Sir Lenny Henry CBE Is Star Of Dudley Retirement Scheme’s 10 Year Anniversary Celebrations

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Special guest Sir Lenny Henry CBE was the star at Nehemiah UCHA’s 10-year birthday celebrations of its retirement scheme Henry Court, Charlton St, Dudley on 20 August 2015.

Lenny Henry at Henry Court 10th anniversary celebrations

 

The Dudley born comedian, actor and writer Sir Lenny opened the retirement housing scheme back in 2005 and the scheme was named in honour of his mum Winifred, who was a member of the congregation of The Church of God of Prophecy, the founders of Nehemiah UCHA.

For the 10th birthday, The Lord Mayor of Dudley, Councillor Steve Waltho also helped Sir Lenny unveil a special commemorative plaque on the day together with some of the residents of Henry Court.

“We were all so excited and happy that Sir Lenny Henry returned to Henry Court ten years after officially opening the retirement scheme, to wish a big happy tenth birthday to ourselves and Henry Court’s residents,” says Llewellyn Graham, Chief Executive of Nehemiah UCHA.

Lenny Henry at Henry Court 10th anniversary celebrations“We can’t believe it’s been 10 years since the successful completion of Henry Court, which was developed by Nehemiah UCHA in partnership with Accord Housing Association and Dudley MBC.

“During the last 10 years, the elderly residents of Henry Court have enjoyed the specially designed safe and comfortable flats, which support independent living to ensure dignity and independence into old age.

“The 20 August marks the 10-year anniversary of Henry Court and we will celebrate the occasion in style – thanks to the help of Sir Lenny.”

Lenny Henry at Henry Court 10th anniversary celebrations

 

When asked about his last visit to Henry Court Sir Lenny Henry CBE commented: “Henry Court has a special connection for me, because it was named after my Mum! I remember filming there for Lenny's Britain - the sequence was supposed to be about "how the elderly cope in a care facility.” I was introduced first of all to a Jamaican man whose hearing aid was on the lowest setting it could possibly be at - the cameras rolled and all we could hear from behind his door was 'Hello? Hello? HELLO????' Then he was told to turn his hearing aid up - and when we actually got in the room we had to stop filming because all we could hear was Jimi Hendrix style squeaky feedback.  My favourite was the 60 something lady who'd invested in a folding bed - she made me sit next to her and proceeded to press buttons - at which point the bed moved in a decisive, passionate way, basically bending me forwards my head moving slowly towards my own man-bits. Very embarrassing and caught live on camera. These are very vivid memories to me - but I also remember a lot of people, eating Caribbean food, friendly staff and very happy people, sitting and chatting away and telling stories of yesterday. Thank you for these memories of Henry Court...”

Nehemiah UCHA has a portfolio of approximately 1,100 properties across the West Midlands, housing residents of all ages and from the predominantly African Caribbean, Asian and European multicultural communities of Dudley, Wolverhampton, Coventry, Birmingham, Sandwell and Walsall.

Henry Court is one of the association’s 7 innovative retirement schemes and features 38 self-contained one and two-bedroom flats, each with a kitchen and bathroom with wheelchair accessible facilities. The range of facilities on-site include a lounge, dining room, library, laundry room, beauty salon, 24-hour emergency call alarm system, and a day care centre for the elderly community of Dudley which is run in partnership with the Dudley Befriending Service.

Lenny Henry at Henry Court 10th anniversary celebrations

 

“Providing housing is about providing for the community,” comments Llewellyn Graham.

“We recognise that it is important to work closely with the community and we are proud of our close ties to the Dudley community, the church and other local community organisations and initiatives developed over the past 10 years since the opening of Henry Court by Sir Lenny in 2005.

Llewellyn Graham adds: “We feel very lucky and honoured to have Sir Lenny’s support during the 10-year birthday party. He is not only one of Dudley’s most famous residents but one of Britain’s best-known comedians, and we just know that, as he did in 2005 when he opened Henry Court, he made the anniversary all the more special by being there in person.”

Customer Engagement Impact Assessment 2014-2015

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What we did

What improved

Carried out walkabouts on individual estates

Better relationship with our customers.

Introduced ourselves to our new customers from Central and Cecil Housing Trust. We explained the process for reporting repairs, rent collection and customer engagement. Several customers showed an interest in taking part in customer engagement activities.

This helped to improve the appearance of an estate by helping a resident to obtain a skip and arrange removal of accumulated rubbish that had prompted complaints from neighbours.

We had 3 Sheltered housing panel meetings

The panel reviewed several policies such as rules for running the panel, pet policy, role of scheme manager and service standards for the schemes. This ensures that customers in the schemes are consulted about how the schemes are run.

