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Magenta Living appoints Ged Lucas as the new Chair of its Board

Wirral’s largest affordable housing provider, Magenta Living, has appointed Ged Lucas as the new Chair of its Board. 

Ged started working in housing in 1975 and has been Director of Housing for three Council’s and finished his local government career as Deputy Chief Executive. He then went on to become an independent consultant. Ged is currently Chair of First Choice Homes Oldham and has previously sat on the Board of Trafford Housing Trust.  

Ged is originally from Liverpool, being brought up on a number of social housing estates. He has previously worked in the housing sector in Wirral, Ged also had family members who lived locally so is very familiar with the area.  Ged has spent six years as a nationally elected member of the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) and chaired the Policy Board which resulted in him working with a range of national government departments and policy development organisations.  

Ged has a wealth of housing and governance experience from both an Executive and Non-Executive Director perspective. Ged has a broad range of skills and experience, including Housing, Planning, Regeneration, Economic Development, Environment and Community Development.  

The appointment has been made as part of Magenta Living’s Board succession plans. Ged replaces David Clark, who was a Magenta Living Board Director for eight years, over five of which David served as Chair.  

Brian Simpson, Magenta Living’s Chief Executive, said: “I am delighted that the Board has appointed Ged as our new Chair. He really has joined us at the right time as we continue to deliver our Vision of Vibrant… homes, lives, neighbourhoods and steer our organisation forward at such an important time.  

“Ged brings with him a wealth of housing sector knowledge and experience and I am confident that he will both support and challenge the Executive Leadership Team and the Board. I’m really looking forward to developing a strong, professional working relationship with Ged and I know he will ensure our customers remain at the heart of everything we do.” 

Commenting on his appointment, Ged Lucas said: “I am really looking forward to joining Magenta Living as its Chair of the Board. This is such an exciting time for the organisation with a big focus on investing in our current and future homes, delivering greater Value for Money and continuing to provide excellent services to our customers. We are excited to be part of a major Wirral regeneration project and also to deliver our Climate Change Strategic Framework.  

“It is undoubtedly a challenging time for the housing sector but I’m confident that, by working together with fellow Board Directors, the Executive Leadership Team and colleagues across the organisation, we can achieve our future ambitious plans. I’m very much looking forward to working with all our stakeholders as we focus on Magenta Living’s customers and communities.” 

Read more — 'Magenta Living appoints Ged Lucas as the new Chair of its Board'

Our 2020/2021 Annual Reports

We are pleased to launch our  corporate documents which report on our performance and achievements from the previous financial year, 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021. These are:

  • Annual Report
  • Magenta Communities Social Value Statement
  • Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Report
  • Financial Report and Statements

Our Annual Report is particularly aimed at our customers and before writing the report we asked some of our involved customers to provide feedback and input on what they would like to see included in the report. Asking for customer feedback is really important to ensure they feel engaged and involved and that they know their input is really important to us. You can view our Annual Report 2020/21 here.

Our social value report, Magenta Communities Social Value Statement, highlights the fantastic work we do across our neighbourhoods which helps us to deliver the vibrant lives and neighbourhoods part of our vision. The report highlights the social value we create in the areas of environmental, community regeneration and financial inclusion. Sustainable neighbourhoods are a key part of what we are aiming to achieve and using the nationally recognised wellbeing valuation, we measure the social value of Magenta Living’s work in our neighbourhoods. This last year has seen us create a social value of £13.9m. This is an amazing achievement, particularly considering the context of the Covid-19 Pandemic. You can view the Magenta Communities Social Value Statement here.

Our ‘ESG’ Report looks at our Environmental, Social and Governance highlights from the year. This new report is our assessment against an externally set criteria across 3 important strands of tackling climate change, delivering our social purpose and ensuring good governance. This is part of our financial reporting which in an open and transparent process shows our funders and stakeholders how we are taking our wider responsibilities as a social landlord seriously. We developed our ESG Report by signing up  as an early adopter to this process. The report shows how we are meeting the criteria set by the Sustainability Reporting Standard for Social Housing and we plan to update the ESG Report on an annual basis. You can view our ESG Summary Report 2020/21 here.

Finally, our Financial Report and Statements is an extremely detailed document including information on our healthy finances. You can read our Financial Report and Statements here.

