Tag Archives: Sheffield Homes

Slow dancing pensioners in High Green

Up to 20 people, aged in their 70s and 80s, attend the weekly, hour-long exercise sessions at the Newgate Close sheltered housing complex at High Green.

Practising Tai Chi aids relaxation, balance and health. An ancient form of meditation, it is highly effective for stress and pain relief, combining mental concentration, slow breathing and dance-like movements to increase chi (life energy).

Sheffield Homes provided £1,250 to fund the sessions as part of the “Your Community, Your Choice” initiative.

Members pay a subsidised £1.50 per session. Winnie is currently seeking further funding to keep the sessions going long-term.

“Getting people involved in activities like this helps them create social networks and make new friends. It also shows you are never too old to think about improving your health and fitness levels with a gentle exercise regime.”

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Living with Trash update

Leaseholders and tenants living in flats and maisonettes may soon be “educated” about recycling and disposing of their rubbish under a new initiative by Sheffield Homes.

Nappies in a blocked chute

North West Sheffield News previously highlighted one leaseholder’s ongoing attempts to have action taken against illegal dumping of household waste in communal stairs at a maisonette block near Stannington (article is here). Most recently, this involved a threat to take a formal complaint against Sheffield Homes all the way to the Local Government Ombudsman as no action seemed to be in process.

In response, Sheffield Homes sent out two senior officers from their “estate services” division to speak to the complainant. They said that getting evidence is too difficult, unless someone signs a witness statement, for any prosecution action against offenders. They also stated that merely opening bags to examine content for clues could not alone constitute conclusive proof as to who is committing this environmental crime. Continue reading

Stannington AGM a last minute success

Bit of a late start to the Tenants and Residents Association Annual General Meeting this morning as attendees waited for the twelfth person to turn up and make matters quorate.

However, Cllr. David Baker (Deputy Leader of Sheffield City Council), Sharon Cadd (Sheffield Homes), Mick Burns (TARA Chair) and several active Stannington citizens were not to be disappointed.

There was initial discussion about holding future AGMs in the TARA offices (instead of Hall Park Road as at present) as it can easily accommodate the numbers that have been turning out to these meetings in recent years. Opening the organisation up to leaseholders (where Sheffield City Council is not their freeholder) in an effort to increase turnout to meetings was also mooted.

The Chair reports back over 2009/10 this morning

Everyone agreed that last Saturday’s Lomas Hall “Positively Stannington” event had been a great success, with lots of locals turning up to speak to groups and organisations currently doing valuable work in the community.

Regret was expressed that Lower Stannington Community Forum is almost certainly to close in April due to reduced funding (a similar fate to that of OFFER and some other Community Forums across the city). The TARA hopes that any displaced projects will consider using the TARA offices (29 Fairbarn Drive) as a base in future, and it was pointed out that there is a spare room upstairs available for free use by appropriate clubs, etc.

Mick Burns reported the previous year’s activities and these included attendance at: Continue reading

Foxy Music

AN innovative music project in the North of Sheffield secured a £9,000 cash boost from Sheffield Homes.

Foxy Music started in January and aims to make music and performing arts accessible to people who otherwise might not have the chance to learn an instrument or new skills.

Foxhill-based Alex Oliver recruits volunteers to provide expert tuition on various musical instruments, singing and other crafts, such as drama and poetry. Styles range from rock to folk and they even help with instrument maintenance and recording techniques.

The £9,000 grant from the Sheffield Homes “Your Community, Your Choice” scheme* will buy guitars, keyboards, drums and amplifiers, as well as paying for free tuition and room hire for performances.

As well as Sheffield Homes, Alex has had support from many agencies, including the police, local schools and GPs practices, with doctors potentially making referrals to the project for music therapy sessions.

“We try to tailor our work to meet individual need – whether that is someone who wants to play the harp or even recite poetry. It’s giving people an outlet for their creative aspirations, with expert tuition on hand. We also provide venues for practice and performances, and are hoping to take part in the Walkley Festival this summer.”

Foxy Music are holding sessions in different areas around the North of Sheffield. To find out more, email Alex Oliver at foxymusicfellowship@googlemail.com.

(* Sheffield Homes put a total of £52,000 into the “Your Community, Your Choice” scheme.)

Sheffield Homes wins award

Sheffield Homes won a prestigious award for servicing its tenants.

“Customer Service Excellence”, previously known as Charter Mark, is the Government’s national standard for organisations delivering public services. The CSE standard aims to make a real difference to public services by encouraging organisations to focus on the individual needs and preferences of their clients.

Sheffield Homes was particularly commended for regular consultation with its tenants and involving them in all aspects of the service including visioning, standards, strategy and local area decision making.

Customer Care manager Jo Radcliffe said: “We are really delighted to have achieved this standard, which looks in much more depth at the customer view of services we are delivering. A big thank you to everyone for all the help we have received in achieving this award – we couldn’t have done it without you.

Keeping house with free money advice

Tenants living in Sheffield Homes or larger housing association properties can access free money advice thanks to an initiative that started last month.

If people have difficulty with any debt or money issues (even rent arrears), they can contact their landlord who should then arrange an appointment with an independent advice agency (such as Citizens Advice Bureau) for a face-to-face appointment with a benefits and debt adviser.

Appointments will generally take place at advice centres nearest to a tenant’s community, at an outreach session (such as in a library), or, for particularly vulnerable people, through home visits.

Most of Sheffield’s Residential Social Landlords (housing associations, Sheffield Homes, etc) are backing the project as part of their financial inclusion strategy to take positive steps in ensuring people suffering hardship don’t get neglected and into further difficulty.

  • There is a separate scheme for owner-occupiers with mortgage arrears and information is available here. or by calling Sheffield Housing Aid on 273 5450.

Sheffield Homes awarded for consulting tenants

Sheffield Homes was recently recognised by the Tenant Participation Advisory Service (TPAS) as one of the best social housing landlords in the country for resident involvement.

Sheffield Homes is only one of six Arms Length Management Organisations (ALMOs) to achieve Resident Improvement Quality (RIQ) Standard, which is the recognised excellence standard for all social housing landlords.

Louise Thompson, Sheffield Homes’ Community Engagement Manager said, “We know that at Sheffield Homes we work hard to involve tenants, as this is fundamental to continuing to develop services based on what our customers say is important to them. It is nice for us and tenants to be formally recognised as one of the best social housing landlords in the country within this area.”

Sheffield Homes tenants can find out how to get involved by visiting www.sheffieldhomes.org.uk, phoning 0114 273 5566 or by emailing getinvolved@sheffieldhomes.org.uk.