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Maria is feeling ready for Universal Credit – are you?

There are a number of ways you can prepare for Universal Credit. Being prepared now will make the change easier, and our Welfare Advisors are here to help.

One of our residents, Maria, has already started planning for Universal Credit.

Looking at her circumstances, she is aware her benefits will change in September 2018 when her son starts school.

Rent First
She is topping up her rent account with £2 a week using her Allpay card to ensure her home will be protected. Continue reading

#JoinourBoards

We’ve just launched our #JoinourBoards campaign as we have several fresh openings on our Boards & Committees, ready and waiting for new Non-Executive Director applicants.

Ocean Housing Group Ltd are looking to recruit new Board Members to join our talented team of non-executives and to help to drive our business forward.

This is an exciting time for Ocean, with a new Corporate Strategy and Business Plan.

We have ambitious plans to develop new homes and to invest in our existing homes and communities.

We are looking to recruit new Board Members to join our talented team of non-executives and to help to drive our business forward.

Why Join?

The role of a Board Member is diverse, complex, challenging and incredibly rewarding.

We work together as a strong team and support our Executive Team in the delivery of our agreed strategies and plans.

About Ocean Group

Chairman of the Ocean Group Board, Dennis Spilsbury, introduces the Group, who we are and what’s coming up for the Ocean group of companies over the next 5 years:

Our Board Members develop and shape our business strategy to:

  • Drive improvement
  • Shape customer-focused services
  • Identify and mitigate risk
  • Define strategic priorities
  • Make a difference

Vacancies

Ocean Group Board Member

Meet the Deputy Chair of the Ocean Group Board, Debbie Wilshire, who explains the role of a Board Member:

 

Ocean Housing Board Member

Chair of the Ocean Housing Board, Chris Durkin, outlines what we do, the challenges ahead and exciting plans for growth over the next 5 years:

 

Gilbert & Goode Board Member

Chair of Gilbert & Goode, Jonathan Adlington, explains how Gilbert & Goode fits within the Group as a commercial enterprise:

 

Group Audit, Risk & Assurance Committee Member

We would also welcome applications from candidates with internal or external audit experience to join our Group Audit, Risk & Assurance Committee.

Apply

For more information regarding specific responsibilities and knowledge and experience, please click HERE to visit our Board Member job listing and complete the application forms in full.

http://www.ocean-group.co.uk/join-our-boards

 

A Room with view

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A local family were celebrating after sharing their views in Ocean’s latest customer survey led to winning the prize draw for a brand new Smart TV.

As part of the plan to help the organisation and its customers get ready for Universal Credit and improved digital customer service, Ocean Housing contacted all tenants and residents to seek their feedback.

“Filling out the survey only took a few minutes over a cup of tea,” shared local mum Karin, from St Agnes. “Ocean’s Customer Accounts team have always been very helpful when we’ve been in touch with them, as has our patch officer, James. So we didn’t mind at all helping to update Ocean via this survey. We never dreamed we’d actually win the TV though!”

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Ocean’s Quality and Performance Manager, Anna Pascoe, led the project and explained Ocean’s perspective:

“Welfare reforms have been coming thick and fast over recent years and this survey was one of the many methods we are using at Ocean to help customers prepare for and understand current and coming changes, such as the digital-only Universal Credit system. We were delighted with the response to the survey and look forward to taking on board the comments shared.”

Banner-My-Ocean-GC-sign-in-sign-upCustomer Service Manager, David Jory, added:

“We are keen to be responsive to customers across new as well as traditional communications, and it was great to see over 150 survey respondents sign up to our online account service My Ocean.”

If you are an Ocean customer you can raise any issues and get assistance via the new LiveChat web tool. Simply follow the pop-up instructions when you visit www.oceanhousing.com.

 

Budgeting Ahead

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The kids are back at school and Christmas will soon be upon us so now is an excellent time to review your finances and look at how to budget ahead more effectively.

One important part of budgeting is to ensure that your priority debts are paid on time.

Maintaining your rent payments is an essential part of managing your finances and helping you budget. Once these payments are made then it is easier to understand what money you have left over each month for your other outgoings.

To make things a little easier for you, we’ve put together a helpful guide listing ‘Ways to Pay’ – this will help you identify the best way for you to take control of your finances and make budgeting a little easier.

