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Dementia Action Week – 20th to 26th May 2019

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Did you know that every three minutes someone in the UK develops dementia. Despite almost all of us knowing someone affected, two-thirds of people living with dementia report feeling isolated and lonely.

This Dementia Action Week, Alzheimer’s Society is encouraging you to start a conversation; whether it’s calling a relative with dementia or visiting a neighbour, it’s time to start talking.  To support this aim Ocean is staging a series of staff and resident events, the dates for which are below:

• Rialton Heights – 22.05.19 at 1pm prior to bingo

• Fifield House – 23.05.19 at 11am at Chatties Coffee Morning

• Prince Charles House – 24.05.19 at 1.30pm

• Windmill House – 21.05.19 at 1.30pm

We know it can be difficult to know what to say. Visit https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/get-involved/dementia-action-week for more information and tips on how you can start a conversation.

Changes to the way you pay

Ocean Housing is making changes to the ways you can pay.

From March 31, we will no longer accept cash or cheque payments at our reception in Stennack House.

We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause. We would like to advise customers that you will still be able to pay by card at reception.

Alternatively, you can pay over the phone by calling 01726 874450, online at www.allpayments.net.

For more information about direct debits, standing orders and other payment methods please visit www.oceanhousing.com

Polgrean Place: Bid, bid, bid!

Are you being decanted from Polgrean Place as a part of our regeneration project?

It can be daunting moving on to pastures new, but don’t worry, we are here to help.

Project Officer Amy Smith will be opening the Polgrean Hub every Thursday morning from 9am to 11am and have her laptop set up to enable you to bid on properties on HomeChoice.

Why not come along, have a cuppa and a catch up, and bid at the same time.  No need for an appointment.

Starts 9am on the Thursday, February 28, 2019.

Ocean invests £3.7m into home energy efficiency improvements

Ocean Housing is investing £3.7million in improving the energy efficiency of some of its homes.

Following a successful pilot, we have also been awarded additional grant funding by an energy provider which means we can carry out work to more homes. The work will include the renewal of roofs and external insulation of qualifying Cornish Units.

This will help to reduce the energy costs associated with living in this style of home and ensure residents are able to keep all rooms a comfortable temperature.

In order to be eligible for the improvements, the home must be “Hard to Heat”, as specified by the energy provider.

This means your home must have uninsulated ground and first floor walls. It may also have electric night storage heaters or oil heating.

Letters will be sent out shortly to inform those living in qualifying Cornish Units whose homes are scheduled for renovations during the first phase of improvements.

We will be contacting others who qualify closer to the time that work is scheduled to take place at their address.

Ocean Housing will work closely with you explain the whole process from start to finish.

This will begin with a meeting at your home and a survey of your property in its current condition.

For more information about what to expect click here.

Cornish Unit energy efficiency project: What you need to know

If your home qualifies for Ocean Housing’s £3.7m energy efficiency project you may be wondering what happens next.

We have put together a list of commonly asked questions to help guide you through the process.

How do I know if my home qualifies?

You should have received a letter from Ocean Housing explaining why your Cornish Unit qualifies for our energy efficiency improvement project.

As your home has uninsulated ground and first floor walls it has been classed as “Hard to Heat” by the energy provider that is part-funding our project.

But what exactly does this mean?

If your property qualifies, changes will be made to the roof and external insulation will be added to your home.

This should help reduce your energy bills and keep your family comfortable throughout the year.

What is next?

Once you have received a letter confirming that your home qualifies, you will need to arrange a convenient time for us to visit you and discuss the process and the works involved.

We will also need to carry out a survey of your property before works can begin. This will be carried out by our appointed surveying specialist Property Tectonics. They will contact you directly to arrange a convenient appointment.

You will also need to remove any personal belongings from the loft space as work cannot begin until this area is clear.

What will happen to my home?

Here is a quick step-by-step guide:

  1. A survey will be carried out on your property before any work starts.
  2. Scaffolding will be erected around the exterior of your home.
  3. All loft and mansard roof coverings (tiled sections) will be removed and insulation will be installed.
  4. Scaffolding is removed.
  5. The outer wall on the ground floor will be cladded with external insulation.
  6. Work is completed.

It is important that customers are aware that during the renovation works drilling of the exterior walls will take place, to allow the external insulation to be fitted. This will be extremely loud and can cause vibrations to be felt in the interior of the property.

