Latest News

Celebrating our Block Champions at their seventh AGM

Our Environmental Services Team recently hosted our seventh Block Champion Annual General Meeting (AGM) in the Birkenhead Park Pavilion, according to the Block Champion volunteers who attended it was hailed as another great success!

Mr Bramall from Woodchurch said “ I thoroughly enjoyed the event they get better every year. The topics presented were very relevant and interesting. I was really pleased that we had the opportunity to review the Magenta Living Estate Standards and discuss with the group what’s good about the services we receive and what can be improved”.

Block Champions Service Standard Review

Guest speakers, Wirral Connectors from Involve Northwest, spoke about the good neighbour scheme and how Block Champions can get involved. Steve Holmes, Magenta Living's Health & Safety Officer, gave a very interesting first aid demonstration explaining how defibrillators work and how they can save lives.

Also, Birkenhead Bid Coordinators from the Chamber of  Commerce Ian Davies and Arfon Williams gave a great overview of all the improvements that they have been able to make with businesses across Birkenhead. They discussed their plans for the future for keeping Birkenhead safe and introduced their new poster campaign working with Crime Stoppers

The Block Champion AGM is an afternoon of celebration and Magenta Living way of thanking them for all their help and support throughout the year for monitoring services and helping to make where they live clean and safe. We were delighted to shine the spotlight on Mrs Culley (Pictured below), she received the Trophy for completing the most block Champion reports for 2018/19.  Mr Evans (Pictured in Thumbnail) was the lucky winner of the afternoon tea Hamper donated by the Environmental Services Team. On arrival, all Champions were provided with a buffet lunch and a bag full of Magenta Living goodies including lots of bulbs for their communal gardens.

Mrs Culley - Block Champion

If you would like to volunteer to become a Block Champion for where you live please use the Block Champion sign up form, here.

Read more — 'Celebrating our Block Champions at their seventh AGM'

Magenta Living sign up to sun safety awareness pledge for outdoor workers

Magenta Living has signed up to an annual sun safety awareness pledge to protect their workers during summer.

Employing more  than 500 staff, with 200 of these working outside on a daily basis, Magenta Living is the first major business to back the North West Cancer Research Sun Safety Pledge for the second year running.

The initiative from the charity and Public Health Liverpool is designed to encourage employers to put outdoor worker's safety first by raising the importance of sun protection.

A toolkit has been rolled out to help employers educate employees with advice including covering up and using sun cream between May and September when the rays from the sun are strongest.

Magenta Living has now provided sun cream samples from the campaign's sun cream partner SunSense UK for its 200 outdoor workers in all staff recreational areas.

Assistant Director of HR and Organisational Development at Magenta Living, Joanne Francom said: "This is the second year that we have supported the pledge and its been an invaluable initiative in educating our workforce on the symptoms of skin cancer and preventative measures.

"With almost half of our employees working outside on a daily basis, it is essential that they know the value of protecting themselves from the sun's harmful UV rays that are present no matter what the weather.

"North West Cancer Research has provided us with awareness posters and leaflets to ensure employees are armed with potentially lifesaving information, as well as sun cream samples which are accessible to all employees.

"Our employees health is of the upmost importance and we really value the second year of North West Cancer Research's support and education."

Alastair Richards, chief executive of North West Cancer Research, said: “We already know that skin cancer rates are on the rise here in Merseyside and we want to ensure the messages relating to sun protection are reaching those most at risk and that includes people who work outdoors.

“Magenta Living is one of the largest employers in the Wirral and by backing the pledge for a second year, it is rewarding to know that our sun safety message will be reaffirmed amongst their outdoor workers.

“Over exposure to UV rays can be harmful and we want employers and employees to get the message about the importance of sun protection when at work.”

Read more — 'Magenta Living sign up to sun safety awareness pledge for outdoor workers'

Police Commissioner launches search for new Youth Ambassadors

Merseyside’s Police Commissioner is looking for 10 enthusiastic, skilled young people to volunteer to support, challenge and inform the work of her office and the wider criminal justice system.

