During 2017/18 East Boro delivered over 100,000 hours of support to our service users across Dorset. Our support staff help people with a wide range of activities including cooking, housework, money management, gardening, golf, bowls, sailing, horse riding, swimming, keep fit, yoga, play musical instruments, attending shows and concerts, arts and crafts and much, much more.
Our Customer Liaison Manager works hard to ensure that tenants’ needs, requirements and aspirations are understood and met.
We have a number of focus groups that help us to improve our services. For our Sheltered and General Tenants these are The Sheltered Tenant Consultative Panel, The Reading Group and The Repairs & Maintenance Forum. For our Supported Living Tenants these are The Supported Living Tenant Consultative Panel as well as the Service Assessors (who scrutinise the services they receive
and report back on their findings.)
From April 2017 to March 2018 we held 18 large events, 8 Consultative meetings, 2 Repairs and Maintenance Forums, 3 Conferences, 2 Summer BBQ parties, 1 Sheltered Christmas Lunch, 1 East Boro in Bloom competition, 1 Garden Tea Party.
Furthermore, we held three Tenant Conferences in April 2018, one for Sheltered & General Tenants and two for ‘Supported Living’ tenants in Weymouth and Poole. Individual groups of ‘Supported Living’ Tenants have visited the Tank Museum in Bovington, London shows, Monkey World, Swanage Railway and have taken boat trips and visits to the cinema.
Over the past year, we have produced three copies of East Boro News, our newsletter giving news, information and feedback on our tenants’ events. We produce an Annual Tenant Satisfaction Survey, which we use to compare standards, performance and to improve our service. This year our TCCs have played a large part in updating our ‘Anti-Social Behaviour’ policy, as well as the ‘Income Recovery’ policy and the ‘Housing Allocations Points’ policy.
We are producing most of our printed literature for tenants in Easy Read format to promote inclusion.
East Boro employs more than 188 staff, with 145 being female and 43 being male. Sickness absence was just 5.09% Trust wide. East Boro is committed to staff training and development with certificated courses and training events. Our staff completed 592 training courses and training modules during the 2017/2018 year.
Overall turnover decreased in 2017/18 by 1.7% in comparison to the prior year. The impact of the minus 1% rent reduction was offset by the increase of units following remodels, new builds and the merger with Soroptimist (Poole) Housing Association during the year.
Operating expenditure increased in the 2017/18 period by 4.9% in comparison to the prior year. The increase is due to required wage increases in relation to pension contributions, national minimum wage and the additional costs incorporated following the merger with Soroptimist (Poole) Housing Association during the year.
The LGPS defined benefit pension scheme was re-measured at the year-end which saw an actuarial surplus of £241,000 being charged to the consolidated statement of comprehensive income.
This charge increased the surplus of £869,730 to £1,110,730 - which included the Soroptimist (Poole) merger.
Handy Man Service and Emergency Hamper Service
The Handy Man Team undertook 792 visits and completed over 1000 jobs including minor plumbing, carpentry works and other general repairs around the home.
The Team also continued to deliver the Emergency Hamper Service on behalf of Dorset County Council during the year. Between April 2017 and March 2018 a total of 896 deliveries were undertaken with 967 hampers being delivered.
East Boro owns and operates 10 sheltered housing schemes and provides warden-assisted support at 6 others. Over 360 Sheltered Tenants are supported by East Boro.
Over the past year, 460 surgeries have been held by our Enhanced Housing Management Officer. Sheltered Housing Officers have arranged 208 coffee mornings across all schemes with one visit a week to every sheltered tenant. Approximately 20% of our tenants have received welfare phone calls twice a week.
In our 2018 Customer Survey, 86% of tenants were satisfied with the services provided by East Boro, while 94% of Sheltered Tenants were satisfied/very satisfied swith the quality of their EBHT home.
East Boro is so much more than a housing association at East Boro. Our services include everything from Domicillary Care and Support to our ground breaking and highly successful Art & Crafts Club which is held at the Waverley, our new Community Hub in Weymouth. The facilities include the Arts & Crafts Room, the Training Café and a Function Room which is ideal for exercise and wellbeing classes, discos, games and cinema evenings. The first floor has been converted into 3 x two bedroom flats for adults with a learning disability and support staff.
The Waverley Community Hub Hub held its official opening on May 23rd 2018 when the Mayor of Weymouth & Portland Cllr Gill Taylor performed the opening ceremony. We are very excited by the opportunities that The Waverley will offer to our tenants, a diverse range of vulnerable groups and individuals and the wider local community.
