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VOLA, Sefton CVS & the Include-IT Mersey Team win ERSA’s ‘Team of the Year 2020’ Award


Include-IT Mersey is a Digital Inclusion project funded by the European Social Fund and National Lottery Community Fund to support digitally excluded, workless people in the Liverpool City Region to learn essential IT skills to help them get into or closer to work.

 

Established in 2017, the project helps people to improve basic ICT and online skills, confidence and access to digital technologies, with the ultimate aim of supporting progression towards employment or further training, helping those furthest from the labour market to become more job-ready.

 

Led by Sefton CVS in partnership with VOLA Consortium and 14 other not-for-profit providers, the project has supported 1,299 socially and digitally excluded residents to upskill and move on in life in a more positive direction. 

 

Our Partners include: Age UK Wirral, Alt Valley Development Trust, Big Help Project, Everton Development Trust, Greenbank College, Granby Toxteth Development Trust, Independence Initiatives, Rotunda College, Speke Training and Education Centre, St. Helens Chamber, Torus Foundation, Halton & St Helens Voluntary and Community Action, Good Things Foundation, Worker’s Education Association. Magenta Living are proud to be part of the consortium, along with other Liverpool City Region Housing Associations, helping our communities to access the award winning support available.

 

Supported by a 48 strong project team, to date, 563 participants have progressed to work, further training or active job search, with 174 currently on programme, surpassing total project targets.

 

Project Manager Stu McGrory said “My Board, members, funders and strategic partners always tell me that we never shout about ourselves enough for the excellent, crucial work we do to support the city region’s most disadvantaged residents; and we have certainly never applied for an award before!

 

But in recent months, with the challenging circumstances presented by the Coronavirus crisis, the way I have seen my project team – at all levels – proactively spring in to action to change the ways we work to ensure continued remote support for learners during the lock-down, has just inspired and encouraged me, and filled me with pride!  I have genuinely thought ‘what a team. “

 

 

For the Include-IT Mersey project, Sefton CVS, founding member and host agency for VOLA’s management unit, stepped up as lead body, pulling together the partnership and successfully applying for a large NLCF/ ESF co-financed grant.

 

The project has a 6-strong central management unit, with 39 staff in the wider project team, spread across 14 delivery partners.  The vast majority are front-line delivery with some back office roles.  We also have 37 volunteer Digital Champions who support and enhance the work of the project, who are equally respected and embraced as project team members.

 

VOLA said “So why do we think we are such a good team?  For a range of reasons, including: A shared sense of ownership and common goal across all project team members of our mission to help socially and digitally excluded people to move on in life.  We are committed, proactive and professional people – at all levels - who really care about the learners we support.  We pride ourselves on having an extremely positive working culture apparent across all partners/project team members – with high levels of trust, flexibility and responsive, constructive engagement around performance management & problem solving.”

 

If you would like to know more about Include IT Mersey or to get onto the course then visit includeitmersey.org.uk or call Magenta Living on 0808 100 9596 to be signposted to a Wirral based partner.

Read more — 'VOLA, Sefton CVS & the Include-IT Mersey Team win ERSA’s ‘Team of the Year 2020’ Award'

Anwyl Partnerships handover Magenta Living’s first Extra care Scheme in Wirral

Anwyl Partnerships, specialists in the provision of residential land and build developments, has handed over a £3.4million extra care development to Wirral based Magenta Living.

 

The Barncroft development in Pensby encompasses 21 apartments, built around a range of internal and external communal spaces to help maintain social interaction and support well-being for residents. A vegetable and shrubbery garden makes up part of the scheme, designed to provide a space where residents can meet and tend to the garden together. It also offers a Dementia friendly environment to help improve the quality of life of those affected residents.

 

The development is the first project Anwyl have delivered in partnership with affordable housing provider, Magenta Living, and helps to address the demand for high-quality over 55’s accommodation in the Borough. Further to delivering the requirements for extra care living, the project also represents a high quality and attractive architectural feature to the local area, having been designed to remain in-keeping with the neighbouring Pensby Hall.

 

Development on site during lockdown was recognised as essential works in order to achieve project hand over and residents are now set to move into their new apartments in the coming weeks.

