You're latest Voice of Change newsletter is here!
Find out about the 1.8million pound worth of grant money for new homes in Bridgend.
Universal Credit is being rolled out in June, we have some tips and advice on how to manage this.
New homes we're planning to build in the future and much, much, more!
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
For more information just click here
We own and maintain a lot of land around our properties and have litter pickers and caretakers who help to keep these areas clean and tidy.
We’re currently 6 weeks behind with the grass cutting and appreciate that these areas are looking untidy at the moment.
The grass will start being cut on the 14th May and will be cut 13 times until the end of October.
Due to the current length of the grass it is likely that it will take a few cuts before these areas are brought up to an acceptable level.
We will be cutting the grass and blowing it off pathways to keep them clear but we don’t collect it as this is very expensive.
We are sorry about this delay, if you have any concerns or are unhappy with the grass cutting in your area please contact our Customer Services Team
Our offices will be closed on Friday the 4th May for an all staff training day.
We will be dealing with emergency repairs on this day and would advise you to report all other repairs before or on the following Tuesday where we will be back to normal working hours.
This training day will allow us to look at our strategic plan for the next 5 years and deliver a better service to you going forward.
Sorry for the inconvenience.
To report an emergency repair, please call: 0300 123 2100.
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 email@example.com.
Byddant yn ffonio o Halifax yn Lloegr, ar y rhif 01422307578, felly peidiwch â phoeni os gwelwch chi’r rhif hwn. Ond os oes gennych unrhyw bryderon, cysylltwch â ni yn uniongyrchol.
Interested in a career in Film and Television - Come and get involved in Its My Shout!
Valleys to Coast Housing give Head Start to 10 Apprentices.
Ten local individuals are getting a stepping stone into their chosen careers, thanks to Bridgend Housing Association, Valleys to Coast.
The apprenticeships cover a wide range of job roles such as plumbing, painter & decorator, gas & heating engineers as well as business admin positions in departments of development, housing and HR.
Cory Seldon, Apprentice Plumber said, “I feel lucky to have secured the apprenticeship. I am working with skilled and experienced engineers who are teaching me the practical side to plumbing – I have the opportunity to “do” the tasks not just observe, which is great.”
Corrina Fiddler, V2C’s HR Business Partner commented “To celebrate National Apprentice Week this week we’re swapping the apprentices into different job roles, the boys that traditionally have trade roles will be going into the office and the girls will experience what it’s like out on the tools, giving them the opportunity to try something new.”
If you or someone you know are interested in becoming a Valleys to Coast apprentice in the future check their website: www.v2c.org.uk/careers
The residents of Oakwood in Maesteg officially opened their new skate park earlier this week with a celebration and a cutting of ribbon to mark the event.
A group of residents were concerned about the lack of play facilities in their area and contacted Space Saviours, a project looking at better use of open spaces. For the past two years they discussed ideas and suggestions on how to improve the entire estate. They were then matched with Play Wales, a Welsh charity dedicated to helping children play, to turn their ideas into a reality.
After asking children on the estate about what play facilities they would use, they decided to create a mini-ramp for scooters and BMX bikes. Valleys to Coast Housing (V2C) supported them with their plans and their contractors helped supply and build the ramp.
Oakwood resident, Teri Davies commented “There’s not a day goes by that it isn’t used – whatever the weather. We are delighted with the results and that our youngsters have somewhere to play on their scooters and bikes all year round. We are so very grateful to V2C for supporting us getting things started. We’ve got lots of ideas to make better use of the open spaces around our estate so watch this space!”
Rachel Lovell, V2C’s Open Spaces Officer said “We are so impressed with the efforts of the local people to do something for the future of their kids and look forward to working with other areas of the borough to do the same”.
In preparation for the heavy snowfall predicted at 3pm, we will continue to maintain a service to you today, Thursday 1st March until 5pm. Our emergency out of hours will continue past this time but please only call if it truly is an emergency.
Tomorrow, Friday the 2nd March we are cancelling all pre-arranged repair appointments, we will give you a call or text to say that we have cancelled your appointment. This will allow us to concentrate on emergency repairs. We have four 4x4 vans that will have engineers available to carry out these emergency repairs so please bear with us if there is a delay.
Please look after yourselves and any vulnerable neighbours, and keep warm!