Homes4Let Social Lettings Agency is continuing to grow steadily and has a website, a regular Landlords’ Newsletter and offers a complete marketing and advertising package to its Local Government partners.
H4L currently manages 161 units across Poole, Bournemouth, East Dorset and Purbeck and carries out property management for 104 Landlords
Between April 17 – March 18, Homes4Let, in partnership with Local Councils, helped to rehome 43 tenants and their families, saving the local authorities approximately £110,000 in B&B costs
Homes4Let arranges worry free deposit bonds with Local Councils and continues to offer an emergency helpline and full property and tenancy management service. H4L also, in certain circumstances and localities, offer a new Rents Guarantee for six months, providing security to private landlords against rent arrears.
Maintenance (Direct Labour Team)
During 2017/2018, the Direct Labour Team responded to over 4000 response repair requests and undertook works at numerous properties when they became vacant. Members of the team continued to provide gardening, caretaking and window cleaning services to over 60 schemes consisting of over 350 units of accommodation.
The Trust also visits all schemes on a weekly basis to check all fire equipment is in full working order to ensure the safety of our tenants. The Direct Labour Team completed the refurbishment of The Waverley in Weymouth which has been converted from a Public House to three units of accommodation and a hub for community activities for adults with a learning disability.
The 2017/2018 Planned Maintenance Programme predominantly featured Fire Safety Works as well as boiler replacements and kitchen & bathroom refurbishments.
Last year our dedicated maintenance team completed 100% of Category One, 98% of Category Two and 99% Category Three call outs within the allotted timescales.
Of those customers surveyed, 100% were satisfied with every aspect of maintenance from timekeeping and courtesy through to cleanliness and quality of work undertaken.
East Boro operates over 27 schemes for adults with learning disabilities throughout Bournemouth, Poole and Dorset with staff helping to deliver tailored support and goal plans to the majority of tenants.
East Boro’s Supported Living Services combines housing with support services. Our aim is to help people to live as independently as possible and to teach people new skills so that individuals who want to, can move on to live in homes of their own.
Bournemouth Supported Living Service
We continue to provide individualised housing related support to 21 people with physical disabilities living in two housing schemes in Bournemouth.
In November 2017 the service was inspected by Bournemouth Borough Council; feedback from the report is summarised below:
• Clients are well supported
• Staff have a good sense of humour
• Staff help clients a lot
• Staff understand individual needs
• Staff treat individuals as they want to be treated
• The support is client-led
• Clients are given help to achieve their outcomes
• There are good communal events
Poole Supported Living Service and Poole Always Help at Hand Services
Poole Supported Living Service works with adults who have a learning disability and/or autism to manage their daily living tasks and learn new skills. This team also provides short term support to other adults who have a learning disability living in the community via the 4 Your Independence (4YI) Service. During this year this service has expanded and many clients who have been assessed as needing longer term support have moved across to receive a service from our Always Help At Hand (AHAH) Poole Care & Support.
Looking forward plans are in place for changing the support delivery at Christopher Crescent. This will see both the “care” and “housing related support” services being combined and being delivered by a single provider and also a planned modernisation programme to several of the flats being undertaken in the 2018/2019 financial year.
The 4 Your Independence Service
This has been extremely successful and due to the positive impact it has had on many lives, the Local Authority has requested that East Boro continue to provide this service across Poole. This is a short term support service which enables clients to establish routines or learn new skills to promote and enhance their independence.
Weymouth Supported Living Services and Weymouth & Dorchester Always Help at Hand Services
In 2017 Weymouth Supported Living Services and AHAH West combined to form Weymouth Care & Support Services. This saw the two teams coming together with staff who previously only provided housing related support, now delivering both housing related support and domiciliary care. The team are now using our electronic Client and Staff Management System to manage staff rotas and timesheets.
It has been a busy year for development and we have added 31 units in 2017/18.
We have been very fortunate over the last few years in obtaining NHS capital grants via Dorset and Poole and this did and continues to enable us to build at a time when other Government funding for social housing has been harder to obtain. The Trust is continuing to work with partners to consider the feasibility of the development of rented supported or general needs social housing at locations across Dorset including Chickerell, Corfe Mullen, Furzehill, Upton and Weymouth.
Further details regarding our Developments Completed and Development Opportunities can be viewed in our Annual Report 2018
NB: Information correct as of the publication of East Boro’s 2018 Annual Report in July 2018