 

Logo 'Anwyl Partnerships' Tom Anwyl, Managing Director at Anwyl Partnerships commented: “We’ve remained committed to progressing this project during the lockdown period to reach completion, as we recognise the urgent need for this type of housing. We’ve enjoyed a collaborative and close working relationship with the team at Magenta Living which has helped us realise our mutual wider objectives.

 

“This is a fantastic scheme, marking our first on the Wirral and we look forward to supporting the council’s plans by developing further projects of this nature here in the future. “

Barncroft Extra Care Scheme external picture with garden

Not-for-profit housing provider, Magenta Living own and manage just under 13,000 homes in Wirral and across the North West. Paul Anson, Executive Director of Growth at Magenta Living added:

“The completion of Barncroft Extra Care Scheme is a fantastic achievement especially given the recent challenges of the lockdown period. Anwyl Partnerships have delivered a great scheme that will provide much needed homes for people over 55 in Wirral and adds a second extra care scheme to Magenta Living’s development portfolio.  It is really important that we address the housing needs of an increasingly ageing population and offer independent living schemes like Barncroft Extra Care Scheme. I’m sure this scheme will provide a wonderful place to live and I’m looking forward to seeing our residents moving into their new homes soon.”

Read more — 'Anwyl Partnerships handover Magenta Living’s first Extra care Scheme in Wirral'

By working together, we can help reduce anti-social behaviour in your neighbourhood.

Magenta Living has been dealing with three ongoing cases of anti-social behaviour in three flats in the same low-rise block in central Birkenhead.

 

The first flat was being sub-letted illegally by a Magenta Living tenant to homeless people whilst he lived elsewhere. Magenta Living took action and asked the tenant to surrender tenancy or be put in court for eviction and be reported for benefit fraud. The tenant surrendered but the property was found to be in very poor condition and cost thousands of pounds for Magenta Living to refurbish the property before it could be let to the next tenant.

 

The second flat was tenanted by a young male who unofficially moved his partner in and we had complaints of loud music, drug use, incidents of domestic violence, fly-tipping in communal gardens and keeping a dog in the flat which was unallowed. The tenant was repeatedly warned about behaviour and was asked to terminate the tenancy or face legal proceedings, but he refused. The tenant served Notice Seeking Possession and Birkenhead County Court evicted the tenant for multiple breaches of tenancy.

 

The third flat was tenanted by a female who unofficially allowed her partner to move in after he was released from prison for racial assault. The partner began drug dealing from the flat soon after he moved in. Magenta Living liaised with the local community to ensure the drug dealing was reported to Merseyside Police and Crimestoppers. Police were able to obtain Misuse of Drug Warrant and raided the flat in December 2019. The tenant was asked to surrender the tenancy or face legal proceedings for eviction for drug dealing and rent arrears of over £1,500. The tenant surrendered the property but the flat will cost thousands to refurbish to an acceptable standard for the next tenant.

By working together with you and the wider community, we can tackle anti-social behaviour. We want to ensure that you feel safe in your home and enjoy where you live. As part of our #ClaimBackYourCommunity campaign we encourage you to report any incidents of anti-social behaviour you witness - you can do this confidentially by calling us on 0808 100 9596 or visiting magentaliving.org.uk/contact-us

Read more — 'By working together, we can help reduce anti-social behaviour in your neighbourhood.'

Magenta Living’s statement on equality, diversity and inclusion

Like many organisations, Magenta Living has been shaken by two recent global events. Firstly, the devastating COVID-19 pandemic and secondly, the wide-scale protests that followed the tragic death of George Floyd which has served to reinforce the need to speak out against racism, inequality and discrimination in all its forms.

 

We truly believe that everyone is entitled to respect and to be treated with dignity but, we recognise that there is always more we can do. Therefore, Magenta Living is committed to listening, learning, and improving. We want to understand what barriers prevent people from accessing our services and entering and progressing in our organisation.

 

Put simply, at Magenta Living, we want to make it clear that we do not, and will not, accept or stand for any form of racism, prejudice or discrimination and we always want all our colleagues to display inclusive behaviours because we know from recent experience that we are stronger when we are together.

