News — articles for August 2017

Beth’s getting by with a little help from STEPS

In 2014, Beth was diagnosed with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS); a condition that means she is in constant unbearable pain.

CRPS causes the affected body part to become so sensitive that the slightest touch or change in temperature can hurt. Over time it can improve or get completely better but sometimes it never goes away and the affected person can experience this pain for many years.

Beth has been a Trivallis tenant since 2008 so she knew Trivallis had support services available but she wasn’t sure exactly what they were and how they could help. Following a chat with the contact centre, she was put through to our Sustaining Tenancies Empowering People Support Services (STEPS) team who were happy to get involved.

Three months after meeting Clare (Trivallis Tenancy Support Officer), Beth’s life is starting to improve for the better.

“I’d definitely recommend anyone to contact the STEPS team,” explains Beth.

“Clare has been there a lot and she’s taken so much stress away. I was feeling really overwhelmed but now everything has lifted and I feel much more able to do stuff.

“I’m managing to get by on a daily basis which is better than before. I feel like I’ve got more confidence and it’s all because Clare came along.

“When we first met she told me we could sort everything out and she was true to her word, and in such a short space of time.”

How do STEPS help?

Trivallis Tenancy Support Officers work closely with our more vulnerable tenants to help them stay on top of their tenancy agreement.

Clare worked with Beth to get some adaptations done to her home so she can live more independently.

“I wasn’t able to do anything before but now I’ve got a trolley, I can make a cup of tea and bring it back to the living room. It’s so nice to be able to sit down to drink a cup of tea,” said Beth.

Clare also helped to maximise Beth’s income so she can pay her bills and rent without having to worry, and she supported Beth by going with her to meetings about her finances.

“It’s helped me massively because I hate going to meetings where people don’t understand my illness. Having Clare there as that support means she can help and prompt me if I forget to mention something.”

To contact our STEPS team call 03000 030 888 today.

Read Beth’s getting by with a little help from STEPS…

How does your garden grow?

Glyndwr enjoying the sunshine

With warmer and longer days during the summer months we spend a lot more time out in our gardens. Trivallis tenants who have gardens are responsible for looking after them by keeping them in check.

Glyndwr Morgan from Llwynypia has been interested in gardening for many years: “I’ve been gardening since I was 15 and now I’m 78,” he explained.

“It’s nice to have a garden and being able to sit outside in the sunshine. Gardening is such a nice hobby because it gets me out of the house.”

Personalise your garden with some colorful flowers As a minimum, Trivallis asks that you...

  • Keep your gardens clean
    • Put away any children’s toys when they’re not being used
    • Store recycling and black bags correctly*
    • Speak to Rhondda Cynon Taff council collection for any large items that you no longer use; things like sofas and fridge freezers
  • Take care of any trees or shrubs so they don’t become overgrown and  make sure pathways are kept clear
  • Cut your grass regularly
    •  A good way to check is if your grass is taller than your mobile phone. If it is then its time to start thinking about cutting it back

 

 

But don’t forget! Your garden is your space, why not personalise it?

  • Pots and flowers brighten up smaller areas
  • Grow some veg! Tomatoes are a great starter plant. They are easy to grow and love the Welsh weather. It is also great to help children learn about their food and nothing tastes better than home grown produce.
  • Water water everywhere! On our hot sunny days, make sure any plants get a good drink at least once a day; in the evening when they’re not in the sun is the best time.
     

Bins and Recycling

*Please bear in mind that the council will collect black bags or general waste bins every two weeks and they’ll only take two black bags.
Recycling is collected every week and there’s no limit to how many bags are collected. Go to the council website for more information on your bins and recycling.

Remember you can always get in touch if you have general enquiries and issues with maintaining your tenancy, call us today on 03000 030 888.

Read How does your garden grow?…

Money Advice Team helps John to make some BIG savings

John Hayes and Mandy Badman

At Trivallis we have a Money Advice team that helps people who are struggling with paying their rent each month.

The advisors work with tenants on a one-to-one basis at home to work out ways to save money on essential bills like water, gas and electricity. They also offer specialist advice with benefits to ensure the tenant is getting the best deal for them.

