During January, our Asset Manager – Neil Buckland, attended at the two-day National Housing Maintenance Forum Conference which was held in Birmingham. The conference covered many aspects relating to asset management including technical issues, sustainability, building contracts and other legal matters. The conference provided good networking opportunities with delegates in similar roles to Neil, also an exhibition enabling him to have discussions with product manufacturers. Neil is pictured here with Jonathan Case (right) of our consultants RAND Associates who carry out the periodic energy rating assessment calculation of the Society’s property stock, and provide some of our staff with training on Schedule of Rates for repair works.
News & Events
SWHS staff have donated money collected from their weekly 'dress down days to 'In Charley’s Memory', a local Charity who do fantastic work raising awareness of mental health particularly in young people.
Dawn Kirby SWHS Maintenance Officer, Alex Smith SWHSHousing Assistant and Daisy-Grace Westbrook, SWHS Business Support Assistant presented the cheque to Dawn Carey, Operations Manager for the Charity.
On the 6th and 7th November SWHS Operations Director, Martin Carney attended the National Smaller Housing Federations Conference at the Olympia in London. The event had been extended to two days from the normal one day following its success last year and has been moved to accommodate the ever increasing interest in the conference to the Olympia Conference Centre.
The event was a success although due to the forth coming General Election a number of key note speakers were unable to attend which was a little bit disappointing but understandable.
South Western Housing Society’s vision is to deliver more, in all aspects of housing, and for people who are not able to access the general market.
As part of this commitment, the staff team came together to plan and organise a ‘Giving Back’ day at the Weston Super Mare Night Assessment Centre (NAC); a project that delivers vital support to people who are street homeless.
The Society have previously chosen the (NAC) as its charity to donate monies collected from its “dress down day”. This year the Society, with support from our contractor partners; Jones Building Group, Dale Building Maintenance, E G Carter & Co and Gregor Heating, upgraded the existing shower room, installed new shelving, provided lockable cupboards and painted the sleeping area. These works were completed in time for the NAC’s first birthday.
Liona, an NAC staff member fed back a ‘thank you so much for the shower!!!! What a difference it made to our clients last night! I think we will have to allocate times from now on as it was difficult getting them out last night! Thank you so much, I and the clients really do appreciate everything you have done.’
On the 30th January our Operations Manager and Housing Assistant welcomed potential applications for our Wedmore Development to Wedmore Village Hall Open Event. The Operations Manager said 'we met lots of members of the local community and interest in the Wedmore Development was high, we have taken contact details for all and will be in touch once we have firm date for properties to be let'.
The Society, following a tender process, instructed for planned works to be carried out by G. Roles Fencing, for the replacement of fencing and garden gates at our properties in Stoke Fleming, Devon.
The works have improved the appearance of the housing scheme and has been complimented upon by a number of our tenants.
South Western Housing Society recently held their 75th Anniversary celebrations at the Bridgwater & Albion RFC. Monies raised through the raffle that took place on the day were donated back to the Rugby Club, a not for profit organisation, to help towards the upkeep of their premises. SWHS Corporate Services Manager, presented the cheque to Niki Taylor, Bridgwater & Albion RFC Admin & Events Coordinator.
The Society held its anniversary party on 10 July, celebrating 75 years of building affordable housing throughout the South West. It was a true celebration of the power of working in partnership for the benefit of others and was attended by tenants, partners and colleagues who have contributed to the successful running of the organisation since it first built homes for people made homeless as a result of the Second World War.
Councillor Gill Slocombe gave a moving testament to her father, who came to the Society as a Clerk of Works, moving into one of the newly built affordable homes on the Co-Op estate in Bridgwater more than 50 years ago. He helped to shape the quality and design of new homes, which led to Cllr Slocombe devoting herself to public service for the benefit of others.
The Society held a drop in session on Thursday 27th June at the Denbury Village Hall between 2.30pm and 7.30pm to provide information to applicants, possible new Society tenants and shared owners. SWHS staff members attended, along with Alan Fox, Managing Director of Rural Homes Limited. Also at the event were Tammy Hayes the Housing Solutions Lead at Teignbridge District Council and Mary Ridgway the Housing Enabling Officer from Teignbridge District Council, with four Parish Councillors attending during the afternoon/evening.
The event was a great success with over fifteen households attending and the next day the applicants registered on Devon CBL.
A second event will be held on Thursday 14th November 2019, 2.30pm – 7.30pm at the Village Hall.
Steve Austen (Housing Officer) and Angela Derry (Business Support Administrator) travelled to Lapford, Devon to present a cheque to Lapford AFC as a contribution towards their new football kit. The club have two teams in the Devon and Exeter League and are proud to be celebrating their 100th year.
Pictured, Steve Austen is seen presenting a cheque for £250 to Nick Tucker, Club Chairman with Club Physiotherapist Rob Tancock
Cornwood Parish Council Councillors and Planning Officers from Dartmoor National Park Authority
As a Partner of the Devon Communities Together SWHS were requested to show some of its new developments to members of Cornwood Parish Council and also Planning Officers from the Dartmoor National Park Authority.
A visit was arranged for the 2nd April 2019 with Sue Southwell and Janice Alexander both Rural Housing Enablers with the Devon Rural Housing Partnership to show the Councillors and planner around several SWHS schemes.
The visit included Pepperd Close in Othery, Church View and Chesnutt Close at East Huntspill, Tuckers Close in the village of Mark and the also the properties around the Society’s Offices at Rooksbridg, Clare Court and Josephs Pound. The Operations Team and the Asset Manager were located around the schemes to provide a short brief and answer any questions our visitor’s may of have.
Lunch was provided in the Board Room and the CEO Dona Johnson, Catherine Davies Gallagher the Finance Director and Sue Sparks, Corporate Services Manager joined with the Operations Team to discuss the work that has to be gone through to provide affordable rural housing.
SWHS Housing Assistant Alex Smith, presented a cheque for £240.00 to the Weston Night Assessment Centre in Weston Super Mare. The donation came from monies collected by staff members ‘Dress Down Friday’ contributions, which was matched funded by the Society.
The Weston Night Assessment Centre is a twelve bed facility that offers rough sleepers and homeless individuals with a local connection to the area a safe and warm bed overnight. The Night assessment centre is currently applying for permission to be a permanent fixture due to a high demand.
If you would like to find out how you can help the Centre and for information on volunteering, please e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org