Family living in temporary accommodation are given new home for Christmas at our Tudor Grange development

Posted on December 20th, 2019 by Elaine Davies

A family has been given a new home for Christmas after moving into a property at our Tudor Grange development in Coventry.

Maaza and Solomon Tesfasion and their four children, were living in temporary accommodation before being given their home this December.

Maaza said she is looking forward to being with her family at Christmas.

She said: “I am very lucky to have been offered this house. I feel very comfortable here, I am so grateful to have moved into somewhere like this. It’s a new build home and it’s a dream come true!

“Moving here will make my children happy. I am looking forward to having Christmas together in the house.”

The Tudor Grange development in Coventry is a £9.5m development between Gerard Avenue and Queen Margaret’s Road off Charter Avenue in Westwood Heath.

It is made up of 51 affordable rent homes and a further 21 will be offered at outright sale by Signature New Homes.

Our Head of Construction, Derek Green, said: “It’s great to see Maaza and her family move into their family home at our Tudor Grange development and to have a new home for Christmas is an extra bonus.

“We all hope they have a great Christmas together and they enjoy all aspects of their new home in the future.

“The Tudor Grange development is well on the way to completion and some homes have already been handed over. There are a mix of property sizes at the development and it will provide a range of options for tenants to live in.”

Work first started on the development in November 2018. It is part funded by a £1.4m grant from Homes England and built by leading developer Lovell Partnerships. It is a mix of two-, three- and four-bedroom homes.

The properties at the site have been developed through an innovative partnership with Coventry City Council which will see 230 homes developed on land owned by us and the council throughout Coventry. 72 of these homes are at Tudor Grange and are being developed by Lovell Partnerships.

Stuart Penn, Lovell’s Regional Managing Director, said: “We are thrilled properties at the Tudor Grange development are being completed and handed over to tenants and we’d like to wish them a Happy Christmas in their new home.

“Our team has a strong record of delivering smart, modern homes and we are pleased that we have brought our expertise to Tudor Grange which will consist of 72 homes.

“The homes at Tudor Grange will help to boost the supply of high-quality homes in the area as well as creating a new community for local residents.”

The homes for sale with Signature New Homes have been completed and the affordable homes are set to be completed by March 2020.

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Wasp rugby players cook Christmas dinner for our Gateway residents

Posted on December 19th, 2019 by Laura Pickett

Yesterday two rugby players from Coventry Wasps made our residents’ day at the Gateway by serving them Christmas dinner.

Gateway is our primary facility for homeless people in Coventry and houses people from all backgrounds.

Wasp players Tommy Taylor and Matteo Minozzi brought the festive spirit to the Gateway by helping volunteers put on a traditional turkey roast lunch for over 60 residents at the Gateway.

The Salvation Army, which provide the Gateway’s support service, sourced the food and volunteers to make the special day happen.

The Wasps are also donating 200 tickets to Gateway residents and friends to their Christmas Cracker event this Saturday (December 21st) as the Club take on Harlequins at Ricoh Arena.

The Club’s supporters have also been donating items for 30 shoe boxes full of goodies for residents. This includes food, clothing and toys which will be given to residents on Christmas day.

Our Housing Support Manager, Gail Cooper, says: “What a treat for our residents at the Gateway!

“It’s been such a fantastic day seeing our residents having fun mingling with the Wasp players.

“I can’t thank the players enough for giving up their time to put a smile on their faces.

“The donations from the Wasps supporters are fantastic too.”

It’s these little gestures that really make Christmas special for our residents

Michaela Campbell, Programme Coordinator at The Salvation Army, says: “Christmas is one of the most difficult times of the year for disadvantaged communities.

“I can’t thank the Wasp players, their generous supporters and all our volunteers enough for making our Christmas lunch happen and for really making the Gateway residents feel special this Christmas”.

Wasp rugby player, Tommy Taylor, says: “What a fantastic day!

“The Club’s supporters have been extremely generous in donating food, clothes and toys at previous matches. Going out into the community to meet the people who will be receiving the items first hand has been so rewarding.

“I really hope everyone enjoyed the day as much as I did. Merry Christmas everyone!”

Karl Meah, one of our residents at the Gateway, adds: “I can’t believe our luck at the Gateway today!

“It’s been great having Christmas dinner with Tommy and Matteo. I can’t wait to receive my shoe box full of goodies from Wasp supporters on Christmas day.

“I can’t thank everyone enough for being so generous. I hope our Christmas day is as good as this!”

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Our Development team is shortlisted for a Building Communities award

Posted on December 18th, 2019 by Laura Pickett

Our Development team have been shortlisted for Development Strategy of the Year at the Building Communities Awards.

The awards recognise teams that have taken part in ambitious development programmes for social housing which contribute to successful communities.

Our Development team have been commended for smashing their targets, signing a landmark deal as part of a strategic partnership with Homes England and initiating a modular pilot.