Read more — 'Magenta Living’s statement on equality, diversity and inclusion'

#BikesForNHS Campaign a Wheely Big Success!

186 bikes loaned to NHS staff in Merseyside


Following the launch of its #BikesForNHS campaign in April, social enterprise Hype Merseyside has loaned 186 bikes to NHS workers supporting the fight against COVID-19.


The organisation - which focuses on getting people involved in cycling - has also seen 67 unwanted bikes donated by the public and is still appealing for more, so that they too can be refurbished and loaned to the NHS workers who applied for the scheme.


The scheme, which received hundreds of applications, was launched to allow staff on the frontline of the national health crisis save money by not having to take taxis when public transport wasn’t available, to save time and allow them to spend more time with their family (rather than waiting at bus stops and train stations) and to improve their own health and general fitness.


The #BikesForNHS Merseyside initiative even gained the support of The Minister of State at the Department for Transport, Chris Heaton-Harris MP, who described it as a “fantastic scheme” in a Zoom call with organiser Matt Houghton.


During the call, which also included Jenny Box, Head of Behaviour Change in England, James Scott, Director of Behaviour Change at Cycling UK and Alexandra Jarvis, from the Department for Transport, wider initiatives to encourage people to take up cycling were also discussed.


The success of the initiative with NHS workers at The Royal Liverpool Hospital, Aintree Hospital, Broadgreen Hospital, The Walton Centre, Arrowe Park and the Clatterbridge Hospital has also encouraged other local organisations to invest in similar schemes.


Magenta Living, the largest provider of affordable housing in Wirral, has committed £6,000 to provide up to 60 of their residents with a bike and access to workshops delivered out of Hype Merseyside’s new unit at the Environmental Innovations Centre in Birkenhead.


The free bikes will be loaned Magenta Living residents who are front line workers for three months. They will use Strava to log their journeys and complete a monthly survey, to feedback on how having access to the bike has improved their lifestyle.


Matthew Houghton, Chief Executive at HYPE Merseyside, said: “We set out to loan 100 bikes to NHS staff in the first phase of the campaign and we exceeded that target by almost double - 186 in total. The response has been incredible and we are proud to still be supporting the fantastic frontline workers who applied to the scheme with free, healthy and safe transport until the end of the year.

It is also wonderful to see other local organisations like Magenta Living recognising the potential health and lifestyle benefits of cycling and investing in our bikes for their residents.


Brian Simpson, Chief Executive of Magenta Living said: “I am thrilled that Magenta Living is supporting this scheme from our Community Fund, set up to help local organisations, such as HYPE, during the current COVID-19 crisis. This initiative has been a great success and we are pleased to support our tenants who are key workers through this scheme and recognise the fantastic work they do on the front line.

Cycling also provides great health and wellbeing benefits which are so important, especially during the current situation. Providing free bikes through this initiative has provided a great option for our customers to reach their place of work in a safe, timely and healthy way as well as helping with our climate change agenda.


Dawn, a Magenta Living tenant who is currently using the free bike scheme said: “The team at HYPE, Matt and Kev have been fabulous and super helpful. This is a great community project for local frontline key workers to utilise and it’s fantastic that my landlord, Magenta Living, is able to provide the support for projects like this, without them it wouldn’t exist!

I’m really enjoying using the bike which allows me to travel to and from work safely. It’s also allowed me and my son Thomas to spend time together on our bikes, touring around the Wirral and helping more of the local community as we can, whilst also keeping us both fit and healthy! Projects like this really do bring the community together by helping those who may not have had the opportunity to hire a bike previously. A big thank you to HYPE and Magenta Living for making this happen.


Hype’s latest project, Hype Urban Bikes, will also open to the public this month, with bikes available to hire for three or six month periods, for just £1 per day.


Matthew added: “Cycling is a sustainable, healthy and environmentally friendly way to travel to work and for leisure. We believe that it should be accessible to all and our new hire service puts it much more firmly within people’s reach.

Bikes will be available to hire out of our new unit at the Environmental Innovations Centre in Birkenhead and we also plan to run some family maintenance sessions during the summer holidays, to encourage and educate people on the joy of cycling even further.


