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Trivallis Makes a Stand for People Experiencing Domestic Abuse

Trivallis has signed the ‘Make a Stand’ pledge, joining housing organisations across the UK to help tackle domestic violence.

The Make a Stand pledge has been developed by the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) in partnership with the Domestic Abuse Housing Alliance (DAHA) and Women’s Aid.

Jim Strang, president of the CIH, said: "My father was an extremely controlling and abusive man – this is an issue I have a really personal connection to and as a result I’m extremely passionate about it.

"Domestic abuse affects so many people and everyone in housing has a responsibility to ask what more we can do.

"Women are dying, mothers, sisters and daughters are being murdered or permanently scarred mentally as well as physically on a daily basis and it has to stop.

"We as a profession are well placed to help identify the signs, to deal with the outcomes and help tackle some of the root causes of domestic violence. We’re in these homes more regularly than most other professions.

"Housing people can do more for a family, for a person, in one day than most professionals can achieve in a whole career. That’s the power and influence that housing workers, regardless of role or grade, can have. We must use that influence to its greatest extent."

By signing the pledge, Trivallis has agreed to four commitments to support people who live and work in social housing who are experiencing domestic abuse.

The four commitments include putting in place a policy to support tenants who are experiencing domestic abuse, making information about national and local domestic abuse support services available on Trivallis’ website and other accessible places; and ensuring a policy and procedure is in place to support members of staff who are experiencing domestic abuse.

The fourth commitment requires organisations like Trivallis to have an internal spokesperson that is responsible for keeping the commitments to support people experiencing domestic abuse.

Bob Granville

Bob Granville, Trivallis’ Director of Homes and Neighbourhoods and Make a Stand Spokesperson, said: “In the year ending March 2018, an estimated 2.0 million adults aged 16 to 59 in England and Wales had experienced domestic abuse in the last 12 months.

“Domestic violence is one of the most corrosive of the adverse childhood experiences, we believe that having appropriately skilled staff to provide both intervention and support services to our customers will significantly impact individuals’ lives, in line with our desire to provide “kind” services.

“By signing up to the Make a Stand campaign, we are showing that we will do what we can to tackle domestic violence for our customers and our staff.”

Organisations that have signed the pledge will have until September 2019, until Jim Strang’s presidency comes to an end, to put the commitments in place.  We are proud to say we have met all of these commitments..

To see Trivallis’ community safety policy and get information on local organisations that support people experiencing domestic abuse, visit: www.trivallis.co.uk/MakeAStand.

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‘Visibly Better’ homes for older people help them maintain independence

Trivallis is the most awarded Welsh housing association for ‘Visibly Better’ standards in its sheltered schemes for people aged 60 and over.

Visibly Better is a set of six standards developed by RNIB Cymru, focussing on different aspects of accessibility for people with sight loss. As housing associations progress through the standards, they receive Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum levels of accreditation

20 of Trivallis’ sheltered schemes across RCT meet either Platinum or Gold Visibly Better standards, allowing people with sight loss to feel more confident in their homes.

Ron Hook lives in Trivallis’ Gwaunruperra Close sheltered scheme in Llantrisant and is a tenant assessor. This role involves working closely with the teams at RNIB and Trivallis to make sure sheltered schemes are up to Visibly Better standards for people with sight loss.

He said: “Before I got involved with this scheme I didn’t know anything about the RNIB but I’ve been on a number of courses now and have learnt so much about how it’s so important to be making homes accessible for people with sight loss.

“I'm so proud of what we’ve achieved in our schemes and look forward to working with RNIB more in the future to support those who need it.”

Contrasting colours have been used throughout schemes to ensure door handles, sinks, showers and other objects stand out to those who are partially sighted. Additional features for platinum standards include improvement works in the garden and to the external areas of the schemes.

RNIB Cymru Visibly Better Trivallis RNIB Cymru’s Director Ansley Workman said: “We’d like to congratulate Trivallis. These awards recognise organisations who are delivering positive changes for blind and partially sighted people by making their environments more accessible.

“Often the changes are very simple, from improving lighting to making sure people can move around more safely. But they are essential for reducing falls and accidents. As we get older this is more important than ever, as we know that one in five people aged 75 and over are living with sight loss, rising to one in every two people aged 90.

“Although our Visibly Better programme is aimed at improving accessibility for people with sight loss, the standards they set will benefit a wide range of tenants including people with dementia or mobility problems.

"We’re really looking forward to working with Trivallis in their continued efforts to break down the barriers for people with sight loss.”

Trivallis and the tenant assessors will now be working with RNIB to bring the remaining three sheltered schemes up to Visibly Better standards and will be providing feedback to further develop what the standards for ‘Visibly Better’ should be.

MP Owen Smith attended a special awards presentation where Trivallis’ tenant assessors were given plaques for each of the sheltered schemes that had achieved the standards. He said: “This work shows a real commitment from Trivallis in providing accessibility for customers, staff and older people; creating homes that help people to maintain their independence.”

