Cartrefi Cymunedol Gwynedd (CCG) has joined forces with partners to raise awareness amongst staff of modern slavery.
Over 40 of the housing association’s officers from senior management level to front line staff received training earlier this week from Unseen, a leading UK charity who work directly with survivors of modern slavery and trafficking. The training was also supported by North Wales Police and Dr Sue Hurrell from the Welsh Government.
Ffrancon Williams, CCG Chief Executive said: “We are a housing association with a social heart and are proud to be working with partners to play our part in tackling modern slavery issues. Unfortunately, this is an issue that is on the increase and being seen locally. Several of our officers’ work in the community every day and hopefully following the training, they are now in a strong position to help spot the signs and support victims.”
CCG was the first housing association to sign up to the Welsh Government’s code of practice – Ethical Employment in Supply Chains, and have taken a leading and proactive role. The training gave officers a greater knowledge of human trafficking and slavery and how to correctly identify and spot the signs of potential exploitation and learn how to support those who have been trafficked.
Gemma Davis, Training Coordinator at Unseen charity added: “At Unseen we are working towards a world without slavery. We work in partnership with communities, business, governments and other organisations to stamp out slavery for good.
“Our training is aimed at professionals whose work may bring them into contact with potentially trafficked persons or those who have the potential to be trafficked, enslaved and exploited. It was great to spend a day at Cartrefi Cymunedol Gwynedd giving staff the tools they need to help work towards a world without slavery.”
If you believe a person is being trafficked and is in immediate danger, call 999 straight away. You can also report suspicions of trafficking by calling 101 or visiting your local police station.
The 24/7 Modern Slavery Helpline offers information and advice. Potential victims, statutory agencies, frontline professionals, businesses and members of the public can call 08000 121 700 for specialist support and guidance.
We have a repairs and maintenance workforce of about 70, and their latest recruits is 17-year-old Zoe Adamkiewicz from Anglesey and 18-year-old Ifan Gwynn from Cwm y Glo.
Ifan and Zoe are studying electrical installation Level 2 at Coleg Menai Bangor, a four-year course to become qualified electricians. Zoe is the first female apprentice to join CCG’s repair and maintenance workforce and the only female studying the course at Coleg Menai.
Zoe said: “I’ve always wanted to work with tools and I enjoy being outside on site. I was a bit nervous about stating at college and on my placement as I knew I’d be the only girl but I soon realised that I could do everything just as well as the boys.
“Ifan and I are the only students in our class who have a work placement this year, and I think it’s giving us a great opportunity to learn and develop. It has helped me confirm that this is definitely the right career path for me.”
This is the first-time CCG have taken on first year apprentices who spend a day a week gaining work experience with qualified electricians. This is valuable work experience that prepares them for their full-time apprenticeship next year.
Llyr ap Gruffydd, CCG’s Business Support and Training Officer said: “We have an exciting and ambitious training and development programme here at CCG which enables us to offer young people a range of opportunities. Our building experience career development programme can offer opportunities such as graduate schemes, apprenticeships, long term and short term work placements.
“It’s great to see Zoe and Ifan settling in well and enjoying their experience. We hope we can offer more opportunities like this in the future across the wide range of career paths the housing sector has to offer.”
If you are interested in learning more about the opportunities CCG have on offer visit our website www.ccgwynedd.org.uk, like our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter.
Local company W F Clayton are building five houses new houses at Y Garreg, Groeslon on behalf of CCG. As part of this work, they have complete a week of work for free at the local community centre, repairing and improving the building as a community benefit.
The work included treating dry rot, re-plastering two rooms, painting and installing new door frames and skirting boards.
Alun Wyn Jones, Chair of the Centre’s committee said: “We as a Committee really appreciate the excellent work that has recently been completed by W F Clayton. We were very fortunate to be able to make the most of the community benefit on offer through Cartrefi Cymunedol Gwynedd’s scheme to build five houses at Y Garreg, Groeslon.
