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You could win £50 of shopping vouchers for just giving your opinion!
We are delighted to announce the appointment of Joanne Oak as our new Chief Executive. We will welcome Jo to the team in early May replacing interim Chief Executive; Duncan Forbes, who has been leading the organisation over the last 6 months.
Providing and managing nearly 6,000 homes across Bridgend, our vision is to help build a better Wales. This new recruitment will certainly support us to do this.
Jo is a qualified accountant with over two decades of senior leadership roles across the public and third sectors. She is experienced in leadership, change management, strategic planning, financial management and governance.
She moves from Social Care Wales where she is Director of Strategy and Corporate Services. She has the pivotal role of driving the organisation through growth and transformation working with Welsh Government, sector partners and colleagues. Jo is also currently a Board member of Bron Afon Community Housing and a Trustee for Buildings Communities Trust.
Jo has passion and commitment to make a difference for better outcomes for people of Wales and is delighted to be working for an organisation with strong values and a commitment to raise quality and standards in housing and the wider community.
Commenting on her new role, Jo said, “I’m delighted to be appointed to lead Valleys to Coast at an exciting time, to drive forward the ambition to build new quality homes and deliver excellent services for our customers. I am passionate about making a difference, ensuring everyone has access to a decent home and that we build vibrant communities. I am really looking forward to joining the fantastic Valleys to Coast team, working with customers and partners to ensure we continue to build more homes and support the local community.”
Anthony Whittaker, Chair of the Board of Valleys to Coast said, “We are delighted that Jo will be joining us as our new Chief Executive. We are looking forward to working with her and the rest of the team to deliver our exciting and ambitious plans to support our customers and provide much needed new homes in Bridgend.”
The redevelopment of 15 modern flats in Bridgend town centre has now been completed and ready to be made into homes.
Theses contemporary flats are located just seconds away from the train station and a minute walk from the shops. They are also at a unique pivot point between Cardiff and Swansea and ideal for those working in Bridgend or travelling for work benefitting from short commute times.
These were made possible through the Homes In Town Grant which is designed to encourage town centre living, tackle vacant space in the town centre and increase the supply of affordable accommodation in key hubs to assist regeneration in the town centre.
We are renting these on an intermediate basis meaning rent will be set below the average market rents.
Darrin Davies, our Director of Development says, “We are always looking for opportunities to work with partners, private landlords and any other interested parties to provide desirable homes for our customers. This is just a start to the regeneration project and support the town centre and businesses to generate wealth, provide jobs, attract investment, improve skills and encourage visitors”.
Huw David, Leader at Bridgend Council commented, “These flats are a great addition to the town centre, I’m positive they will be snapped up in no time. I look forward to seeing the next proposal to help regenerate the heart of Bridgend town centre.”
Every year we review the amount of rent you pay, based on inflation and the Welsh Government rent model. This year your new rent charge will apply from Monday 6th April.
During this years’ review we want to take a different approach and consider the average income of households in your area based on statistics published by Welsh Government and the number of bedrooms in your home. This means we will no longer make a blanket increase for all.
For example, areas where household incomes are low may receive a rent freeze compared to areas where household incomes are higher will receive an increase. This method is from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation called ‘the living rent model’.
You may find that your rent is frozen and you will pay the same next year or your rent may increase by up to 2.7% +£2 per week. We’ve included some examples below on what a rent increase could mean for you:
If your current rent is….
Your rent could increase by a MAXIMUM of…
Your MINIMUM new rent could be…
Your MAXIMUM new rent could be…
£80 per week
£4.16 per week
£80 per week
£84.16 per week
£90 per week
£4.43 per week
£90 per week
£94.43 per week
£100 per week
£4.70 per week
£100 per week
£104.70 per week
£110 per week
£4.97 per week
£110 per week
£114.97 per week
Once we have gathered your views on what approach to take, we will then tell you exactly what your rent charge is by the 27th February in preparation for the change in April.
We've drafted these FAQs to help with any questions you may have and will update them when new questions are asked.
