Latest news at CGA

We’re supporting Gas Safety Week 2019

Community Gateway is supporting Gas Safety Week (16th-22nd September 2019) and will be sharing top tips on social media to raise awareness about the importance of gas safety.

The ninth annual Gas Safety Week sees organisations from across the UK working together to raise awareness of the dangers of poorly maintained gas appliances, which can cause gas leaks, fires, explosions and carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning.

This year, Gas Safety Week is addressing a whole range of gas safety matters with a focus on addressing the needs of the most vulnerable - from advice about how to keep vulnerable loved ones safe, to raising awareness of using a registered engineer who is legally qualified, to ensure consumers don’t become vulnerable to illegal gas work though lack of awareness.  

You can keep up to date with Gas Safe Register’s updates and advice throughout Gas Safety Week by following @GasSafeRegister on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and search #GSW19. 

To keep you and your family safe, follow Gas Safe Register’s top tips: 

  • Know the symptoms of CO poisoning; headaches, nausea, breathlessness, collapse, dizziness and loss of consciousness.
  • If you smell gas or think there might be a gas leak, call the free 24-hour national gas emergency number immediately on 0800 111 999.
  • Never attempt to work on a gas appliance yourself, always seek the help of a qualified Gas Safe registered engineer who can work on your gas cooker, boiler or fire in a safe way.
  • Don’t cut corners - only employ a suitably qualified Gas Safe registered engineer when having gas work carried out in your home.
  • Always ask to see your engineer’s Gas Safe ID card. Make sure you check the back of the card, which will state which gas appliances they are qualified to work on.

Gas Safe Register is the official register for legally qualified engineers. You can find a registered engineer in your area by visiting the Gas Safe Register website at www.GasSafeRegister.co.uk or by calling on 0800 408 5500.

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Celebrating Sheltered Housing with #StartsAtHome

We’ve been supporting Starts at Home day today talking to some of our tenants over the week about why they love our Sheltered Schemes. Starts at Home Day is a campaign run by the National Housing Federation to  promotes supported and sheltered housing and join in the call for more funding and more recognition of the benefits this type of tenancy gives.

During the week we heard from lots of people including 99 year-old Joan who said: “The Warden calls every morning to check I’m all right. She bobs in often and has a little look at me, they’re very nice here.”

The reassurance of a Warden and support package resonated with Lynette who said “My doctor wanted me to come here and with my disability, if there’s a problem they’ll be here for you and that is wonderful.”

Tony, who came to us from shared accommodation said: “It gets me out of the house, instead of just watching TV. There’s always a lot on, singalongs and trips out and I like talking to people.”

Ken has made some terrific friends in his scheme. He said: “We all look out for each other. George and I we’re best of friends…it’s our own community. If I weren’t here I’d be in a hotel or something and it’s safe here, you need a key fob to get in when the doors are closed.”

Gordon's family feel reassured that Gordon is well looked after. He is in a ground floor flat which he says is perfect for him, as his mobility is not good. He can get out to the garden or communal areas easily. When taken ill in Preston recently, he got a taxi back to his accommodation as he new he "would be all right if he just got back and could press his buzzer."

Louise Mattinson, Executive Director of Customers and Communities went along to a special Afternoon Tea held for StartsAtHome Day and explained how it’s all part of our wider strategy to deliver the right types of homes for people with different needs at different stages in their lives. You can listen to what Louise had to say by clicking the short video below.

 

You can see some of our tenants’ videos on our Twitter and Facebook pages #StartsAtHome

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Tributes paid to tenant champion

Tributes have been paid to a “tenant champion” who has passed away after a long illness, aged just 57.

Gill Lawson was a founding board member of Community Gateway, the very first Gateway Model housing association in the country.  Her passion for the tenants’ voice was clear to see, and led to her being invited to many other housing associations, conferences, and even the Houses of Parliament to present her unique perspective on tenant involvement and promote the Gateway Model.

Nic Bliss, Head of Policy at the Confederation of Co-operative Housing, supported Community Gateway during the stock transfer of Preston City Council homes to the Preston-based landlord in 2005.  He has fond memories of Gill, who was a member of the shadow board,

“Take it from me – she was a special woman! She was very instrumental in setting Community Gateway up.  I remember the first meeting she came to - she sat at the back saying nothing, and then right at the end she asked me very sheepishly in a quiet voice ‘Do you think I could get involved?’ A far cry from the feisty and lively person she later became!”

