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Working in Partnership to tackle Environmental Crimes across Wirral

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

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

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

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

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

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Magenta Living Praises the Volunteers Helping to Shape Wirral Communities

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Official Name Change

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

 

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Together with Tenants - The NHF want your feedback

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

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

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

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

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

Together with Tenants Image


How to provide feedback

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

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

 

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Year of Environment Event 2019

Magenta Living Environmental Services were delighted to be invited to take part in the launch Wirral’s Year of Environment 2019 Event at the Floral Pavilion hosted by Wirral Council.

The team in partnership with Lyn Struve, Eco Schools Officer at Wirral Council and Katrina Chapman from Urban Vintage were proud to showcase their upcycling Project Refresh in the market place. Many residents and agencies attended and were keen to find out more about Refresh as upcycling is high on the green agenda doing everything possible to keep waste from going to landfill and to end poverty. The aim is to ensure Refresh is the inspirational upcycling model in the heart of communities that will become standard practice to minimise waste by upcycling and provide residents with renovated and refreshed furniture helping those in need.

Upcycled chair from Refresh project

Councillors Patrick Cleary and Anita Leech are fully behind Refresh. Councillor Leech Wirral’s Cabinet Lead for Environment said: “I’m so excited about Refresh I want this to be the flagship of Wirral’s Upcycling initiative. I’m keen to demonstrate to other Housing Providers who dispose of waste to landfill what Magenta Living and Wirral Council have been doing in partnership. This project is fabulous and we want more partners involved. I’ve seen how creative volunteers have been in turning old furniture into new, its amazing what can be done with a paint brush and a bit of imagination. It’s vital that we all play our part in enjoying and nurturing the environment not just for us but for future generations. Recycling helps to reduce the pollution caused by waste going to landfill but action to change needs a co-ordinated response we can’t do it alone."

Maureen Davies, Environmental Services Manager said: “It was great to attend the Year of the Environment on behalf of Magenta Living I’m thrilled that we have the backing of so many with the Refresh initiative. In 2018 just my service alone disposed of 180 tonnes of waste to landfill, £40K was spent which is money that could have been used for many other community projects.  Although we provide affordable homes our ethos has always been about putting our people and communities first so protecting the environment is essential.

"Our next step is to source Refresh shop premises so we can take our waste to volunteers to upcycle the furniture and then our communities can have it instead of getting into unnecessary debt. So many people want to get involved it’s exciting to be part of Refresh, Re-jiggery are keen to run recycling workshops too. I was well impressed how they turned an old chair and suit into a quirky piece of furniture anybody would be proud to own."

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Magenta Living Scoops Coveted Health and Wellbeing Award

A dedicated two year programme focusing on the promotion of wellness in the workplace has resulted in a coveted Investors in People Health and Wellbeing Best Practice award for Magenta Living.

The not-for-profit housing association, which is the largest provider of social housing in  Wirral and currently employs 535 staff mostly from the local area, has received the award in recognition of its investment into the health and wellbeing of its employees.

The award, which focuses on all aspects of wellbeing, including physical, psychological and social, comes following the implementation of a strategic project managed health and wellbeing approach at the organisation. Initiatives that have helped to secure the award and support the health and wellbeing of Magenta Living’s workforce include, sessions on smoking cessation and sleep support, the introduction of a dedicated and affordable on-site gym  as well as the creation of a chill-out room, where employees can benefit from mindfulness, breathing and relaxation classes.

Magenta Living’s leadership team has taken an active role in the programme, hosting regular lunchtime walks for staff, where individuals can chat and socialise with colleagues, while stretching their legs.

Nutrition and healthy eating is another key theme of Magenta Living’s wellbeing approach. The business hosts a regular Foodie Friday event, which see members of the executive team serve up a nutritionally balanced meal to staff at a cost of just £2. The meals are provided by catering students from Wirral Metropolitan College, who use the occasion to sharpen their corporate hospitality skills. In addition to this, employees have been given access to nutritional advice and awareness sessions.

Magenta Living has also supported the health of its outdoor workers by raising awareness of sun safety and skin cancer. It was the the first business to sign up to the Outdoor Workers Pledge from Public Health Liverpool and North West Cancer Research, which encourages employers to promote the use of sun protection and  provide protective clothing and sunscreen, as well as raise awareness of the symptoms of skin cancer and the importance of early diagnosis with employees.