For further information on how you can keep warm at home, please head to Age UK website here:
Staff and customers of Valleys to Coast Housing (V2C) have completed surveys to raise money for Sandville Self Help Centre.
These surveys ask a range of questions about the services V2C provide and their overall perception. Every completed survey resulted in V2C donating £1 to charity as an incentive to complete the survey.
Sandville is open to all people suffering difficulties, offering help in a very relaxed and happy atmosphere. This charity was chosen as a number of customers and staff have used the centre over the years.
Gwyneth Poacher, Centre Director at Sandville commented, “On behalf of everyone at the Sandville Self Help Centre we would like to thank V2C most sincerely for the very generous donation presented to us today. I would just like to add a personal thanks too and say how privileged I feel that we were the charity of choice to benefit from their survey.”
From February 2018 V2C will be phoning customers to collect feedback on services and will be using this information to improve. If you wish to opt-out, or want to have your say without waiting to be surveyed, please get in touch with V2C via email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
From all the staff here at Valleys to Coast.
Our offices will be closed at 5pm on Friday the 22nd December and will re-open at 9am on Tuesday the 2nd January 2018.
If you need to report an emergency repair during this time, please call 0300 123 2100.
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
Get Online from £99 this Christmas with Windows 10 Refurbished PCs, Netbooks & Laptops
Get Online @ Home are offering great deals this Christmas to get affordable, internet ready computer at home.
If you’re interested in these offers then please telephone:
03719 100 100
Monday - Friday between 8:30AM - 5:00PM
Alternatively view more deals on their website here: http://www.getonlineathome.org/
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/
Staff from V2C worked with members of Bettws Boys and Girls Club to re-paint the sports hall and transform the outside space at the club’s base on Monday 30 October.
Approximately 20 young people and 12 staff from V2C volunteered their afternoon in painting walls, clearing junk, scraping, spreading chippings, moving, filling and planting-out planter-beds. Nolan skips donated a large container which was swiftly filled with unwanted items. Volunteer and local resident Mr Elwyn Dunster made the patio furniture and planter-beds with Sasha Ufnowska of Wild Spirit running a pumpkin carving workshop in preparation for Halloween festivities.
Rob Williams of BBGC said:
"The newly reformed Bettws Boys' and Girls' Club along with NSA Afan would like to thank V2C staff and contractors who recently volunteered to complete important maintenance jobs at the club culminating in an afternoon of volunteering to enhance part of the inside and the grounds of the club and Village Lodge. Many young people were also involved cleaning weeds and rubble, painting and landscaping. Although hard work, a great day was had by all and BBGC would like to thank V2C for their continuous support work and community input".
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”
This year we celebrated the success of the last year with a customer photography event held in Bridgend College.
In 2016-17 we developed 32 new homes, continued our home improvement programme, introduced the installation of carbon monoxide alarms in homes and supported 7 new apprentices throughout the organisation.
We continued to work closely with partners such as Space Saviours, Keep Wales Tidy and Street Games to make communities a better place to live and have developed a new digital programme for customers to communicate more easily with us.
To celebrate these achievements a photography competition ran throughout July and August for residents of Bridgend to send in photos of where they live. The photos were then displayed at V2C’s Annual General Meeting and winners were presented with a framed photo and gift voucher.
Performing Arts students of Bridgend College helped on the night showcasing their dance skills and Hospitality students prepared and served refreshments.
Gwen Harding, winner of the creative photographic message award said, “I found the overall experience amazing!! I felt nervous as each category came up, and when I won I was ecstatic. I never thought I would win something.”
Proud parent Tracey Everton told us, “It was lovely to see all the photographs on the display boards on arrival and again on the big screen! The photo my son Brady entered had such sentimental value for us and to see the photo on the big screen was amazing!! Brady was so proud!! Thank you”
The website that we advertise our properties has now changed to HOMEHUNT, a nationwide property advertising website.
HOMEHUNT will allow you to see more details about the properties we advertise, their locations, details about local schools, transport links and community facilities.
You will need to register on HOMEHUNT and will be asked to provide details about your housing needs, your family and what sort of home you are looking for.
When we advertise a property that matches your information you will receive an alert asking if you are interested in this home and if you wish to be considered for it.
