Share your views with Michael Hughes on 01656 727948 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
You could win £50 of shopping vouchers for just giving your opinion!
Last year was the first time, we asked you, our customers, to complete the ICS Customer Satisfaction survey. This survey is used by 247 organisations, ranging from Amazon to Welsh Water. The results of which, were excellent.
When drilling down into the results, we noticed that your satisfaction levels dropped when you tried to report an issue or problem (down to 65), or to just ask a question (down to 78.5). So we have listened and have been working hard to improve by:
At the end of November, the ICS will be emailing out the 2018 survey. If you wish to take part, or opt-out, please get in touch to ensure we have your up-to-date email address.
For more information just click here
Servicing your boiler
The clocks have gone back; the nights are dark and the weathers getting colder. So make sure your boiler is in good working order so that you stay safe and warm this winter.
We service all our boilers free of charge every year, the service includes;
The service only takes around half an hour and is really important for you and your family’s safety.
If we identify any major repairs or a boiler replacement during this service then we will arrange for an engineer to visit you at a later date and book this as a separate appointment.
If you would like to find out when your boiler service is due, then please call 0300 123 2100 or email email@example.com
The Wonders of Work Experience
Whatever your circumstances…Out of work, in between jobs or simply looking for a change?
We have an exciting new 4 day work experience opportunity, on Tuesday 6th to Friday 9th November 2018, 10am-3pm!
Limited places available so don’t miss out...It’s easy, just ring us or email to find out more!
This is your chance to:
So, what are you waiting for?
If you are interested and/or have any queries, give Dennise a call on 01656 727961 or email WorkandSkills@v2c.org.uk
As a Top 10 Welsh Housing Association, we have announced the appointment of Anthony Whittaker as our new Chair of the Board of Directors, succeeding current Chair, Neil Harries. Anthony was officially appointed as Chair on 22nd October 2018.
Anthony has been a Chief Executive of one of Wales leading housing associations; United Welsh, until recently retiring and brings over 40 years’ experience of working within the housing sector. In addition, he has served as a non-executive Board member for a number of housing organisations in England and Wales. As a resident of Bridgend, in his spare time he enjoys walking with his dog, gardening and following his [formerly] local football team.
Commenting on the appointment, Donna Baddeley, our Chief Executive, said: “I am thrilled to be welcoming Anthony as our new Chair as he brings with him a wealth of relevant experience and a strong background in both Executive and Chair roles. In addition, he has a deep understanding of housing services, a strong empathy with our values and is committed to helping our customers live safely and happily in their own homes. I am looking forward to working closely with Anthony.”
“On behalf of the Board, I would also like to thank Neil for his significant contribution to Valleys to Coast and invaluable support over the past five years - we wish him well for the future.”
Anthony commented: “I am delighted to be joining at a particularly exciting time for the business and I strongly endorse the ethos shared throughout Valleys to Coast and its consistent focus on putting the customer at its heart. I very much look forward to working with Donna, the Board and the wider team as the organisation enters the next stage of its development.”
Click here to see how V2C’s Board believes we are meeting the Welsh Government’s Performance Standards and suggests where we can improve.
Do you agree with the Board?
On Friday 3rd August Valleys to Coast held a fundraising event for Ty Hafan, our chosen charity for the year, upon hearing about Ty Hafan’s own open day on August 4th. We followed the same theme and turned our offices in Tremains into a Wild West setting with homemade, recycled props and décor. Colleagues were welcome to come in casual clothing for a £1 donation but any fancy dress was certainly appreciated and there were many attempts to out costume each other.
We held various activities throughout the day including a tuck shop, a gold chocolate coin hunt, giant jenga and a jail photo booth for donations. We also subjected several members of staff to being held in stocks whilst wet sponges were thrown (with pretty good aim) at them.
Throughout the course of the day we successfully raised £100.31 and have added this to our previous amount now totalling over £600! We will continue to support Ty Hafan and the incredible work they do with families and children around Wales.
Achieving the Green Dragon Standard demonstrates our commitment to improving energy efficiency, reducing our carbon footprint and improving environmental sustainability.
We have held this accreditation for a number of years now and some of the positive benefits include:
1. Increasing waste recycling levels within our Housing Repairs Service.
92% of all our waste was recycled in 2017-18.
2. Using energy efficient and money saving measures within our offices.
These include fitting energy efficient LED lighting; reduced water consumption measures fitted, using black and white ink and double sided photocopying. All of these measures have saved us money allowing us to reinvest the money for other things.