Click on it to enlarge.

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Income Management Team – What’s changing?

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Here at Ocean we pride ourselves on delivering excellent customer service and one of the teams currently doing this is our Income Management Team.

They work with our customers:

Allpay-Ocean-Payment-card-houses-icon to provide help and support when they encounter financial difficulties

Allpay-Ocean-Payment-card-houses-icon identifying additional benefits that they may be entitled to

Allpay-Ocean-Payment-card-houses-icon referring to support agencies

Allpay-Ocean-Payment-card-houses-icon working with them to help get them back on track with their rental payments.

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So what is changing?

The team are fundamentally staying the same however; there has been a change to the team name and role titles.

“Our customers are important to us and are at the centre of everything we do, we feel that the new team name and team titles better reflect what we do”

The team’s new name is the

Customer Accounts Team:

The team members are:

Customer Accounts Manager

Debbie Goodreid

Customer Accounts Advisors

Amy Coad

Kerry Smith

Loraine Hoar

Melody Boyce

Michelle Allen

Customer Accounts Assistant

Helen Bellamy

Home Ownership Advisor

Scott Burrows

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As well as helping customers when they are struggling to maintain their rent payments we are also responsible for all payments including:

  • Service charges, repair charges and other such charges
  • Garage and parking spaces
  • Shared Ownership
  • Leasehold payments
  • Freehold Properties &
  • Commercial Properties

Welfare-Team-June-2016

Did you know that we also have a Welfare Advice Team?

The Welfare Advice Team can help customers who are in receipt of Universal Credit or are affected by Bedroom Tax or Benefit Cap.

The Welfare Advice Team members are:

Welfare Advice Manager

Gill Barnard

Welfare Advisors

Gemma Aldin

Julie Cartlidge

Susan McKnight


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My Ocean – our 24/7 service

At Ocean we are constantly developing new ways of being able to keep in touch with our customers.

Did you know that you can view your tenancy details on line 24 hours a day 7 days a week?

Once registered, you can log in to your secure ‘My Ocean’ account to view:

My Ocean – latest news & events
My Account – balance & transactions
My Repairs
My Planned Upgrades.

To register, just click:

My-Ocean-sign-in-sign-up


Talk to Us

You can also access information and help:

Icon online form sml Your Money general advice

Icon online form sml Talk to us

Icon Email sml Send an email 

Icon phone sml 01726 874450

 

 

 

 

My Ocean – FREE Prize Draw

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Every day, our Customer Services team receive calls from customers asking for their rent balance. Did you know you can check your rent balance online?

My Ocean – your personalised online service

My Ocean is a personalised online service – an area of our website where you can securely log in and view your balance and transactions from the last 3 months as well as your repairs and planned upgrades, 24/7, without having to wait in the phone queue!

Continue reading

Surviving Universal Credit and the Benefit Cap

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Welfare-Team-June-2016

When you sign up to Universal Credit or UC (the new single benefit payment where 6 benefits become 1) a single monthly payment is paid directly to you.

This means that you will have to manage your money from the moment it arrives in your bank account.

This also means you will need to pay your own rent out of the monthly lump sum you receive. This should be your number one priority; you don’t want to risk losing your home.

If the idea of managing your money feels daunting, don’t panic, help is at hand.

Welfare Advice Team

Our friendly and helpful Welfare Advice Team have been helping tenants get to grips with these upcoming changes to the benefits system and what they need to do to be prepared for Universal Credit and the lowered Benefits Cap.

 

It’s really important that you tell Ocean when you have or are going to sign up to Universal Credit.

Icon online form sml  Online Contact Form

Continue reading

It’s Your Money!

Your Money

Does any of this sound familiar?


Banner Your Money Pig SH 72dpi‘I could do with some tips on how to manage on a tight budget but don’t know where to start.’

Banner Your Money Pig SH 72dpi‘I really want to sort out my debt problems’

Banner Your Money Pig SH 72dpi‘What’s Universal Credit?’

These questions are all answered on our website.

Why not take up the challenge of reading and reviewing the ‘Your Money’ section of the website, so we get to hear what you think of our web pages while you learn all about managing your finances along the way.

Follow the instructions and complete our survey below to tell us truthfully what you think of the information we provide and whether you think it is useful and well presented.

Create your own user feedback survey