News — articles for October 2016

New lease of life for Patricia thanks to SAFE's support

Patricia Close grew up in Heol y Mynydd, Aberdare with her parents and has lived there for most of her life.

After a brief move to Barry to work as a nurse, Patricia moved back to the area to support her dad, ‘Herbie’, when he became ill.

When Patricia’s neighbourhood manager realised that she was feeling low, they made a referral to the SAFE service to provide help.

Patricia said: “I’d been having a really tough time last year. My beloved dad had passed away and my mam was very ill. I do have friends around the community but I didn’t know who I could turn to for help.”

SAFE is a free support service provided by Trivallis for people aged 55 and over. Funded by the council, SAFE helps people to remain in their own home, getting the support they need to manage a tenancy and household.

Patricia said: “I don’t know what I would have done without Dennis and Karen from the SAFE team. They have been amazing in supporting me through a tough time and helping me to get my life back on track.

“After my mam sadly passed away, I had letters from the bank to say that there was an issue with her account. SAFE helped me to sort out these problems and stopped the constant worry that I was feeling. They also helped me with the bereavement.”

SAFE also supported Patricia with getting to and from appointments after she was diagnosed with cancer. Thankfully, she is now in remission and the SAFE team has helped her to fill in the relevant forms to get her disabled badge.

Patricia said: “I don’t drive but I need to get out and about to do my shopping. Trivallis’ SAFE team helped me get my disabled badge which means that when my friend takes me into town I’m able to get out of the car safely to use my wheelchair. That’s what we do in this community, we help each other out.”

Now, Patricia is the secretary of the Friends of Tŷ Mynydd Tenants and Residents Association and helps to organise all of the activities that take place there, such as: book club, Friday night bingo, DVD nights and shopping trips.

She has also been awarded the ‘Good Citizen’ award by the mayor of RCT for her services to the community.

She is currently organising the Friends of Tŷ Mynydd’s Christmas Party. There will be a full, three-course, Christmas lunch and each child in the area will get a gift from Santa.

SAFE is tenure neutral, which means it can support anyone over 55 living in RCT, whether they are a tenant, owner occupier, private renter or renting through other associations.

To find out if the SAFE service can support you or someone you know, call us today on 03000 030 888 or email

Alternatively, please speak to your Neighbourhood manager for more information. 

Read New lease of life for Patricia thanks to SAFE's support…

Mother to be and her unborn baby get a good night's sleep

Mother to be, Dominy Hale, from Penywaun, has been awarded a brand new cot bed and nursery furniture for her unborn baby.

Dominy received help from the Sustaining Tenancies Empowering People Support (STEPS) team at Trivallis, a Rhondda based housing association.

Before moving into a Trivallis property three months ago, Dominy was homeless. She relocated to Penywaun with her partner and moved into a two bedroom flat.

Dominy said: “Although things were improving and I’d found a home, I was starting to worry about how I was going to pay for what I needed for my baby girl.”

Leeann Ball from the STEPS team visited Dominy to give her the extra support she needed through the free and confidential service.

Dominy continued: “Leeann helped me to apply for a grant with Save the Children. I wasn’t expecting anything but they’ve given me a brand new cot and furniture for the nursery as well as a £70 Argos voucher. A huge weight has been lifted off of my shoulders and I don’t have to worry anymore.”

Trivallis has been working with Save the Children since 2013 to help families with young children and a low income as part of its Eat, Sleep, Learn, Play project.

Eat, Sleep, Learn, Play supports children living in the most severe poverty with low income families.

Through the grants programme, a number of Trivallis tenants have been awarded items such as washing machines, cookers, three piece bedroom sets for children, cot beds, pushchairs and highchairs.

STEPS is available to tenants who feel they could benefit from help with looking after their home, tenancy, money or applying for grants such as Eat, Sleep, Learn, Play.

To speak to someone from Trivallis’ STEPS team, call 03000 030 888.

Read Mother to be and her unborn baby get a good night's sleep…

An easier life for Colin and Ann

A couple who have been married over 60 years have found a new lease of life after moving into a Trivallis sheltered scheme.

Colin and Ann Anstee, originally from Ferndale, moved into a one bedroom bungalow at Ferndale Court. The move came after Colin became house bound following a stroke and Ann was diagnosed with osteoporosis - a condition that weakens bones.

“We had a beautiful three bedroom house with a lovely view and garden,” explained Ann. “But there were steps at the front and back of the property and it was on a big hill, we were both struggling to get in and out of the house.”

At Trivallis we manage over 20 sheltered schemes for people aged 50 plus. Each scheme provides residents the opportunity to live independently in their own home but allows them to regularly socialise with one another through a series of organised activities.

“We went to a coffee morning today. On Tuesday and Thursday we play bingo and on Friday we get fish and chips,” explains Ann. “We also get taken out on day trips to lots of different places like Cwmbran, Porthcawl and local garden centres.”

