News — articles for February 2019

Does your Freedom Pass expire in March 2019?

If your Freedom Pass expires in 2019, you will have been written to in February asking you to renew your pass.

If you received a letter, it’s quick and easy to renew your pass online at: www.freedompass.org/renew. You just need your current freedom pass with you and the letter containing your unique renewal number.

That’s all! Your new pass will be sent within three weeks once you’ve completed the renewal.

If you have any questions, please contact the Freedom Pass team on: info@freedompass.org or call: 0300 330 1433.

 

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Pride of place: gardening in St Helier

Peter Haycox has been an SHP resident for 15 years, first in Wallington and then in St Helier. We spoke to Peter about bringing people together through gardening and the role of residents’ associations.

“I started a gardening project at Lovett Drive last summer. I started by tidying it up a bit, then I realised there was a chance to turn it into a gardening club.

“I got some funding through the SHP Community Fund to buy more plants, tools and a gazebo. I feel proud when I see the difference it’s making - people sitting out in the garden and chatting.

“My favourite thing about my community is the people. Everyone contributes in their own way. Sometimes when I’m gardening people will bring me cups of tea and biscuits. It doesn’t sound like a lot, but it makes a big difference. It’s about people doing something together.

“Our next project is to do the garden at the Seven Acres Community Hub. We’ve got some funding from SHP and we’re looking for volunteers to help. If you can lend a hand contact communitydevelopment@suttonhousingpartnership.org.uk.

“I’ve also been involved with my local residents’ association. I’ve done the role of community rep, which involved speaking to people and finding out what’s affecting them. Residents associations are a good thing. They mean you have somewhere to go if you have an issue, it’s a way of making your voice heard.

“If you’re thinking about doing something in your community - just do it! You can make a difference.”

SHP will help you find the right way to get involved, whether it’s through a community event, a residents’ association or starting your own community group. Find out more about the different ways you can get involved - and don't forget, you can always contact your local residents’ association directly.

 

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Meet the Chair - Steve Bullock

Steve Bullock became the Chair of SHP’s Board in November 2018. We found out more about him and his plans for SHP...

As the Chair of SHP’s Board, what are your main responsibilities?

My role is to make sure SHP delivers our aims and vision in line with regulations, through good governance, performance management and planning. I work closely with SHP staff, tenants, leaseholders and Sutton Council to make sure we are listening to each other and sharing concerns.

How many years have you been working in housing?  

I became a councillor in Lewisham in 1982. I’ve been involved in housing in different ways ever since – I guess that means 37 years, which is a bit scary! For the last eight years I was the executive Lead on Housing for London Councils - the organisation that represents all of the London Boroughs.

What are your priorities for SHP?

Along with Steve Tucker, I want to make sure the SHP New Deal works well in practice. I want us to be a listening organisation which is both transparent and accessible to residents.

Why do you think housing is important?

I grew up in council house. It was a safe and secure place to start life. Having a safe, secure home is the foundation for good education, health and employment.

What are your core values?  

Put simply - I always try to leave things better than I found them. We need to strive to leave a legacy for future generations as we do our best to deal with today’s challenges. And that is more likely to happen if we really listen to each other and treat those we disagree with respectfully.

What do you find interesting about Sutton?

It is a place that has a lot going for it and a council that is doing really innovative work. The Sutton Plan, which is led by the council and developed by 23 local organisations including SHP, is a really exciting way of working together to make things better.

In relation to SHP, there is a strong tenants organisation which I want to work. I want to make sure I hear from those on the receiving end of SHP’s services, as well as those delivering them.

If you could have a magic wand to change one thing about housing in London, what would it be?  

If I had to choose one, it would be to change the way the private rental sector works. In particular I’d give tenants much greater security both in terms of how long they can stay, but also rent levels.

Where would you like to see SHP in the next 5 years?  

I am an optimist and I expect that by 2024 SHP will be managing many more properties, that will have been allocated to people in need.  

We will have a team who are good at their jobs, and have the opportunity to develop themselves and progress.

We will continue to have a strong relationship with Sutton Council and be working together on ways to improve housing in Sutton. Most importantly we will have more tenants and leaseholders involved in different ways to help make SHP successful.

How do you plan on starting to take SHP there?  

I’ve started by getting to know the people who are involved in different ways. Now I want to get out and about in Sutton, to meet SHP’s residents and the staff who are based in the Community Hubs.

The board and senior staff sometimes have to make difficult decisions, but we can only do that well if we really understand what those decisions mean to the people who are affected by them.

Do you have a favourite quote or role model?

Mario Cuomo was the Governor of New York State for many years, he said “You campaign in poetry. You govern in prose”.

It is something all of us in public life need to remember – it’s fine to make grand statements about what we want to achieve but it’s what really happens afterward that can change lives for the better.

Do you have a favourite book or film? What do you love about them?  

Alexandra Morton is marine biologist working in the Canadian Province of British Columbia.  Her book "Listening to Whales: What the Orcas have taught Us." is quite extraordinary.

In part it is a moving account of her early years working there but it also teaches us so much about these wonderful social animals that been treated so badly by humankind. It had me in tears at times.

Do you have any hobbies or passions?  

I love live performances. Whether its well-known actors playing Shakespeare in the West End or young musicians playing in tiny local venues.

I really enjoy walking in the countryside, but also in London which always has things to surprise you. I’m planning to explore Sutton on foot over the coming year too so do say hello if you see me out with my boots on!

 

 

Your Housing Manager

Our Housing Managers are at the heart of the SHP New Deal, our new way of working.

By having honest and open conversations they’ll get to know every SHP resident in their patch, and develop a relationship built on mutual trust.

Why does this matter? Because we know this relationship and trust is key to building better communities. Your Housing Manager will support you to take control and build a community you’re proud of. They can help you with:

  • Paying your rent
  • Addressing anti-social behaviour
  • Enabling you to stay in your home
  • Connecting you with local opportunities and activities in your community
  • Sustaining your tenancy: health and wellbeing, employment or budgeting

Not sure who your Housing Manager is? Check our A-Z list of Housing Managers by street or call us on 020 8915 2000 to find out.

SHP Housing Managers

Lorraine Roberts

Lorraine Roberts

Kelly Hamlin

Kelly Hamlin

Sue Bowen

Sue Bowen

Khai Nahar

Khai Nahar

Emmanuel Olokuten

Emmanuel Olokuten

Sam Brewerton

Sam Brewerton

Sally-Anne Yeats

Sally-Anne Yeats

Helen Onanuga

Helen Onanuga

Lara

Lara Amato

Charlotte

Charlotte Cummings

Margaret Baria

Margaret Baria

Jason Simpson

Jason Simpson

Sarah Holland-Baker

Sarah Holland-Baker

Hilda Wood

Hilda Wood