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Community Insight - In conversation with Sally Ross

Ever wondered what information we can find out about our neighbourhoods? Got an idea for a project you want to try in one area, but don't know where to choose? That's how Sally Ross, our Community Regeneration Lead Officer, felt when she was planning a project to engage young people at risk of becoming NEET (Not in Education, Employment or Training) and linking them to Tranmere Rovers in the Community to gain qualifications and work experience.

Most can list at least a dozen areas where there might be an issue with youth unemployment and Sally needed to identify 5 or 6 places to target for this project. Sally sat down with Mark Richmond, Head of Data and Performance, and gathered key data from Community Insight - looking for neighbourhoods where there was a high level of youth unemployment and a lot of young people living in our properties. It worked - they had 6 neighbourhoods, Tranmere Rovers in the Community engaged young people from those areas and they all went on to further training or got jobs with TRFC - including one who went on to play for their ladies team.

Fast forward 2 years and Sally put this as an example of how she'd used Community Insight on a survey being carried out by HACT, who got in touch to ask for more information. One interview later and she became a published example of good practice!

If you'd like to read what Sally said then you can read her interview below... 


How do you use Community Insight in your work?

In my role as Community Engagement Lead Officer here at Magenta Living, the biggest provider of affordable housing in Wirral, I tend to use Community Insight for work around employment and skills.


Have you used the tool for a particular project?

Community Insight was especially useful for a project we delivered with Tranmere Rovers Football Club around youth unemployment. The pot of funding we used for delivering the project was a legacy fund that came through one of our contractors. The project involved identifying 12 young people to help. Since the Wirral is a diverse borough, this was a challenge.

Some parts of the Wirral are affluent, where kids have lots of opportunities and supportive parents who can link them up with work experience. In other areas, young people lack those support networks because their parents may not work and there is a lack of positive role models. Those more deprived areas are where our neighbourhoods tend to be located. But even within our neighbourhoods we know that there are huge variants in levels of youth unemployment.

The picture is complex, so we looked to data on Community Insight for help. The tool gave us vital local insights on NEET levels, youth unemployment levels, the unemployment of young adults, and let us compare that information against the number of young people living in our properties. Using that data, we were able to narrow down our selection to six priority neighbourhoods that all had large concentrations of young people and high percentages of youth unemployment.


What was the biggest benefit to using Community Insight on this project?

Community Insight was important in justifying our decisions about why we focused on some areas and not on others. There’s one area in Wirral which has a strong community voice and high levels of tenant and resident involvement. It would have been easy for us to decide to spend money there to make those residents happy.

Community Insight gave us an objective basis to show that the area wasn’t a right fit for this project. To that community, we were able to say: it’s not that we don’t think you deserve this project, it’s that the data shows young people in other areas need it more. Community Insight gives me the facts and figures to back up those decisions, to the Board and to our communities.


What ways has Community Insight been helpful to thinking about the socio-economic profiles of your areas?

We know our neighbourhoods and the areas in which we work, but Community Insight gives us the evidence we need to back up anecdotal knowledge. With the youth unemployment project, the tool let us say to our partners: we want you to recruit young people from these six specific areas and here’s why.

It takes effort to reach those young people who we know would benefit most from a project like this, but you’ll have a much bigger impact if you do. Community Insight made that selection process a lot simpler and quicker.


Other ways you use Community Insight?

I also use the employment data on Community Insight to help plan publicity campaigns.

The data on the map is useful in showing where large numbers of our working age population reside, as well as where unemployment rates are high. Within those areas I then look at where there are community spaces like libraries and doctors’ surgeries. I have used that information to know where to put posters and distribute information.

We’re also involved in a project with Communities that Work and the Learning and Work Institute. The data they’ve been asking us for is data that I’ve found on Community Insight. We’re looking at developing some pilots and need to decide where we want to run those. I’ve been using the employment data from Community Insight to determine where I think those pilots should happen.