Jane Kennedy is looking to recruit a group of new volunteer Youth Ambassadors to help shape the way she engages with young people while giving them a greater voice in policing and community safety matters.

The role will last for 12 months and is open to those aged between 16 and 24, who live, work or study in Merseyside.

Youth Ambassadors will meet bi-monthly with the Police Commissioner and her team and will assist in the creation and delivery of a new Youth Engagement Plan, which they will help to share with other young people by visiting schools, youth clubs and community groups across Merseyside. They will also be expected to attend youth engagement events, inform campaigns aimed at young people and review the services offered to their peers.

The new Youth Ambassadors will replace the Commissioner’s Youth Advisory Group which has run since 2013.

Jane said: “I’m looking for 10 enthusiastic, engaged young people who aren’t afraid to challenge, have an interest in policing and community safety and want to get fully involved in these new Youth Ambassador roles.

“Throughout my time as Merseyside’s Police Commissioner, I have been keen to listen to the views of young people. The Youth Advisory Group has been amazing, sharing their views and feedback with me openly and honestly and I have greatly valued their opinions and feedback. The Ambassador role is a development of the Youth Advisory Group and will enable the young people to deliver a closer engagement with and challenge to myself and to the police.

“I am looking to recruit a smaller group of dedicated, eager and skilled young people to become even more involved with my work. I am hoping these young people will be real ambassadors for their peers, listening to their views and presenting them to me in order to inform a new Youth Engagement Plan.

“I’m looking for young people who really want to make a difference and be a voice for change. In exchange, they will get some fantastic opportunities to learn more about policing and the criminal justice system and influence decision making at a senior level. They will also receive a range of training and development opportunities and some great experience to add to their CV.

Any young person interested in applying can find more information and the application form at https://www.merseysidepcc.info/youth-ambassadors.aspx and return it to info@merseysidepcc.info

Alternatively, you can post a copy to The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, Wavertree Police Station, Wavertree Road, Liverpool L7 1RJ. 

The deadlines for applications is close of play on Friday 9th August 2019.

For more information, please call 0151 777 5155 and ask for a member of the Community Engagement team or email info@merseysidepcc.info.

Read more — 'Police Commissioner launches search for new Youth Ambassadors'

HRH The Princess Royal Re-Opens Flagship Homeless Centre on Wirral

A state-of-the-art homeless centre on the Wirral welcomed a very special visitor today as Her Royal Highness, The Princess Royal officially reopened the facility, 18 years after opening the original site.

Mary Cole House, which is operated by Wirral Churches’ Ark Project - a homeless prevention, support and accommodation service, has undergone a multi-million-pound renovation project designed to ensure it can offer enhanced accommodation and support to people who face homelessness in the local area.

The renovation project was funded by Homes England and Wirral Council and project managed by Magenta Living, Wirral’s biggest provider of social housing, on behalf of Wirral Ark. The renovations included a part demolition and refurbishment of the existing Birkenhead-based building with a wraparound new build extension.

Originally launched by Wirral Ark in 2001, when it was opened by HRH The Princess Royal, Mary Cole House was funded through National Lottery Charity funding and donations from local businesses.

On her return to the newly renovated centre, HRH The Princess Royal, was welcomed by Wirral Ark’s Chair, Father Robert Nelson MBE and Chief Executive, Aydin Djemal who took the royal visitor on a tour of the accommodation and facilities at Mary Cole House. The centre provides accommodation for up to 27 people and comprises a kitchen/dining room, a lounge, training room, chapel and communal garden.

During the tour, HRH The Princess Royal spoke to staff, who provide a range of support services at Mary Cole House, including palliative care, a nurse drop-in service for homeless people and a ‘controlled drinking environment’ which provides a safe place for those who would otherwise be drinking on the streets.

HRH The Princess Royal was also given the opportunity to meet some of the people who use Mary Cole House and to hear their personal experiences of how the centre had provided them with a vital source of shelter and support, before unveiling an official plaque to mark the reopening of Mary Cole House.