Some other achievements for the team in the last year include:

Our Executive Director of Development Nick Byrne said: “We are so pleased to have been shortlisted for this award.

“The team have done incredibly well, and it is great to see them recognised for their hard work.

We are committed to accelerating construction and innovation as well as improving quality standards and it is great to be shortlisted for these.

“We’ve got our fingers crossed for the ceremony in February.”

The judges will be looking for a clever approach to procurement with maximised use of available sites and resources, along with unique and innovative design and planning.

The awards will take place in Leicester on February 28, 2020.

Fingers crossed for the team!

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Find out about our scheme in Coventry which helps people get into employment

Posted on December 13th, 2019 by Elaine Davies

The ConnectMe scheme is helping people throughout Coventry by building their confidence and gaining the skills they need to access employment, education or training opportunities.

It is open to anyone living in the CV1 to CV6 areas of Coventry.

Our Money Advice Team Leader, Michael Clarke, says anyone who is unemployed can apply, and our aim is to help as many people living in Coventry.

He said: “ConnectMe was launched to help people in Coventry struggling with accessing employment opportunities. It helps by creating a bespoke action plan that identifies what barriers people have in relation to work.

“Employment coaching is offered along with one to one and group sessions to help develop skills. Workshops are held on key skills such as CV writing, job searching, interview skills and managing money.

“As part of ConnectMe we also offer participants the opportunity to gain further experience through our six-week voluntary work experience placements.”

Anyone who is over 16 and has a legal right to work in the UK can apply for the scheme.

Staff are being actively encouraged to refer people from Coventry to take part in the scheme.

Bhupinder Birdee is one of the people who has been helped by the scheme.

She said: “ConnectMe has given me the confidence to come back into work and think about where I might go in the future.

“I’m proud of myself that I did this, coming from not working at all to being able to do something.

“I would totally encourage somebody to go for this scheme.”

Other partners that are involved in the ConnectMe scheme include Coventry University Fab Lab and Age Friendly City Project, Coventry University’s Social Enterprise, Coventry City Council’s Job Shop, Foleshill Women’s Training, Life Path Trust, Rethink Mental Health, Coventry City Council’s Independent Travel Training Team.

For more information visit:

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Resident is over the moon after winning Royal Television Society Midlands Award

Posted on December 12th, 2019 by Elaine Davies

One of our Birmingham residents has been named as Outstanding New Talent at the Royal Television Society Midlands Awards.

Sue Brown, who lives in one of our properties, was presented with the award at the ICC in Birmingham on November 29.

She was asked to present the BBC documentary the First Black Brummies after speaking to the director about her parents moving to Britain from Jamaica.

She said: “I can’t believe that I’ve won another award.

“My experience of presenting and winning awards feels like a whirlwind and is something I didn’t expect to happen at all.

“I felt very lucky to be nominated for the award, let alone win it.”

In October the First Black Brummies also won a Movie, Video and Screen award (MVISA) for Best Factual Production.

Sue added that she had a great experience being on the red carpet too.

She said: “I’m so proud to have been involved in this project.

“It was interesting to hear other people’s experiences as part of the filming process and I’m so pleased it is winning awards.”

Our Neighbourhood Officer, James Hobbs, adds: “I am so proud of Sue – she really deserves to win this award.

“We think it’s amazing to be offered a presenting role, but to win two awards is an enormous achievement – congratulations Sue!”

Sue also presented a programme on BBC Radio Four which was called Write Brummie.

The First Black Brummies looks at Birmingham in the 50s, 60s and 70s and focuses on what it was like for people who moved from the Caribbean to the Midlands. It was first shown on the BBC in 2018.

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Coventry Foodbank presented with cheque to help residents in crisis this Christmas

Posted on December 10th, 2019 by Elaine Davies

Coventry Foodbank has been given a boost with funds this Christmas to help residents over the festive season.

Members of our Golf Society presented a cheque for £960 to Coventry Foodbank following our annual golf tournament in September.

The tournament, organised by Ian Callaghan and Andy Bayliss in our Housing Team and Craig Farquharson in our Asset Management and Safety Team, was held at The Vale Golf & Country Club in Pershore to mark the end of the Golf Society season.

The money was raised through sponsorship by Jackson Lifts and entry fees for the tournament.

Our Neighbourhood Manager, Andy Bayliss, says: “Our Golf Society tournament was a fantastic day for everyone involved and we are delighted to be able to present this money to Coventry Foodbank.

“Christmas can be a difficult time for a lot of people, and we hope that our donation will help the foodbank provide some extra support during the festive season.”

Coventry Foodbank Project Manager, Hugh McNeill, adds: “We are now facing the busiest month of the year and this donation from Citizen will really help us bring a bit of Christmas cheer to the foodbank.

“We desperately try to brighten up Christmas for those in need in our community by providing the little extras that make Christmas so special. This donation from Citizen will really help us do just that which is great news.”

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