Read more — 'Community Insight - In conversation with Sally Ross'

Housing partnership re-invests funds to deliver new social rent homes and health and well-being initiatives

Bamboo, a local letting and sales agent, was established in 2016 as a joint venture between housing associations Torus and Magenta Living. Bamboo was set up as a commercial entity, allowing its parent organisations to generate a surplus to be used solely to reinvest back into the communities they both serve.

Since its inception, Bamboo has grown year-on-year and now has a portfolio of over 200 rental properties. After a successful pilot scheme, Bamboo has recently entered the sales market, acting as a sales agent for Magenta Living’s latest development, Willow Sands in West Kirby which included 11 new properties available for shared ownership. 

This year Bamboo is proud to announce it has generated an additional surplus of £745k which will be distributed between Magenta Living and Torus to benefit their local communities of Wirral, Liverpool, Warrington, and St Helen’s.


Magenta Living is committed to investing in future homes and have committed to using this additional income to build more homes for social rent in Wirral. Torus will be gift aiding the monies to the Torus Foundation (Torus’ charitable arm) that supports Torus’ tenants in Liverpool, Warrington & St Helen’s. The Torus Foundation invests in innovative programmes to improve health and wellbeing, support people into employment, and digital and financial inclusion projects. 

Catherine Murray-Howard, Chair of Bamboo and Chief Operating Officer of Torus, said, “Bamboo is a great example of a local company that delivers good service to its customers but is also putting something back to the local community. I am proud to be a part of an ethical business doing what it can to improve the lives of local people.”

Read more — 'Housing partnership re-invests funds to deliver new social rent homes and health and well-being initiatives'

Coronavirus Service 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 | March 2021'

An exciting opportunity

Lead the way
Make valuable contributions
Deliver our Vision of Vibrant... homes, lives, neighbourhoods
Join our Board

We are searching for two new Board Directors to join us on our journey at Magenta Living.

We are looking to strengthen the Board’s skills with general business knowledge and experience while ensuring our customers’ voice is heard at a strategic level. 

Salary: £5,000 p/a
Closing Date: 8th March 2021
Department: Executive Leadership Team
Commitment: 2/3 days per month

BOARD DEVELOPMENTS EXAMPLEAs a Board Director, you'll be leading a fantastic organisation that is committed to making a real difference and positive impact across our neighbourhoods for our customers. As a Board Director, you will be working with our Executive Leadership Team and colleagues to help shape our future direction as we continue to transform our organisation. This will be achieved through our four strategic objectives, Our VIBE, which contributes to delivering our Vision of Vibrant… homes, lives, neighbourhoods:

  • Vibrant values driven culture
  • Investing in our current and future homes
  • Businesslike to deliver value for money
  • Excellent services and neighbourhoods

A little about us...

Magenta Living is the largest housing provider in Wirral, housing just under 10% of Wirral's population owning around 13,000 homes. 

Employing over 500 colleagues, we are a significant local employer demonstrated by achieving the Investors in People Gold standard and retaining our Customer Service Excellence accreditation. Our company values are key to our success of being accountable, adaptable and ambitious. 

Magenta Living recently turned 15 and we celebrated with a look back on our achievements so far. Though we're not finished yet, we need your help to ensure we continue to support our customers and achieve our aim to be an organisation that delivers excellent services to our customers. Don't take our word for it, watch our timeline below: 

Board Advert Supporting image - Customers receiving supportLearn more...

About our board, here:

About who we are, here:
About working for us, here:
About our achievements, view our annual reports, here:

How do I apply...

If you're interested, please submit your CV with a covering letter explaining your relevant experience and why you are interested in joining our Board.