Commenting on the visit, Aydin Djemal, Chief Executive of Wirral Ark said, “We were honoured to welcome HRH The Princess Royal to officially re-open Mary Cole House, particularly given her long association with our facility. We were exceedingly proud to be able to showcase our newly enhanced building and accommodation to our very special guest and to give both our staff and some of the people who benefit from Mary Cole House the chance to meet HRH The Princess Royal and share their experiences with her.”

Paul Anson, Director of Business Growth at Magenta Living who was also introduced to HRH The Princess Royal at the event said, “This was a fantastic opportunity to demonstrate to HRH The Princess Royal the outstanding work that Wirral Ark deliver  for homeless people in our communities and to show the level of investment that has gone into ensuring the accommodation and facilities on offer at Mary Cole House are the very best they can be.”

Also in attendance at the event were a host of VIPs including the leader of Wirral Council, Councillor Pat Hackett; Chairman of Wirral Ark, Father Robert Nelson MBE; the Mayor of Wirral, Councillor Tony Smith; the Mayoress of Wirral, Mrs Barbara Smith; Chief Executive of Wirral Council, Eric Robinson and Assistant Director of Development, Steven Eaves at Magenta Living.

Read more — 'HRH The Princess Royal Re-Opens Flagship Homeless Centre on Wirral '

Magenta Living Invests in Homegrown Project Manager Talent

Leading North West housing provider, Magenta Living has invested in an internal training programme designed to nurture home-grown project manager talent in its development team, as it rolls-out its largest ever affordable-home building programme.

By focusing on up-skilling existing employees and providing on-the-job training within its development team, Magenta Living is developing its own talent pool of future project managers, equipping employees with a range of in-demand capabilities and experience.

The approach has seen the development team take on colleagues from elsewhere in the business, as well as promoting within its own ranks. Former Income Officer, Lauren Huggon has taken up a Trainee Project Manager post, along with Annette Westwater who was previously a Development Assistant, and the development team plans to introduce further trainee roles in the near future.

Louise Edwards, previously a Project Manager in the team, has been promoted to Senior Project Manager. The internal appointments have been complemented by the recruitment of Carole Dowd who was previously with Your Housing Group and is also taking up a Senior Project Manager role.

The new influx of talent will support Magenta Living in delivering its current development programme, which will see it build more than 650 new homes in locations across the Wirral and wider North West by 2022, significantly expanding its geographical reach. The new properties will consist of a variety of tenures, with homes being built for rent, sale and shared ownership.

The housing provider also has ambitious plans to raise additional finance that will enable it to increase the size of its development programme to 2,270 new homes.

In Wirral the housing provider is working on several new developments, including schemes in Woodchurch, West Kirby, Eastham and Wallasey.

Other developments currently underway include Halton Court in Runcorn, where Magenta Living is building 71 homes, providing a mixture of shared ownership and affordable rent properties, and The Elephant in Shavington, a 45 home scheme with a mixture of affordable and shared ownership, ranging from one bedroom to four-bedroom properties.

Magenta Living Head of Development, John Siddell said, “Project management expertise is in high demand, both within our own organisation and across the property and construction industry but there is a shortage of experienced people available to fulfil those roles. By training up our own project management experts we are creating our own talent pool – a readily available resource that will enable us not only to deliver our current development programme as efficiently as possible but also to hit the ground running as and when we expand that programme. It’s also extremely important to Magenta Living, as an employer, that we invest in our people and give them a chance to learn new skills and enhance their career prospects.”

Lauren Huggon, Trainee Project Manager added, “This is a really exciting time to be part of Magenta Living’s development team, given the scale of the projects we’re undertaking. Being able to learn on the job means we are developing practical skills as well as theoretical ones and the senior members of the development team have been extremely supportive, giving us the time and insight we need to become fully rounded project managers.”

Magenta Living has a strong track record of investing in its people. It was recently re-awarded Investors in People (IIP) Gold status and is now pursuing Platinum status.

Read more — 'Magenta Living Invests in Homegrown Project Manager Talent'

Magenta Living Tenant, Board Director and local volunteer recognised in Queen’s Birthday Honour’s List

A long serving tenant and Board Director of Magenta Living and local volunteer, Muriel Wilkinson has been recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honour’s list.