3. Investing in sustainable technologies to assist our customers to save money in their homes.
These include the installation of solar PV and solar thermal systems and Air Source Heat Pump technology.
4. Investing in External Wall Insulation measures.
These have improved the SAP ratings of our homes which helped reduce customer’s energy bills.
5. Development of registers and action plans on Ecology issues.
These include protecting species like bats and invasive plants such as Japanese Knotweed.
V2C have assigned Mustard Research (www.mustard-research.com) to collect what you, our customers, think of us and our services. To do this Mustard will be phoning 100 customers every month – so there is every chance you may receive a phone call. They will be phoning from Halifax in England from the number 01422307578, so if you see this number don't be alarmed, but if you have any concerns feel free to contact us directly. We will be using this information to improve the services we offer, so please be honest and tell us what you think. If you wish to opt-out, or want to have your say without waiting to be surveyed, please get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org.
As we know, electrical appliances can be a cause of fires in the home. V2c has been advised that that some electrical fires were believed to have been caused by mobile phone chargers – other rechargeable items could also be at fault.
A Fire Chief has warned that Mobile phone chargers should not be plugged in overnight and that blazes have happened when phone chargers were left switched on in the outlet but not plugged into a mobile phone.
The Fire Chief went on to say that “These incidents highlight the danger of electrical fires - they can strike anytime, anywhere. Never leave items on charge or unattended for long periods – and ensure the plug to the charger is switched off even if it’s not connected to your phone/electrical item." He added, "Never mix and match chargers – always use the charger supplied, always follow the manufacturers’ instructions and guidance when using electrical items and turn off and unplug them before you go to bed.’’ In the unfortunate event of a fire, “Our advice is to be as prepared as possible in the event of fire, by ensuring that working smoke alarms are fitted in your home and that you have clear escape routes to enable you and your family to exit your home as quickly as possible.”
Dominic Littlewood, a consumer affairs expert, also revealed how leaving anything on charge for an extended period of time can be incredibly dangerous as it poses a fire risk.
Mr Littlewood said ‘’it's not just the fact that we're charging our phones for hours that should cause concern, but also where we're putting them.’’
Dom strongly advices against people sleeping with their phones in bed, as people place their devices under their pillow so they can hear their alarm clock in the morning.
Doing so could pose a fire risk - with phone batteries heating up while charging, and potentially setting fire to bed sheets and linen.
Instead, Dom says we should place our phones on a saucer, because that way if it gets hot, the china won't catch alight and we are better protected.
But the consumer expert also says charging your phone overnight could do long-term damage to its battery.
According to PC Advisor, you should never charge the battery all the way to 100 per cent. This is because constantly doing a full recharge will shorten the battery's lifespan. It is also important that the you don’t use fake phone chargers as though it’s often cheaper to buy imported, unofficial chargers, the cost can be much greater in the long run. Fake mobile phone chargers are often made with poor quality components that fail to meet UK safety regulations and this means they can cause injury, electric shocks and even fires.
To help you be safe, please see the hyperlink below for guidance
June outline update
The additional properties at Maes Y Felin which were added to the original property list for the phase 1 Wildmill contract are now nearing completion and what a difference a couple of months can make. As phase 1 of the external improvement comes to a close so the second phase is also starting to get up and running, with the initial properties being opened at Tairfelin scheduled for early in July.
The Three storey Blocks at Maes Y Felin shortly after work started
The same 3 Storey blocks as work is nearing completion at the end of June.
At the end of April and again early on in May the Projects Team along with colleagues from the Regeneration team contractors and consultants held a couple of consultation events at the community centre in the precinct at Wildmill. The events were held to let people on the estate know that phase 2 of the Wildmill external improvements were going to be carried out. Both events were open to all the residents and home owners on the estate who may have an interest in the work. Attendance at both the events was fairly high and the teams had a busy afternoon and evening dealing with a number of varying enquiries and requests.
Following the consultation events we have been working on the final preparations for Phase 2 which have include the relocation of the site set up and welfare facilities, to do this we have had to carry out the demolition of a garage site at Tairfelin and a new compound has been built to provide a secure storage and welfare facility for the contractors who are going to carry out the Phase 2 work.
SERS who have been appointed as the principal contractor to carry out Phase 2 have also been carrying out preparation work and have started to contact customers to put in place the arrangements needed to carry out the work.
We also have a consultant Surveyor, Gary Goodwin of Gsquared Surveying working through a list of privately owned properties to put in place Party Wall agreements and other statutory obligations with the private owners who live next door to Valleys to Coast homes. Gary will be on site over the next few months carrying out visits and speaking with the private owners to try and make sure that we can carry out the work as it is programmed.