Established in 2007 to deliver workshops for teenagers in deprived wards during the summer holidays, HYPE Merseyside’s cycling and development plan now focuses on getting more people, more active, more often through cycling. It also aims to make cycling cheaper, safer, more accessible and a natural choice for transport.


For more information visit: hypeurbanbikes.co.uk

 

Read more — '#BikesForNHS Campaign a Wheely Big Success!'

Coronavirus - A message from our Chief Executive, Brian Simpson | 19 June 2020

 

Update 19 June 2020

We are currently working on plans to safely re-introduce our services at Magenta Living in line with the latest Government guidelines and continue to ensure the safety of our customers and colleagues comes first. The Minister for Housing, Christopher Pincher MP has issued a letter to all social housing residents providing an update on the current COVID-19 situation. To view the full letter click here.

Brian Simpson
Chief Executive of Magenta Living

 

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I want to assure all our customers that at Magenta Living, we continue to work tirelessly to deliver you the best service possible under these difficult conditions we all find ourselves in. Following the recent announcement by our Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, that movement should be restricted unless absolutely necessary, we have been forced to evaluate the service we can offer to you, our customers.

Our plan was to keep our services running as normal as possible for as long as possible, but now we have made the decision to change our service offering:

  • Our Contact Centre is only able to take emergency & urgent repairs calls, speak to you if you are concerned about being able to pay your rent and deal with urgent enquiries
  • Only emergency & urgent repairs will be undertaken - Find out more about responsive repairs by priority and response time here.
  • We will continue to undertake gas safety checks
  • Our staff are now largely working from home but will continue to support you from there
  • All internal planned works will be put on hold. The only works that will be undertaken will be those relating to our customers safety
  • Partnership Building is closed to all visitors
  • If you have any other queries relating to other support that may be available to you, Wirral Council has set up a dedicated support helpline 0151 666 5050, available Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm
  • Wirral Council and partners have launched a new online resource to help match residents needs with local sources of support during the COVID19 situation. Wirral InfoBank asks residents what help they need, providing options for people to choose from. To find out what help is available for you or to offer support from you or your organisation, visit: https://www.wirralinfobank.co.uk/
  • Our Technicians and Contractors are taking extra precautions during the pandemic by regularly washing their hands and using hand sanitiser. They clean all surfaces they touch before leaving your property

We will continue to monitor the impact of Coronavirus closely and keep you updated as we all react to these difficult times. We remain committed to keeping you safe and I have been heartened by the community spirit being shown in Wirral where our staff, customers and the general population have been coming together with offers of support.

We are facing a time where all our normal lives are being disrupted and we are asked to stay at home to protect ourselves and our community wherever possible. We do want to support our community within Government guidelines and I therefore ask for your patience and understanding whilst we settle into a different way of working.

I know there are many questions you may have, and I don’t have all the answers yet, but I have outlined the most Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) above. If you have other questions, please contact us via email contactus@magentaliving.org.uk

I will keep you regularly updated with the latest information I have and thank you again for your commitment, support and patience as we move through the coming weeks and months.

Very best wishes,

Brian Simpson.

 

Read more — 'Coronavirus - A message from our Chief Executive, Brian Simpson | 19 June 2020'

Magenta Living 'Thank Holiday' - 29 June 2020

 

Our Board and Senior Leadership Team (SLT) have recognised how Magenta Living colleagues have responded positively to the current COVID-19 situation, as shown here:

 

Magenta Living COVID response JUNE 2020
 

In recognition of this, our Board and SLT wanted to thank all colleagues by giving everyone a day off to enjoy doing something nice. Taking a well-earned break is so important for health and wellbeing. So, on Monday 29 June the majority of Magenta Living staff will be enjoying their day off!

 

Our Contact Centre will still be available to take your calls. Extra thanks to the Contact Centre Team for supporting us, they'll also be given the opportunity for a break soon.

Read more — 'Magenta Living 'Thank Holiday' - 29 June 2020'

Independent Survey by IFF / Voluntas

Magenta Living have employed an external organisation IFF (Voluntas) to undertake surveys on our behalf. This helps us get independent feedback so we can understand the needs of our customers now and in the future.

 

If you are contacted by IFF (Voluntas) and you are concerned about their identity, please call our Contact Centre on 0808 100 9596 where our advisors will be happy to assist.