Louise Mattinson, Executive Director of Customers and Communities at Community Gateway recalls,

“She was my customer conscience on my shoulder, for example if we were changing policies or structures, I always had ‘How is Gill going to react to this?’ at the back of my mind.  She was the voice of the customer and was prepared to challenge you.” 

“She would ask ‘Have customers been involved, is this right for the customer?’ She would hold people to account.”

Chief Executive of Gentoo, Nigel Wilson, was also a founding board member and served with Gill. He says,

“I worked alongside Gill for over 9 years; she was a heart-on-the-sleeve person who put the people of Preston and Gateway tenants first in everything.  She could be fiery and was never shy in sharing exactly what she thought on the subject in discussion.  She was a great board colleague, a woman of passion and pride in her Gateway and her Preston. She is missed.”

Gill stepped down from the Community Gateway board in 2014 but remained involved with the organisation as an associate member, continuing her active involvement in action groups where she reviewed service standards, policies and procedures and conducted mystery shopping.

Although her failing health began to slow her activism, it couldn’t stifle her passion.

Many of us at Community Gateway have lost a unique champion and friend.

Gill leaves behind her devoted husband Mick and two children.

Gill Lawson on the Gateway Tenants Committee

Brand new apartment ticks all the boxes for Great-Grandad Mick

Yesterday was a particularly memorable day for pensioner Mick Davis, as he collected the keys to his brand-new 2-bed ground floor apartment from Community Gateway Chief Executive Rob Wakefield. The apartment is on the Story Homes Waterside development in Cottam, where Community Gateway are purchasing 59 homes in total.  

Mick, a retired joiner and builder from Preston, is already a tenant of Community Gateway living in a one-bed first floor flat in Ingol. He decided to have a look at Waterside for a number of reasons:

“I lived round here many years ago and know it well”, said Mick. “I’ve lived all over Preston since then, so being back here is like coming full circle.”

“I’m blessed with a large family and have 19 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren, all living locally. The youngest four like to visit quite often, so it will be great to have a second bedroom, where they can stay over. I’m really chuffed with the place – being in the trade myself, I know that it’s real quality workmanship.”

 Looking out of the large lounge windows in his new home, Mick points out the Lancaster Canal.

“I don’t do competitive fishing any more, but I love to fish, so the location is spot on. I remember this area when it was all orchards – it’s great to be right on the doorstep of beautiful countryside, yet on good bus routes and handy for the shops.”

The flats are spacious, light and airy, with plentiful storage space and a large kitchen. They also offer all mod cons in the bathrooms, which incorporate not only a modern bath, toilet and sink as standard, but low and high level shower systems. In addition, the apartments benefit from parking and secure bike stores.  

Mick was very pleased with how smoothly the process of choosing and signing up for his new home had gone and had nothing but praise for Allocations Officer Charlene. Charlene had arranged for him to have a five-day overlap period between his two tenancies to give him plenty of time to move his furniture and belongings.

Mick gave Chief Executive Rob a quick tour of his new home, while Charlene finished off the paperwork.

Rob said; “This is a prime example of what we’re trying to do here. We want to ensure that, as the biggest landlord in Preston, we provide a range of high quality housing to meet the varied needs of local people at different times in their lives. We’re about building homes not units here at Community Gateway and this latest apartment block will be a real asset to our housing stock. I hope Mick will be very happy here.”

Click the video below to hear from Rob and see more of the interior and exterior of one of our Larch Lane apartments.

Have a look inside ...

Hear from Mick himself...

 

Come and see us tomorrow at Preston Pulse

Once again, Community Gateway are proud to be sponsoring the fabulous Preston Pulse event, which gets bigger and better every year. Come and see us at Preston Pulse tomorrow on the Flag Market between 10.30am and 4pm and join in with the diversity celebrations!

Preston Pulse is all about empowering individuals and strengthening engagement across the Preston - we want you to be a part of it!

Look for our Community Gateway stand, where you can find out more about the services we offer to young people over 16 and adults; help with getting a job, going onto further education or gaining vocational training with our subsidiary charitable organisaiton Preston Vocational Centre (PVC). We have a range of programmes on offer that could be just what you are looking for.to take that first step to a new career, make friends and meet new people, boost your confidence or get back into the world of work.

If you're interested in becoming a Gateway tenant, we can also advise on the process too and if you are currently one of our tenants, we can also help with any questions you might have about your tenancy. 

We'd also like to hear your views on our new Empowerment Strategy.

As a thank you for popping over to see us, there will be some fun "freebies" for you to take away.

We hope to see you there!

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