The advert for the property will tell you how many people have also shown an interest in this home. We will then identify the people who best match that home and make them an offer. If you are not successful we will let you know.
If you don’t have access to the internet or are not confident in using it, we have support available for you. Please ring 0300 123 2100 and we will arrange for someone to help.
Visit the HOMEHUNT website at: www.homehunt.co.uk
The sun shone down on us last week as we teamed up with contractors, Centregreat to help clear the garden at Garth Flying Start Playgroup, Maesteg. The garden was uneven and overgrown, and unusable for the two to three year olds for outdoor play.
The garden grounds were evened out, plants cut back, a bug hotel and a vegetable patch were created, and a hidden patio was discovered and brought back to life. A sandpit and outdoor mirrors were added for the ‘wow’ factor.
Centregreat even brought a mini digger along to the event which entertained the little ones as they watched their garden being transformed.
Carolanne Jones, a childcare worker at Flying Start commented "I'm overwhelmed! We now have an amazing outside space that we can use. It means that we can do outdoor lessons, start growing veg and herbs, nature watch and just enjoy being outside! The kids can’t wait to get their wellies on!"
Rachel Morton, Valleys to Coast’s Regeneration Officer said “We look for these opportunities all year-round to work with our contractors on projects in our communities. It was great doing something for the little kids in Garth. I hope they enjoy.”
We are delighted to announce the appointment of Donna Baddeley as our new Chief Executive.
Donna brings extensive and varied experience from the social housing and care sector. Her previous role was Executive Director of Customer and Corporate Services at the Curo Housing Group based in Bath. Her responsibilities included customer service, employee engagement, performance management, health and safety, PR, communications, marketing and IT.
Donna said, “I’m really excited to join the great team at V2C as we look to find more ways to put our customers at the heart of what we do to provide desirable homes in thriving communities.”
Donna joined V2C earlier this month following former Chief Executive Stephen Cook, who left his role in September after 9 years at V2C.
Chairman of V2C, Neil Harries said: “I am delighted that Donna is joining V2C as Chief Executive. I am sure she will excel in her new role. She brings a wealth of experience in housing with her and the Board looks forward to working with Donna to meet the challenges ahead and support our customers”.
Win £50 of vouchers by just telling us what you think!
The Welsh Government has tasked the Boards of all Housing Associations in Wales to produce and share a statement with their tenants detailing how they believe their organisation is performing.
Have a look – it’ll only take a minute or two as instead of producing a long, formal document, the Board have condensed it into a single A3 poster.
We have appointed a new Director of Operations and Director of Resources.
Paul Ryall-Friend has been appointed as Director of Operations and is V2C’s Deputy Chief Executive and joined the company in March.
Paul has previously worked as Director of Strategy & Planning at Curo Housing Group in Bath. Prior to joining the housing sector in 2012 Paul worked in customer relations in the banking industry.
Paul’s appointment is part of a major transformation programme which will see the company embrace innovation, customer centred design and a ‘digital first’ approach to business. He will also lead the company to achieve its strategic goals and plans.
Sarah Prescott has been appointed as Director of Resources and is V2C’s Company Secretary and joined the company in July 2017, Sarah will be replacing Alun Rawlins who will be retiring in September.
Sarah’s previous role was Director of Finance and ICT for Cardiff Community Housing Association, before that she was the Assistant Director of Finance at Gwalia (now the Pobl Group), and also Director of Finance for Tenovus, the cancer charity.
Chairman of Valleys to Coast, Neil Harries said: “We are delighted to make two such strong appointments within our Executive Team and we believe they will both be a great asset to Valleys to Coast and its customers.”
Stephen Cook, CEO, adds: “Both Paul and Sarah very much fit Valleys to Coast’s culture and values, having a strong focus on customer service and our charitable purpose, combined with a sharp commercial focus.”
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
Your local pet day is back from 11th to 14th July with great organisations for you to receive all the best support and advice for your loving Dogs and Cats!
We will be in the following locations:
Tues 11th July 10am - 5pm
Westward Community Centre, Cefn Glas
Weds 12th July 10am - 5pm
Wildmill Community Centre
Thurs 13th July 10am - 5pm
Pyle Swimming Pool
Fri 14th July 9am - 4pm
Caerau Community Centre, Maesteg
Grab an appointment with the
PDSA vet nurse for a FREE dog pet check.
