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Ocean’s new Chair tables plans for Group’s future

On the eve of its 18th birthday, Ocean Housing Group has appointed its new Chair, education and leadership professional Debbie Wilshire, to take over the mantle from Dennis Spilsbury, who retired at the last meeting. Since Ocean took on the management of some 3,500 properties from the then Restormel Housing Trust in 2000, over £110million has been invested into those existing properties, and a further £144million into providing over a thousand new homes.

Ms Wilshire brings a wealth of board level experience to the growing Group of companies, which is headquartered in St Austell and employs over 240 local people across the parent group, construction company Gilbert & Goode and social landlord Ocean Housing. Her career has spanned legal studies, further education and the strategy and delivery of leadership and management, across Cornwall and nationally.

Mark Gardner, Ocean Group’s Chief Executive, welcomed Debbie to the role:

“I have seen first-hand the quality of Debbie’s contributions as Deputy Chair and Board  member and I am delighted at the prospect of working together to deliver the Group’s ambitions and continuing our positive impact on the Cornish economy.”

One of Ms Wilshire’s key priorities will be to take forward the Group’s new Corporate Strategy. This sets out the plans for 2018-2023, which will include 800 new homes of all tenures and an investment of £145million in new and existing homes. In particular, this will focus on improving the energy efficiency of Ocean’s stock and help its customers to keep warmer in winter.

Debbie Wilshire spoke of her passion for Cornwall, on taking up her new post as Ocean Group Chair:

“Cornwall needs housing providers that combine the business acumen to get things done, with the social conscience that cares about the people in each one of its homes. I am really looking forward to working with my very impressive Board colleagues and Ocean’s excellent Executive team. Together we will create innovative and customer-focused developments and services. As well as meeting the ambitions of those in housing need across the county, we will ensure a flowing pipeline of business for our supply chain partners.”

The Ocean Housing Group website includes more information about the plans outlined in this article and how you can get in touch:

www.ocean-group.co.uk.

Medal of Honour for Christmas call out crew member

Like many companies, Ocean Housing rewards its staff with a good break over the Christmas period. However, its customers’ needs never take a break, even on Christmas Day. So, each year, Ocean has a fantastic crew on duty throughout the festive period, devoted to delivering the emergency responsive repairs service our customers deserve.

Efficiency

While most people were putting their feet up and tucking in to mince pies, Ocean dealt with 115 emergency repairs between 21st December and 2nd January. The team’s response was exemplary: from the operator taking the call, to the supervisor assessing the needs and the trade staff responding to the emergency, the whole crew pulled out all the stops with great efficiency.  100% of the emergency call-outs were actioned by Ocean within 24 hrs. Continue reading

Ocean Group Chair retires

This December, we bid a very fond farewell to our Group Chair, Dennis Spilsbury.

There isn’t much Dennis doesn’t know about housing after spending the last 55 years of his career in the industry starting at Plymouth City Council back in 1962. Dennis joined Ocean Housing in 2002 as a Neighbourhood Services Officer. At that time, he was told his time with us was just for a few weeks; little did he realise it would turn into nearly 16 years.

“The best part of the role was getting out and about, meeting and helping residents. No day has ever been the same in my job and that’s why I’ve loved it,” says Dennis.

From Neighbourhood Services, Dennis then joined the Ocean Board back in 2006 and took up the Deputy Group Chair role in 2009 followed by Group Chair in 2011.

Mark Gardner, Ocean Group’s Chief Executive said
“Dennis demonstrates everything that’s good about Ocean Group. His commitment to us and especially the promotion of tenant and resident involvement is second to none. He will be greatly missed.”

Everyone at Ocean Group would like to thank Dennis for his long service and commitment to continually improving the service we provide. We wish him and his wife Gloria, a long, happy and healthy retirement.

Team Leader required

These jobs don’t come up very often and this one is definitely worth shouting about.

Ocean Housing Ltd are looking for a team leader to take on the role of Senior Property Services Manager within our in-house Property Services team.

Take a look at the information below and click on the Job Description and Person Specifications for more detail.

Senior Property Services Manager

Ocean Housing is recruiting for a Senior Property Services Manager, which will offer a unique and exciting opportunity for an individual who will play a key role in delivering Ocean Housing’s Company Plans and progress the objectives of their large in-house Property Services Maintenance Team.

As the leader of approximately 60 maintenance team staff, you will ensure the efficient and effective delivery of a high quality and cost effective day to day repairs, voids, cyclical M&E maintenance and planned works teams to approximately 4,000 tenants homes, spread geographically throughout Cornwall.

Continue reading

#HousingDay – Emergency call out

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.

Thank you.”

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#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.

 

‘Had their Say’!

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Ocean recently invited our customers to attend a couple of ‘Have your Say’ workshops – to review our ‘Service Standards’.

Getting customers involved with reviewing the way we do things and providing feedback is really important. After all, you know best what is important to you!

The team were really pleased with the sessions and felt they had been constructive and positive experiences for all.

Service Standards

These are 7 documents that set out the quality of service you can expect, the improvements we are planning and how you can judge our performance.

Each quarter, we publish a performance report for residents which is reviewed by the Tenants and Residents Panel. The report details how we are doing across each of the seven standards.

You can view the standards and the report on our website any time!

Icon online form sml Service Standards

 

The Workshops

We held two workshops, presenting our existing set of standards and outlining planned improvements, including changes to wording as well as the design and style of the documents. Everyone was given the opportunity to discuss, question and challenge the standards.

Laura Dowton, the Tenant Involvement and Social Inclusion Manager said,

“The turnout was great – there were some new faces as well as some of our dedicated panel members. 

The enthusiasm level was high – everyone was really interested and I have arranged to follow up with a couple of attendees as they asked about getting more involved.

The people I spoke to gave positive feedback and seemed relaxed and comfortable. Many said they would be happy to come along to future events.”

Where there were alterations required, the managers now have the task of making appropriate changes before we publish the final versions.

We will publish final versions on the Service Standards pages.

To view the final versions, watch this space!