“The hall is an important asset in the village and is used by a number of community groups such as Cylch Meithrin Groeslon (playgroup) and the dance and bowling club. A lot of residents will benefit from this improvement work. We are very grateful to W F Clayton and Cartrefi Cymunedol Gwynedd.”
CCG’s Chief Executive Ffrancon Williams added: “It’s great to see our contractors giving something back to the community, and as a housing association with a big community heart we always do what we can to ensure that communities benefit from our work, not only through the new housing we provide.
“W F Clayton have gone beyond our requirements and have given hours of free labour and worth hundreds of pounds of material to improve the centre which is obvious at the heart of the community at Groeslon. I congratulate them on this and I’m very pleased with what they have achieved.”
The scheme to build five new houses at Y Garreg, Groeslon is a £700,000 investment funded by CCG and Welsh Government grant. It is expected that the houses will be completed in June 2018.
Antur Aelhaearn a co-operative company which was established back in 1974, is aiming to bring the village of Llanaelhaearn into the digital age, thanks to a grant of £1,000 from our Community Investment Fund.
They will use the grant to digitalise all the paperwork, minutes, correspondence and photographs for all the local groups and organisations in Llanaelhaearn, including the local school and the church. All the information will be uploaded onto the website – Llanaelhaearn.com, with the paperwork archived in Caernarfon.
Lynda Cox, Antur’s Secretary said: “We feel that we have to move with the times and protect the history of the village and the memories of its residents, before they disappear and are lost forever. We are very grateful to Cartrefi Cymunedol Gwynedd for their support.”
Your right as a CCG tenant to buy or acquire your home will end on 26 January 2019. This is because of a new law introduced in Wales called the Abolition of the Right to Buy and Associated Rights (Wales) Act 2018.
However, the Right to Buy, the Right to Acquire and Preserved Right to Buy will end on the 24 March 2018 for ‘new homes’ – which is a property that has not been let as social housing for the six months before 24 March 2018 (e.g. new build property).
These changes – that may affect you – is explained in the Information about the end of the Right to Buy & Right to Acquire in Wales booklet (click here for alternative large print, easy read or a number of other languages from the Welsh Government website). This is a guide explaining what you need to know about the end of the Right to Buy and the Right to Acquire and what you should do if you are thinking about applying to buy your home from us.
This booklet does not give legal advice – you should seek legal advice if you want to buy your home before the abolition date comes into force and your rights are abolished.
The end of the Right to Buy and Right to Acquire will not affect your tenancy in any other way. For more information about the Right to Buy click here.
Six CCG tenants have successfully completed a Tenant Board Academy and are awaiting results for their Level 2 Accreditation ‘Preparing for Board’ through Agoriad Cymru.
All CCG tenants were encouraged to put their names forward in a campaign to recruit new tenant Board members last year.
CCG’s board is made up of twelve members; four tenants, four councillors and four independent experts. The Board are responsible for setting the priorities and strategic direction for CCG.
In the past, CCG have experienced difficulties in recruiting tenant board members, but following a successful campaign, six tenants put their names forward.
A Tenant Board Academy was set-up offering three days of training to the six to prepare them for the Board assessment. The training gave them an opportunity to learn more about the role and responsibility of being a board member.
Mark Jones, Chair of CCG’s Board said: “I am extremely pleased with the result of the Tenant Board Academy. It's been a great pleasure to be able to offer the opportunity for tenants who are interested in becoming tenant Board members to complete a Level 2 accredited qualification. It's also great news for CCG that six tenants put their names forward, and also completed the three-day course.
“Following the academy, two tenants have been recommended for Board which is a great result for CCG. I’d like to thank all six tenants for their dedication and commitment. It’s very important that tenant’s views are represented on the Board, and this investment to developing our tenants shows CCG’s commitment to ensuring that tenant’s views are always heard.”
The largest housing association in North Wales, Cartrefi Cymunedol Gwynedd (CCG) has recently welcomed six new families to their new homes at Porth Penrhyn, Bangor.
The Plas y Coed development, a package deal with Watkin Jones Homes, meant that 10 out of the 51 homes built by Watkin Jones Homes would be transferred to CCG once the building work is completed.