Dogs Trust will be at the event providing FREE micro chipping and advice on updating your dog's chip details.
Cats Protection will also be at the event providing FREE neutering vouchers for your kitten or cats.
Also be in with a chance to WIN £50 love to shop vouchers for just giving us your feedback!
Our Money matters team will also be here for all your financial and housing advice and support.
Visit our Reggie Roadshow Facebook and twitter page for all upcoming events:
Please note: Only dogs on a safe lead can attend the events, but all advice will be given to all pet owners thank you.
Volunteers armed with paint brushes and overalls turned up to brighten a junior School in Cefn Glas, Bridgend.
Llangewydd Junior School opened their gates to staff from Valley to Coast Housing (V2C) and Jistcourt South Wales for the 2017 ‘Give and Gain Day’. The afternoon involved a fresh coat of paint for the fencing, decorating their new ‘radio studio’ and adding to the walls of flowers that surround the school.
Neil Clode, Headteacher of Llangewydd Junior School said “All of us at Llangewydd Junior School were delighted to benefit from the ‘Give & Gain Day’ undertaken by V2C and Jistcourt. Such a lot of work was done and everyone seemed to enjoy the relaxed school atmosphere.”
Emma Norman, Jistcourt, said ‘It was an absolute pleasure to be involved in V2C’s Give and Gain day. We worked as a team to deliver improvements to the gates, fencing and walls of the yard, and also managed to paint the new Year 6 Radio Booth!’
Rachel Morton, V2C Community Regeneration, said “It was great to add something to the fabulous work that parent volunteers and Jan from Bethesda Arts are already doing in the school. V2C invests a lot of time and energy in our communities, and to work with our contractors to benefit a local school is a real positive.”
This annual international event gives businesses the opportunity to work on a local project to benefit the community. Jistcourt are working on a flats refurbishment for Valleys to Coast in Cefn Glas and wanted to do some extra benefits for Llangewydd School.
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
From 5 June 2017, households in Bridgend County Borough will see the introduction of a new improved kerbside recycling collection service. This will enable us to meet new recycling targets that have been set by Welsh Government.
The target for 2015-16 was 58 per cent, but by 2020 it will be 64 per cent, and then 70 per cent by 2025. A target has also been set for zero landfill waste to be generated by 2050.
Changes to household recycling will include the following:
New recycling containers:
A new orange sack will be used for recycling cardboard, and a new white sack for paper. Residents will also receive a new black caddy for recycling glass. These new containers will replace the two black boxes, which will no longer be used.
The containers used for recycling food waste will stay the same – one small brown caddy (with compostable green bags) for inside the home, and one large brown caddy which is collected from the kerbside. The blue sack for storing plastic and metals will also remain the same. There is no limit on how much recycling each household can put out, and you can receive additional sacks and boxes on request.
Residents who live in flats will continue to use their communal recycling arrangements.
New two-bag limit for waste Homes with up to five residents will be restricted to throwing out a maximum of two waste bags per fortnight. Black bags will no longer be used, as all residents will be given a supply of specially coloured and branded bags for disposing their waste.
Properties with six or seven residents will be able to apply for one additional waste bag each fortnight, while homes containing eight or more people will be able to apply for two extra waste bags per fortnight.
One additional bag will also be provided for homes where ash-producing coal fires provide the primary source of heat, while eligible householders will continue to receive an assisted collection service.
To register for the extra dispensations, please call 01656 643643 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
New collection service for nappies and absorbent waste Homes that produce nappies or other absorbent waste products (not sanitary products) will be able to register for a separate collection which will also cater for wipes, paper tissues, adult incontinence pads, stoma bags, absorbent bed sheets, plastic gloves and disposable aprons. To apply for the new Absorbent Hygiene Products collection (which will use purple bags) please call 01656 643643 or email email@example.com
Community Recycling Centre changes From 5 June 2017, any waste taken to the sites in Brynmenyn, Tythegston and Maesteg will need to be separated so that all recyclable materials are placed in the correct bins first – you will no longer be able to just bundle everything into a bag and throw it into a general waste skip.
The new recycling containers, waste bags, a new collection calendar, and full instructions will be delivered to all homes before June. More than half of homes will also have a change to their collection day from Monday 5 June onwards.