Read more — 'Our 2020/2021 Annual Reports'

Housing First Project

Our Neighbourhood Management Team Leader, Rachel Griffiths and Assessment and Sustainability Manager, Jackie Leyland have been working together on the ‘Housing First' project. The Housing First project aims to give people who have experienced homelessness and chronic health and social care needs, a stable home to rebuild their lives. This approach breaks down traditional barriers to housing that customers who are homeless may face and does what it says on the tin – we offer a home first and support the individual with their needs later. 

The majority of Registered Social Landlords across the Liverpool City Region signed up to Housing First approximately three years ago. During this time, Magenta Living has housed 10 Housing First customers and achieved a 100% tenancy sustainability rate so far. In comparison with other landlords, very few had managed to achieve the sustainability rate, this is a fantastic achievement for Magenta Living. This week, three more Housing First customers will view their potential new properties with us and hopefully begin to rebuild their lives in their new home with the intensive, specialist support that they need. 


Assistant Director of Housing Services, Rachel Bennett said:

“We are extremely proud to be working on the Housing First project, it’s a really important project that is helping to tackle the stigma associated with rough sleeping. I’m so pleased we have been able to give 10 Housing First customers a place to call home, having support and the security of somewhere to live can really help change someone’s life. I’m proud of all my colleagues who are working on this project and have helped us to achieve a 100% tenancy sustainability rate for Housing First customers. It’s truly an amazing project that is having a positive impact on many lives and supports our Vision of creating Vibrant… homes, lives and neighbourhoods.”

Read more — 'Housing First Project'

Magenta Living apprentice announced as national finalist in the WorldSkills UK competition

Luke Turner, Apprentice Joiner at Magenta Living, has been announced as a finalist in the prestigious WorldSkills UK competition. 

He will now compete in the national finals from 9-19 November, having been selected as one of the top performers in his chosen skills of carpentry from national qualifiers held across the UK. Luke will attend the final with his fellow student Michael Kier, who is a finalist for welding. 

Luke is one of only seven students across the UK to secure a place in the final for carpentry. The 21-year-old started studying at Wirral Met College on a Level 2 Bench Joinery Diploma in 2020 and progressed onto his apprenticeship at Magenta Living in January 2021. Luke spends one day a week at the college’s world-class Wirral Waters campus and four days a week at Magenta Living, undertaking a variety of joinery projects and learning from his colleagues. 

Luke said: “The national qualifiers were tough, I had six hours to design and build a small-scale roof, but I was pretty confident with what I was doing because of the training from my Wirral Met tutor and the practical experience I have received at Magenta Living. I’m very grateful to all the lads at Magenta Living who have put their own time and effort into helping me with the competition. 

“I was in the Lake District when I heard the news that I had made it to the national final. My tutor called me and said ‘Congratulations, you’ve made it through to the national final’ I was like, wow that’s crazy! It was great news. I’m excited to see what the next round holds.” 

Haydn Hansford, Assistant Director of Building Services at Magenta Living said: “We are so proud of Luke for reaching the final of the WorldSkills UK competition. Luke has worked extremely hard and is a reliable and dedicated member of our Building Services Team.  

“Our partnership with Wirral Met College is extremely valuable to us and allows us to give local students, like Luke, the opportunity to learn and gain more practical experience through an apprenticeship.  

“We wish Luke all the very best for the finals, we know he is more than capable of winning!” 

Sue Higginson, Principal at Wirral Met College said: “I am so proud of Luke and Michael who are great examples of young students who demonstrate through hard work and dedication to learning, that they are fit for the world stage. It is also a testament to the hard work and dedication of the staff team that has nurtured their talent. 

“Wirral Met College is a WorldSkills UK Centre of Excellence, which evidences our college’s standing and standards in the many industrial sectors we serve. WorldSkills UK competitions provide our students with the opportunity to showcase themselves against the very best in the country, with the opportunity to be crowned national skills champions and take home gold, silver or bronze.” 

The finalists will now compete to be crowned winners at a ceremony hosted by Steph McGovern from her Packed Lunch studio on Friday 26th November. 

Read more — 'Magenta Living apprentice announced as national finalist in the WorldSkills UK competition'

Magenta Living shortlisted in the Investors in People Awards 2021

Magenta Living has made the final shortlist for the Health and Wellbeing Award in the Investors in People (IiP) Awards 2021. In a record-breaking year for entries, with nearly 300 organisations involved, this is an outstanding achievement and one that everyone at Magenta Living is proud of.