Joanne Francom, Magenta Living’s Assistant Director of HR and Organisational Development said, “The health and wellbeing of our employees is of paramount importance to our values as an employer. A healthy work/life balance comes high on the wish-list of many of today’s employees and we want to help people achieve this.

“We place equal importance on physical and mental wellbeing and are committed to tackling the modern workplace stress epidemic by ensuring a supportive culture where people are encouraged to be open and to look after each other. We’ve recently introduced a team of mental-health first-aiders, members of staff who are trained to recognise the triggers and signs of mental health issues, to step in and provide reassurance and non-judgemental listening to colleagues in distress and to sign-post individuals to further sources of support.”

“Achieving the Investors In People Health and Wellbeing Good Practice Award is a fantastic achievement for Magenta Living and we hope to build on our success even further in future but, more importantly, we want to nurture a culture that will support physical and mental well-being for all of our employees for a long time to come. We know that the continued provision of excellent services that we pride ourselves on at Magenta Living relies on having a healthy, happy workforce.

“In 2019 we’ll be working hard to improve on what we’ve delivered so far and have plans for more wellness-focused initiatives, including staff hiking trips to Snowdonia and the Lake District, additional sleep awareness sessions and a health and wellbeing themed annual staff conference with activities to suit all abilities, including an employee five-a-side tournament. Our five-a-side events have been a real success story in terms of participation, with around 10% of employees getting involved. We’re also thinking about how we can broaden the provision of some of our classes and advice sessions, to build them into the wide variety of initiatives we already deliver to help improve wellbeing for our tenants. We use wellbeing valuation to measure the social value of Magenta Living’s work in neighbourhoods, and this is a really important metric of success to us.”

Backed by the Department of Health, Investors in People worked with more than 400 organisations to develop and pilot the framework for the Health and Wellbeing Best Practice Award. To secure the award, businesses have to undergo a rigorous evidence-based review process. Magenta Living achieved an ‘advanced’ score against each of the key award criteria, the highest score possible during the assessment.

In addition to winning the Investors in People Health and Wellbeing Best Practice Award, Magenta Living also retained its Investors in People Gold standard.  The Gold standard is awarded to less than a fifth of UK organisations and is widely recognised as an accomplishment of world-class best practice in people management and development. Following on from this achievement, Magenta Living now plans to pursue the Investors in People Platinum standard.

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Sensory Garden at Heart of Magenta Living’s First Extra Care Scheme in Wirral

A sensory garden designed to improve quality of life for people with dementia is just one of the features being developed at Barncroft, Magenta Living’s first Extra Care Scheme in Wirral, which is now under construction.

Work has started on site at the £3.4 million development in Pensby, the first dedicated independent living scheme for over 55s to be built in the Wirral by Magenta Living, the borough’s largest registered housing provider.

Magenta Living launched its Extra Care offer in 2017 with the completion of its multi-million pound Hartley Place facility in Ellesmere Port, Cheshire.

The housing provider’s new Wirral-based Extra Care scheme will help to address demand for high-quality over 55s accomodation in the borough and is part of Magenta Living’s ongoing bid to broaden its customer offer and meet a variety of supported, affordable and social housing needs in the local area.

Construction is also underway on an over 55s apartment development at Magenta Living’s Clifton Avenue site in Eastham, following the demolition of a vacant block of flats. The flats will be replaced by a new mixed tenure scheme, comprising shared ownership houses and homes for rent in addition to the over 55s housing.

The Barncroft Extra Care scheme in Pensby, which is being built by Anwyl Construction, will feature a range of communal spaces and facilities to help combat social isolation and support well-being for residents. Along with 21 individual apartments and the sensory garden, the independent living community will include a shared lounge, an assisted bathroom and a garden room. Residents will benefit from a range of 24 hour on-site support services, with flexible care packages available to suit individual needs. The scheme has been designed by Manchester-based Pozzoni, an architecture practice with specialist experience in the creation of dementia care environments.

John Siddell, Head of Development at Magenta Living said, “These latest developments underline our strategic goal of building new homes, as well as investing in our current housing stock. We’re working hard to meet a variety of housing needs across the Wirral and beyond, and catering to the needs of people over 55 is a key focus for us.

“As we deal with the challenges posed by an ageing population, it will become increasingly important to have high-quality supported housing developments like Barncroft available. And, it’s essential to ensure that newly created communities- like the one we’re developing at Clifton Avenue in Eastham, support a broad spectrum of ages, to help promote social inclusion and limit the risk of loneliness – a growing concern amongst the older population. Above all, Magenta Living is committed to supporting vibrant homes, lives and neighbourhoods, and we know our new schemes will achieve all of these things.”

