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Following consultation with tenants, colleagues and the community Taff Talks is now digital.

What's been happening?

We understand that throughout this Coronavirus pandemic many of you have felt frustrated with the disruption to services we have been able to deliver to you.

We would like to take this time to thank you for your patience and helping our team safe by following the social distancing guidance.

In September Taff welcomed four new Board Members to the team each bringing unique lived experiences as well as backgrounds within the public, private and charity sectors.

Joining the Board are Betty Mwesigwa, Darrin Davies, Naomi Mitcheson and Aleena Khan. Andrew Knight has also been elected as Chair of Board for the Association.

Helen White, Chief Executive at Taff said, “we are thrilled to have appointed such high calibre Board members who will undoubtedly play an important part in making sure Taff deliver great homes and services. These appointments also support our commitment to ensure our Board better reflects the communities we serve”.

Pictured Left to Right (Top : Betty Mwesigwa, Aleena Khan. Bottom: Naomi Mitcheson, Darrin Davies)

We are always listening to the views of our tenants, and listening to feedback to improve our services.

There are a number of ways you can make sure your voice is heard.

Completing the Tenant Survey – thank you to everyone who completed the recent Tenant Survey. Remember, if your information changes please get in touch so we can keep our records up-to-date.

Get involved with one of our tenant groups, who are now meeting virtually! Find out more about the groups we offer by visiting our website.

Filling in compliments and complaint forms on the website. As much as we love knowing where our team are doing well , we also like to hear where we can improve,

Be sure to leave a compliment if a member of the team has really impressed you with their service.

Recent examples of where your voice has made a difference includes the recent action plan developed as Taff’s commitment to equality and diversity.

Taff Board Members are currently unpaid, however, they can claim expenses for any costs incurred such as travel costs.  Being a Board Member carries significant responsibilities and legal duties.  On 22nd October 2020 Taff Board made the following decision;

To approve in principle a decision to renumerate all Board Members from April 2021 subject to consultation with tenants.

The demands on board members’ time and skills are increasing at an unprecedented rate. The role requires a high level of commitment, flexibility and discipline. The modern board member must;

  • understand their role and legal and regulatory responsibilities
  • have the appropriate skills and knowledge;   
  • have an iron grip on keeping tenants safe in their homes
  • give enough time to the job;

To help decide what Board Members should be paid we took independent advice. This told us other similar sized organisations pay their Chair in the region of £3,000 to £4,000 and Board members £2,500 to £3,000.

Board payment will commence from April 1st 2021.

All Board members took place in the discussion before the decision was taken. Key discussion points included;

  • the organisation touches the lives of many people in various areas, being a Board Member has many responsibilities all of which carry risk and often require high levels of accountability   
  • the time and commitment required is considerable and should be recognised through payment, it is important to recognise the responsibilities that go with being a Board member
  • the difficulties in attracting good calibre candidates with expertise in specialist areas; we are losing Board Member to organisations that pay their members
  • that serving on a Board brings its own rewards as a means of giving something back
  • payment is not the be-all and end-all but felt that the level of responsibility/accountability should be recognised
  • payment would set out clear expectations so Board members can be held accountable
  • The timing of this decision is never going to be easy, but felt it was time to make a final decision
  • perception: that it could be perceived that we could be seen as a better run organisation in the public’s eyes, that we are operating at a professional level   
  • queried the effects/impact for someone in receipt of benefits; it was advised that it is likely to impact those on means tested benefits and independent financial advice would be offered to discuss the effects the payment may have on personal finances;   
  • Board Members voted 10 in favour and 3 against to paying Board Members.

We would welcome your views on this decision. You can contact us by email at helen.white@taffhousing.co.uk or by post.

Please send us your comments by January 15th 2021.

Recent events have underlined how systemic racism and discrimination remain prevalent and deep rooted in our society. The anger people feel is completely justified and society needs to change.  We believe the Housing Sector has a significant role to play in this.   

