THANKS ASDA

We would like to thank the Asda Foundation for their donation of £200 to the Centre after shoppers voted by putting green tokens into the collector for us.

 

Thanks to everyone who supported us, especially the children who all agreed this was a fun way of voting for local charities.

CARE INSPECTORATE REPORT 2017

The Centre’s last Care Inspectorate Inspection was on 29.03.17.  The Centre is pleased to have maintained our high quality of standard and were awarded Grade 6’s – Excellent (Quality of Support and Quality of Management and Leadership).  Please see below:

Date Quality of Care and Support Quality of Staffing Quality of Management and Leadership
29 Mar 2017 6 – Excellent (I) Not Assessed 6 – Excellent (I)
20 Jan 2015 6 – Excellent (I) 6 – Excellent (I) 6 – Excellent (I)
03 Jul 2013 5 – Very Good (I) 6 – Excellent (I) 6 – Excellent (I)
24 Jan 2013 5 – Very Good (I) 5 – Very Good (I) 5 – Very Good (I)
05 May 2011 5 – Very Good (I) 5 – Very Good (I) Not Assessed
04 Feb 2009 5 – Very Good (I) 5 – Very Good (I) 5 – Very Good (I)

A full copy of the Report can be accessed here.  We would like to thank Service User’s who took the time to complete and return Feedback Forms (some of which were mentioned in the Report).  The Management Committee would like to take this opportunity to thank all Management and Staff for their continuous hard work and dedication to providing a high quality service.  Without them this excellent grade would not have been achievable.

AGM

Ayr Housing Aid Centre held its AGM on Thursday 9th March 2017.  The AGM was well attended and detailed Reports were presented by the Chairperson, Treasurer and Chief Executive Officer.

Chairperson

Alex Anderson, Chairperson welcomed all to the meeting.  Alex refer to the development of our services and staff over the past year and throughout our current Contract with South Ayrshire Council. He outlined our preparation for Procurement of the Services provided by the Centre and thanked the staff and Procurement Sub-Committee for their input into the process. He highlighted the external recognition in terms of the quality of Services we provide and linked this directly to our staff.  Finally he thanked the Management Committee for their support over the past year.

Treasurer

Ethel Riach, Treasurer presented a detailed Report on the Centre’s finances.  She highlighted the allocation of expenditure into the next financial year and beyond.  She considers that the Centre currently has a strong financial foundation although we continue to review all our income and expenditure commitments. Ethel highlighted the work of our Fundraising Sub-Committee and thanked all who made donations to the Centre. Ethel thanked CEO, Services Manager and Administration Officer for their efficient record keeping and our Accountant, Andrew Howatt.

CEO

John Mulholland, CEO presented a detailed Report on the wide range of Services provided by the Centre.  He advised once again it has been a very busy year for all our services.  He commented “the services the Centre provides to both individual Service Users and Groups are innovative, preventative, proactive, participatory and inclusive”.  He highlighted the importance of partnership development in providing Services which has been further enhanced over the past year.  John made specific comments relating to welfare reform, digital exclusion and increased case numbers from Service User’s stating that they have health issues.

 

AGM3

 

Some Stats

Suzanne Slavin presented core Statistics.  The Centre opened 1,239 cases between 1st July 2015 and 30th June 2016.  This includes 182 rural cases opened.  171 Service Users had a physical disability, 257 had a mental disability and there were 214 cases where Service Users have both physical and mental disabilities.  A total of 642 had some sort of disability.

This year there were 809 Service Users in the 25+ age group, 294 Service Users aged 16 – 24 and 136 cases from the pension age group.  In the Reporting Period the majority of our caseload is Service Users who are Sick/ill, 337, 27% followed by unemployed 328, 26.5%.  Those who were employed were 352, 28.4%.  We have noted a continued high caseload from the employed and many of the problems relate to multi-debt issues which often encompass housing matters.  There is 101 cases from retired and 65 from students with 30 cases from carers.

The Centre noted a 7% increase relating to homeless or threatened with homelessness, we prevented homelessness in 287 cases. Becoming homeless has numerous impacts on families in particular: economic, social, health and educational.

John said “there are many challenges ahead over the next few years for the housing aid centre”, the full role out of Universal Credit, changes to Social and Private Tenancy Law, new demand in terms of tribunal work and continued pressure in relation to homelessness and homeless prevention all will impact on the Centre.”

John thanked all staff for their commitment and support over the past year.

John Mulholland presented  Service User Feedback and commented “We are very pleased with the positive feedback across all our Services.  We will continue to engage with Service Users at all levels to encourage their input.  I would further thank all Service Users who have taken the time to feedback.  This allows for us to take their input into account as Services develop further”.