Four two-bedroom houses and two three-bedroom houses were completed last month and keys were handed to the new tenants.
Ffrancon Williams, CCG’s Chief Executive, said: “I’m very pleased to see these new homes being completed to such a high standard. They are going to provide much needed affordable homes for Bangor families. It has been great working in partnership with Watkin Jones Homes on this development and we look forward to working with them on other opportunities in the future.
“As CCG continues to grow we hope to strengthen our relationship with developers from across north Wales to help meet the housing needs and provide people with affordable quality homes in their local communities.”
The 10 affordable houses bought by CCG have been funded by £720,000 of Welsh Government social housing grant and £520,000 of private finance through CCG.
Rachel Davies and her two young children are one of the local families who have recently moved in: “I was in tears when I got the offer letter, I had to read if four times just to believe it. The house is perfect for us, it has a large garden, it’s quite and enclosed and I feel that my children can play safely here.
“We were previously living in temporary accommodation after the owner of our private let decided to sell the house. We have moved over ten times in the last eight years, so I really hope this house can be a forever home for my family.
“It meant the world to me getting this house, it’s my kids future and I couldn’t be happier.”
A further four one-bedroom flats are expected to be completed by May.
Over 60 members of staff, contractors and suppliers of Cartrefi Cymunedol Gwynedd (CCG) came together last year to compete in a charity golf tournament at Henllys Hall, Beaumaris golf club, raising £2,400 for Macmillan.
The tournament was jointly arranged by our main materials supplier Travis Perkins Managed Services. Many of our other contractors and suppliers supported the event, including; Wates, ASM, W F Clayton, A+D Environmental, Aspect heating, Valor, Mira, Weber, Stelrad, Falconers, SBS, A Dever, Worcester, Procare, Supreme Concrete, Wakemas, Seddon, Dinas, Owen & Palmer.
CCG’s Commercial Operations Manager, Paul Painter said: “The tournament was a great opportunity for staff, contractors and suppliers to come together to raise money for charity and to have some fun. This is the fourth time we’ve held the tournament and it is great to see it growing from year to year.”
Hughie Owen, Project Manager from Travis Perkins Managed Services added: “We are proud to arrange this tournament in partnership with CCG every year, and it is part of the community benefits we as a contractor deliver. It’s great to support such an important charity as Macmillan who fund services on a local and national level to provide support to people with cancer. I’d like to thank everyone that was involved in making the day such a success. I’d like to especially thank Beaumaris Golf Club and all the individuals that helped on the day.”
Eleri Brady from Macmillan received the cheque from CCG and Travis Perkins this week. She said: “I was delighted to receive this donation on behalf of Macmillan. Money raised from the golf day will be used to help local people affected by cancer. None of the work we do locally would be possible without the generous support of local events like this. I would like to thank CCG and Travis Perkins for organising the event.”
We have recently received high praise at the Welsh Housing Awards in the new development category.
Wenallt Uchaf, a development of 12 houses situated above the town of Dolgellau was highly commended by the judges at the CIH Awards, which saw three developments being shortlisted.
The development which is a mixture of two and three bedroom homes was completed earlier this year and let to local residents on social rent to help meet the demand for affordable homes in the area.
Ian Atkinson, Director of Assets and Infrastructure at CCG said: “I’m so pleased that these fantastic properties have gained recognition as being one of the best new developments in Wales this year. We knew from the outset that these homes were going to be very special. It’s a development that we, the residents, the local community of Dolgellau and all stakeholders involved are extremely proud of.
“In terms of building new homes, it’s very encouraging to gain recognition at this National level. CCG will also be undertaking further exciting developments in north Wales as we aim to build and acquire 300 properties over the next three years.
“I’m very proud of everyone involved in this scheme, from CCG staff to GMC the contractors that worked with us on this development, Cadarn the engineers and Dewis the architects.”
The judges recognised the development for its breath-taking design and location, for the partnership working with Snowdonia National Park Authority (SNPA) and with Gywnedd Council and for the training and employment opportunities and community benefits that were generated from the development. Most of all it was commended for the difference these homes are already making to the lives of the families living there.