Last summer Ann was hospitalised and discovered she had osteoporosis. The couple were already on a waiting list for Ferndale Court but this news encouraged their daughters to make further enquiries about availability. As if by chance, a bungalow became available the day they phoned which meant, after only three months, they were able to move in.

When Colin first visited the bungalow with his daughters he thought it needed a little bit of work but knew it had potential. “Trivallis transformed the property for us by re-plastering all of the walls and putting in new kitchen units,” he explained.

Moving to a one bedroom bungalow from a three bedroom house meant that the pair had to dramatically downsize. However, they saw this as a positive thing as it meant they could give away most of their furniture to their grandchildren.

“I had so much stuff. I remember my daughter laughing at me because I had a drawer full of cutlery,” said Ann. “I was in hospital for a while so the first time I saw our new home was the day we moved in, I was so surprised and pleased with the bungalow. We’re so lucky; we don’t know ourselves because everything is so much easier now.”

Trivallis sheltered schemes are located throughout Rhondda Cynon Taff. To find out if there’s a scheme near you, please call 03000 030 888.

Read more about our sheltered schemes here.

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Trivallis' Home Maintenance Unit improves its skills toolkit

Staff in Trivallis’ Housing Maintenance Unit have up-skilled with Construction Skills Training.

Matthew Nuthall, Paul Drew, Robert Graddage, Dean Rosser, Daniel Privett, Timothy Phillips, Simon Carpenter and Mark Pearce took part in the 14 week multi-skilling course.

The course teaches a wide range of basic construction skills such as carpentry, plumbing, rendering, tiling, plastering and painting and will give those who took part skills outside of their core trade. 

Staff that completed the training may be able to undertake small tasks including fixing tiles, plastering small areas and repairing doors, rather than calling in someone from another trade.

Matthew Nuthall has worked as an electrician for Trivallis for just over two years. He said: “I enjoyed learning new skills during the training. I’m an electrician by trade but it was nice to learn a bit about each of the different construction skills the HMU team use.”

Five of the eight staff who took part in the course were not originally trained as carpenters. They were offered the opportunity to have an extra session on how to hang doors in properties.

City and Guilds certificateMatthew continued: “My favourite part of the course was learning carpentry skills, it was really hands on and means I'll be able to give the team a hand with any carpentry jobs in the future.”

The course took place in the Construction Skills Training (CST) Centre in Caerphilly. CST is part of the TSW Training group.

Steve Ryland, shop floor supervisor at CST, said: “This was the first group of Trivallis staff that we’ve had in for the multiskilling training.

“The group were fully engaged and never afraid to get stuck in to the tasks in hand. I was particularly impressed with how courteous they were to me and the other staff at the centre – it was a pleasure to teach them.”

 Upon completing the course, everyone was awarded with a City & Guilds certificate for Level 1 in construction skills.



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New Trivallis tenant is "over the moon" with brand new home in Church Village

Brian Davies and his daughter Tamika, both from Church Village, are one of the first families to move into their new home at Springfield Court – our largest development of new homes to date. 

Brian and Tamika moved into their two bedroom house at the beginning of October.

“It’s fantastic, everything we could need and possibly want,” said Brian who previously privately rented a two bedroom flat in Tonteg. “Everything has just fitted into place, I’m very very happy with how it’s all turned out – I’m over the moon.”

We began the phased handover of this development in September which is due to be completed by the end of the month. As part of the sign-up process, tenants are invited to view their new home and meet their Neighbourhood Manager who will take them on a tour of their new property.

“I met with the team who showed me around the house. It was really helpful because they talked me through the heating system, tenancy agreement and they even told me what days my bins will be collected,” Brian explained.  “Without the support of Trivallis and their lettings team I don’t know where I’d be.”

Steve Williams, Trivallis’ Lettings Officer, regularly keeps in touch with all of the new Trivallis tenants who are moving into Springfield Court, to make the move as smooth as possible.

“I kept in touch with Brian from the point of offer to the time of allocation for the property. I gave him my direct phone number so he had a main contact in case he had any questions,” Steve said. “It’s important to us at Trivallis that all of our tenants who are moving home have an excellent customer experience. We want our tenants to have all of the information they need to feel happy and confident.”

The properties were built in line with Social Housing Grant which meets various Welsh Government standards including Development Quality Requirements (DQR), Lifetime Homes and Secured by Design. This means that the properties can be adapted and modified to suit the needs of the tenant if their circumstances change.

Following an illness Brian’s brother is now a wheelchair user and he was amazed that his brother had no trouble getting around in the property.

“Whoever designed these homes is fantastic. It’s really clever and you can see that they’re thinking of everything, including the future,” said Brian.

We are due to complete 12 new homes in Pontypridd town centre this autumn, including one and two bedroom flats. Anyone interested can find out more by phoning 03000 030 888.

Read New Trivallis tenant is "over the moon" with brand new home in Church Village…