Win £100 voucher by simply giving us your views.
We would love to know what you think on this approach to deliver fairer and more affordable rents. Please go to our survey here.
The prize draw will close on Wednesday the 19th February.
We look forward to hearing your feedback.
We have appointed Lisa Griffiths, Jason Evans, Caroline Jones and Sophie Taylor to join us as Board members this week.
The recruitment of these roles was required as Board members; Sarah Hay, Cheryl Tracey and Liam Bevan stepped down from their roles due to other commitments at our Annual General Meeting in September 2019.
Lisa Griffiths is a Fellow of both the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants and the Chartered Institute of Internal Auditors and currently works in corporate governance and acts as Company Secretary for a number companies within the steel sector.
Jason Evans is a partner at Gambit Corporate Finance, an award winning corporate finance advisory firm based in Cardiff and leads on debt advisory services and the social housing sector for Gambit. He also sits on the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) Council for Wales.
Caroline Jones is an Associate Director at Savills as well as a chartered surveyor and RICS registered valuer. She works in the development department advising on property development and regeneration. Caroline has worked closely with the affordable housing sector in Wales, providing valuation and consultancy advice on assets and new build programmes.
Sophie Taylor is a ICAEW qualified chartered accountant who is currently the head of finance at Cardiff and Vale college and is responsible for the day to day management of the finance team, as well as ensuring a strong financial control environment and supporting the organisation through a period of rapid growth and change.
Duncan Forbes, our Chief Executive said: “I am thrilled to be welcoming all four of our new Board members to the team. They all bring a wealth of relevant experience and strong skills to help us continue being a successful organisation. They have strong empathy with our values and are committed to helping our customers live safely and happily in their own homes. I am looking forward to working closely with them all.”
“On behalf of the Board, I would also like to thank Sarah Hay, Cheryl Tracey and Liam Bevan for their significant contribution to Valleys to Coast and invaluable support over the years - we wish them well for the future.”
We have completed the construction of eight semi-detached homes in partnership with Wernick Buildings.
The modular units, which had appliances such as heating and electrics pre-fitted in their factory in Kenfig Hill and later delivered to site were ready for families to move in this week.
The method has been designed to reduce the time spent on a site and also the need for multiple trades commuting on a daily basis, reducing costs, environmental impact and also disruption to the neighboring community.
Funding for these homes was made available through Welsh Governments Innovative Housing Programme which aims to help inform the 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.
Julie James, Welsh Housing Minister said: “Our £90m Innovative Housing Programme is a test bed for innovation in housing, and demonstrates our ambition to provide more, better quality homes for people while creating jobs and training opportunities in their communities too.”
Darrin Davies, Director of Development and Asset Investment at Valleys to Coast added: “Putting customers at the heart is key to what we do and building desirable homes where energy bills are low and are energy efficient is what we believe will be best for the future. We hope customers can benefit from these additional benefits and live in a home where they feel happy and safe.”
We’ve teamed up with Bridgend College to deliver free family focused hobby and leisure courses for five of our customers.
This is an excellent opportunity to learn a new hobby, upskill yourself or start learning something new. They have the programme for you.
There are 72 short courses to choose from, lasting no more than 10 weeks and involve support and designed to help you to gain confidence, make new friendships and achieve an accredited qualification in the subject of your choice.
A recent learner commented "I am just about to finish the guitar 10 week course which runs on a Monday evening has been great and I have surprised myself with how much I have already learnt."
Duncan Forbes, Chief Executive at Valleys to Coast commented, “Having a home and access to education should be a basic right for everyone, we’re so please to be working closely with the college to offer opportunities such as these. We want to find more creative ways to provide better results for our customers and our communities by piloting different approaches and combining our efforts and resources for the greater good.”
So what are you waiting for? Apply today: www1.bridgend.ac.uk/community-college/
Bill Daniels began volunteering with Mirus in May 2018 at their allotment in Brackla, Bridgend. He immediately took on the role of mentoring which resulted in some great relationships which developed over their love of the allotment. They set about transforming the allotment over the next few months, growing herbs, vegetables and flowers.
