It’s been a flying start to the year for Ocean Housing, with our Development Team recently handing over the keys to a suite of new affordable homes in North Cornwall.
The Pras an Ferla development in Camelford features 21 homes for rental, 11 homes for shared ownership and 8 open market units. The latest opening sees Ocean reach the halfway point on its mission to provide 150 local families or individuals with quality new homes this year. Continue reading →
As part of #HousingDay, we invited customers to tell their stories.
We had two real life stories from Jan Faulkner, our customer and Tenant Panel Chair (on right in photo), who gave us an insight into day to day experiences of our services, from a customer’s point of view.
Here is Jan’s 2nd story #RealPeopleTrueStories:
“It always happens when it’s least convenient, and a Friday evening is one of those times.
The hot tap in my kitchen would not turn off and when the flow of hot water suddenly increased I panicked and got wetter.
I rang the emergency number who advised me to turn the water off at the stop-cock, and they would call Ocean staff to report it for me.
About 15 mins later I received a call and they told me that someone would be there to sort the tap out.
Within the hour my tap was isolated and the problem found. Then the water supply restored to the rest of the house. They replaced the tap washer on the following Monday, and things returned to normal.
It may seem like a small problem to many, but when your health impacts on how you cope it is a huge relief when someone takes that problem and resolves it for you. Everyone involved from the call center to the young man who fitted the washer were polite, respectful and kind while helping me during my emergency.
Ocean tenant and Chair of the Tenant panel, Jan Faulkner (on the right) has just emailed us because she felt you should hear her story.
“Each year, we allow Ocean into our homes to carry out a gas safety check, which is a legal and a tenancy requirement.
This year, the engineer called to my home to complete the necessary test. However, towards the end of this test he asked if I had smelt gas, and I had to say that I had.
Six months earlier I had to replace my gas cooker, and arranged for a qualified fitter to put it in. Since then, there had been a slight smell of gas but I failed to take any notice as I trusted the qualified fitter and thought it was normal for a new cooker. I had suffered headaches and nausea but I had not connected it to the smell.
I was informed that there was a leak from the pipe to the cooker and this was impacting on mine and my family’s health.
Thankfully, the Ocean engineer put it right for me there and then. I was so relieved.
My home now has a clean bill of health for another year, and no smell of gas.
We may feel that it is inconvenient and not necessary but knowing that my home is safe for another year is so worth it.”
This experience has been a real eye opener for her. It just goes to show that many of our customers could potentially be putting themselves and their families at risk because they are failing to give our engineers access to carry out their annual gas service.
On 18th September, we celebrate #HousingDay on social media to try and raise awareness of the positive impact the Housing Sector has on people’s lives, especially with the latest report that Housing Associations relieve the pressure on the NHS.
Our Ocean Extra team gave us an insight into a regular day, supporting our vulnerable customers:
“Tracy has been dealing with a vulnerable person who lives on his own and is socially isolated because of his mental health condition and appearance. He always greets her with a smile and accepts all her help with real gratitude. That’s because, without her intervention, he would have died of malnutrition.
Yesterday, she was visiting another client when she came across Nigel in the corridor who’s neck had spasmed, literally stopping him in his tracks. Nigel’s disabled partner was unable to help him move. Tracey helped him there and then but also went on to liaise with the NHS to ensure his Parkinson’s medication was adequate.
Jan has assisted with a coffee morning activity at Prince Charles House which brings tenants and people from the community together. During that weekend this group raised £355.17 for Little Harbour Children’s Hospice.”
All in a day’s work. Thanks ladies for your insights.
Ocean Extra also deliver a Lifeline service and have asked their customers recently if they were satisfied with the service. Their feedback was heartwarming. You can click on each one to view it larger.
The start of August saw six fresh faces arriving at St Austell-based Ocean Housing Group Ltd to take up their apprenticeships.
Skills and Employment
Ocean has now supported over 100 local people to complete apprenticeships and gain skills and employment in Cornwall and is looking forward to working in partnership with Cornwall College to train these latest recruits.
Daisy Herdman shared her excitement at gaining an apprenticeship place:
“Carpentry was a trade I had been dreaming about, so it’s a great opportunity and a dream come true!”
All the apprentices will now benefit from an intensive period of induction to help them settle into their new roles.
Mark Gardner, Group Chief Executive spoke of his passion for creating career pathways for local people:
“Ocean wants to be an employer of choice and create training opportunities for people and our apprenticeship programme is a key part of this and is always very competitive to secure a place.”
The apprentices embarking on their new career are:
Apprentice Carpenter for Ocean Housing Ltd, (Property Services)
Apprentice Electrician for Ocean Housing Ltd, (Property Services)
Apprentice Plumbing & Heating for Ocean Housing Ltd, (Property Services)
Apprentice Business Administration for Ocean Housing Ltd, (Customer Services)
Apprentice Business Administration for Ocean Housing Ltd, (Neighbourhood Services)
Apprentice Plumbing & Heating for Gilbert & Goode Ltd
Ocean takes on apprentices each year and anyone interested in an apprenticeship at Ocean, the next applications will open in April 2018, so keep an eye on www.ocean-group.co.uk/apprenticeships.