outside. Instead,                                                      the use of a communal lounge
         wear flat shoes with slip resistant                                                   and garden. There’s a social club,
         soles or rain/snow boots; both of                                                     scheme manager on site and a
         these provide you with some
                                                                                               24 hour emergency call system.
         degree of traction.
                                                                                               If you are interested please
                                                                                               contact us for an application pack
                                                                                               (see back cover for contact
                                                                                               details). We can also arrange for
                                                                                               you to pay an informal visit to one
                                                                                               of the schemes. You don’t have
                                                                                               to be a Rochford Housing
                                               n   Check on your neighbours - if               Association resident or already
                                                   you have elderly or vulnerable              live within the Rochford area.
                                                   neighbours now might be the
                                                   time to see if they are ok, maybe
                                                   offer to pick up some shopping
                                                   for them when you do yours.
     n   Take short, flat steps. The heels     n   If you live in one of our sheltered
         and soles of your shoes keep              schemes, we have an
         contact with the ground as long           agreement with Rochford District
         as possible, providing you with           Council who will come and clear
         maximum surface contact.                  a main pathway from your
     n   Before heading indoors, shake             scheme to the street - however
         your umbrella outside. Once               they work in order of priority, so
         inside, remove your shoes. Snow           please bear with us.

Over to you                                                                               Family
                                                                                          Fun Quiz
We welcome contributions from residents - if you would                                    Try this fun quiz -
like to submit an item for consideration in Your Voice, our
                                                                                          devised by residents
                                                                                          1 Who was the male who won
contact details are on the back cover. Resident Cyril                                       Strictly Come Dancing in 2009?
Stringer has sent in these gardening tips.

                                                                                          2 What country won the football
                                                                                            world cup in 2010?

   Winter in your garden                                                                  3 What singer died on 25th June
Don’t forsake your plants                  Clean and oil garden tools and check
                                           any that need sharpening. Empty the
because the weather is cold                hose and put it in the shed, then lag          4 What is the national flower
- they still need attention.               the outside tap.                                 of England?
Rake up leaves and debris being
mindful there might be a hedgehog
hibernating.                                                                              5 Who was the second man on
                                                                                            the moon?

                                                                                          6 What is the capital of Brazil?

                                                                                          7 What is the most common gas
                                                                                            in the earth’s atmosphere?

                                           Keep on top of weeds - a light hoe
                                           every couple of weeks is good exercise         8 Which actor played Indiana
                                           and stops the weeds spreading.                   Jones in the film Raiders of
Reduce the size of large plants as                                                          the Lost Ark?
                                           making more work in the spring.
long as there is not a frost, then stake
plants that rock in the wind               Give grass a medium height cut if it’s
remembering to fill in any hole            getting long but don’t walk on or cut if       9 What nationality was Mozart?
around the base of the plant made          it is frosty.
by rocking. If you don’t, the plant will
become waterlogged and when                Lay flower tubs on their sides if wet -
temperatures drop the water freezes        this will stop them becoming further           10 What is the seed of an oak
around the root killing the plant.         waterlogged and freezing in the                   tree called?
                                           cold weather.
Delicate plants can have a mulch of
garden compost or peat over their          Last of all, put a ball in the pond
                                           when icy and remember the birds                Please email your answers to;
roots and garden fleece or old                                                            getinvolved.rochford@sanctuary-
window nets to cover and protect           need a little help with some food and
                                           water, remembering to clear the ice            housing.co.uk or send them to the
their foliage.                                                                            address on the back cover by 31
                                           off their water when frozen.
December is your last chance to put                                                       January 2011. The winner will be

in spring bulbs but do not dig in                                                         announced in the next edition and
frosty earth.                                                                             will receive £25 worth of 'love to
                                                                                          shop' vouchers.

Promises update:                                                                    Why not Wyvern?
                                                                                    Wyvern Community Transport is

housing surgeries                                                                   a registered charity which
                                                                                    provides a community transport
                                                                                    service for people living in the
                                                                                    Rochford District who need
In the spring edition of ‘Your Voice’         Dates, times and locations are        special transport services
we published an article called ‘The           listed below:                         because of age, illness, physical
Second Office Debate’. One of our                                                   and mental disability, low
                                              Great Wakering                        income or because of a lack of
offer document promises was to
                                                                                    rural public transport.
offer a second office for residents.          Bellhouse, High Street, 26 Jan 2011
                                              1pm to 4pm                            Wyvern has a fleet of minibuses
We asked you to tell us what you
                                                                                    with special adaptations for
would use the office for, where it            Hockley                               wheelchair access for group
should be and how often you would
                                                                                    transport. It also has access to
use it. We also gathered your views           Spa Court, Greensward Lane, 25 Jan    cars provided by volunteers who
via the tenant telephone and email            2011 2.30pm to 4.30pm                 use their own vehicles for
panel, residents’ forum, resident                                                   individual journeys. Members can
profile form and annual resident              Rayleigh                              use the scheme for various
survey for 2009.                                                                    purposes including:
                                              Chignal House 10 Feb 2011 10am
We took the results to the Residents’         to 12pm                               n   Hospital appointments/visiting
Forum meeting in July, where several
                                              Britton Court 23 Mar 2011 2.30pm      n   Social/day centres
members felt that the low response
suggested that a second office was            to 4.30pm                             n   Lunch clubs
not needed. It was also noted that            Frances Cottee Lodge 15 Apr 2011      n   Further education
the offer document doesn't take into          10am to 12pm.
account the costs involved, reflect                                                 n   Rehabilitation classes
improvements already made since                                                     n   Visiting friends and family
transfer including paying rent online           Just turn up, no appointment is
and over the phone, and that                                                        n   Shopping
                                                needed. If you have any
tenants attend local surgeries held             comments or suggestions             n   Doctor, dentist, optician or
prior to resident association                   please contact Karen Johnson            chiropodist appointments
meetings where staff are present.               on 0800 012 1991 or email           There is an annual membership
Therefore, we’ve decided to use                 Karen.johnson@sanctuary-            fee of £5 and each journey is
sheltered schemes to hold ‘housing              housing.co.uk                       charged at £2.50 for the first four
surgeries’. We will try this system out                                             miles and 50p thereafter for each
for six months and will then see if                                                 extra mile. For further information,
there is enough interest to continue.                                               call Wyvern on 01702 544551.

                                                                                    This newsletter can be translated
                                                                                    into other languages, large print
Rochford Housing Association,                                                       and Braille or recorded on to
Rumsey House, Locks Hill, Rochford, Essex, SS4 1BB
                                                                                    audio CD/tape. Please contact
Telephone: 0800 012 1991 or 01702 533460                                            your local office for details. This
Fax: 01702 533492                                                                   will be made available to you
Email: enquiries.rochford@sanctuary-housing.co.uk
                                                                                    within eight weeks.

If you have any comments or a story for this
newsletter please contact:                                                          Rochford Housing Association Limited, an exempt
                                                                                      charity, is a subsidiary of Sanctuary Housing
Phil Ellis, newsletter editor: 01905 334124                                                  Association, an exempt charity.
or email phil.ellis@sanctuary-housing.co.uk                                                  www.sanctuary-housing.co.uk