Bridgend Association of Voluntary Organisations (BAVO) recognised and celebrated the great volunteering that is happening across the local area at their annual Voluneer Achievement Awards and Bill Daniels successfully won the Befriending and mentoring award.
Volunteers deliver services in the heart of our local communities. They make it easier for people to get the support they need and also improve other people’s wellbeing. They make a real difference to charities and ultimately to people’s lives and BAVO were delighted to be able to recognise their hard work and achievements.
As sponsors of the Befriending and Mentoring Award; our Chief Operating Officer, Paul Ryall-Friend said: “It’s always a privilege to support these awards. Bill is a great guy and even those he mentors call him a legend, a true legend. It’s clear that he truly puts his customers at the heart of what he does by mentoring them around their work commitment and when it is suitable to them. We want to support Bridgend to have thriving communities and think Bill is doing a great job in helping to do this.”
Volunteering can be exciting, challenging and rewarding. Groups rely on volunteers and you can make a BIG difference to your community! Have a look at local opportunities at Bridgend.volunteering-wales.net or drop by our Volunteer Centre in Queen Street in Bridgend town Centre. For further details call BAVO, T: 01656 810400.
We are looking to recruit 20 new candidates to fill the job vacancies we have available in Bridgend.
Having a home is a basic right for everybody and we’re looking for the right candidates to ensure customers are put at the heart of what we do in desirable homes and as part of thriving communities.
The roles they have available range from the Chief Executive, Director of Housing, Board Members, Administration Assistants and much much more.
Paul Ryall-Friend, our Deputy Chief Executive commented, “You will be joining us during a very exciting programme of change and will contribute to strengthening our foundations to continue to be a successful organisation. We have some great opportunities for the right people to work in the right roles and I would encourage anyone who is interested to apply.”
Job vacancies will be published on our website every Monday and advertised through social media channels. Visit our website for more details; www.v2c.org.uk/Careers
We want to help ensure that our homes and communities are safe and enjoyable places for everyone.
We know that many people enjoy holding bonfires at this time of year, but not everyone shares that enjoyment. The building and setting of bonfires can cause distress to some other local residents, a risk to animal welfare, and a health and safety risk either from the fire itself or from the burning of materials that are hazardous when burnt.
We do not approve of any bonfires being held on our land.
If we become aware of bonfires being built on our land, we treat this in the same way as illegal fly-tipping. This means we may remove materials we consider to be particularly harmful or dangerous, providing it is safe for us to do so. We are unable to remove all materials immediately and will make plans for the clearance of the site at some point in the future.
If you wish to discuss this in any more detail, please speak to Clive Thomas, our Estates Officer on:
0300 123 2100
We invited our customers into our offices during October to experience what it is like to work in some of our 200 job roles.
A key driver is to put our customers at the heart and to celebrate National Customer Service Week we have invited customers into our organisation to find out first-hand what it is like to work in some of our front line services such as our housing management team, our repairs team, our communications team and much more.
The previous work experience opportunity was so successful that this is the second time we have asked customers back after receiving feedback that it has helped residents in Bridgend decide their next steps into work.
The week will help our customers learn transferable skills, build resilience and become a steppingstone into an area of work that they didn’t know existed. Customers will have the opportunity to spend time in a range of departments to see the wide selection of job roles available.
We are also supporting the launch of This is Housing, a campaign to showcase what it’s really like to work in the housing sector and encourage more people to apply for jobs to help them achieve their vision of building 75,000 new homes by 2036.
Housing associations don’t just provide homes to those who find themselves sleeping rough or are homeless, but they offer support to families on low incomes, the elderly and those fleeing domestic abuse. 65% of people working in the sector enjoy their jobs because they are making a real difference to these people’s lives. They offer opportunities for progression and skills development, last year over £3.6 million was spent on staff training and professional development.