To find out more about Trivallis' sheltered schemed, visit: https://www.trivallis.co.uk/sheltered-housing

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Fire Safety in Communal Areas

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To keep you and your neighbours safe and following advice from South Wales Fire & Rescue Service, Trivallis has a zero tolerance for items being stored in communal areas. Communal areas include stairwells and entrances to our blocks of flats and sheltered schemes.

We must take action to protect you and your neighbours from the risk of fire. You made a promise to keep these areas safe and clear when signing your tenancy agreement, it is your responsibility to store your belongings inside your home.

Your Neighbourhood Manager will regularly be in your area, inspecting blocks and sheltered schemes.

Any items that are a hazard must be moved immediately or Trivallis’ Estates and Communities teams will have no choice but to remove them. Items could include, but are not limited to:

  • Bikes
  • Prams
  • Rubbish/recycling bags
  • Plant pots
  • Door mats
  • Pictures

Keeping these areas clear and safe is part of the tenancy agreement you have signed. They must be stored safely inside your home at all times.

When we identify an item that needs to be removed, we will try to locate the owner and ask them to remove the item immediately.

If we know the owner but they aren’t at home, we will post a card through their door to let them know the item was removed.

Items of value will be removed and stored by Trivallis for a maximum of 28 days. They must be picked up by the owner in this time. If items are not collected within the 28 days, we have no choice but to permanently dispose of them.

You should call 03000 030 888 to arrange pick up of any items that have been removed; you will be given a date and timeslot to do so.

We appreciate your co-operation in keeping our homes safe.

For more information and recommendations from South Wales Fire and Rescue Service, visit here: SAFE AND WELL

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Potential Development Project in Hirwaun

We’d like to invite you to a public consultation to look at draft proposals to potentially build 17 new affordable homes on the Glancynon Inn site, Hirwaun.

The event will give you an idea of what we’re proposing and, as this is a joint project, members of staff from Trivallis, WYG and Fairleap Ltd, will also be there; giving you the chance to ask any questions you might have.

If you’d like to get involved meet us at: Hirwaun Village Hall Lounge, High Street, Hirwaun, CF44 9SW on Tuesday 12th December. We'll be there from 4.00pm until 8.00pm.

We look forward to seeing you there!

 

Please note: this consultation event is the first step in the project, before we submit the formal planning application to RCTCBC.

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“I can’t believe I’m me,” said Janice following support from Trivallis’ SAFE team

Julie Cowan is a SAFE Support Worker for Trivallis’ SAFE team, her role involves working with people aged 50 and over to help them to remain living independently in their homes.

In March, Julie was introduced to Janice Clark who was going through an incredibly difficult time following the passing of her husband at the beginning of January 2018.

“I love my job because of the difference you see in the person from when you first start working with them to when the support ends and they feel more confident to do things themselves,” explained Julie.

“When I first met Janice she couldn’t look me in the eye, I could tell she found it difficult to trust people.

“She also suffered from agoraphobia and wouldn’t leave the house, at one point she hadn’t left the house for four years – which is actually one of the reasons I became involved.”

Following a few conversations with her local GP, Janice was referred to the Mental Health team who focused on her mental wellbeing. They recognised Janice could benefit from additional help which is why they contacted Trivallis’ SAFE team to see what they could offer.

“At the time, Janice was living in a private rented home and wasn’t being treated fairly by her landlord; particularly after the death of her husband,” said Julie.

L-R: Janice Clark and Serenna Walker

On top of this, the benefits Janice received meant she had to attend appointments and assessments in order to get the money. However, because of her condition and the panic attacks it caused; it became incredibly challenging for her sister-in-law Serenna.

“Trying to get Janice out of the house was like murder,” explained Serenna. “In the end it was up to me to go and get the right information so that Janice had the money to pay her bills.”

When Julie started working with Janice she was able to look at her finances and maximise her benefits making sure she no longer needed to attend appointments to get her money, she set-up personal independence payments and also organised housing benefit and council tax reductions for Janice.

In addition to this she helped to move Janice into a better, more suitable home where she can continue to live independently but is also able to socialise with her neighbours if she wants too.

“I can’t believe I’m myself,” said Janice. “I love this place and I’m getting to know the other women that live here;, they even bought me a few gifts for my birthday.

“It’s been really upsetting at times but I can’t believe how much I’ve done and how much Julie has helped me.

“My mental health struggles have finally been recognised whereas in the past nobody was there for me, years ago support like this wasn’t available and I felt really alone.”

Over the last six months Janice’s confidence has grown and she’s finally able to do things that she struggled to do, simple everyday tasks that before seemed like a real challenge like taking the bins out each week and spending time in her garden.

Even though Julie no longer supports Janice she said: “We’ll always be here if you’ve ever got any problems but you don’t need me anymore – you’re where you need to be.”

According to Age UK, half of adults aged 55 and over have experienced mental health problems in their life time. Don’t suffer in silence, our SAFE team can work with anyone living in RCT to build confidence, make new friends, learn new skills, budget and help you to see what other support is available to suit your personal needs.

To get in touch with the team today email SupportingPeopleTeam@rctcbc.gov.uk or call 01443 424005.

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