 
John Hayes, from Porth, has worked with Mandy Badman (Trivallis Energy and Utilities Advisor) for 6 weeks and has already been able to reduce his water payments, get a grant to settle the debt with his gas company and save money with bedroom tax. In total, Mandy has been able to save John £1,915.00 over the year.

Blue speech mark graphic “Mandy came over and helped me to work out what I was paying each month,” said John.

“I’ve been trying to sort this out for a long time on my own; if it wasn’t for Mandy I’d be in this mess for who knows how long.

“We have a clear plan set in place now and because of that I feel a lot happier. I feel as if a weight has been lifted off of my shoulders since Mandy came along.”

 

Bedroom Tax – Are you entitled to an additional room?

If you are currently affected by the Bedroom Tax you may qualify for an extra bedroom if your household includes:

  • A disabled adult, child or non-dependent who needs overnight care from a non-resident carer (you must have an extra room in your house for the carer to stay in)
  • An adult couple who are unable to share a room because of a disability 
  • A disabled child who would be expected to share a bedroom but cannot share because of a disability

To qualify, the disabled person must be in receipt of a disability benefit such as Middle or Higher Rate Disability Living Allowance or the Daily Living Component of Personal Independence Payments.

Discretionary Housing Payments – RCT’s budget increased to £666,000

Discretionary Housing Payments (DHP’s) is a pot of money which can be used to help people who have a shortfall between their rent and Housing Benefit award. It doesn’t matter why there is a shortfall, it could be due to Bedroom Tax, the benefit cap, you are working part time or someone has a non-dependent living with them.

You will need to complete a short application form which you can get from the council. We also have a number of drop-in’ days in our Pontypridd and Aberdare housing offices where our Money Advice team are on hand to help you complete the application form, just get in touch and we can make an appointment for you.

In the last 2 years our Money Advice team has helped 372 people claim over £160,000 in DHP’s so don’t miss out!

The next dates are:-

Money Advice Sessions

Pontypridd

Aberdare

Wednesday 16th August 2017

Wednesday 30th August 2017

 

If you’re not able to attend one of the drop-in days, speak to us and we can discuss how we can help you, we can even arrange to visit you at your home.

To find out more about the Money Advice team visit www.trivallis.co.uk/money-advice or call 03000 030 888 today. 

Read Money Advice Team helps John to make some BIG savings…

Maerdy Primary School pupils brighten up new community walk

Tan Y Marian winning design

Pupils from Maerdy Primary School have been chosen to display their drawings around a new community walk in Tan Y Marian, to educate visitors on the areas wildlife.

Thirteen pupils from the School were tasked with designing plaques for a new community walk, developed Trivallis and construction company Gerald Davies, to highlight the various species that call it home with the best designs to be displayed on posts along the walk.

Blue speech mark graphicLisa Newton, Community Project Officer at Trivallis, said: “We have worked with Gerald Davies LTD to transform an area of wasteland in Maerdy into a space for the whole community.

We asked people who live in the area what they’d like to see in the space and the outcome was a community space with an area where people could plant flowers and enjoy the wildlife.”

As part of the planning for the space, an ecology report was carried out by landscape architects. This report shows the type of wildlife species that are likely to live in the area and included small birds, slow worms, hedgehogs, and butterflies.

Tan Y Marian Walk, Neighbourhood SpaceThe works in Tan Y Marion were part of a ten-week project by Trivallis to improve outside spaces in Maerdy, which has seen the space completely transformed.

Phil Howe, Contracts Manager at Gerald Davies, said: “We wanted to get the young people in the area involved and had over 100 entries into the drawing competition. The standard was really high so it was tough choosing just 13 winners.”

The winners were presented with their plaques and some sweet treats during an assembly at the school.

Joanne Hoare, Neighbourhoods Spaces Liaison Assistant at Trivallis, added: “We are expecting to fully open the walk to the public just before the Summer school holidays and can’t wait for the children to be able to see their drawings posted around the space. It’s great to be able to give back something to a community that has been so supportive whilst works are being carried out.”

Read Maerdy Primary School pupils brighten up new community walk…