Phillipa Knowles, Director of Resources at Community Housing Cymru, the umbrella body for housing associations in Wales said, “Social housing has a key role to play in shaping the future of Wales; the sector provides good quality affordable homes and support to communities. We have a vision to make good housing a basic right for all and we’re aiming to build 75,000 new homes by 2036. To do this, we need the right people with the right skills so we can build the homes and communities that Wales needs. In return housing associations aim to create over 15,000 new jobs to help achieve this vision.”
If you or anyone you know are interested in working for a housing association, visit www.thisishousing.wales.
After two very busy years as our Chief Executive, Donna Baddeley has decided to move on from Valleys to Coast.
In the short-term. Anthony Whittaker, our Board Chair, has appointed an interim Chief Executive. Duncan Forbes will start at Valleys to Coast Tuesday 10th September as a highly experienced interim.
We thank Donna for the many positive initiatives she has introduced at Valleys to Coast and we wish her well.
Like all housing associations, we are an increasingly complex business.
Our Board members give a lot of time and energy to make sure we achieve a balance of providing new homes and maintaining the homes we have; while meeting our social purpose and supporting the community in which we work.
To show we value the input from our Board members and hold them to account we are proposing to pay them a small annual fee. This contribution will be paid in line with the same payments other housing associations in Wales are implementing.
We would appreciate your feedback on this proposal by putting forward any questions, concerns or suggestions for consideration.
Please contact Diane Slater, our Governance Team Leader for more information or if you’d like to become a Board member then let us know.
01656 762489 Diane.Slater@v2c.org.uk F:ValleystoCoast T:@ValleystoCoast
Our Chief Executive; Donna Baddeley joined the Wallich team to deliver humanitarian aid, support and advice to people that are sleeping rough or are vulnerably housed within Bridgend.
An early morning breakfast run saw experienced staff support those in need by providing them with breakfast, hot drinks, sleeping bags, warm clothing and toiletries.
The team offer a wide range of advice and signpost them to access the most appropriate, relevant and often specialist services, these include housing advice, benefit advice and referrals to supported accommodation, healthcare and substance misuse centres.
The drop-in centre is located at 10 Park Street and provides a safe environment off the street. There is access to a dedicated solutions worker, washing machine, dryer, shower, clothes bank, telephone, computer, help to complete forms, and applications for them to use.
Donna commented: “As more and more funding is withdrawn from public services, the pressure to fill the gaps for the most vulnerable in society increasingly falls on our shoulders. In order to maximise our impact, we are keen to seek out and collaborate with partners across all sectors. Thank you to the Wallich for letting me help alongside their rough sleepers intervention team this morning, it was great to see the amazing work that their doing.”
If you are concerned about someone you have seen sleeping rough, you can use the StreetLink app or website to send an alert: www.streetlink.org.uk The details you provide are sent to the local authority or outreach support who will look to find the individual and connect them to support.
We will helping the local authority and the wider community within Bridgend to support the workers at the Ford factory. We intend to maximise our impact, by seeking out and collaborating with partners across all sectors thereby working with different types of organisations and agencies.
We are currently supporting the Job Centre who have instigated their rapid response team, that helps deal with large scale redundancies such as those being experienced at Ford, and in doing so have assigned a member of the team to Ford on a permanent basis.
We’re also working closely with Bridgend Council on housing and housing related support initiatives together with seeking out short and long term approaches to redeveloping the town centre; which will help towards the wider effects on the local economy.
We have committed to be present at all planned support events at the plant and are ready to find more creative ways to provide better results for our customers and the community.
We are also offering those affected, the opportunity to visit our office at Nolton Court, Nolton Street every Tuesday between 10 – 4pm where our team is available to help anyone having difficulty keeping up with their payments. We will also be offering advice on how to manage money, and helping people to apply for benefits that they may be entitled to.
Donna Baddeley, our Chief Executive commented, “We are committed to contributing to the local economy and community infrastructure. As the largest landlord and one of the largest employers in Bridgend we understand the importance of being ambitious for our customers and communities and we will unreservedly promote the local area in order to attract investment, build confidence, create opportunities and produce long lasting outcomes for the region. We’ll do all that we can; we want everyone to succeed.”