In June 2020 Tai Pawb put together the Deeds not Words pledge and we have signed up to underline our commitment to change. We know that signing the pledge is the easy bit, now we need to act.   

Taff has always considered itself to be a diverse and progressive organisation, committed to equality and diversity. Now is the time to admit that our well intentioned words have not led to real change. We have not done enough to meet our well-meaning aspirations.

Taff has developed a plan that has been

co-produced by colleagues, Board Members and tenants. It clearly sets out how we intend to act upon the Deeds Not Words Pledge and be held to account on our performance.

Read more about our plan here

Taff have partnered with Citizens Wales’ Community Jobs Compact.

The compact aims to bring local people and employers together to tackle poverty, unemployment, and under-representation in the workforce. Commitments include :

  • Real Living Wage accreditation.
  • Fair recruitment practices, including name- and address-blind CVs and unconscious bias training.
  • Job security, including no compulsion for zero-hours contracts.

We recognise that Christmas is a tough time for many families. This year the impact of Covid has made Christmas an even more challenging than usual.  Our teams have worked hard and donated hundreds of toys to families across South Wales.

As well as a donations drive amongst colleagues we have been working with Capital Radio’s St.David’s Toy Appeal. This has meant our team were able to donate hundreds of toys to tenants and to families who use our support services.

 

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

Taff have opened two new housing schemes in 2020.

In March, before nationwide lockdown, The Minister for Housing and Local Government, Julie James AM, opened Taff’s development in St. Mellons The scheme, which delivered 33 affordable homes also provided three apprenticeship and two employment opportunities for local young people who were not previously in education, employment or training.

The Minister observed how the scheme has ‘moved away from the traditional aesthetic of social housing’ and is ‘clearly a safe, homely environment for those living [there]’. Inside one tenant’s property she commented how quickly it had been turned from a flat to a home.

In November Taff welcomed residents to 36 new homes built in Radyr as the construction of an innovative housing development is complete. The scheme was also designed specifically to meet the needs of disabled residents. It is the largest scheme Taff has completed in three years and is part of Taff’s ambitious development plans.   As well as helping deliver Welsh Government’s ambition to deliver 20,000 affordable homes, the development has created local jobs, as well as several apprenticeships.

Helen White, Chief Executive of Taff said: “We are thrilled this development is now complete. It will make a much-needed contribution towards addressing the serious shortage of affordable housing in Cardiff”

John Taphouse, Interim Director of  Property Services at Taff said:

“We are delighted to be able to provide these high-quality affordable homes in Radyr. Thanks to Hale and others involved in delivering this project”.

Developing our new brand was always more than just a logo change. It is about our people and the future. We work with a diverse group of people with a variety of needs and through speaking to you we decided to launch a new website as part of the re-branding process.

The new website features:

  • Live Chat with our Customer Services Team
  • forms that make sure you can leave a message with the right person, first time.
  • the ability to upload photos to help with your contact request.

 

As well as the new website we also:

  • increased our monitoring of social media channels.
  • introduced a virtual viewings process to enable prospective tenants to view a property remotely.

This has been so successful Taff will soon be launching a tenant portal & app so you have control of your tenancy information easily.

Cardiff Get Online project is available to all residents of Cardiff and offers free and informal drop-in sessions to help people to:
  • Use a computer for the first time
  • Learn basic computer skills
  • Use the internet
  • Help with online banking
  • Create an email address
  • Complete online applications for benefits, applying for jobs etc
  • Help with online shopping, using social media, paying bills and more

For more information download the Get Online leaflet (PDF 1.09 MB)​​​​​​​​​​​​

A home is now more important than ever. At Taff we are committed to working with you to make your homes and communities the best they can be. In our latest community improvement scheme, Taff partnered with Solar Windows to improve every home in Alexandra Court.