The first Phase 2 properties are programmed to start early in July and the first scaffolds have been erected and repairs have started.
The First of the scaffold is erected at Tairfelin to kick off Phase 2.
This year we have been successfully shortlisted for Bridgend Business Forum ‘strictly’ Business Awards 2018!
The award we have been selected for is Service Business of the Year 2018.
It recognises businesses who are customer focused and doing something different for the local economy and community. We provided evidence of customer testimonials of exceptional customer service, notable achievements and why we stand out from other organisations in Bridgend.
The awards ceremony and glittering black- tie dinner will be held at the Coed-Y-Mwstwr Hotel, Coychurch, Bridgend on Friday, 28 September 2018, from 7pm until 11pm.
A red carpet arrival awaits, followed by a drinks reception and three course dinner prepared by a 2 rosette winning chef and the all-important awards ceremony. The event will be by hosted by BBC News Correspondent, Sian Lloyd with special guest Carwyn Jones AM and entertainment by Only Boys Aloud.
Fingers crossed for us on the night!
A recent article on Wales Online showed the dangers of not treating damaged skin. A man was hospitalised after strimming Common Hogweed and getting sap on his legs.
Common Hogweed (aka Cow Parsnip) is found everywhere at this time of year in fields, verges and hedgerows.
It is not as toxic as its relative, the Giant Hogweed. The sap of Giant Hogweed can lead to skin damage and a light-sensitive rash which can recur for 10 years or more. The only known stands of Giant Hogweed in Bridgend are in Stormy Down, where it is being treated by the Council, and at Glanrhyd (unconfirmed). If you think it may be Giant Hogweed, do not touch it.
Common Hogweed can still give you a nasty rash, and like any burn or rash, if not treated, can lead to complications.
If doing any strimming or gardening around this type of plant, make sure you wear long trousers, long sleeve shirts, gloves and head/face cover.
The Big Lottery funded Community Companions befriending scheme for over 50s is looking for volunteer voluntary befrienders in the Maesteg area.
For further details call BAVO, T: 01656 810400 E: email@example.com
What better way to celebrate the end of winter than planting 30 blossom trees ready for the summer.
It was pretty cold when Valleys to Coast (V2C) staff got out the shovels, to plant 30 cherry blossom trees in local sheltered schemes.
Working alongside Brian Jones from Keep Wales Tidy, V2C’s Corporate Service Team brightened up schemes around Bridgend with the cherry trees, donated by CFH Docmail Limited, who provide V2C’s in-house mailing system.
Craig Wadley, a V2C apprentice said: “It’s nice to give something back, brighten up our community and the trees will hopefully be enjoyed by future generations.”
Trees that couldn’t be put in that day went to the community project known as Caerau Community Growers.
Andrew Penny, V2C’s Housing plus worker said: “I just wanted to say a big ‘thank you’ to those of you who were able to come to Hafan Deg this morning to plant cherry trees! On behalf of everyone at Hafan Deg, your efforts are very much appreciated"
Valleys to Coast are currently selling 4 new homes in the Cefn Glas area of Bridgend which are built by Barratt.
The homes are being sold on a Low Cost Home Ownership basis which means you buy 70% of the home and V2C pay the remaining 30%.
This helps first time buyers purchase their first home at an affordable price.
If you are interested in buying one of these properties please contact:
Peter Alan – Bridgend
|35 Pen Y Berllan|
|36 Pen Y Berllan|
|39 Pen Y Berllan|
|40 Pen Y Berllan|
We are members of the Institute of Customer Service (ICS), a professional body for Customer Service who support their members to improve their customers overall experience.
At V2C we put customers at the heart of what we do and are always looking at innovative ways to improve this. With the help of ICS we will shortly be emailing our customers, a short 5 to 10 minute survey to help us understand what services we deliver well and not so well. By doing this we can then see what we need to improve on to help us deliver great customer service time and time again.
All responses are completely confidential so please be completely honest with your feedback. As a thank you V2C will make a charitable donation of £1 to Sandville for each completed survey received. Sandville is a local, independent and self-funded charity that opens its doors to all people suffering difficulties. Visit their website www.sandville.org.uk or phone them on 01656 743344 to find out more.
Please ensure V2C has your up to date email address to be able to receive this survey, alternatively if you don’t have an email address please contact me directly; Michael Hughes, Senior Performance Officer, on 01656 727948 or call our Customer Service Team on 0300 123 2100.