Muriel was awarded a British Empire Medal (BEM) for her services to housing having been officially involved with Wirral based Magenta Living since 2005. Muriel became a Company Member in 2008 and was officially appointed to the Magenta Living Board in April 2013.

Muriel has many years experience of voluntary work in various communities and has also run her own business for many years. She is still an active member in her neighbourhood providing support and advice when needed to fellow tenants and residents. Muriel still arranges luncheon clubs and charity events where she lives, providing an opportunity for the community to come together.

Muriel is Chair of the Wirral Residents Umbrella Association, which was set up in September 2010. The Umbrella Association as it’s known, is an independent group of Magenta Living tenants and residents representing the neighbourhoods where they live. By chairing this group, it provides an opportunity for Muriel to have real knowledge and insight into the neighbourhood activities and provides a voice for those involved direct to Magenta Living’s Board.

Muriel said:

“I was absolutely delighted when I heard that I’d been awarded a BEM. I’m really proud of what I’ve achieved and honoured to have been recognised in this way. Volunteering and helping people is what I love doing and I’ll keep going until I have to retire! Working with Magenta Living is very fulfilling and I’m so glad that I’m able to contribute in some way.”

Muriel has recently been instrumental in helping develop and set up the Magenta Communities Committee. Magenta Communities oversees the delivery of activities which create social value in local neighbourhoods, something about which Muriel is very passionate.

Brian Simpson, Magenta Living Chief Executive said:

“I’m so pleased that Muriel has been recognised for her services to housing in the Queen’s Birthday Honour’s list. This is such a testament to Muriel’s service not only to Magenta Living but to her volunteering and community work too. Muriel is a fundamental part of our Board structure and continues to support our work within the neighbourhoods that we serve in.”

Read more — 'Magenta Living Tenant, Board Director and local volunteer recognised in Queen’s Birthday Honour’s List'

Working in Partnership to tackle Environmental Crimes across Wirral

A fly-tipper living in New Brighton was issued with a formal notice for breach of their Magenta Living tenancy and enforcement action is being taken by Wirral Borough Council (WBC) as the fly tipper dumped waste illegally on their land.

Paul Millward, Neighbourhood Housing Officer said: “Fly-tipping that blights our neighbourhoods is on the increase, it's expensive to remove and we will not tolerate our tenants or anybody dumping on our land and on WBC green open spaces. There is no excuse we already offer a subsidised waste removal service via our BERT Service to our tenants. This perpetrator, a Magenta Living tenant, is in double trouble as their tenancy has been affected and they will receive a fixed penalty notice from WBC as well, so they will definitely think twice before fly tipping again."

Karen Lear, Environmental Services Team Leader said: “I am delighted we have a result with this individual. Wirral rate and rent payers should not have to fund people who are too lazy to dispose of their waste properly. Partnership working is the way forward, we can’t tackle this issue alone so we are pooling our resources and using whatever means we can whether that be CCTV, local intelligence or our innovative Trash Tracker approach.

"My Trash Tracker Officers visit each fly tipping incident and cordon it off as an environmental crime scene. They use various CSI detection methods to obtain information. As well as gathering evidence, the Environmental Crime Team also engages with residents in the area providing information and advice regarding the correct use and disposal of waste. This approach has been 90% effective with the majority of residents taking back their waste and either booking the BERT service or taking it to the tip themselves. The rest of the fly-tippers are being dealt with through either enforcement or fixed penalty notices with the risk of being named in the local press too. Partnership working along with our communities is key if we are going to stop fly-tippers and keep our neighbourhoods clean and safe.

If you want to find out more about Trash Tracker please contact Karen Lear, Environmental Services Team Leader on 0808 100 9596.

Read more — 'Working in Partnership to tackle Environmental Crimes across Wirral'

Magenta Living Praises the Volunteers Helping to Shape Wirral Communities

Tenant-led volunteering projects aimed at strengthening communities across Wirral have been showcased at a special event hosted by leading housing provider, Magenta Living.