The IiP Awards celebrate the very best organisations and individuals from across the world across various organisational, people, wellbeing and leadership categories. Each year hundreds of organisations from the UK and abroad battle it out to take home one of the sought-after trophies to show their award-winning commitment to investing in their people.

Paul Anson, Executive Director of Business Growth and Resilience at Magenta Living and Chair of the Health and Safety Committee 'Keeping People Safe'  said: “Magenta Living is delighted to have been shortlisted for the IiP Health and Wellbeing Award. We have worked tirelessly over recent years, and especially though the pandemic, to recognise the wellbeing of our colleagues as a key corporate priority. The list of actions and activities we have undertaken is too long to list but the work we have done on Mental Health First Aiders, the Keeping People Safe Committee, World Mental Health Day and the Virtual Christmas Colleague event all stands out. We are and will remain committed to this work going forward because people matter and supported people make great employees.”

Paul Devoy, CEO of IiP commented: “Now in our 8th year, it always makes me feel immensely proud to see so many fantastic organisations staking their claim to be the best. And every year, the entries do get more and more competitive and the judging even tighter. Reaching the final shortlist is a testament to the amazing commitment these organisations are making to make work better for their people, and they truly deserve this recognition.”

The winners will be announced at an online ceremony on the 23rd November 2021. For the full shortlist and more information about IiP please visit www.investorsinpeopleawards.com

Read more — 'Magenta Living shortlisted in the Investors in People Awards 2021'

Local organisations help school deliver sensory garden success

Magenta Living and Penny Lane Builders have been helping Meadowside School prepare their premises, ready for their new sensory garden, which will be officially opened later this month.

Meadowside School, based in Woodchurch, is a specialist provider of education for pupils with complex learning difficulties, communication and/or sensory needs, autism, ADHD and varying health conditions.

A sensory garden has recently been built in the school grounds, which will benefit the students massively, creating a safe space for them to play and relax during breaks.

Meadowside School needed help clearing the site where the garden was to be built and contacted Magenta Living, who had supported them during the first lockdown by providing supplies such as hand sanitiser and hand creams. Magenta Living did not have the resources to clear the site themselves, so they called upon their partners to help.

Local contractor, Penny Lane Builders, who have recently completed the fantastic new homes on New Hey Road in Woodchurch in partnership with Magenta Living, stepped in to help. Penny Lane Builders cleared the site completely to make way for Meadowside School’s stunning new sensory garden.

Claire Dunn, Assistant Head Teacher at Meadowside School was delighted and said: “Penny Lane Builders have been amazing. They have been brilliant to work with, thank you very much to Magenta Living for arranging this for us.”

Jamie Martin, Head of Community Regeneration at Magenta Living said: "When we were aproached by Meadowside School to help clear the site ready for their new sensory garden, we were delighted to get involved and contacted Penny Lane Builders who we have worked with on numerous developments, as we knew they would have the resources to help. Woodchurch is one of our largest neighbourhoods and we are always happy to help and get involved with the local community wherever possible."

Gerard McEvoy, Managing Director of Penny Lane Builders said “We were pleased to be approached by Magenta Living and asked to help out this fantastic school. The work they do is phenomenal so for us to have the opportunity to support them and put smiles on the faces of the children was a privilege, we were delighted to get involved.” 

Read more — 'Local organisations help school deliver sensory garden success'

Universal Credit cuts risk undermining levelling up

Housing associations across Liverpool City Region are warning that ending the £20 uplift on Universal Credit will plunge people into poverty, harming the local recovery and the Government’s levelling up agenda.


The £20 increase was implemented in the early days of the pandemic to help struggling families, but the Government has confirmed plans to remove it in Autumn. 
Members of the Liverpool City Region Housing Associations (LCRHA) group have worked with tenants throughout the pandemic on applications for Universal Credit, as families saw their income reduced as a result of redundancy or furlough. 


Bronwen Rapley, Chief Executive of Onward Homes and Chair of LCRHA, said: “Liverpool housing associations have seen first-hand the difference the £20 uplift has made for our customers. Removing it now, before we see any real signs of recovery, will damage living standards at the worst possible time. It will negatively impact public health in the Region and cut off the future opportunities we are all seeking to create.” 


