If you are receiving this for the first time, welcome to Tenant Focus! This is Housing’s monthly newsletter to tenants and includes housing news and information.
If you have stories that you would like to share, or ideas for future articles, please let us know. You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or respond to the survey at the bottom of this newsletter, after clicking on one of the smiley faces. An option to unsubscribe is at the bottom of this newsletter. You can read our Housing Privacy Notice in full on our website.
Michael Ash, Director of Housing
Could you be borrowing from a loan shark?
Loan sharks are illegal money lenders and unfortunately, they're always circling and looking for prey. Look out for the signs and seek support if you’re worried. Maybe you’ve recently taken out a cash loan from someone, with no paperwork and huge amounts of interest.
Big thanks to our housing apprentices at Swindon Academy's Careers Week
Housing Apprentices James Major and Leigh Sadler supported the Careers Fair along with our Learning and Development team.
Claire James, Apprenticeship Coordinator, said: “It was great to spend time with Leigh and James this morning at the Careers Fair.
"They both spoke so well and with such passion – it was great to see.”
Jenna King from the Tenant Academy team took part in the mock interview day, giving the students valuable experience in an interview situation and helping to boost their confidence.
You could be missing out on thousands of pounds of benefits – check now!
Use this free benefits checker to see if you’re one of the seven million people in the UK estimated to be missing out on additional support.
You could be entitled to benefits such as pension credit or help with childcare costs, so check out this list of 18 things now to see if you’re missing out – you may be surprised.
Households in Council Tax bands A to D have received £150 energy payment
Since the Government announced that households in council tax bands A to D would receive a payment of £150 to help towards energy costs, more than 80,000 households in Swindon have received a payment. Further funding was also provided to help other households who need financial support but weren’t eligible for this payment scheme.
To find out more about this round of payments, please visit our website to see the eligibility criteria and application form. Residents who believe they were eligible for the Government’s £150 payment scheme but have not got their payment yet can also use the online application form to let us know.
This will be paid automatically and directly into your account, and there's no need to apply for the payment – do not give your personal details over the phone to anyone.
The first £326 payment will appear on your bank statement from DWP (Department for Work and Pensions).
Obituary – Phil Mathews (1953-2022)
It is with great sadness that we have to announce that Phil Mathews passed away a few weeks ago.
Phil was Chair of Tenant Scrutiny Panel, Chair of Independent Complaints Panel, Member of Adults’ Health, Adults’ Care and Housing Overview and Scrutiny Committee at the Council. He was also a member of the Resident Panel at the Housing Ombudsman Service.
Phil was a valued member of the Tenant Scrutiny Panel for many years, most recently taking on the role of Chair. A great advocate for tenant’s rights, Phil will be remembered for his inquisitive nature and great sense of fun. He was a larger than life character, and always had a twinkle in his eye.
Phil will be sorely missed.
Follow us on Facebook
Why not join over 1,500 other tenants on our dedicated Facebook page? We post about opportunities for tenants as well as news and information about anything related to your home and your community.
Have a complaint? Log it now
We take your complaints very seriously and are committed to making things right. If you aren't satisfied with the way a housing service has been delivered, find out how to make a complaint on our website.
Book repairs on My Housing Tenancy
Why not join over 7,000 customers already signed up to My Housing Tenancy, where you can check your rent account, log repairs and book convenient appointments, all from the comfort of your own home.
All you need is your date of birth and tenancy reference number.
Earn points and win prizes with the Active Swindon Challenge app
Download the app for free in the App Store or on Google Play and earn points as you walk, run or cycle around Swindon.
Each week, two lucky players will be randomly selected to win a reward, including prizes like a £50 Love to Shop voucher.
Sign-up to our garden waste collection service and leaf the clean-up to us
Life is short and time is precious, so spend it doing something you enjoy.
By signing up to our garden waste service, you can leave your garden waste in the green bin we’ll provide you with, and then sit back and wait for our crews to pick it up each fortnight – saving you a messy trip to the tip.
While an annual subscription costs £52.50, if you sign up now, you’ll pay a reduced rate of £37.80 until the end of March. Sign-up today for hassle-free collections and spend more time doing the things you love. Visit our website to find out more.
Tenant Academy – unlocking your potential
Scan or click the code to start your journey!
The Tenant Academy is running a number of courses to help you develop your skills and take positive steps towards your future.
If you have any ideas for future courses you'd like us to run, get in touch using the email address above.
Housing apprenticeship opportunities
Are you interested or do you know someone who would like to work in Housing? We are currently advertising for Housing Apprentices with vacancies in various housing teams. This is a great opportunity for anyone who wants to start their career in housing.
No housing experience is required, as you will gain this through on job training and working towards the apprentice qualification.
We are looking for people with a flexible approach, good IT skills, good communication and interpersonal skills and the ability to work as part of a team.
Whether you are looking to build on confidence and make friends, start your own business, or find a job to gain valuable experience, the Prince's Trust have a range of free programmes to help with this.
Here are some training opportunities that are available over the next couple of months:
Mindset and mindfulness– For those aged 16-30, get stuck in with up to six sessions of their online Microsoft Teams course from Monday, 1 to Friday 5 August
Enterprise – For those aged from 18-30 years old who would like to gain skills to start up your own business
Health and social care mentoring – For those aged 18-30 years old looking for support from a mentor in the health and social care sector, and support when applying for jobs, navigating applications, interview techniques, CV writing skills and guidance
National Training Academy
The Tenant Academy team also offer training courses online through the National Training Academy. On completion, you will receive a certificate. Many courses aim to support you back into work, or with a career change. These include:
Level 2 in Food Hygiene & Safety in Catering
Leadership & Management
Level 2 in Health & Safety in the Workplace
COSHH Control of Substance Hazardous to Waste
If you would like to be referred to any of the training above, or would like to find out more information, please contact the Tenant Academy Team.
Out of work? Get a traineeship
Traineeships are available to 19-24 olds, who have no qualifications above A Level and are not currently in work.
A traineeship is a learning programme including a work experience placement, not a job.
Would you like to write an article for Tenant Focus about something happening where you live or to promote something that you feel passionate about? Please let us know by emailing email@example.com