 

IFF (Voluntas) will never ask you for personal or financial information. If you are asked for this information, please end the call and contact us on 0808 100 9596

 

For more information on being fraud aware, please visit the Action Fraud website https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/individual-protection


To view Magenta Living's privacy policies, please visit: www.magentaliving.org.uk/privacy

Read more — 'Independent Survey by IFF / Voluntas'

#BigHousingThankYou Day - Wed' 20 May 2020

We're supporting #BigHousingThankYou day – Wednesday 20 May 2020 - to show our appreciation for our housing colleagues up and down the country.

Our frontline housing workers always make a difference, but even more so during lockdown.

They’ve taken on so many emergency roles without missing a beat: shopping for the vulnerable, delivering prescriptions and emergency food parcels, supervising shelters for rough sleepers and much more. And still doing all the usual stuff – sorting repairs, caring for communal spaces, helping customers cope with crisis. A friendly face on the empty streets for some of society’s most isolated people.
 

Housing Peom
 

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Like many of us, our colleagues have been adapting to the challenges of lockdown while supporting Wirral communities. Over 40 Magenta Living employees have been working alongside Wirral Council to help deliver parcels from the Emergency Food Hub.

To celebrate today's #BigHousingThankYou we'd like to highlight the work of Jimmy and his team.

Jimmy along with a team of 10 technicians have been on the frontline, regularly delivering food parcels to vulnerable people in need. Delivering his 600th parcel on Monday, Jimmy's covered a total of 1,200 miles delivering up to 24 food parcels a day. Each member of the team have been supporting 24 people each and every day during lockdown and are lucky to get home before 6.30pm.

#BigHousingThankYou to you and your team, Jimmy! 

Food deliveries 1

 

Food deliveries 2

 

Read more — '#BigHousingThankYou Day - Wed' 20 May 2020'

Emergency Food Hub encourages partnership working across Wirral

Magenta Living is working in partnership with Wirral Council and other providers to help deliver items for the Emergency Food Hub.

A fleet of 40 vans and drivers has been deployed by Magenta Living, to assist the Hub in getting emergency supplies to Wirral residents in need. The supplies provided to the most vulnerable members of the community include food hampers, toiletries, sanitary products, nappies, pet food and many other essential items.

One resident who received one of the parcels, Joanne from Rock Ferry said: “It was an absolute godsend as I haven’t been able to get out to the shops. I really couldn’t thank you enough and I am so, so grateful.”

Magenta Living has not furloughed any of their staff during the current COVID-19 crisis, instead encouraging those with more free time to take up volunteering at the Emergency Food Hub as well as other organisations such as the Carr Bridge Centre in Woodchurch, the Ellesmere Port Food Bank and Wirral Arklight. In total, staff members have spent 681 hours volunteering in the community.

Brian Simpson, Chief Executive of Magenta Living said: "In response to the COVID-19 crisis we quickly established an emergency fund which was set up through Magenta Communities, a tenant led committee of our Board. Part of this fund has been given, in the shape of a £10,000 grant, to Wirral Council's Emergency Food Hub. We have also supplied vans and drivers to help distribute the food parcels. I'm so proud of our staff who have volunteered to undertake these roles and support the vulnerable and those at risk within our communities."

The £10,000 grant donated by Magenta Living has been used to cover the costs of around 30,000 meals and other essential items within local neighbourhoods.

Mark Camborne, who is leading on the humanitarian response to the crisis in Wirral covering shielding, homelessness and volunteers as well as emergency food and welfare support, said: “While the COVID-19 crisis has affected many of those within our communities who are vulnerable, the partnership work we have seen has been excellent.  Community, voluntary and private sector organisations have worked together with Wirral Council to support those most badly affected by the crisis, on a huge scale.  Magenta Living, as one of those partners, has provided both financial, and practical support via its vans and drivers to assist the partnership achieve a fantastic response.”

Magenta Living has also used their community fund to provide support to over 20 local organisations including Wirral Ark, Arrowe Park Hospital, YMCA – Hope Prospect, Autism Together, Meadowside School and Family Matters.

Read more — 'Emergency Food Hub encourages partnership working across Wirral'

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