Julie James AM, Welsh Minister for Housing and Local Government, visited Bridgend to see first-hand how we, in partnership with Wernick, are delivering social housing to the area.
Julie attended one of the two sites in Bridgend where modular homes are nearing completion. Huw Irranca-Davies, Assembly Member for Ogmore - also in attendance - later discussed the visit and the project’s potential at a Welsh Assembly Business meeting.
£35m of funding for innovative housing in Wales was announced by Julie James AM in February 2019. Support from the ‘Innovative Housing Programme’ is available to housing associations, councils and other organisations.
Innovation developed through the programme will help to inform how homes are built in Wales in the future. The project will also contribute to the 20,000 affordable homes target set by Welsh Government.
Modules for the eight new homes were manufactured at Wernick Buildings, Kenfig before being combined on site to form a complete house. Production took as little as three weeks and modules arrived on site with appliances, heating and electrics pre-fitted.
Once complete, brick cladding and trussed roofs will render the new homes indistinguishable from their traditionally constructed counterparts.
Julie James AM said: “Our £90m Innovative Housing Programme is a test bed for innovation in housing, and demonstrates our ambition to provide more, better quality homes for people while creating jobs and training opportunities in their communities too.”
Ben Wernick, Managing Director of Wernick Buildings added: “This project is a great demonstration of the benefits of offsite construction. Residents will be able to enjoy high quality, high-performance homes, with the added benefit of a reduced construction programme.”
Bridgend County Borough’s flagship awards programme, ‘The Bridgend Business Forum Awards 2019’ are back and are even bigger and better than before!
Sponsors of this year’s awards, came together at the Coed-y-Mwstwr Hotel, Coychurch recently to officially launch the awards.
Organised by Bridgend Business Forum and supported by Bridgend County Borough Council, these prestigious awards recognise and reward excellence across all sizes and sectors of business in the county borough.
Entries are now open for the following ten categories:
The winning business in each category will have the chance to earn the coveted title of ‘Bridgend Business of the Year 2019’, sponsored by Valleys to Coast Housing.
Jay Ball, Vice-chair of the Bridgend Business Forum, said: “We’re excited to launch our 2019 Bridgend Business Forum Awards! Now in its seventh, successful year, the ethos of the awards is to continue to showcase excellence in business on a local level.
“Whether you are a public, private or third sector organisation, a new start-up or established business, these awards provide a fantastic opportunity to showcase your business, and celebrate your many achievements.
“As a previous winner, I’ve experienced first-hand, the success from the PR, the story and the recognition that an award gives you. Our 2019 awards also feature a brand new category; the ‘Health and Safety Award’ which recognises the hard work of businesses in complying with all health and safety procedures within the workplace.
“Now, with ten categories to enter, these awards are bigger than ever! So what are you waiting for, get your applications in today!”
Our Chief Executive, Donna Baddley, said: “We are proud and delighted to be the main sponsor of the 2019 Bridgend Business Forum Awards.
“Because we are a community-based organisation, we really believe in supporting our local area. These awards represent the best in business and people across the Bridgend County Borough - from all sectors, at all levels. The awards celebrate and reward their efforts and successes and Valleys to Coast is extremely proud to support them.
“We would like to encourage all businesses to enter, the application process is simple, but the rewards and profile for your business is exemplary!”
Full details of the awards including application forms and advice and tips on how to submit an entry, can be found at www.bridgendbusinessforum.co.uk. Entries close at 5 July 2019.
You can also follow @BridgendForum on Twitter or like ‘Bridgend Business Forum’ on Facebook for news and updates on the awards.
It is important that you report your rent increase through your online Universal Credit account so that the amount of Universal Credit you receive is correct.
This can be done by logging into your Universal Credit account, clicking ‘report a change’ and then selecting ‘change to your Housing Costs’.