There has been opposition to the plans from charities, organisations, religious groups and MPs across the political spectrum, who worry that Universal Credit recipients face losing around £1000 a year.


Sir Peter Fahy, chair of the board of Plus Dane Housing, said: “The £20 uplift was a good move by the Government in the early days of the pandemic. Whilst we are now seeing improvements in the operation of Universal Credit, removing the £20 uplift risks undermining the progress made and the future of this signature Government reform.   


“This is an issue impacting working families on low incomes who see Universal Credit as a springboard to becoming increasingly self-sufficient. Providing a reasonable amount to live on is particularly important during these uncertain times.”


More than 70,000 people in the region (71,230) claim the benefit. The number of claims for Universal Credit has risen 74% since April 2019, with a 63% rise between March and April 2020 when the first lockdown hit. 


In addition to the direct impact on those claiming Universal Credit, removing the £20 uplift will damage the Region’s recovery by hitting spending in local businesses. The LCRHA group has raised concerns about the impact the reduction is likely to have with MPs.  


If you are a Magenta Living customer and would like any support around the Universal Credit changes, please contact a member of the Financial Inclusion Team on 0808 100 9596. We will continue to provide our customers with any updates in relation to this matter on our social media pages Facebook | Twitter 

Read more — 'Universal Credit cuts risk undermining levelling up'

Work begins at major Wirral extra care scheme

We're delighted to annouce that work has begun at a new large scale £8.5million extra care scheme in Wirral, under a partnership agreement between Magenta Living and Anwyl Partnerships who are specialists in the provision of residential land and build developments. 

The extra care housing scheme on Greenheys Road in Wallasey comprises 53 apartments and will help fulfil a much needed gap in older persons living, within this area.

Two existing buildings at the 1.2-acre site off Greenheys Road have been demolished to make way for the 53 apartments, which includes 45 one-bedroom units and eight two-bedroom units, as well as car parking and extensive landscaping. 

Mike Nevitt, Managing Director of Anwyl Partnerships explained: “It’s great to begin work on this brilliant scheme. There has been extensive planning and consultation during the development phase, identifying and recognising a real need within the area. There are no other similar older persons living developments within Wallasey and this scheme will provide a niche gap that sits between independent living and care home living.

“It’s great to once again partner with Magenta Living and help support them deliver their wider housebuilding aspirations throughout Wirral and beyond.”

Justine Gore, Assistant Director of Development at Magenta Living said: “Greenheys is a very exciting development for Magenta Living as it’s our biggest Extra Care scheme in Wirral to date. With an ageing population in Wirral, this scheme will provide 53 much-needed apartments for local residents looking for independent living with care packages available. The Development Team at Magenta Living have worked tirelessly to bring this project to fruition, and we are delighted to be working with Anwyl, once again, to deliver this successful project. We can’t wait to start seeing progress on site.”

The scheme is expected to take 18 months to construct, with handover anticipated in January 2023.

Read more — 'Work begins at major Wirral extra care scheme'

Coronavirus Service Update | August 2021

Update 6 August 2021

Covid-19: Current impact on Magenta Living’s Repairs Service  

Magenta Living continues to prioritise emergency and essential repair services however customers may be asked to wait longer for routine repairs.  This is due to us currently experiencing resource shortages because of higher than normal absence levels across our Building Services Team and our external contractor teams, as a result of requirements to self-isolate. In order to manage this, we are moving resources from other teams into day-to-day repair services and we have appointed additional sub-contractor resource to help with demand. We ask that you are patient with us and help us manage our repairs service by not asking our staff to over prioritise your repair request by establishing if your repair is an emergency, urgent or a routine priority.
 

General Services Update | March 2021

With the safety of our customers and colleagues in mind, please see our service update below.

We will continue to review our service offering based on government advice and guidance. Therefore, please note the following:

  • Our 24/7 Contact Centre are available to receive and log your repairs including routine, urgent and emergency. To report a repair, you can contact us in the following ways here.
     
  • We will be reviewing our internal planned works programme and we will contact customers to book relevant appointments for this work. Adaptations work will continue to take place. 
     
  • We will speak to you if you are concerned about being able to pay your rent and deal with urgent enquiries.
     