Further details about the new service, and a full list of Frequently Asked Questions, can be found at www.recycleforbridgend.wales
Get online at home with these fantastic offer!
We have a great opportunity for you to volunteer, get involved, learn new skills and benefit from training, when joining us on V2C’s board. The board is responsible for making sure the organisation is financially sound and that it complies with the law in everything that it does. The Board also has the responsibility for deciding the strategic direction of the organisation, what it needs to be doing in the future and what needs changing.
The board meets around 10 times a year and meetings start at 5pm and usually last around two and half hours. If you would like more information on joining the board, attending a taster session or would like an application form, please get in touch with Diane Slater. 01656 762489 • board@V2C.org.uk • @ValleysToCoast • V2C.org.uk
Completed application forms must be returned by the closing date of 30th June and if shortlisted interviews will be held week beginning 24th July.
Come along to one of our Board Taster Sessions on Wednesday 31st May or Tuesday 6th June and find out more information.
The hillside above Caerau is looking cleaner and brighter today, after a major litter pick as part of Keep Wales Tidy’s Spring Clean Cymru campaign.
A big team of volunteers removed over two tons of waste from the stream, the play area and beyond the verges around Caerau Park, in an area of great natural beauty. V2C staff were supported by members of the Maesteg Fire Service and residents from the area.
The first ever Spring Clean Cymru campaign was part of the Great British Spring Clean, supported by TV naturalist and writer Steve Backshall, the BAFTA-winning Deadly 60 presenter. Across the UK, up to half a million people have been out and about as part of a wider campaign to rid the country of litter.
Rachel Morton from Valleys to Coast said:
“We had such a great day cleaning up the mountain side, and the volunteers loved it. Was great to see everyone from V2C, residents and Fire Service there. V2C runs year-round volunteer events to help keep our communities and the environment clean, and appreciate the partnership with Keep Wales Tidy who are the environmental champions.”
Brian Jones, Bridgend Project Officer for Keep Wales Tidy, said:
“It was great to see so many people from the area coming together and getting involved in Spring Clean Cymru. It’s vital that we all do our bit to care for our local environment and this event has been a perfect example of what local communities can achieve when they work together.
“We would like to thank our event sponsor, Valleys to Coast for their help in making the event such a success.”
For more information on Keep Wales Tidy activities in Bridgend contact Project Officer Brian Jones on 07824 504819.
Maesteg Comprehensive and Valleys to Coast (V2C) have joined forces to launch a three-year Business Class partnership to boost career opportunities for young people.
Business Class, collaboration between Careers Wales and Business in the Community (BITC), is a nationwide initiative aimed at strengthening links between schools and employers to develop Wales’s talentpool of future employees.
The Business Class programme aims to improve school pupils’ understanding of the world of work and career choices by linking them with businesses for collaboration and engagement opportunities.
Tania Hill, Assistant Head Teacher from Maesteg Comprehensive said:
“We are extremely grateful for the opportunity for our students to learn new skills and be inspired by V2C. Our students will benefit hugely from the business knowledge as well as learning transferable skills which we hope will prepare them for the world of work. The staff and students are looking forward to what the partnership will bring to the school.”
Claire Murphy, Assistant Director of Corporate Services from V2C spoke at the launch:
“We are looking forward to developing stronger links with the community and to help equip pupils with the skills needed for the workplace. We are particularly keen to engage with girls to enthuse them about non-traditional jobs or careers that they might not have thought about.”
“Over the next 3 years, we’ll be delivering mentoring sessions and motivational presentations using female role models, work experience placements and sessions discussing what skills we look for when recruiting new employees.”
“V2C is proud to be at the heart of communities across Bridgend and we hope that this scheme will further raise the aspirations of young people in the area and give them a taste of real working life before they enter the workplace.”
Commenting, Hannah Stephens, Business Engagement Adviser, from Careers Wales said: “It is fantastic to see such an important Welsh company, V2C, getting involved in Business Class and helping to build sustainable links between schools, young people and local employers. By working together in this way, we can all help young people across Wales achieve their potential.”