For further information, including the job description, please visit our recruitment website, here:

Read more — 'An exciting opportunity'

Homes in Bromborough are ‘RetroFIT for the Future’

Magenta Living has recently completed a project to make 81 of its homes in Bromborough warmer and more energy efficient. External Wall Insulation (EWI) was installed to the exterior of the properties which included bungalows, terraces and semi-detached homes. Early indications show that already this has achieved an average increase in energy efficiency by 12 SAP* points and the properties are now rated as an EPC Band C rating. By the properties now being an EPC Band C rating, these homes would now hit the government’s ambition to be EPC band C by 2030.


External Wall Insulation During

The project was delivered after securing £800k of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). This is part of the ‘RetroFIT for the Future’ project which fits low carbon solutions to homes to ensure they are fit for the future by improving thermal performance and the energy efficiency of homes by reducing carbon emissions, helping reduce fuel poverty through lower heating bills and improving the aesthetic look of homes.

Gareth Frankland, Magenta Living’s Project Manager said: “I’m delighted this project has been a great success. It’s been a challenging time for the construction industry over the past year but thankfully this project has incurred minimal delays. Thanks to Sustainable Building Services Ltd who have completed the project which now means 81 Magenta Living homes have been improved and will feel the benefit of increased warmth and lower heating bills, which is fantastic for our customers who will really benefit from this. Well done to everyone involved!”


External Wall Insulation Finished Home

Read more — 'Homes in Bromborough are ‘RetroFIT for the Future’'

Silver SHIFT Accreditation! #MagentaClimateVision

As part of our Magenta Climate Vision, Magenta Living is working with SUSS Housing, the accreditation body of the housing sectors sustainability standard accreditation; SHIFT (Sustainable Homes Index For Tomorrow). This accreditation utilises metrics to show our current environmental performance against long-term science-based targets for our sector.


The accreditation return was inclusive of our existing homes, new developments, supply chain, offices/operations and strategic leadership. We are thrilled to say that we are one of only 17 landlords in the UK that have formally obtained Silver accreditation and that we have achieved this in our first year of application!


Thank you to all teams and individuals involved across Magenta Living who made this a success in our first year. We look forward to increasing our sustainability efforts, in line with our Magenta Climate Vision.

Read more — 'Silver SHIFT Accreditation! #MagentaClimateVision'

Volunteers provide free school meals to Moreton families

During the week leading up to half-term, 340 free food hampers and 170 activity packs have been successfully delivered to families in need within the Moreton area. Moira McAdam, a community volunteer at the Sandbrook Community Centre and Kevin Moran, Site Management Officer at Magenta Living’s high-rise Sunningdale block, worked with a local team of volunteers to put together and deliver food packs to each school involved.


The volunteers worked closely with five local schools in Moreton: Orrets Meadow, Hayfield, Overchurch Infants, Overchurch Juniors and Sandbrook Primary to distribute the food hampers and activity packs to each school. The packs were then given out by the teachers to children who would normally receive free school meals during term time.


Two of the schools cater for special needs children and arrangements were made to deliver the food parcels direct to their front door in a Covid secure way. This was a huge undertaking for the volunteers, as it meant delivering to 70 individual households stretching across Wirral. 


As part of each hamper each family received cereal, soup, beans, pasta, rice, sauces, tuna, corned beef, biscuits plus much more. They also received fresh produce including mince, chicken, ham, eggs, milk, bread, butter, potatoes and fruit. 


In addition to the food hampers, each child received an activity pack containing a chocolate bar, a puzzle toy, a colouring book, pencils, jelly to make, pancake mix and Jif lemon juice to make pancakes on Pancake Tuesday.


Moira commented: “We did something like this at Christmas as well as the family hampers which Magenta Living helped fund. We could not do any of this without Magenta Living giving us the space to use. Kevin Moran is amazing and helps us when he can, nothing is too much trouble for Kev and I can't praise him enough. We also had the help of some amazing volunteers and without them this couldn't happen”. 


The Sandbrook Community Centre is one of thirteen community properties owned by Magenta Living and managed by local volunteers. During the pandemic, community centres have played a vital role in supporting local communities.