Magenta Living is a not-for-profit housing provider, owning and managing nearly 13,000 properties. The organisation has invested over £200 million in its properties over recent years and has ambitious plans to build over 2,000 new properties for rent and outright sale over the next five years.

Read more — 'Sensory Garden at Heart of Magenta Living’s First Extra Care Scheme in Wirral '

We’ve struck Gold with our Investors in People result!

Brian Simpson, Chief Executive of Magenta Living said:

"I’m delighted to announce that following a recent assessment from Investors In People (IIP), we have been re-awarded Gold status.  This is excellent news for all staff here to end the year with and I’m really proud of this achievement. This also confirms how staff have engaged with our five-year Corporate Plan that we launched in April, of delivering our new Vision of vibrancy and excellence, Vibrant … homes, lives, neighbourhoods and shows how staff are delivering our values and strategic objectives, our VIBE in the roles that they do.

"Along with this, we have also been awarded the IIP Health and Wellbeing Best Practice Award which further confirms our commitment to staff around health and wellbeing here at Magenta Living. This year we implemented a gym which is available for all staff to join with several fitness classes also taking place. Staff have also been involved in training courses, reviewing and implementing policies and taking part in various staff events. It is so important to ensure we have a healthy and motivated workforce which ultimately reflects on the service we provide to our customers.  

"The IIP process is very thorough with lots of evidence gathering, interviews with staff and surveys. This is a real testament to everyone who has been involved to achieve Gold again and we look forward to working towards receiving Platinum over the coming years."

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Magenta Living Launches Life-Skills Scheme for Vulnerable Young Mums

Leading North West housing provider, Magenta Living has successfully delivered a pilot motivational programme, designed to empower vulnerable, young single-mothers and equip them with a range of valuable life-skills.  

Magenta Living, which currently owns 13,000 properties in Wirral and throughout the North West, delivered its Inspiring Dreams programme to a group of eight young women at the Our House centre in Rock Ferry.

Our House is a dedicated supported housing scheme that provides shelter and a safe space for vulnerable young women aged from 16 to 25 who are facing a range of challenging circumstances. The ten-bed centre accommodates young single women, young pregnant women and young single mothers along with their children. The staff team at Our House works closely with residents, in liaison with social services, to help get women back on their feet and develop the essential life-skills they need to forge more positive futures.

Magenta Living has tailored a special programme for the young single mothers at Our House, based upon its existing Inspiring Dreams initiative.  This initiative is designed to support Magenta Living tenants in developing the skills, knowledge and self-confidence they need to succeed.  Launched in 2017 Inspiring Dreams has already seen seven groups of Magenta Living tenants graduate the course, after achieving their planned personal goals.  

The Inspiring Dreams programme tailored to the young women at Our House focused on boosting aspirations, promoting self-confidence and resilience, and strengthening employability skills, through a variety of practical workshops and advice-based sessions.  These included fitness, well-being and healthy lifestyle classes, CV writing and interview skills sessions and communication technique workshops. Those who took part were also provided with a free gym pass and were given the opportunity to gain a paediatric CPR qualification.

All training was delivered by Magenta Living in partnership with North West training provider 3D Training.

To enable young mothers to participate in and benefit from the programme, Magenta Living provided two professional creche workers for the duration of the two-week course.

Jamie Martin, Head of Community Regeneration at Magenta Living said, “We developed Inspiring Dreams to help empower people to take back control of their own lives, paving the way for more positive, rewarding futures. By tailoring the programme for the young women at Our House we hope we are helping to address the needs of a particularly vulnerable group of people, increasing confidence, supporting well-being and boosting life-skills that will help to ensure a better future for young mothers and their children.”

A young woman taking part in the Magenta Living programme added, “The course has been really inspiring and it has brought me out of my shell. It has made me realise what I can achieve, and I’ve remembered that I do have career aspirations. I am going to study psychology through the Open University and will pursue my dreams of being a forensic scientist. This course is the first step, but it has made me reminded me what I’m capable of achieving.”

Following the success of the pilot programme, Magenta Living is looking to deliver a second Inspiring Dreams course at Our House in early 2019.

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Magenta Living Holds First Girls In Construction Event

Local school and college students were given an insight into the wide variety of career opportunities available in building maintenance and construction at a special event organised by Magenta Living, one of the North West’s leading housing providers, to encourage more young women into the industry.