The scheme was funded by CCG and the Welsh Government’s Housing development programme.
We have proudly worked with two local charities to ensure that all children in Gwynedd receive a Christmas gift this year.
Staff donated over 150 gifts, including four brand new bikes and pyjamas that were kindly donated by local business Aykroyds & Sons. The gifts have been shared between two local charities; Women’s Aid and Gorwel and will be distributed to the families who use their services.
Chief Executive Ffrancon Williams said: “The idea of collecting Christmas gifts for families in Gwynedd came from a member of staff, and I’m really pleased to see staff using their initiative and eager to help the communities we as a social landlord serve. Staff pulled together to make the relevant arrangements and I’m so proud to see such generosity from staff towards those who are most in need at this time of year.
“I hope these gifts will put a smile on the faces of many children in Gwynedd and make Christmas that littles bit easier for their families.”
Ruth Crump from Aykroyds & Sons, who donated 300 pairs of pyjamas added: “We realise that Christmas can be a difficult time for some families, and we are really pleased that we have been able to support CCG’s campaign of distributing gifts to families in Gwynedd who are in need this Christmas.”
Jamie Crank who works at Bangor and District Women’s Aid said: “On behalf of the women and children that we support, would like to say thank Cartrefi Cymunedol Gwynedd and Aykroyds & Sons for the support and donations that have kindly given.
“These gifts will help many families in need at this difficult time of year and the generosity and community support is very much appreciated.”
Ysgol Hafod Lon is a school for pupils with a wide range of additional needs from the Dwyfor and Meirionnydd areas. The bikes will be used to teach the pupils important skills as well as road safety.
Twelve bikes were built by CCG staff as part of a team building exercises at their recent staff day. All twelve have now been donated to different organisations across the county. Four will be used to set up a cycle club at Maesgeirchen, Bangor and the other four have been donated to Gorwel and Women’s Aid shelters.
Carys Bird, Assistant head of secondary at Ysgol Hafod Lon said: “We are very grateful to CCG for their kind donation. These bikes will be a great asset for the school and will enable pupils to be able to learn to ride a bike and more importantly how to can ride a bike safely in their own time when they are at home with their families.
“The children are already delighted and it’s great to see them playing on the bikes. Cycling is a physical activity that can be enjoyed by people of all abilities. We already have a few specially adapted bikes at the school, but it’s brilliant to have these as well for pupils of all abilities to be able to join in.”
CCG Chief Executive Ffrancon Williams added: “It’s all about giving something back to the communities we serve. As the largest housing association in north Wales, we house 10% of Gwynedd’s population, this goes hand in hand with our responsibility to strengthen and help improve these communities.
“Mark Colbourne MBE, who won a gold medal for cycling at the London Paralympics was the guest speaker at our staff day this year where these bikes were built, and who knows, these bikes might help create a future Olympian or Paralympian form Gwynedd.”
We have successfully been granted an injunction order with power of arrest, banning an individual from entering Cilgoed and Penywern estates in the Coed Mawr area of Bangor.
Following a number of complaints about anti-social behaviour including noise nuisance and verbal abuse CCG decided to take legal action to protect residents form further anti-social and disruptive behaviour.
Alan Davies, Neighbourhood Services Officer at CCG said: “We have worked closely with our residents to secure this injunction and we are extremely pleased with the outcome of this case. Our tenants at Coed Mawr can now hopefully enjoy peace and quiet, without worrying or feeling scared in their own homes.
“Anti-social behavior can impact greatly on the lives of tenants and local residents, and when complaints are made, we take them very seriously. This case shows that we will take appropriate action to help resolve issues that are brought to our attention.”
One of the witnesses in the case stated: “People shouldn’t have to feel uncomfortable and intimidated in their own home. We are more than happy with the help and support we have received from CCG staff and the situation is now much better. I would encourage other tenants, or people who live in private accommodation and are suffering anti-social behavior on a CCG estate to contact CCG and report the problem – they were so supportive.”
