Latest News

Festive warning: Don’t get involved with a loan shark – yule regret it!

The England Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT) are warning people not to turn to loan sharks to cover the cost of Christmas. 

These unlicensed lenders charge extortionate amounts of interest and have been known to use threatening language, intimidation and even violence when demanding payments from their desperate victims. 

Using the hashtag #StopLoanSharksXMAS this year’s online campaign is providing the public with useful information and advice to ensure they stay safe and don’t fall victim to unscrupulous lenders. 

A series of videos including a Sharks Flashmob and catchy festive jingle will be shared from the Stop Loan Sharks Facebook and Twitter accounts to raise awareness of the issue. 

Tony Quigley, Head of the England Illegal Money Lending Team said: “People may feel under pressure to borrow money in the run-up to Christmas but might not realise the situation they will find themselves in if they use a loan shark. 

“Our advice to residents in need of financial support would be to turn to a Credit Union rather than a loan shark who could take advantage and charge exorbitant interest rates. 
“We hope by turning the spotlight on loan shark activity we can help more people spot the dangers signs and seek help if they are affected.” 

All money lenders require proper permission from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to lend money and those who do not are acting illegally. 

The national team continues to investigate and prosecute loan sharks, which in past cases has included instances of blackmail, threatening behaviour, violence, kidnap, drugs offences and rape. 

Stay safe, borrow responsibly and start saving for next Christmas

  • Remember: loan sharks should be avoided because they will make a difficult financial situation much worse.
  • If you need to borrow money, check the lender is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.
  • There are legitimate services you can access for help with money, such as credit unions, which offer safe saving and affordable loans options. Find your nearest Credit Union.
  • Start preparing your finances for next Christmas and open a savings account with your local credit union.
  • For advice on all money matters, including debt and loans, contact the Citizens Advice Bureau advice line on 03444 111 444. 

You are not in trouble if you have borrowed cash or have been paying back a loan from an illegal money lender, the loan shark is. They are the people committing a crime, not you. 

Nationally, Illegal Money Lending Teams have secured more than 394 prosecutions for illegal money lending and related activity, leading to nearly 480 years’ worth of custodial sentences. They have written off £74.9 million worth of illegal debt and helped over 29,000 people. 

You can safely report a loan shark to the Illegal Money Lending Team on 0300 555 2222 or fill out the online form

Read more — 'Festive warning: Don’t get involved with a loan shark – yule regret it!'

We're a drop off point for Mission Christmas!

1 in 3 children are living in poverty

You can help Cash for Kids make sure they have presents to open on Christmas morning

Mission Christmas is back to make this Christmas Day different for local children living in poverty. It’s a heart-breaking thought, but there are thousands of children living right here in our community who are in danger of waking up to no presents on Christmas Day. For some families, Christmas is a luxury they just can’t afford.

If you’re able to, please buy an extra present this year and donate it to Mission Christmas. Reliant the Robin will make sure it gets to the Big Man in time for Christmas Eve. We’re looking for new and unwrapped gifts suitable for children and young people aged 0 to 18.

When you donate your gifts Cash for Kids make sure they get to disadvantaged children near you.

All gifts should be new and unwrapped, and you can drop them off at Magenta Living's Partnership Building, click here for directions. 

Check out Radio City's map to find other drop-off points:

Thank you for making a difference to local children this Christmas!

The Journey of the Gift


Mission Christmas poster

Read more — 'We're a drop off point for Mission Christmas!'

Magenta Living Tenant, Board Director and local volunteer presented with BEM

A long serving tenant and Board Director of Magenta Living and local volunteer, Muriel Wilkinson was presented with her British Empire Medal by Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant, Mr Mark Blundell, on Friday 18 October at The Athenaeum in Liverpool.

Muriel was awarded a British Empire Medal 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. 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 am so honoured and proud to have been awarded a British Empire Medal and to have it presented by Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant. It has been an absolutely wonderful day and I’m so glad I got to share it with my family and chair of Magenta Living’s Board, David Clark. Volunteering and helping people is what I love doing and I’ll keep going until I have to retire!”

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 extremely 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 presented with BEM'

More than 100 affordable homes to be built in Runcorn

Demolition work has already begun on the site, which sits between Halton Road and Halton Court.

The £6.3m joint scheme will see Onward develop 18 two and three-bedroom homes for affordable rent and 30 two, three and four-bedroom homes for shared ownership, while Magenta Living will develop 16 three-bedroom homes for shared ownership sale and 55 two and three-bedroom homes for affordable rent.                       

Lin Powell, head of development at Onward, said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with Magenta Living to deliver these affordable homes in Halton.  

“As well as providing much-needed housing for local people in the area, we are proud to be giving this unused and derelict site a new lease of life.

“We already have strong roots in Runcorn and this latest development underlines our commitment to building and improving communities in the town.” 

Hannah Mahoney, trainee project manager at Magenta Living, said: “This is a really exciting development for us as it’s our first scheme in Runcorn and one of my first projects since recently joining the Development Team at Magenta Living. I’m really looking forward to seeing this taking shape. It’s great that we are able to offer a mix of shared ownership and affordable rent properties which will ensure significant regeneration in the area.

“We are proud to be working with Onward to create these high-quality homes. This project is the result of the partnership working ethos that has been developed through the Cutting Edge Framework.”

Cruden Construction Ltd have been appointed by Onward and Magenta Living to build the homes, which are due for completion in 2021.

The development has been part-funded by a £2m grant from Homes England.

All the properties for shared ownership, including those for Magenta Living, will be sold by Onward’s sales arm, Onward Living.

Read more — 'More than 100 affordable homes to be built in Runcorn'

New homes in Eastham already a great success!

Hawthorne Grange includes 12 one-bedroom apartments for over 55’s, 2 three-bedroom and 2 two-bedroom affordable homes and 11 three-bedroom shared ownership homes.

Built on the former site of shops and flats on Clifton Avenue and Mill Park Drive, Eastham - Hawthorne Grange has proved very popular with local people already showing a lot of interest in the new homes. Six shared ownership homes have already been reserved off plan following a recent open day with the option to choose kitchens and bathroom fittings and fixtures.

The name Hawthorne Grange was chosen by a local pupil from Millfields Primary School who Magenta Living ran a naming competition with. The name was liked so much the apartment block was called ‘Hawthorne House’ to link the development together. Hawthorne House offers modern living with open plan kitchen, dining and living area. A double bedroom, study and storage along with a modern wet room in all apartments.

John Siddell, Head of Development at Magenta Living said: “Hawthorne Grange is a fantastic scheme in a great location. It offers something for everyone in terms of offering a mix of shared ownership, houses for rent and rental apartments for over 55’s. This will create a great little community within the wider Eastham area.”

“Responding to the identified housing need by providing suitable homes for rent within the Eastham area ensures that Magenta Living is delivering our Vision of creating Vibrant … homes, lives, neighbourhoods and demonstrates our further commitment to transforming and regenerating the area.”

Other Magenta Living development schemes within the Eastham area include Delamere Avenue with 12 properties for rent and Mallowdale Close which includes seven properties also for rent. Both schemes are due for completion by summer 2020.

There are currently six shared ownership homes still available at Hawthorne Grange. If you are interested in finding out more and how to apply, please contact our sales agent Sharon Gibson on 07766 093997 or email

Read more — 'New homes in Eastham already a great success!'

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 and return it to

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

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'
Older articles