Hollywell NewS

Our First Tenant Forum!

In September Hollywell held it’s first Tenant Forum, hosted by our Housing & Welfare Officer Tanya, with support from HWO’s Gemma and Diana and our Development Manager Sara. The Forum was held at the Victoria Inn in Roche and was attended by 5 of our local Cornwall tenants.

The aim of the event was to provide our tenants a forum in which they can give their thoughts and ideas about the way Hollywell runs and help us to shape our services to better fit what THEY want and need from us. This is the first of a number of Tenant Forums to be held in both Devon and Cornwall which will be coming in the next 12 months.

The event was very productive, with lots of new ideas and suggestions that have been taken back to the management team at Hollywell for them to review and discuss! Thank you to all the tenants and staff who attended!

We’re back!

Due to the recent partial lifting of lockdown restrictions, we are now taking new referrals again! Please be aware that whilst letting agents are now open and we are now sourcing and letting property, a number of restrictions will still apply in terms of social distancing and in some cases ‘virtual’ viewings and this may delay the process. We will do our very best to make sure things are as normal as possible and we will be processing all new referrals in the way we always have done.

If you are looking make a referral, or you are a landlord who may be interested in letting out your property, please contact our Referrals Manager Clare Pennell on clare.pennell@hollywellhousingtrust.org.uk for further information.

Hollywell’s Response to Coronavirus (COVID-19)

At Hollywell we are committed to providing the highest levels of housing related support to our tenants – our primary concern is for the health and wellbeing of our residents, staff team and those other organisations who work with our tenants. For this reason, the following measures have been put in place for the foreseeable future:

1. We will not be taking any new referrals – those who have completed our referral proccess and are active referrals will continue to receive our services in terms of sourcing a property, but no new referrals will be accepted. Please contact Clare Pennell, Referrals Manager, for further clarity on this if required – her number is 01392 458719.

2. Visits from Housing & Welfare Officers may be reduced in some circumstances and/or alternative means of communicating with and supporting tenants put in place. Individual Housing & Welfare Officers will be in touch with their tenants directly.

3. We have made the decision to close our Head Offices in Exeter, with all office based staff working from home. You will still be able to contact all office based staff as normal.

There is NO change to the reporting of maintenance or contacting the emergency Out of Hours Support Line. 

We will continue to respond to the developing situation and implement measures accordingly – our primary focus is ensuring that our tenants are receiving the support they need whilst following relevant guidance.

We are all facing challenging times – we appreciate your understanding, these measures have not been implemented without considerable thought and we hope to resume business as usual as soon as possible.

Washing Machine Safety Recall

In the last few weeks it has been announced by Whirlpool that certain makes and models of Hotpoint and Indesit washing machines have a fault and may be dangerous. 

Please follow this LINK to see whether your washing machine is one of the ones on the list. If it is, please report this to your Housing & Welfare Officer. If you struggle with opening the link, don’t worry, your Housing & Welfare Officer will be checking all washing machines at your next Tenancy Clinic visit.

The safety of our tenants is always our priority, if you are concerned please call us on 01392 345528

In the afternoon we went to Mission Escape in Exeter for a spot of team building – as you can see, it was a great day all round!

Mission: Escape!

We held our second Hollywell Strategy Day on 1st October 2019 to celebrate our year and share both tenant journeys and the strategic direction of the business. Our Housing & Welfare Officers shared stories about some of their greatest success stories with the tenants they support, our CEO Katie Sherjan talked about how far we have come over the last 4 years, as well as sharing the vision for the future. Debbie Bird, our Housing & Welfare Manager, discussed our operational growth and the brilliant work of our Housing & Welfare Officers. The board came along from far flung corners of the country (Devon, Cornwall, Manchester and Basingstoke!) to meet the team and hear about the business – all of them were impressed with the growth and development of the charity, as well as the passion shown by our amazing team. 

In the afternoon we went to Mission Escape in Exeter for a spot of team building – as you can see, it was a great day all round!

‘Highly Commended’ for Hollywell in the Exeter Business Awards 2019

Hollywell are thrilled to announce that we have received a Highly Commended award for ‘Social Enterprise of the Year 2019’ at the Exeter Business Awards this week! Katie Sherjan, our CEO, was proud to collect the award at a very glam ceremony at the Great Hall on Friday.

This award is a fantastic recognition for all our team for the work we do to support some of the most vulnerable people in society secure a sustainable home.

Chrysalis Project (Part I)

Earlier this year we received some funding from the Big Lottery to carry out some research on the specific needs of housing for people with Autism (including Aspergers). We are currently working on Part I of the project, this involves asking a number of people who have autism and their families/carers what it means to have autism in terms of issues around their housing and living independently. 

We are looking for people to complete a questionnaire to record their thoughts on this – these are confidential and anonymous, it doesn’t matter whether you are currently living independently, you want to or you don’t want to, we would really value your thoughts. There are two forms, one for individuals with Autism and one for family members – we’d be very grateful if you could complete the form and either post it back to us at Unit 83, Basepoint Business Centre, Yeoford Way, Exeter, EX2 8LB or email it directly to clare.dale@hollywellhousingtrust.org.uk

Questionnaire for individual with Autism CLICK HERE

Questionnaire for family members/carers CLICK HERE

Hidden talents of our tenants!

One of our newest tenants Rob has turned out to be quite the artist! We thought we’d showcase his work and highlight that many of our tenants have some fantastic skills and talents that come to light when they feel settled and happy. We have a number of tenants who have had chaotic backgrounds and within few weeks or months we see them blossom and their creative, confident side appear – we have tenants who are exceptional artists, basket weavers, musicians and actors and it’s always such a delight for us to be able to watch and share their progress!

Welcome to Fenton!

A big Hollywell welcome to the latest member of our team – our therapy dog Fenton! Fenton is a 3 month old chocolate Labrador and he lives with our Tenant Welfare & Support Coordinator Emma, who is a qualified therapy and guide dog handler. 

Therapy dogs are used to provide comfort and reduce anxiety for vulnerable people, often helping people to relax and engage better with their support teams. Fenton will be working with Emma and some of our tenants, mainly in the Plymouth area – we have already seen some brilliant results with our tenants who have reported feeling calmer and telling us that Fenton has brightened their day.

We are looking forward to sharing some photos of Fenton’s progress!

We’re on roll this year!

We are delighted to have been chosen as a finalist for the Plymouth Herald ‘Best Social Enterprise 2018’ in this years Business Awards! We have had a brilliant three years and to be recognised for so many awards this year is a real reflection on how needed the work we do is – we have an increasing number of new referrals week on week, showing how many vulnerable people are out there needing a safe home. We are very proud of the work we do, recognition like this helps to raise the profile of our charity and enables us to provide housing for those who truly need it. Check out the Plymouth Herald website for a list of the other nominees and awards.

The other news is that our CEO is now through to the FINALS of the Devon & Cornwall Venus Awards in the ‘Most Inspirational Woman’ category! The Venus Awards recognise the best of women in business, Katie is absolutely thrilled to be through to the finals – the awards ceremony is on the 28th April – keep your fingers crossed! For more info on the Venus Awards and the other categories and nominees have a look at the Venus Awards website.