Picture from left to right:-
Hannah Stephens – Careers Wales Tania Hill – Assistant Head, Maesteg Comprehensive Steve Curry – Community Regeneration Manager V2C Claire Murphy – Assistant Director of Corporate Services V2C
Valleys to Coast is celebrating being awarded its gold corporate health standard – the quality mark for health and well-being in the workplaces in Wales.
Delivered by Public Health Wales, the health standard has bronze, silver, gold and platinum categories to public, private and third sector organisations running practices to promote the health and well-being of their employees.
There is an annual diary of activities across the organization which includes health incentives such as the biggest looser, fruit for the day, walking lunch, discounted gym memberships and check your levels which have been very successful.
The group ensures that national health & wellbeing campaigns such as ‘No smoking day’ and national alcohol awareness campaigns are advertised to staff. The calendar of events also includes specific initiatives based on feedback from staff, this year we are running an 8 week mindfulness course.
Speaking about the award, Health and Safety Business partner, Sue Jones said: “We are absolutely delighted that Public Health Wales has recognised the tireless work that V2C carries out every day to improve the health and well-being of our 235 members of staff working in a huge variety of roles. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the health & wellbeing group for their contribution to such a successful program of work.”
Come along to speak with an PDSA vet nurse and get free well being checks for your dog's and further advise for all other loving pets
PDSA will be able to give FREE preventive services including Nail clipping and ear cleaning.
Tuesday 4th April Cefn Glas and Bryntirion- Westward community centre 11am to 6pm
Wednesday 5th April Wildmill - Wildmill community centre 11am to 6pm
Thursday 6th April - Pyle Swimming pool 11am to 6pm
Friday 7th April - Caerau, Maesteg Caerau community centre 9am -4pm
Dogs Trust, Cats protection and Bridgend council animal welfare will also be present on the days for all the help and guidance you need with all your furry animals.
Please note: Only dogs on a lead are able to attend the events, but all help and advice will be given for all pets!
For further information please visit the websites below:
Due to the generosity of the people of Bridgend County and with help from local businesses, Bridgend Foodbank have had a busy couple of weeks sorting and distributing food over the busy Christmas period.
Staff at Valleys to Coast (V2C) filled over 50 shoeboxes full of Christmas treats to help those in surrounding communities to enjoy the festive season
Local businesses and contractors who work with V2C donated prizes for a Christmas raffle, raising a fantastic £832.07. This money will allow volunteers from Bridgend Foodbank to buy items of food desperately needed to help provide a balanced healthy diet to struggling families.
Jonathan Davies, Chairman Bridgend Foodbank trustee said “We are incredibly grateful to Valleys to Coast for donating the cash from their Christmas raffle. We would like to thank everyone for their continued support.”
Chris Randall, Utility Debt advisor at V2C commented, “We like to work as closely as possible with Bridgend Foodbank as we can see the fantastic work they do in our community. Glad we could help.”
Valleys to Coast (V2C) successfully won two awards at this year’s Welsh Housing Awards 2016. The awards are organised by Chartered Institute of Housing Cymru, to recognise and celebrate the creativity, passion and innovation of housing organisations and individuals across the breadth of the housing sector in Wales.
The first win of the night was the Collaboration Award, with the project; Bringing Emmaus to Wales.
This project focussed on partnership work involving V2C and Emmaus to develop the first Emmaus community in Wales, offering 24 rooms for companions to have a settled home following a period of homelessness. This vision resonated with V2C’s own vision of creating communities that people want to live in.
Tom Clarke, Director of Emmaus commented, ‘Nantlais offers companions the opportunity to learn to live independently within a supportive environment. Life skills, healthy eating and cooking, managing budgets are taught within the home.’ As one companion put it, ‘Emmaus gave me a bed and a reason to get up out of it’.
The second award received was the Empowering and Involving Communities Award which recognised the partnership work with the local community youth group; The Wildmill Youth Revival project.
During the summer of 2014, the announcement was made to close the local youth facility in Wildmill. This led to the community taking matters into their own hands. Debbie Bryn, a youth worker with Youth Works before it closed and others on the estate saw this as a real opportunity; they brought local people together in an action group to see that youth provision was not lost.
Debbie Bryn, Wildmill Youth volunteer commented; ‘The group were keen to work with V2C as we had worked closely with them in the past. We approached them to see how they could help us with our plan. Our commitment, ambition and drive to ensure young people have the best start became obvious and we were more than confident that the group would be able to achieve great things for the estate.’