The case was supported by North Wales Police and the injunction order will remain in force until further order of the court.
Our work has once again this year been recognised at RSPCA Cymru’s Community Animal Welfare Footprint (CAWF) awards.
CCG received a bronze award in the Housing Footprint Award category for their work on the pet policy, and good use of fact sheets that have been produced for tenants about looking after their pets which was recognised as good practice by the RSPCA.
Geraint Jones, Neighbourhood Services Manager said: “We were commended again this year for maintaining the standards we achieved last year through developing guidance and fact sheets for tenants who are thinking of keeping pets, as well as encouraging responsible pet ownership to ensure animal welfare.
“Tenants are encouraged to assess the suitability of their property before keeping a pet. We have seen an increase in tenants keeping large dogs, some within blocks of flats and we work closely with RSPCA officers to address these issues.”
RSPCA Cymru’s public affairs manager, Paul Smith added: “RSPCA Cymru is so proud to recognise 15 organisations across Wales, as part of the CAWF scheme.
“CAWF is an established, well-regarded accolade, which continues to pay tribute to the good practice across the country, whether it be with regards to stray dog provision, housing or licensing.
“How we treat our fellow living creatures’ matters so much to people - and this scheme is all about emphasising the practical, tangible but hugely beneficial steps which bodies can take to further animal welfare within their local communities.
“It’s heartening to see so many that go beyond statutory requirements towards animals, despite a challenging financial climate. RSPCA Cymru will continue to work closely with organisations from across the public sector to ensure the welfare of animals is at the forefront of their activities."
A listed building providing supported housing to the over 55s in St Asaph has been taken over by Cartrefi Cymunedol Gwynedd (CCG).
The 46-unit building, once the home of the Bishop of St Asaph, has been sold by Cheshire-based housing association, Johnnie Johnson Housing Trust to CCG.
This marks the first move outside Gwynedd county for CCG, who currently manage 6300 properties across Gwynedd including; 15 sheltered schemes containing 317 units, nearly 1000 bungalows and flats designated for people over 55.
CCG’s Chief Executive, Ffrancon Williams, said: “With an ever-increasing demand for sustainable and affordable housing across Wales, and particularly among an ageing population in north Wales, we are pleased that this opportunity has arisen for us to buy The Old Palace.
“Managing quality housing for older people is one of CCG’s key capabilities and will put us in good stead to expand and grow as a business. We appreciate the relationship that already exists between the on-site staff and residents and look forward to retaining and promoting this.”
Ian Thomson, Executive Director of Assets at JJ Housing Trust said: “We are delighted that the Old Palace accommodation will continue to be in good hands for the tenants that currently live here. We were impressed by CCG’s track record in managing older persons’ accommodation, particularly so for their active and inclusive management style. Their Supported Housing Team make them highly skilled and capable of supporting older residents to live independently, as long as possible, in their homes.”
Cartrefi Cymunedol Gwynedd (CCG) are looking for tenants to become members of the housing association’s Board.
There are twelve members of the Board, four tenants, four councillors and four independent experts. The Board are responsible for setting the priorities and strategic direction for CCG.
Mark Jones, Board Chair of CCG explains: “We are looking for enthusiastic individuals to contribute to the way in which we run our business. This is an excellent opportunity for individuals who want to develop their skills and experience and who wish to contribute to the future successes of this progressive association.
“It’s important that we attract new blood to the Board all the time, and I would encourage any tenant who is interested to contact us. It is an important role and an important way for tenants to influence the way CCG delivers its services.”
For those who think they lack experience or are worried about travel or child care costs – CCG can provide training and assistance.
If you know a tenant who would enjoy the challenge and who could make a positive contribution to the future of CCG contact the Governance Team on 0300 123 8084 or firstname.lastname@example.org
As part of Cartrefi Cymunedol Gwynedd (CCG)’s community benefit generated from a £1.8 million scheme to improve 91 homes at Maesincla, Caernarfon, contractor Wates have donated sponsorship money towards a new kit for the local under 8s football team, Cae Glyn.