Further information on ICS is available on their website here: https://www.instituteofcustomerservice.com/
V2C along with modular building specialist, Wernick Buildings have been awarded Welsh Government funding to build eight modular homes in Sarn and Tondu.
Construction will begin in 2018 in Wernick Buildings specialist manufacturing facility at Kenfig Industrial Estate. The modular homes will be made up of individual factory built modules, complete with fitted appliances, heating and electrics, which will then be delivered and combined on-site to form a complete house. Compared to traditional construction methods, modular homes can be delivered up to 50% faster, reducing costs and environmental impacts.
Funding for these homes was made available through the Innovative Housing Programme which aims to help inform Welsh Government, Housing Associations and Local Authorities about the type of homes it should support in the future. The project will contribute to the 20,000 affordable homes target set by Welsh Government.
Communities and Children Secretary, Carl Sargeant commented, “The housing sector in Wales is facing many challenges. Increasing the number of homes available, the rate at which they’re delivered and their affordability, while reducing their impact on the environment are the most obvious. The projects funded by the Innovative Housing Programme will help us learn what works best and why, both in terms of what we build and how we build them. These projects will also demonstrate how we can use the Welsh supply chain to unlock massive opportunities for growth and innovation in housing.”
Darrin Davies, Assistant Director of Development at V2C commented, “As the largest social landlord in Bridgend we are exceptionally pleased to be awarded the funding as it will help provide much needed affordable homes within Bridgend. We look forward to working with Wernick, Welsh Government and Bridgend County Borough Council on the project”
On Tuesday the 18th July, Valleys to Coast (V2C) successfully retained the Green Dragon Level 2 accreditation for another year.
The Green Dragon Environmental Standard is designed to promote good environmental management within the organisation and to help manage activities in a way which impacts positively upon the environment.
The benefits of achieving the standard include: improved energy efficiency, reduction in V2C's carbon footprint and improved environmental sustainability.
This accreditation has been held for a number of years now and some of the positive benefits to V2C and their customers have included; improved waste recycling, making V2C’s offices more energy efficient, using latest technologies to help customers save money in their homes and investment in External Wall Insulation.
Rob Thomas, V2C’s Assistant Director of Property Services said “Achieving the Green Dragon Standard demonstrates V2C's commitment to environmental management and each year V2C have to go through a rigorous inspection audit to maintain this certification. We are thrilled to retain this for another year and shows how dedicated we are to making our thriving communities become greener while also being a successful organisation.”
Consultation on 'Information for tenants of social landlords' - Abolition of the Right to Buy and Associated Rights (Wales) Bill
Welsh Government wants tenant’s views on information social landlords will issue if the abolition of the Right to Buy in Wales becomes law.
They want to know if the document:
Please follow the link to the Welsh or English version and submit your views via email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01492 593046
We’re at Wildmill Community Centre on
12th July, 2-7pm to talk to you about:
EXTERNAL RENOVATIONS TO YOUR HOME
Come along and chat to staff from our housing and maintenance teams about the external renovations to you and/or your neighbours’ homes.
We will also have a sample of the materials we are planning to use along with technical information about its construction and more importantly its safety.
Alternatively you can contact us at the office with any questions you may have:
0300 123 2100
We have all been shocked and saddened by the horrendous fire in London this week. Whilst our thoughts are with those affected, we do understand that you might have concerns over the safety of your home.
Valleys to Coast (V2C) does not own any tower blocks and we do not own any properties over three storeys.
The initial media reports are focusing on the cladding fixed to the block of flats. We have applied external wall insulation to improve many of our properties, but we can reassure you however, that we have never fitted the ‘rain screen cladding’ used at Grenfell Tower. All our insulation improvement work was undertaken in compliance with Building Regulations and complied with Part B of the regulations as they relate to fire safety.
We take fire safety in your home very seriously. For this reason every property we own is fitted with a smoke detector and every year we carry out a gas safety check in your home. In addition we carry out regular fire risk assessments in all blocks of flats.
We need your continued co-operation to allow us access for the gas services and in keeping communal areas, hallways and stairwells free from personal possessions and items that might help fire spread or prevent a safe escape in the event of a fire.
Fires in the home are very rare but we cannot be complacent. By working together we can make sure that we keep each other as safe as possible.
If you have any concerns about fire safety in your home then please call our Customer Service Team on 0300 1232100 or send an email with details of your concerns to email@example.com
There is leaseholder news! It's very exciting. Honest.
We have an exciting opportunity for someone looking to set up business in the North Cornelly area.
