Hurry! Tell Murray (15th - 26th June 2015)
You may have been wondering why a cartoon of our Chief Executive has been popping up across our organisation - well, we can now reveal the reason behind 'Hurry! Tell Murray'...
If you have been a Boston Mayflower tenant for more than 3 years you will remember 'Let's Talk 2' - a survey in which all of our staff ventured out in to the community and talked to you about how we can improve our services.
Your opinion is important to us and we want to speak to each of you individually to find out how we can make things better for you as a Boston Mayflower tenant - this is your chance to chat to our staff so they can feedback to our Chief Executive (Murray) and we can work together to make a difference.
Our staff will be in your neighbourhoods between 15th - 26th June carrying out the questionnaires, but if you have any queries about 'Hurry Tell Murray' in the meantime, please call us on 0300 365 5000.
Accreditation for Boston Mayflower following 'strong and productive' work in the local community
Boston Mayflower are celebrating after achieving their Quality Assured Scrutiny Accreditation following on from an assessment which took place over a 3 month period earlier this year.
The organisation met the QAS-fixed evidence requirements, which called for them to demonstrate scrutiny being embedded in all areas across the organisation.
Following the news, representatives from TPAS, the Chartered Institute of Housing and Housemark have since expressed interest in attending a presentation afternoon at Boston Mayflower’s Chantry House office.
“Our dedicated staff work tirelessly to ensure that a key focus of the work we carry out is a direct result of feedback from our tenants. We believe that every voice matters and as Boston’s largest housing provider, the smooth-running and success of our organisation relies heavily on valued reviews from our customers” commented Murray Macdonald, Chief Executive of Boston Mayflower.
“Our Customer Scrutiny Panel are a valued resource to the business whose aim is to champion improved services for all customers – with their hard work and efforts we are able to work alongside our customers and create bright futures for our tenant communities.”
QAS TPAS Assessor, Kate Newbolt, said: “Boston Mayflower should be congratulated on their clear ability to work closely and productively with their customers and embracing a strong scrutiny culture.”
“This is a real achievement for us all, not just the Scrutiny Panel”, noted Chair of Boston Mayflower’s Scrutiny Panel, Kaz Jardine, “Each of the panel had a lot to learn initially as we are not housing professionals, but a lot of hard work has allowed us to represent the tenants - it is great to be recognised.”
Boston Mayflower’s Customer Scrutiny Panel Annual Report, available via the website, reflects the recommendations and service areas suggested for improvement. Also highlighted are the goals and next steps for the coming financial year – a key focus being to increase diversity of the panel in order to become a fairer representation of Boston Mayflower’s customers.
The accreditation follows on from Boston Mayflower’s recent win at the Central Region’s TPAS awards where they scooped the 'Excellence in Tenant Led Scrutiny' prize.
Young artists 'kick the habit' out of local play areas
Pupils from Carlton Road Academy have been expressing their creative flare by designing posters advertising Smoke Free Play Areas throughout Fenside.
The Smoke Free Play Areas scheme, which was organised by Boston Mayflower in partnership with Lincolnshire Health Partnership, encourages people using the play areas to stub out their cigarettes to comply with the parks strict no smoking rule.
Plenty of designs with hard-hitting messages were entered by pupils from the school and it was left to the general public to pick the winners.
The winning designs were submitted by students Kyle Guilfoyle, Dominyka Mackevic and Caroline Amaral; and will be displayed in the Carlton Road, Taverner Road and Ingram Road Play areas in spring.
The young artists in the making were presented with their prizes from Boston Mayflower’s Customer Participation Team at their school assembly on Friday – they also bagged a £100 cheque for the school to spend on books for their efforts!
Boston Mayflower scoop national award for fighting local fuel poverty
Boston Mayflower is celebrating after our 'Affordable Warmth' project received a national Community Action Award.
The Community Action Awards, which are run by national fuel poverty charity NEA in partnership with the Department of Energy and Climate Change and British Gas, recognise excellence and innovation in the fields of tackling fuel poverty and improving energy efficiency amongst vulnerable households.
The award of £1,500 will help Boston Mayflower to deliver the 'Affordable Warmth' project in Lincolnshire, which provides energy advice and education to tenants. The project prioritises those in low SAP-rated properties, those in receipt of benefits, vulnerable tenants and tenants living in properties heated by domestic heating oil. Advisors visit tenants' homes providing advice and education on energy switching, best use of heating systems as well as guidance on fuel debt. Our organisation's repairs contractors have helped fund the cost of the service and remain important partners in delivering improvements to tenant's homes.