You will then be asked to enter the number of bedrooms in your property followed by your rent and service charge breakdown for 2019/20. Remember that both the rent and service charges need to be put in separately.
If you need to know what these are or have any questions regarding this process please contact the Money Matters team on 01656 762582.
We have partnered up with The Dogs Trust to hold free community events for dogs and their owners in Sarn Life Centre.
There was an event on Friday 29th March and three more events planned for 24 May, 21 June and 23 August between 11am - 3pm.
These events will hopefully help combat issues such as dog fouling while building relationships with the community and promoting good dog ownership & well being.
At the events a veterinary nurse will carry out a basic health check, which includes examining eyes, ears, teeth and weight, to make sure your dog is happy, fit and healthy.
Alongside the health check, The Dogs Trust will provide advice on diet, training and neutering. They also offer free micro chipping (a legal requirement as of April 2016) and advise you how to change your details if you’ve moved address or changed your phone number.
There is no appointment required and will be operating on a drop in basis so be sure to come along with your dog and say hello, but please keep your dog on a lead when attending our community events.
Puppies under 6 months old must be fully vaccinated and proof of vaccinations brought along to the event. If your puppy has recently been vaccinated, they must be carried for the 10 days following their final vaccination. Dogs over 6 months old do not require proof of vaccination.
Andy Jones, our Housing Team Leader said “It’s great to have the opportunity to work closer with The Dogs Trust and bring this great service to the local community. We recognise the important role pets play in the wellbeing of our customers lives and hope this opportunity will help us all continue to build relationships working together’
Interested in a career in law? Then we want to hear from you!
Blake Morgan’s Work Placement Scheme - Monday 22 July to Friday 26 July 2019
This is a unique scheme that gives you the chance to spend a week at their Cardiff Office, gain vital experience and learn more about the world of business.
It will be chance for you to:
get tips on interview techniques and completing application forms from the experts.
Limited places available, so if you are interested please get in touch today for a chat.
Call Marie Kiff on 01656 762487 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.
We've scooped the Commitment to Customer Service award in the Welsh Business Awards 2018.
We've been recognised for new initiatives that have been implemented over the last year to improve the service customers receive.
These changes have included new and easier ways to pay rent, changes to the way we carry out repairs, improved communication and the introduction of new tools for staff enabling them to provide a better service to customers really putting customers at the heart of everything we do.
The Welsh Business Awards recognise the very best from businesses across Wales. The awards celebrate success, excellence in best practice and the contribution Welsh businesses make to the wider community.
Paul Ryall-Friend, our Chief Operating Officer said “We are absolutely thrilled to have won this award. Understanding what is important to our customers and then using this insight to change the way we work is key to putting our customers at the heart of what we do. There’s lots more work to do, but this award recognises we’re on the right track to deliver even better customer service throughout the next year.”
We're very proud to announce Y Bont as our chosen charity of the year for 2019.
Y BONT is a purpose built family centre situated on Ewenny Rd in Bridgend. They're a unique service that aims to provide care to young disabled children and support to their families. This is achieved through high quality, play, support and medical services. They also offer advice, support and information regarding issues relevant to disabled children and their families and to signpost to other like minded agencies.
Colleagues were asked to nominate a chosen charity, which colleagues then vote on who that is, this year Howard Merrett, the income team leader suggested Y Bont and said “I think Y Bont deserves our support this year as their such a great charity, doing great things to help the local community and which will also benefit some of our customers directly. We look forward to working with them closely over the next year and raising a huge amount of money.”
A huge thank you to Countrywide Grounds Maintenance for kick starting our fundraising efforts by donating us 4 tickets to the Wales v England rugby game. We were able to raise over £500 alone from these by asking colleagues to donate by silent bid.
Whatever your circumstances; out of work, in between jobs or simply looking for a change?
We have an exciting new 41/2 day work experience opportunity, on Monday 18th to Friday 22nd February 2019!
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 or Marie a call on 0300 123 2100 or email email@example.com
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.