The night was a huge success for V2C, who celebrated their win at The Vale Hotel on November the 18th. Thanks to the sponsors of the awards, United Living and Contract Services.
Valleys to Coast (V2C) staff have kick started their festivities by getting involved in a Christmas shoe box appeal for the local Foodbank.
Welcome items included chocolates, sweets, biscuits and treats, as well as other items such as puzzles, small toys and toothbrushes.
Jessica Lane, V2C’s works scheduler commented, “It’s brilliant to give something back to the community we work in, we know that Foodbanks are being used more now than ever before and we hope our treat boxes can be a real surprise for families over Christmas who usually go without. V2C is always looking at ways to support the community and helping those who need it.”
Bridgend Foodbank provides three days’ nutritionally balanced emergency food and support to local people who are referred to them in crisis.
If you would like to donate to Bridgend Foodbank then please visit their website: www.bridgend.foodbank.org.uk. Here you will find information on what food items are urgently needed and where you can drop your items off.
Sarah Hay tells us about improving a play space in her local community in Wildmill, Bridgend. Space Saviours is a two year project that is funded by the National Lottery and delivered by four housing associations, including Valleys to Coast Housing (V2C) in Bridgend. The Space Saviours project held events for local communities to identify ideas to improve local outdoor space and I attended one in 2014. I went along, as I knew there was quite a bit of space available in our community that could be developed for play. I was keen to create a safe play area in Wildmill and the Play Wales play workshop inspired me to put a project idea together.
My original idea was to remove an existing mound of earth, install a safe surface next to an existing park and add goals for the kids to play football. When I told my eldest son about the project, he got very upset and said, ‘You’re not going to take away our twmp, are you?’ I hadn’t realised how important the twmp was to him and his friends. I began to watch children use the space and started to see the value they placed on it. I told Play Wales about this and together, we undertook a play audit of the area and worked with a landscape architect to produce designs.
V2C liked the final design and found funds for improvements, including making the twmp more playable. Before work started, we held a consultation event in our community centre and displayed images of the design in our youth club. During the build, some local adults weren’t happy and some of my time was spent reassuring them that the mess created by the changes would benefit the community long term. The new play area opened in February 2016 with a Playday. At this event, people asked why there wasn’t a fence around the space to ‘keep the dogs out’. We explained that there wasn’t a need for a fence because it is a safe place for children already as there is no traffic and so many houses overlook the space.
We soon realised that dog mess was a real problem, though. With V2C, we decided to start a public information campaign. Local children designed posters to remind people to clean up after their dogs and V2C purchased and installed outdoor signs based on the children’s designs. We got chalk paint and with the children, volunteers and Keep Wales Tidy, we marked out all the dog mess and were amazed at how much of the grass was covered in this chalk. Local tenants, particularly dog owners, were shocked and disgusted at the mess our children were playing in.
The space is better utilised now and we have made clever use of the existing space. And I have a very happy son who gave the final design his seal of approval because we didn’t ruin his twmp!
Every year V2C sponsors Bridgend Association of Voluntary Organisations (BAVO) volunteer awards.
This event celebrates the fantastic work that goes on in the county on a purely voluntary basis.
Some of the winners are amazing in what they freely give to improve the quality of life of other people.
Some of the recipients and some of the winners are V2C tenants but all of this helps to create ‘thriving communities where people want to live’.
Here is Amy Jones Customer Engagement Officer at V2C presenting Sarah Boswell-Jones with her Befriending and mentoring Award.
BAVO’s new Volunteer Centre is located at 2 Queen Street in Bridgend town centre which offers a one-stop resource on all aspects of volunteering with over 300 registered voluntary organisations offering a wide range of opportunities to match people’s skills and interests.
For further details call BAVO on: 01656 660372
or email Amy Jones on firstname.lastname@example.org
Delighted tenants received keys to one of ten newly-built bungalows at V2C’s development at The Mercies, Porthcawl.
The open morning was attended by new residents and their families, and allowed V2C staff and United Living, the development contractor, to welcome the new tenants to their new homes. The event also allowed residents in the surrounding area an opportunity to take a peek at the properties that they had patiently watched being built over the past year.