Took part in a resident focus group

Customers took part in a national survey to give their views on Nehemiah UCHA as a BME (black minority ethnic) provider. Comments were received from customers about the services that they receive. All customers have received feedback about the comments received. This will be used to improve and inform future services.

Volunteering

Two customers have volunteered for Nehemiah UCHA. This allowed them to gain valuable skills that they can use in the workplace.

Traineeships

We are committed to investing in young people and have offered 3 traineeships to help increase skills and knowledge that will improve chances of employability.

Complaints Panel

Stopped complaint going to housing ombudsman.

Made suggestions for good practice. They suggested that the sheltered housing panel meeting was chaired by a member of staff other than the housing operations manager to avoid residents feeling uncomfortable about discussing complaints about service provision. This suggestion has now been implemented and the meeting is now chaired by the customer engagement officer.

Customer involvement with staff recruitment

Allowed our residents to develop their skills and confidence and also have an active role in the recruitment of the staff that will be providing key services to them.

Policy reviews including anti-social behaviour, ending of assured shorthold tenancies, tenancy sustainability, asset management strategy and lettable standards policy.

Customers reviewed several new and updated policies. This gave customers the opportunity to help shape the policies- where possible comments/feedback received are incorporated into the policy. Customers also get a better understanding of the procedures that we work by.

Adult Learning English Classes- a free course funded by adult learning at Henry Court.

This has impacted positively for customers whose first language is not English as they feel more confident when communicating with people. This has encouraged the customers at Henry Court to set up a small shop which has reduced isolation.

Adult learning exercise class

This has had a positive impact on customer’s health and wellbeing. People from the local community also participate and it has prevented loneliness and isolation.

Joint working with the Caribbean & Friends Day Centre

This is a day centre for disabled customers and carers.

Customers at Henry Court visit the day centre weekly, joint working with this agency has provided support for a number of families & their carer’s

Laughter yoga classes

This takes place at Charles Pearson Court and was funded by Soho/Victoria friends and neighbours CIC.

Classes are also open to elderly residents in the wider community and so prevent isolation and loneliness. Customers also benefit from increased relaxation and stress relief.

Put hard copies of the specifications for communal cleaning and gardening into the retirement schemes

Customers are able to help us monitor the service provided by contractors as they are now aware of the cleaners/gardeners duties.

They are also aware of what services they pay for in the service charge.

At least 3 resident meetings per year will be held in the evening

This allows the families of customers to attend to get an understanding of the services that are provided for their relatives, build a relationship with the scheme manager and raise any concerns if necessary.

Invited Police Community Support Officers (PCSO’s) to resident meetings at supported schemes.

Customers are able to develop a relationship the local police team and can seek advice or report anti-social behaviour in confidence.

Liaised with local colleges in the Wolverhampton area to assist customers at Seacole Court to access education opportunities.

Several customers have been successful in gaining food hygiene certificates.

Forthcoming Estate Walkabouts

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The Nehemiah UCHA Estate Walkabouts have been running for a couple of years now and they give us a great opportunity to speak to you face to face, on your door step. The next programme of Nehemiah UCHA Walkabouts is detailed below. We always write to all our customers in the local area in advance of each visit, however if you’re not around, or your area is not listed below and you would like us to visit soon, call the Housing Team on 0121 358 0966 to arrange a visit from your local Housing Officer. Look out for the Nehemiah UCHA team in your area and come out to say hello!

Our Latest Estate Walkabouts are:

26 August 2015 - Festival Way, Wolverhampton - 2pm

2 September 2015 - St Albans Close, Wednesfield - 10.30am

16 September 2015 - Prole Street, Wolverhampton - 10.30am

In our customer newsletter Under One Roof, we will keep you up to date about the things you told us on our walkabouts and what we have undertaken following your suggestions.

Retirement Flats For Rent

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Nehemiah UCHA will publish details here of any retirement flats for rent here.

Dudley

Henry Court Charlton Street, Dudley

Henry Court Henry Court retirement living scheme is for people aged 60 plus, the flats are one and two bedrooms and self-contained, with their own bedroom, lounge, kitchen and bathroom, cooker and fridge/freezer.

For more information click here

Wolverhampton

McCalla House, Laburnum Street, Graiseley, Wolverhampton

McCalla HouseAll the flats available have 1 bedroom, a living room, bathroom and a kitchen.  All the flats have electric heating.

For more information click here

 

OR CONTACT US on 0121 358 0966 for more details of all our retirement properties.

New Scrutiny Panel Report

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The Nehemiah UCHA tenant scrutiny panel which works alongside tenants from St Peter’s (Saltley) Housing Association, Harborne Parish Lands Charity, based in Birmingham and CHADD based in Dudley have produced their latest report on Day to Day Repairs and Health and Safety and submitted the report to the Boards of the Scrutiny Panel partners.

Full details of this report and other reports and more information on the Scrutiny Panel can be found here.