The major improvement works included replacing all windows and doors and installing a power assisted front door to help residents enter and exit the building easily. As one of Taff’s schemes for older people, Taff recognise how important it is to create a fully accessible space for residents that allow independent living for as long as safely possible.

Creating warmer homes through proper insulation provided by new windows and doors is important to reducing carbon emissions as well ensuring that no resident is cold because of financial worries. Recognising that the residents of Alex Court are also more vulnerable to the impacts of Covid, the team worked closely to ensure that works could be finished safely and with minimal disruption to tenants.

Each property was completed on a different day, allowing residents to make use of the Communal Area.

As well as ensuring that homes were safe, Solar Windows worked with Taff to consult with residents on creating a communal space where everyone would benefit. With a focus on wellbeing, suggestions included a herb garden for residents to maintain and use, raised beds and benches and increased foliage around the scheme. A waterbutt was installed to ensure that rainwater could be collected and used to keep the area alive in dryer seasons.

Becoming a mother during the pandemic has been hard. Taff’s young mother and baby hostel, Ty Enfys, has continued to provide essential support to young mothers throughout the pandemic… here’s one resident’s story.

After being admitted to hospital with breathing difficulties following a positive Covid test and being placed on a ventilator, one resident gave birth to her son via C-section. In a coma, she was unable to care for her son and relied on the nurses to provide care for the first 10 days of his life. They moved to Ty Enfys four days later following a referral from the hospital.

The Ty Enfys team were initially worried about the bond between mother and baby but their worry has been unfounded. Both are now thriving.

To ensure access to affordable credit, Cardiff & Vale Credit Union has introduced a family loan that lets you repay a loan and save directly through Child Benefit Payments.

To find out more visit our money advice page here.

Census statistics help paint a picture of the nation and how we live. They happen every 10 years and provide a detailed snapshot of the population and its characteristics.

It’s important we all sign the Census so that the records are correct as this underpins funding allocation to provide important public services amongst other things.

If you’re in danger, call 999 and try to speak to to the operator if you can, even by whispering. You may also be asked to cough or tap the keys on your phone to answer questions.

Call 999 from a mobile

If you don’t speak or answer questions, press 55 when prompted and your call will be transferred to the police.

Pressing 55 only works on mobiles and doesn’t allow the police to track your location.

If you don’t press 55 your call will be ended.

Call 999 from a landline

If you don’t speak or answer questions and the operator can only hear background noise, they’ll transfer your call to the police.

If you replace the handset, the landline may remain connected for 45 seconds in case you pick it up again.

Calling 999 from a landline automatically gives the police information about your location.

Information provided by the Metropolitan Police.

2020 has been a strange year, and one with many difficulties. We recognise that many of you have had experienced loss due to Covid-19 as well as increased financial difficulties.

We will enter 2021 without complete certainty of what the year can bring but Taff promise to:

  • Provide money support and advice if you need help.
  • Work with you to avoid reduce rent arrears and financial pressure due to Covid-19
  • Continue to update you on the services we deliver as well as grants available through Welsh Government support schemes
  • We will continue to provide 24 hour support to homeless young women through our two hostels & deliver floating support to many more across South Wales.
  • We will continue to work with tenant groups to gather feedback on new services we offer.
  • We will be launching a new Corporate Plan that outlines our ambitions for the next three years.

Grange Pavilion Community Centre was built to provide residents with their own indoor and outdoor space to support community-led projects that have blossomed in Grangetown.

Launching later this year, Grange Pavilion provides public amenities in a popular inner-city park, three large rooms for hire, a cafe, office space, hot-desking and a garden that features five rainwater ponds, a wildflower meadow, a honey-bee garden, a community allotment and a green for play, exercise and picnics!

Grangetown is a creative and diverse place and Grange Pavilion offers an accessible and inclusive space for all visitors and residents to enjoy.

There’s lots going on. From free breakfast clubs,  activities for children and yoga for adults.

Find out more by visiting their website.