Magenta Living would like to say a huge congratulations and thank you to Moira, Kevin and all the volunteers for their amazing efforts and for the difference they have undoubtedly made in the Moreton area and beyond supporting local residents and families.

Read more — 'Volunteers provide free school meals to Moreton families'

Magenta Living receive national recognition for the way we deal with anti-social behaviour

Magenta Living has received national recognition for the way we deal with anti-social behaviour (ASB) by gaining the prestigious, independent Housemark ASB accreditation. We achieved an overall score of 93% across the 44 building blocks that make up what Housemark sees as an excellent ASB service.

This is a fantastic achievement and we are very proud of our colleagues who provide this excellent service every day.

Magenta Living take all reports of neighbour nuisance seriously and we are here to support customers suffering from ASB.

If you would like to report an incident or would like some advice you can contact us anonymously on 0808 100 9596.

Read more — 'Magenta Living receive national recognition for the way we deal with anti-social behaviour'

National Lockdown Restrictions - 5 Jan 2021

Following government announcement on Monday 4th January, a national lockdown is now in effect. From Tuesday 5 January 2021 you must stay at home and follow the national lockdown restrictions.


To see the latest updates, follow Wirral Council on social media or visit Wirral Council's COVID updates webpage, available here:

Follow Wirral Council on Social Media: 


Wirral InfoBank is a website where Wirral residents can find local community support services, health and care services, and up-to-date advice and information about coronavirus (COVID-19). Use the websites dedicated search engine to look for support, by either entering your location or searching for the support you need, e.g. 'Food'.  

Find out more by visiting Wirral InfoBank, here:

Read more — 'National Lockdown Restrictions - 5 Jan 2021'

Anwyl Partnerships move ‘Onward’ with affordable housing scheme

Anwyl Partnerships, specialists in the provision of residential land and build developments, has commenced work at Halton Court, a 119-unit residential scheme in Runcorn under a £14.3m contract in partnership with Magenta Living and Onward Homes.

The development includes a mix of two, three-and four-bedroom homes in a community which has been identified as needing a boost to the supply of homes available for shared ownership and affordable rent. Halton Court is being delivered under a joint venture between Onward Homes and Wirral-based housing association, Magenta Living.

The scheme marks the first project in which Onward Homes and Anwyl Partnerships have collaborated, whilst strengthening their existing partnership with Magenta Living following on from the handover of its  Barncroft Extra Care scheme in Pensby, Wirral back in July.

Work at Halton Court had stalled during the Summer months following the original appointed contractor falling into administration. Anwyl Partnerships and Onward Homes, together with Magenta Living, have since negotiated the contract to reduce further delays and allowed work to begin on site.

Tom Anwyl, Managing Director of Anwyl Partnerships commented: “This is a flagship scheme with strong community-focused aims and aspirations. It is our first scheme with Onward Homes, and marks the beginnings of an exciting partnership, recognising the strong synergy between the two businesses.

“We’re pleased to once again be working with Magenta Living and all parties have worked incredibly closely to ensure work on site can quickly resume. Contracts have been exchanged and our team began construction work at the end of November.”

Brian Simpson, Chief Executive at Magenta Living said: “It’s great that we are again working with Anwyl Partnerships at Halton Court and also with Onward Homes. This partnership will now ensure we bring Halton Court back to life by developing much needed homes in the area that I know will be very popular once completed. I’m looking forward to seeing progress over the coming months especially with this being our first development in Runcorn”.

Stephen Heverin, Growth and Regeneration Director at Onward: “We are delighted to be working with Anwyl to complete this development. After a short delay we are looking forward to finishing the job of providing much needed affordable homes for rent and sale to this part of Halton.”


Pictured above: 

Tom Anwyl, Managing Director Anwyl Partnerships,  Brian Simpson, Cheif Executive at Magenta Living and Paul Anson, Executive Director of Business Growth and Resilience at Magenta Living.

Read more — 'Anwyl Partnerships move ‘Onward’ with affordable housing scheme'

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