Latest news at CGA — articles for March 2018

CGA to build Preston's first Independent Living Scheme

We are pleased to announce we are building Preston’s first Independent Living Scheme. The scheme will consist of 60 fully wheelchair accessible one and two bedroomed apartments, all with private external space. The scheme will also contain a bistro, hairdressers, treatment/consultation rooms and activity rooms.


The facilities, along the communal gardens will be open to the general public to encourage engagement with the wider community and will provide a fantastic resource for neighbouring residents.

The scheme has been designed using the HAPPI (Housing our Ageing Population Panel for Innovation) principles, which brings together design criteria such as good light, ventilation, space and storage, with additional elements aimed to deliver an attractive alternative to the family home for older people.


Each property will have the ability to adapt over time to meet changing needs. This scheme demonstrates our core value of tenant involvement, as the design of the scheme has had high levels of input from our residents, in particular the Sheltered Housing Action Group made up of CGA tenants working alongside staff.

Louise Mattinson, our Executive Director of Customers and Communities said,
“So much thought has gone into this scheme to produce the highest quality homes for its new residents. At every step of the way we’ve had resident involvement and both the research and ideas they have contributed to the design have been invaluable.”

The scheme will help satisfy the increasing need for high quality homes for those with care needs, providing an alternative to care homes and helping residents to live independently for longer. The new scheme, the first of its kind in Preston and one of very few in Lancashire, will be built on Dovedale Avenue in Ingol and aims to provide 24 hour care and assistance and will house people with a mix of care and support needs.

Chair of our Board and tenant Irene Bailey said,
“It was a unanimous decision from the Board to go ahead with this fantastic scheme. We’re confident it will create a positive impact on the local community as well as those with care needs.”

The cost of this exemplar scheme stands at £10.7m with £4.2m of funding granted from Homes England. Lancashire County Council has also demonstrated their support for the scheme and has pledged £540,000 towards the cost of the building. Work is scheduled to begin on site in March 2018 with a view of completion in 2020, contributing to our growth target of owning/managing 7000 properties by 2022.

CGA receives 5 star health and safety grading

We are pleased to announce that we have achieved a five star grading from our recent Five Star Occupational Health and Safety Audit, conducted by the British Safety Council.

We recently underwent a detailed, quantified and objective evaluation of our occupational health and safety management system. The audit measured our performance against a number of key best practice indicators, and achieved the highest available rating.

The British Safety Council’s Five Star Occupational Health and Safety Audit provides organisations with a worldwide benchmark of their safety management systems against current best practice to enable continual improvement. The audit specification includes five best practice indicators – leadership, stakeholder engagement, risk management, organisational health and safety culture and continual improvement – which are continually assessed throughout the audit process.

Rob Wakefield, our Chief Executive said,

“We take the health and safety of our tenants and colleagues very seriously at Community Gateway Association, so it was really pleasing to receive such a fantastic result from the British Safety Council audit.”

This was our first time commissioning the BSC Audit and is a huge success.

We're supporting National Apprenticeship Week!

At CGA we have apprentices in a number of different areas across our organisation, such as GreenCare, People Services and Gateway PropertyCare.

Providing apprenticeships means that we open our doors to fresh ideas and new perspectives and increase our talent pool here at Gateway. Apprenticeships also mean that individuals get the opportunity to learn practical skills on the job making them highly employable.

Meet Michael, our People Services Apprentice. Michael joined Gateway 18 months ago after finishing sixth form and has become an important part of the team. Whilst working as an apprentice Michael has also been studying a CIPD Level 5 Diploma, which is equivalent to a foundation degree.

Within three months of joining Gateway, Michael was nominated for the Rising Star Award which he won at Staff Day 2016, cheered on by his colleagues.

“I was over the moon. To have my efforts recognised and to know that people outside of my team had also voted for me was a massive boost to my confidence and self-esteem.”

Occupational Health queries, learning and development, recruitment and health and wellbeing drives are all initiatives that Michael has helped with as part of his role in the People Services team. Michael has recently led on making sure our operatives’ health records are up to date and are accurate.

“My favourite part of the job is recruitment. I’m a people person and recruitment is really interactive. I’m quite a talkative person so I enjoy it.”

We asked what piece of advice Michael would give to those wondering whether they should go to university or take the apprenticeship route.

“Don’t follow the crowd. Be true to yourself. I didn’t know what I wanted to do, but I knew I enjoyed business studies and HR suited my personality. Being paid on the job was a no brainer and it’s taught me life skills like money management and professionalism.”

Michael is just one example of how apprenticeships can help an individual to thrive and that’s why we’re supporting National Apprenticeship Week!


Stay warm this winter

As The Beast from the East visits Preston, we've put together a few top tips on staying warm during the bad weather. 


If your boiler displays E28 or E133 (in frozen conditions) this is because the boiler condensate pipe is frozen. If you are able to, pour warm water (not boiling) over the outside condensate pipe.This is usually at the rear of the property and can be seen in the video below.


Top tips for frozen pipes

  • Keep the heating on in your bathroom and kitchen at all times.

  • If your pipes freeze pour warm (not boiling) water down the affected drain or plug hole.

  • If you can find where the pipe is frozen, apply a hot water bottle or use a hair dryer to try and thaw the affected area.


No water

If you do experience no water from your taps, check with your neighbours to see if they have also been affected. Water mains in the street are owned and maintained by United Utilities, to report burst water mains you can telephone 0345 672 2888 (for customers who don't have a water meter) or 0345 672 2999 (for customers with a water meter).


During bad weather, we will try to attend to your repair on the date and time arranged, however we may contact you to rearrange your appointment if the repair is non-urgent. We will do this so that emergency repairs can be attended to quickly. Please bear with us during bad weather and we ask that you only contact us if it’s absolutely necessary!

Keep warm this winter

Use your central heating effectively; make sure radiators are switched on in each of the rooms you use. Set your room thermostat to around 21 c and keep room doors closed to keep the heat in!

You may wish to buy a portable electric heater to help you keep warm in an emergency if your central heating breaks down.

If you experience boiler problems please ring Gateway Direct on 0800 953 0213 or 01772 268 000.

Snow clearing and gritting

Our Estate Maintenance Operatives will do their best to clear snow and spread grit on the main paths of our Sheltered Housing Schemes.

When travelling to a destination, keep in mind that that area may not have cleared snow or ice from paths or car parks.

Lancashire County Council Help Direct service can provide you with practical support on issues such as snow clearing and can be contacted on 03033331111.

Supported Housing

Our Housing Support Officers will make every effort to visit sheltered housing tenants as usual during bad weather. If this is not possible we will keep in touch by telephone on a daily basis to make sure you are well and provide you with assistance if needed.

Remember to press your pendant if you need urgent help!