The high quality bungalows offer easy accessibility throughout and provide an improved quality of life for residents with varying mobility issues, and each home comes complete with a wet room and beautiful gardens in the rear.
“It means so much more than just a house to many’, Mrs Martin a V2C tenant commented. “This now allows my husband to return from hospital and to be part of the family life again after a year of being hospitalised. You don’t realise how much this means to me.”
Paul Sawtell, V2C’s Development Manager commented: “I was very pleased to see another successful development complete in an area where a development of this nature is sorely needed. It was great to see first-hand the families who were receiving the properties and gives me a sense of pride to see what it means to our customers.”
Smart meters are the new generation of gas and electricity meters which will replace the traditional meters in our homes. Every home in Wales, England and Scotland will be offered a smart meter by their energy supplier, at no extra cost, between now and 2020. Your supplier will be in touch to arrange an appointment when they are ready to install yours.
Smart meters will enable you to see exactly how much energy you’re using, as you use it, and what it is costing in pounds and pence. Smart meters take regular readings and share these wirelessly, through a secure network, with your energy supplier. This means your bills will be accurate, not estimated, and you will no longer need to have manual meter readings.
In the future, smart meters will make switching between suppliers, or between credit and prepay, quicker and easier. If you are a prepay customer, you will also be able to top up online or via mobile phone.
Smart Energy GB is the voice of the smart meter rollout. It’s their task to help everyone in Great Britain understand smart meters, the national rollout and how to use our new meters to get our gas and electricity under control.
For more information about smart meters and how they can help you visit smartenergyGB.org
Director of Operations/ Deputy Chief Executive
Circa £85k plus attractive supporting package.
As part of our next phase of organisational development we have created a role that will lead the collaboration between all of our front line services. In doing so, the goal is to truly transform the customer experience. Our aim is to optimise performance through the smart utilisation of technology and an ingenuity of approach that makes us stand out from the rest.
Your professional profile will enable you to understand the intricacies of both housing management and the delivery of a first class repairs service. Your 'Vision' for great customer service will lead to the teams that you manage initiating change and insisting upon working at the cutting edge.
A leader of change, an inspirer of people, with a passion to create a great place to work, you will be adept in blending these qualities with a business astuteness that adds real value beyond your directorate lead.
If this is the role that you have been waiting for, we would be delighted to hear from you wherever you currently work within the UK. The candidate pack can be accessed via www.campbelltickell.com/jobs.
For an informal discussion with our retained consultants, Campbell Tickell, please contact their lead consultant, Mark Glinwood, on 07944-411484 or 020 3434 0990.
Closing date: 31 October 2016
Are you an experienced decision-maker, committed to outstanding corporate governance and passionate about the key role housing plays in our economy and local communities?
We are looking particularly for interest from people with Financial and Governance of Housing Associations skills, Housing Management and Maintenance skills, or Legal and HR skills.
Do you believe you have the relevant skills or know someone who might be interested? Then please get in touch for an application pack.
V2C has always welcomed and embraced diversity in our communities and amongst our workforce.
One of our key principles is that of ‘Valuing Difference’ and we are concerned and upset to see an increase in hate crime following the Brexit vote.
We want to make it clear to our customers, staff and partners that we support the individual’s right to live free from fear and hate and will not tolerate discrimination in any form.
We will do whatever we can to help people who are suffering from discrimination, and will deal with those who are guilty of such unacceptable behaviour
Office staff at Valleys to Coast will be overdoing it in denim on Friday the 23rd September to help raise money for the annual Jeans for Genes day.
Staff will be asked to donate £2 to wear their jeans to the office! Some of our trade staff will be unable to wear jeans due to the nature of their job, so we are planning to dress them up with denim/blue props and get their picture taken in our photo booth.
Lindsey Barrett, Projects Officer at V2C is keen to support the charity because, “There’s always someone worse off than you, when you see kids with all sorts of diseases through no fault of their own and what they have to go through in life, I think that’s reason enough.”
If you’re visiting the V2C office on Friday the 23rd September then please be aware that staff will be dressed down in denims for this good cause. If you would like to donate to the charity, then there will be collection boxes placed in the reception areas.
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
Each year Welsh Government requires V2C to review its performance.
Here is how we believe we are performing:
Do you agree with us?
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!
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"