The Go Construct – Girls in Construction open day was held at Magenta Living’s Building Services Depot in Birkenhead, home to the housing provider’s team of more than 150 highly-skilled building services technicians. The team provides a broad range of specialist services to Magenta Living customers, across the 13,000 properties the organisation currently owns and manages in Wirral and throughout the North West. Services delivered include 24/7 emergency response repairs, refurbishments, maintenance, building renovations and conversions, electrical engineering, plumbing, joinery and decorating.   

Female students were invited to see the team in action, with a series of practical demonstrations and talks put on to increase awareness of the diverse career paths available to them across the building maintenance and construction industry. Plumbing, joinery,  plastering and decorating were all showcased, and students heard from Magenta Living painter Cathy Jackson who shared her own personal development story, having originally joined the organisation ten years ago via an apprenticeship.

The event was opened by Michelle Plimley, Magenta Living Head of Voids and Allocations, who explained her role in the organisation, along with Head of Business Development for Building Services, Mike Cliff, who talked about the vital part apprentices play in delivering excellent services for Magenta Living’s customers.

Students were able to take a tour around the Building Services depot, which included a session with Leona Roper, assistant branch manager for Travis Perkins Managed Services, who explained what her role is and how her company manages Magenta Living’s repair and maintenance supplies. Leona gave her audience a sneak peek into the Travis Perkins dedicated store facility at Magenta Living’s Building Services Depot, which gives repair and maintenance staff instant access to the materials they require on a daily basis.

Magenta Living also invited three of its IT high-fliers to talk to the young women attending the open day, to help illustrate that building and construction also encompasses a wide variety of business support roles. Jen Tyler and Anne Carr, who have reached the finals of this year’s Women in IT Excellence Awards, along with Paige Carr, ICT Apprentice, gave an insight into their day-to-day work and the opportunities available to women in STEM related areas of the industry.

The Go Construct event was designed in conjunction with Wirral Metropolitan College, a further and higher education college offering courses and diploma qualifications from entry level to degree. The college has been a source of local, talented apprentices for Magenta Living for some time and earlier this year, the two organisations formed a new mutually beneficial partnership. Under the agreement, the college provides insight and expertise to help Magenta Living strengthen the capabilities of its workforce whilst Magenta Living helps to shape the development of Wirral Met’s curriculum to ensure it meets the needs of its business. Magenta Living also provides work experience and apprenticeship opportunities for students.

Students from Wirral Metropolitan College joined year 9 to 11 pupils from Birkenhead Park School and Bebington High at the Go Construct open day.

Pupils of Bebington High School

Joanne Francom, Director of HR & Organisational Development at Magenta Living said, “It was fantastic to engage with young women from our local schools and colleges through this event and, hopefully, to open their eyes to the exciting variety of careers avaliable within the building maintenance and construction industry. The housing sector relies heavily on skilled tradespeople and we need to tap into female talent to help ensure we have the right skills in place going forward. We have some outstanding female team members at Magenta Living but we recognise that our organisation, along with the rest of the industry needs to do more to encourage women into building and construction.

“While there have been some positive changes in terms of gender diversity in building and construction in recent years – with more than a quarter of positions in the industry expected to be filled by women by 2020, we still have a long way to go.

“Of course it’s important that women of all ages come to see building and construction as a viable career path, and Cathy Jackson who joined us as an apprentice in her 30s illustrates that age barriers aren’t an issue to entry, but a big part of making change happen is building awareness of opportunities from an early age and helping to break down the gender stereotypes by engaging with school children and actually demonstrating to girls that they can do what would have traditionally been male-dominated roles. This was a pilot event for us but, given its success, we look forward to holding more Go Construct events in future.”

The Go Construct event was sponsored by The Liverpool City Region Apprenticeship Hub,and funded as part of the Employees Support in Skills Project funded by the European Social Fund / Education and Skills Funding Agency.

Chris Eriksen, Hub Skills Broker from the Liverpool City Region Apprenticeship Hub attended the open day and said, “It’s fantastic to see a local company opening up its business like this to help bring apprenticeships and career opportunities to life for young women.This was an excellent showcase of the types of sought after skills that can be acquired via an apprenticeship like Magenta Living.”

Carmell Denton, a joinery student from Wirral Metropolitan College who went along to the open day added, “Pro-active events like this will help to shift the balance in what has been a very male-dominated environment and encourage more women like myself to pursue a skilled trade and make their mark in the industry.”

   Students at Wirral Met with plasterer, Joe Hunt

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