The Connecting Communities event, which took place at Tranmere Rovers Football Club, was designed as a thank you to the many tenants and residents who volunteer and help deliver community initiatives and shape the housing provider’s community regeneration agenda.The event gave tenants and residents a platform to highlight the broad variety of volunteer projects they’re involved with that help make their neighbourhoods better places to live.

Magenta Living has representatives from across each of its 22 neighbourhoods, which it engages with on a regular basis to gain feedback and neighbourhood improvement ideas. The housing provider also takes steer from the ‘Wirral Residents Umbrella Association’, which comprises volunteer tenant and resident representatives from across its neighbourhoods.

Those attending the Connecting Communities event heard from Magenta Living Board Director, Muriel Wilkinson, who is also Chair of the Wirral Residents Umbrella Association and a Magenta Living tenant. Muriel explained the Umbrella Association’s role in influencing Magenta Living decision making, and encouraged others to empower themselves and promote the interests of their neighbourhoods by joining the group.

A series of short films was also used to tell the story of individuals and groups of volunteers who are delivering successful projects in their neighbourhoods and helping to support the more vulnerable members of their communities. These range from free luncheon clubs and knit and natter groups to help tackle social isolation, ‘social supermarkets’ to help address food poverty, stay and play sessions for children, counselling services, smoking cessation support, youth groups and confidence building classes.

Many of the volunteering projects and schemes highlighted are based out of Magenta Living community properties. The housing provider currently owns, manages and maintains 13 community properties in Wirral, which provide a venue for dozens of local community groups, who offer hundreds of activities to local residents every week.

Magenta Living Chief Executive, Brian Simpson who spoke at the event said, “Engaging with residents and tenants through forums like Connecting Communities is a central part of our vision to support vibrant homes, lives and neighbourhoods. We are committed to working closely with all of our volunteer groups to help bring about positive change and deliver social value in communities. By coming together and sharing ideas – talking about some of the amazing things happening out there, we can help to plant the seeds of new community initiatives that will enhance people’s lives and help tackle some of the challenges communities face today.”

Read more — 'Magenta Living Praises the Volunteers Helping to Shape Wirral Communities'

Official Name Change

From Monday 1 April 2019, we have officially changed our name from ‘Wirral Partnership Homes trading as Magenta Living’ to ‘Magenta Living’. All other details such as our address and contact methods will remain the same.

 

Read more — 'Official Name Change'

Together with Tenants - The NHF want your feedback

The National Housing Federation has developed a draft plan for strengthening the relationship between housing associations and their tenants and residents – and they want your feedback! 

The ambition of Together with Tenants is to strengthen the relationship between housing associations and their tenants and residents.

Following a large number of conversations, workshops and meetings with members, tenants, residents and stakeholders, the National Housing Federation have developed a four-point plan for delivering this an ambition. The four actions are:

  1. A new requirement in our Code of Governance for boards to be accountable to their tenants and residents.
  2. A new charter setting out what tenants and residents can expect from their housing association landlord.
  3. Tenant and resident oversight and scrutiny of the charter with a report on how their landlord is doing against charter commitments.
  4. A closer link with regulation.
     

View the four-point draft plan here: Together_with_Tenants_draft_plan[pdf] 199KB

Together with Tenants Image


How to provide feedback

If you are a housing association tenant or resident, there are four ways you can share your feedback:

The table below also provides an overview of what our four-point plan means for tenants and residents.
Action What it means
1. A new requirement in the National Housing Federation Code of Governance for boards to be accountable to their tenants and residents Your landlord’s board would agree to be as accountable as possible to all residents and tenants
2. A new Together with Tenants Charter Your landlord would set out, in a clear and publicly available document, what you can expect from them
3. Tenant and resident oversight and scrutiny of the Charter Tenants and residents can publicly report on how your landlord is doing
4. A closer link with regulation Tenants and residents oversight of the charter can provide useful evidence to the regulator about whether your landlord is compliant with the consumer standards

 

Read more — 'Together with Tenants - The NHF want your feedback'
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