Affordable Warmth Officer, Elizabeth Lamming, said: "In the first year of our Affordable Warmth Project, 421 households have saved a total of £65,600 - an average of £152 per household assisted! Along with our program of home heating improvements, advice on the use of our heating systems and how to prevent condensation etc., this ensures that Boston Mayflower tenants are in energy efficient, healthier, warmer, more affordable homes. The award is enabling us to further our project with the addition of Energy Champions."
At present it is reported that more than 3,600 households in Boston are experincing the imapcts of fuel poverty, but Boston Mayflower will continue to tackle this issue to further reduce the problem.
Mayfields festive fayre spreads Christmas cheer
There was festive fun for all the family last month as Mayfields held their annual Christmas Fayre - an event which has grown bigger and better each year.
The extra care scheme, which is part of Boston Mayflower, drew in a strong crowd of people including friends and families of residents.
Stalls set up throughout the communal areas of the accommodation offered a wide range of unique, handmade Christmas gifts and festive treats including cupcakes and gingerbread houses.
Representatives from St. Barnabas Hospice and Marie Curie Cancer Care set up stalls for the occasion, raising funds for the charities.
Children eagerly queued up to meet Santa in his magical grotto, accompanied by the Mayfields Christmas elves.
The event was attended by Deputy Mayoress of Boston, Cllr Helen Staples, who browsed the array of stalls and chatted to attendees before closing the Fayre by judging the children's fancy dress competition.
Extra Care Co-ordinator, Diane Bedford, commented: "The event was a brilliant way to bring the community together. Everyone was in high spirits, the atmosphere was great and we had a fantastic turn out! We are already excited about next year!"
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Boston Mayflower staff flaunt facial fuzz to raise awareness for men's health
Sunday marked the last day of 'Movember', as the month of moustaches a-plenty drew to a close.
Some of our staff ditched their razors and supported the awarness campaign by growing some weird and wonderful facial fuzz.
The team, who named themselves 'Mo-stache, Mo-trouble', raise over £300 for Movember Europe, a charity supporting men's health programmes which focus primarily on combatting prostate cancer, testicular cancer and mental health problems.
To show support for the team and to make a donation, please visit http://uk.movember.com/team/1785381
Making links and building bridges within the local community
Members of professional network and shared resource pool, Lincolnshire Training Network, have been actively challenging themselves to break down language barriers in the local community by attending a series of Basic Lithuanian Language sessions.
The hour-long classes, which are run by Chair of Boston Lithuanian Society, Jurate Matulioniene, are specifically tailored to those who are working in the housing sector - particularly staff who have regular face to face interaction with customers. Members of the network and attendees on the course include staff from Boston Mayflower.
The sessions offer participants the chance to reduce communication obstructions which may be affecting the understanding of anything from tenancy agreements to rent statements. It is hoped that the classes may also help to decrease anti-social behaviour and neighbourhood disturbances by assisting attendees to convey full understanding of important behavioural principles to tenants.
Course organiser and Network Chair, Helen Mather, commented: "The feedback from the course has been fantastic! Even though we have not yet completed the programme, people are finding the information really useful and another string of sessions is already in high demand.
There is a lot of diversity in our local community and we need to embrace that. It is important that we do everything we can to cater to everyone's needs, build bridges, encourage good community spirit and share positive news of our success stories."
£165 million funding secured to bring new homes to Boston
Boston Mayflower has secured £165 million to build 500 new homes in Boston and the surrounding area. International investors were approached and subsequently funds were raised so that our organisation can build new homes in Lincolnshire. Although Boston Mayflower are not the only housing association to approach capital markets, we are the first in the country to secure funding from two sources simultaneously which allowed us to borrow more money at very low rates.
"The ins and outs of the financial arrangement are exciting from a business perspective as we are the first UK housing association to secure this sort of deal. In my opinion though things get really exciting when we think about what this money can do in our community," commented Boston Mayflower's Chief Executive, Murray Macdonald
"Boston Mayflower already provides almost 5,000 affordable homes in Boston and the surrounding villages but the number of people across the UK struggling to find a home is rising and we want to do more. Over the next five years working with local builders we want to plan to build and acquire an extra 500 homes to provide people with more affordable, local options."
Our plans and priorities for the next three years are set out in our Corporate Plan, available via www.bostonmayflower.org which also highlights issues such as affordable warmth and financial capability as key areas for investment.