The unit is on a small parade on Heol Llan, North Cornelly. The parade has five shops including a Megasave Superstore, hairdresser and takeaway all of which benefit from a large off street parking area.
The shop is 50 sqm in size and currently includes a retail area, meeting space and WC.
For further information on the shop please contact our Property Agent:
Ian McGaw on 07815726804 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
During December we sent out a festive message to inform our customers of our office opening hours over the Christmas period. This went out to 4,653 of our customers using our new SMS/text technology, which helped determine how many mobile numbers we have and will further help us to communicate via text in the New Year.
As an incentive for our customers to respond to the text message we offered a prize draw of £100 in vouchers.
The lucky winner was Mrs Eileen Riddiford who opened the text on Boxing Day without even realising she had entered, she said “I was really surprised when V2C rung as I’d forgotten I’d entered as it was so easy. I had the text and a couple of days later clicked the link it was that easy. I’ve never done something like this before but would definitely do it again, winning is a lovely surprise after Christmas and will help with our shopping”
Mike Bell, Business Systems Team Leader commented, “This is exciting technology that has recently been adopted by Valleys to Coast and helps us move forward building closer relationships and communication channels with our customers. I’ve visited Eileen and her family today to present her with the £100 vouchers. I was really glad to hear how easy she found the draw entry, she couldn't even remember doing it, so it must have been seamless!”
Make sure we have your up to date contact details so you too can be in with the chance to enter future prize draws and received messages from us regarding the services we provide.
We understand that some customers who had Direct Debit payments collected by Allpay on Thursday 7th December have been debited again on Friday 8th December.
We are working with our bank and Allpay to resolve the problem as quickly as possible.
Advice from Allpay is that any customers affected should contact their bank, and that anyone incurring bank charges will be refunded.
If you have any concerns about your payments please contact the Rents Team next week on 0300 123 2100.
V2C Opening Times are Mon-Friday 9am-5pm
Modular building specialist, Wernick Buildings and ourselves are in the early stages of building eight new modular homes for Sarn and Tondu, after being awarded funding from Welsh Government late last year.
The Buy Back Scheme considers buying back ex-council or Valleys to Coast properties that were sold under Right to Buy. This helps us to increase the amount of affordable housing in the Bridgend County Borough area.
What properties are we looking to buy?
The types of properties we wish to buy must meet the following conditions:
We will also consider:
A District Valuer will survey the property to decide the current market value and how much it would cost to bring the property up to Welsh Housing Quality Standard.
We will not make an offer on every property surveyed. Any offer made will be within the price range given by the District Valuer.
We will act as "any other buyer". The seller is responsible for their own legal fees.
If you are interested in this scheme please contact us on 0300 123 2100 and ask for the Development team.
International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia
17th May 2018
Today we are celebrating diversity, encouraging hate crime reporting, and show solidarity with Lesbian Gay Bisexual Trangender (LGBT) people from the 81 UN Member States that still criminalise consensual sex between same-sex adults.
461 sexual orientation hate crimes were reported in Wales during 2016-17.
50% of hate crimes still go unreported.
Part of the rise is due to an increased number of hate crimes around the time of the EU referendum and in the wake of terrorist attacks.
It is celebrated on 17th May to mark the anniversary of the decision, in 1990, to remove homosexuality from the International Classification of Diseases published by the World Health Organisation. Even today it is estimated that 81 UN Member States still criminalise consensual sex between same-sex adults. Of these, seven still consider the death penalty an efficient tool in combating what they call a ‘disease.’
REPORT HATE CRIME
4 in 5 LGBT hate crimes still go unreported, but can have devastating and long-lasting effect on people and communities. Please report and seek practical and advocacy support by contacting the local police on 101 (999 in an emergency) or Victim Support (0300 3031 982 www.reporthate.victimsupport.org.uk/hate-crime/)
Report LGBT hate crime! Victim Support Cymru provide emotional, practical, and advocacy support, and have excellent feedback from people they have helped. Call 24/7 on 0300 30 31 982
LGBT hate crime can take the form of verbal threats, offensive graffiti, damage to property, assault, cyber bullying, or abusive texts, emails and phone calls.
All LGBT hate crime reports are taken seriously by the police. Even when it doesn’t lead to an arrest, this information is still vital for planning future prevention activities.
Children and young people in Wales experiencing anti-LGBT bullying can contact MEIC, a confidential, anonymous and free helpline service, available in Welsh or English, 8am to midnight, 7 days a week. MEIC can be contacted by phone, SMS text and instant messaging.
This year marks 70 years since the declaration of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. #CadarnDrosHawliauDynol #Standup4humanrights