We highly recommend that you vacate the property during this time to prevent discomfort. Ocean endeavors to complete all drilling within two working days.

What if my home doesn’t qualify?

In order to be eligible for the improvements, the home must be “Hard to Heat”, as specified by the energy provider.

This means your home must have uninsulated ground and first floor walls. It may also have electric night storage heaters or oil heating.

If, unfortunately, on this occasion your home doesn’t meet the criteria to qualify for this project you will be sent a letter notifying you and explaining why your home does not qualify.

We would like to reassure you that we actively continue to seek funding opportunities with the energy providers and local authority. We are hopeful that in the future we will secure funding to carry out energy measures to your home.

What if I have any questions?

Ocean Housing wants to work closely with you during this project. If you have any questions during the works please email help@oceanhousing.com.

Virtual Panel: We need you!

There’s one thing that most of us seem to never have enough of – and that’s time. We know you all have busy lives and might not be able to attend the tenant panel meetings we hold at our St Austell HQ each month – but we rely on your feedback to help shape and improve the services we offer.

So we’re creating a new online panel for residents, the Virtual Internet Panel (VIP), giving you the opportunity to have a greater say in what we do and how we do it, and influence the services which relate to the management of your homes. Your feedback is critical to understanding how we’re performing and how we can improve.

We’ll be using Facebook and email to communicate with our new Virtual Internet Panel, focusing on four major topics throughout the year, from repairs and complaints to customer engagement.  Feedback will come in many forms including quick questionnaires and Q&As. This isn’t a ‘tick box’ exercise: your views matter to us.

The first 100 people to sign up will be automatically entered into a £50 prize draw.

If you’d like to be involved, email us at help@oceanhousing.com with your name and contact details, or call the Tenant Involvement Team on 01726 874450, and we’ll be in touch.

Alternatively, you can fill in the form below.

Verification

 

Essential I.T. Maintenance

Due to routine I.T. maintenance our customer service team will only be able to assist with emergency repairs from 1pm today (1st February 2019).

If your call is not urgent, please can we ask that you wait until Monday 4th February, when we will be able to help.

We apologise for any inconvenience these essential I.T. works may cause.

Weather disruption

We are running a reduced service this morning due to the adverse weather conditions.  Our teams will be dealing with emergencies as a priority but please be patient as we are dealing with a high volume of calls.

Universal Credit: Working to support you

Welfare advisors from Ocean Housing are working from local job centres in a bid to help those struggling with the introduction of Universal Credit.

Universal Credit replaces six weekly and fortnightly benefits – including job seekers allowance, tax credits and housing benefit – with one monthly payment.

A phased introduction started in 2013 and more than 300 Ocean Housing customers currently receive the new benefit.

To help our customers make the transition to a monthly budget as smoothly as possible, two of our Welfare Advisors, Gemma and Rebecca, now work from job centres once a fortnight.

Gemma is based at St Austell job centre every other Thursday and Rebecca is in Newquay on alternate Mondays.

Gemma and Rebecca are holding fortnightly drop-in sessions for Ocean customers in local job centres

This allows them to offer more one-to-one support for our customers and – thanks to our strong working relationship with our local Department for Work and Pensions colleagues – grants the pair immediate access to the information they need to help our residents.

Rebecca and Gemma can also help with other welfare queries, such as bedroom tax, the benefits cap, Council Tax debt and water tariffs.

Sessions will initially be for drop-in advice but further home visits can be arranged where necessary.

The pair are a part of a specialist welfare team created by Ocean Housing in readiness for the roll out of Universal Credit, aimed at supporting our customers through the application process.

For more information about Universal Credit click here.

Ocean Housing ‘saves Christmas’ for more than 100

Ocean Housing carried out more than 100 emergency repairs during the festive close-down period.

In a bid to ensure customers enjoyed a merry yuletide, we attended 114 jobs and took 128 telephone calls to our emergency service number between Friday, December 21 and Wednesday, January 2.

Of these, eight were attended on Christmas Day and two on New Year’s Day.

Chief Executive of Ocean Housing Group, Mark Gardner said: “I’m very grateful to colleagues who were on call out duty over the Christmas and New Year period, ensuring essential and urgent services continued to be delivered to our tenants and residents.”

Since April 2018, Ocean Housing has answered in excess of 31,888 calls and completed 6,829 day-to-day repairs with a customer satisfaction rating of 98.1 per cent.

For more information about our emergency repairs service click here.