For more information just click here
The Welsh Business Awards aim to recognise the very best from businesses across Wales. These awards celebrate success, excellence in best practice and the contribution Welsh businesses make to the wider community and we’re finalists!
The award we have been shortlisted for is our ‘Commitment to Customer Services’ where we demonstrated the great work we’ve been carrying out with our Building Excellent Service Together (BEST) programme.
We created a Customer Insight strategy to gain knowledge about our customers and use this to understand the key drivers behind our customer satisfaction.
The event, hosted by Welsh television presenter Gethin Jones, will honour all finalists and celebrate your success.
Paul Ryall-Friend, our Chief Operating Officer said, “We are thrilled to be a finalist at this year's Welsh Business Awards especially being recognised witht the great work we’ve done to ensure we’re truly putting customers at the heart. Fingers crossed for us on the night”.
Modular building specialist, Wernick Buildings and ourselves have started to deliver eight new modular homes for Sarn and Tondu, after being awarded funding from Welsh Government.
Construction took place within the factory at Kenfig Industrial Estate and has taken as little as three weeks to fully build each home before being transported to their final location for installation which happened today.
The modular homes are made up of individual factory built modules, complete with fitted appliances, heating and electrics, which were then 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 the 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.
Minister for Housing and Regeneration Rebecca Evans said, “Valleys to Coast is clearly ambitious to build the homes of the future, using modern methods of construction. We are committed to supporting projects like this, which are innovative and creative in their approach, and I was delighted to get a close up look at the modules being put together.”
Councillor Patel, the Cabinet Member for Housing said, “Our longstanding partnership with Valleys To Coast Housing has been hugely productive in providing local communities with high-quality homes, and I am sure that the new modular units will prove to be another big success.”
Darrin Davies, Director of Housing and Asset Investment at Valleys to Coast said, “Putting customers at the heart is key to what we do and building desirable homes where energy bills are low is what we believe will be best for the future. We look forward to seeing our customers benefitting from these high quality new homes where they feel happy and safe. We’d like to thank the surrounding neighbours for their patience when preparing this site for the delivery and making this possible.”
Stuart Wilkie, Managing Director of Wernick Buildings said, “Offsite construction promises shorter programmes to higher standards and with less waste when compared to traditional construction. We have been proud to deliver on this promise and help bring Welsh innovation to local housing.”
Ty Hafan, which supports families caring for a seriously ill child, was selected as Charity of the Year by us for 2018 and has raised in total £4,566.23.
We committed all our sports and social events throughout the year to raising money for the charity through bake-offs, dress down days, Christmas card donations and their Chief Executive, Donna Baddeley trekked the Sahara desert raising nearly £2000 alone.
Howard Merrett, Chair of our sports and social team said; “It's amazing what we can achieve when we pool all our efforts together. Colleagues nominated Ty Hafan as their chosen charity as they recognise what great work they do, and without their support families would have to struggle to do this alone. We’re working on our Sports and Social calendar for this year and hope to achieve even more money for our chosen charity next year.”
Ty Hafan offers comfort, care and support to life-limited children, young people and their families in the hospice, in the community and in their home so they can make the most of the time they have left together.
Sara Webber, associate director at Tŷ Hafan, said: “It costs over £4million each year to run our hospice, delivering our broad community programmes and providing round the clock specialist care 365 days a year. But we simply couldn’t provide our lifeline services to the families that need them so much without the fabulous fundraising efforts of people like those from Valleys To Coast. Thank you for kindness and generosity”.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Thank you all for your support throughout 2018, we look forward to seeing you all in 2019!
During this years festive season our office hours are:
21st Friday: usual opening hours 9am-5pm
24th Christmas Eve: Closed
25th Christmas Day: Closed
26th Boxing Day: Closed
27th December: usual opening hours 9am-5pm
28th December: usual opening hours 9am-5pm
31st New Year’s Eve: Closed
1st January New Year’s Day: Closed
2nd January: usual opening hours 9am-5pm
Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year!
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.
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
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.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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 email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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 email@example.com
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