Coach Phil Jones said: “Everyone in connection with Cae Glyn utd FC under 8s would like to thank CCG and Wates for their generous sponsorship of the new football kit and training tracksuits. This sponsorship deal has ensured our boys and girls all from the Caernarfon area are now dressed the same for matches and training. This means that the kids get to look and feel like a professional club and give them a sense of belonging to a team. Just seeing the increase in their confidence already makes volunteering worthwhile.”
CCG are investing £30 million to improve the condition of their houses between 2015 – 2020. One of these projects is a £1.8 million scheme which started on 91 homes at Maesincla, Caernarfon earlier this month. The work will include installing new roofs, external rendering, new windows and doors and insulation. It will be carried out by Wates Living Space.
Work by the largest housing association in north Wales, Cartrefi Cymunedol Gwynedd (CCG), to transform 20 small flats into 15 modern and spacious flats at Edmund and Ambrose Streets is nearing completion, with tenants due to move to their new homes this month.
The scheme is part of £1.5 million positive regeneration work invested in the Hirael area, which also includes the new Plas yr Wylan flats that were completed earlier this year.
Anthony Dever Construction ltd from Denbighshire were the appointed contractors who carried the substantial modernisation work which included a complete new layout, installing new heating and electrical systems, as well as new kitchens and bathrooms which were installed by CCG’s in-house repair and maintenance team.
An official opening was held last week, which gave tenants, staff and the local community an opportunity to see the transformation for themselves.
Mark Jones, CCG Chairman said: “As the larges housing association in north Wales, our main purpose is to provide people with affordable and comfortable homes. We are delighted with the investment we have made over the last year to help regenerate the Hirael area.
“When the Edmund and Ambrose Streets scheme was approved, there were nearly 200 people in Bangor waiting for a one-bedroom flat and 140 people waiting for a two-bedroom flat. We are very proud to be playing our part in providing much needed housing for the people of Bangor and it was very rewarding to see the difference these new homes will make to the lives of the families.
“The training, employment and community benefits generated from this scheme were outstanding, with contractor Anthony Dever far exceeding their targets. 160 training weeks were given to various individuals on the scheme, and for every £1 spent on the scheme £2 has been reinvested in the Welsh economy.
“It’s a very exciting time for us at CCG, as we continue to grow and provide more new homes to ensure that we can continue to be a part of the solution in providing affordable and good quality housing in areas of high demand. I hope the new tenants will be very happy in their new homes.”
Sion Robert CCG’s Assistant Director Property Management added: “This is the improvement scheme our internal repairs and maintenance team have been a part of, and I’m proud of the team – the quality of the work speaks for itself.
“This scheme allows the team to see what can be achieved, and is the first step towards us achieving our corporate target for growth. It also delivers many value for money benefits to CCG, and I hope we can work on other similar projects in the future.”
As part of Cartrefi Cymunedol Gwynedd (CCG)’s business transformation project, two new satellite offices will be opening this month in Meirionnydd.
One satellite office will open at Cysgol y Coleg, Y Bala and the other will open at Hafan Deg, Barmouth. These two buildings are owned by CCG and designated offices have been set-up at the two locations.
Sion Hughes, Business Transformation Manager at CCG said: “As part of our business transformation project we are reviewing the way we work and the services we offer our tenants. This includes looking at the location of our offices across the county.
“Opening two satellite offices in the Meironnydd area is a very positive step for us. Increased presence at these two locations will mean greater face to face support for our tenants in these areas, and will enable staff to work more efficiently.
Gethin Glyn Williams, Barmouth Councillor added: “CCG have 154 tenanted homes in Barmouth, and their decision to further develop the service to include a satellite office here in Barmouth is a positive step taken by the company. I welcome this step that brings the landlord/tenant relationship closer and facilitates easier access for residents to meet with CCG staff in the town.”
If you are a CCG tenant, and wish to speak to officers at Y Bala or Barmouth, please contact CCG on 0300 123 8084 to arrange an appointment at one of the offices.