  • We will continue to undertake gas and electrical safety checks to ensure you are safe in your home.
     
  • Our technicians and contractors, who need to visit you in your home for repairs and maintenance, 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. They will also wear a face covering when moving around your home but they may remove this when carrying out their work. Please remember to remain at least two metres away from the tradesperson when they are working.  
     
  • Most of our colleagues are currently working from home but will continue to support your needs.
     
  • Our offices remain closed to all visitors.
Read more — 'Coronavirus Service Update | August 2021'

Your Neighbourhood in Bloom 2021

Our Community Regeneration Team, Environmental Services Team and Wirral Borough Council have been working with some hard working Magenta Living resident gardeners to help them keep their communities looking great and blooming with flowers and wildlife.

The entries from our residents this year really impressed the Royal Horticultural Society judges for their ‘It’s Your Neighbourhood in Bloom 2021’ national award and the weather didn’t disappoint either nor did the gardens, which were truly amazing.

 

Read more about each community below…

Prenton Dell

Volunteers including Alan and Lesley have once again been working hard to brighten up the Prenton Dell Neighbourhood. This year’s work builds on previous award winning efforts in recent years and they have done an incredible job within their community.

Our Community Resource coordinator, Adam Woodcock commented “It’s wonderful to see the hard work of our volunteers being paid off with fabulous displays and lots of positive comment and feedback from the wider community. We were delighted to be able to support this area with Community Grant funding and the money was truly well spent.”

Prenton Dell Community

 

Brackendale

The judges were so pleased that Dave and Pat, Champion gardeners, took their advice and made all the improvements highlighted on their last visit.  They’re growing more fruit and veg which is harvested and left available for residents to help themselves to. They have introduced the new sensory garden which is all about stimulating the 5 senses and encouraging residents to be more aware of their surroundings.

So much hard work has gone into this garden. Pat said “ I’m 94 and I still love gardening it’s great for the mind and body and keeps me fit and active. It’s a pleasure to get the garden ready for my neighbours to enjoy again now that the gardens are open again safely for them to all enjoy.”

Pat from Brackendale

 

Sunningdale High Rise

Pete, the resident gardener, gets support from Kevin the Site Management Officer so he can keep on top of the garden and keep it looking lovely. It’s an old fashioned cottage garden theme with lots of old favourites growing like hollyhocks, hydrangeas and foxgloves.

Everybody at Sunningdale really appreciates the hard work put in by Pete and Kevin so they are able to enjoy the view  from their balconies and the pergola seating area.

Sunningdale Community Garden

 

Egremont

The Voice of Egremont street gardens and railing planters looked fabulous with so much colour splashed about the area.

Maria, Chair of the group said “ since we started the group we have so many volunteers who want to help and improve the area where they live. Its been a behaviour change for so many because environmental crime has reduced considerably. We get cars tooting and waving at us as a thank you. We all love what we do and if we can win prizes for our hard work that’s even better. ”

Voice of Egremont

 

Liscard House high rise

Bill and Dina are hoping to get the Garden of Excellence Award again this year with their with their spectacular displays.

Bill said “the weather has been against us this year but we were able to plant what we could safely ready for our neighbours to enjoy once restrictions are lifted. We have everything crossed that we can win the top prize again, the judges give nothing away but they took lots of photos and made many notes so we are hopeful.”

Liscard House, Bill and Dina

 

Bidson Rise

Donny’s Way, the before and after pictures speak for themselves on this scheme it’s such a breath-taking transformation. Karen, a volunteer gardener said “I’ve grown everything from seed. All the plants are mainly pollinators attracting birds bees and butterflies. To help combat climate change through natural regeneration from seeds we need more pollinators to do that. Working on Donny’s Way really has kept me sane during lockdown and my friend Jean and I can now sit with a coffee outdoors and enjoy the lovely garden together.”

Jean said “ This has been all Karen’s hard work and we can’t thank her enough for what she has done here. Everybody young and old really appreciates the effort that has gone into this garden,  its great convalescence for me to sit, relax and enjoy this little plot in the sunshine.”

Donny's way Karen and Jean with the judges

Donny's Way development

 

Fantastic work has been done by all who are involved, good luck and well done on your gardening efforts! 

Read more — 'Your Neighbourhood in Bloom 2021'

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