Billy McLeod from Ayr Action for Mental Health gave a very informative presentation on the work of Ayr Action for Mental Health.  He referred to the importance of a Service User led and person centred approach in the work undertaken by Ayr Action for Mental Health.

There was a short question time and thereafter Alex thanked the Speaker and all who attended our AGM.

Our Annual Reports are on the Centre’s website from the 14th March 2017.  If further information is required please contact John Mulholland CEO or Suzanne Slavin, Services Manager at 01292 288111.

After being nominated by Scotwest Credit Union member Alex Anderson, Ayr Housing Aid Centre has been awarded £400 by Scotwest Credit Union as part of their 25th Anniversary Community Awards.

Suzanne Slavin of the Centre said: “It is very satisfying to be recognised for the work we do in the community and awards like this allow us to continue to expand the services we offer. The funds from Scotwest will assist us in supporting our most vulnerable service users who are at risk of becoming homeless and those in crisis.”

Ayr Housing Aid Centre provide Information, Advice, Tenure Sustainment And First Home Services to those who are threatened with homelessness or in housing need in the South Ayrshire area. They have an Education & Engagement Department who engage with school age children to encourage understanding of causes of homelessness and impart budgeting skills.

CEO Kenny MacLeod said “I would like to thank our member Alex Anderson for taking the time to nominate Ayr Housing Aid Centre for a Scotwest Community Award. We are delighted to be able to support such an important service making a real difference to their local community.”

Find out more about the work done by Scotwest

ayr-housing-aid-centre-for-web

Suzanne Slavin receiving the award with Alex Anderson

We would like to thank everyone who responded to our advertisement for the above post.  We are pleased to announce that Gavin has now started with us last month and is working his way through his induction, shadowing and training.  We welcome him to the team and Centre as a whole.

 

If you are interested in following the Centre and being kept up to date with what we do LIKE and

 

WALKING ON BROKEN GLASS @ SFHA

Suzie Moffat attended the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations’ Annual Housing Management Conference last month where the icebreaker was “walking on broken glass”.  Suzie Moffat said “It’s all about positive thinking, confidence and trust, the very ethos of First Home!”

glass

 

Suzie and John Hodge from South Ayrshire Council presented a First Home Workshop which delivered an overview of what First Home’s Capacity building Programme involves for Young People.  They received very positive comments and feedback from those who attended and enjoyed the opportunity to attend the conference and take part in the other workshops available.

sfha

ENERGY EFFICIENCY ADVICE

Here is a useful list of various ways to try and reduce bills:-

Save energy HES

Welfare Reform

The Centre has been preparing for the roll out of Universal Credit (UC) which has now started in South Ayrshire.  The roll out is currently single claimants but this will gather pace from now until 2017.  The Centre has engaged with South Ayrshire Council tenants to gather information and ascertain risk UC may have on vulnerable tenants.  John Mulholland CEO said “The fact that a claim for UC will normally be electronic, online provides the first potential challenge.  If a claimant does not have access to a computer or internet then there is a barrier to making a claim.”

Within the Centre’s own research there are high numbers of our existing service users where there is no access or limited access via a phone to the internet.  There are further issues relating to UC such as ensuring claims are kept up to date and payment of the Housing Costs element in the overall UC payment on a monthly basis.

The Centre continues to look at new practical ways to assist service users meet their rental obligations.  We ensure staff have up to date, accurate knowledge to share with service users.  The Centre has recently provided 4 in depth UC training sessions for staff and Council colleagues.  John Mulholland CEO said “The Centre had recognised at an early date that we would have to adjust how we delivery some of our services to take into account welfare reform.  In particular, our Tenure Sustainment Service will have to link further with service users ensuring that they comply with claimant commitment under UC rules.”

The Centre continues to seek resources and opportunities to provide help for vulnerable people impacted by UC.  Many of our service users already struggle making ends meet and find it difficult to adhere to their rent payments every fortnight.  UC will increase the pressure on those who are already in poverty and often in debt.

AGM

The Centre held its AGM on Thursday 28th January 2016.  The AGM was well attend and detailed reports were presented by the Chairperson, Treasurer and Chief Executive Officer.

Alex Anderson, Chairperson welcomed all to the meeting.  He outlined the activities of the Management Committee over the past year, the challenges the Centre has met and the future challenges linked to Welfare Reform, constitutional change, procurement and legislative change in Public and Private Housing law.  He commended all the staff for their hard work and their commitment to the Centre’s aims and objectives.

Ethel Riach, Treasurer presented a detailed report on the Centre’s finances.  She highlighted the allocation of expenditure into the next financial year and beyond.  She considers that the Centre currently has a strong financial foundation although we continue to review all our income and expenditure commitments. She thanked CEO, Services Manager and Administration Officer for their efficient record keeping and our Accountant Andrew Howatt.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

John Mulholland, CEO presented a detailed report on the wide range services provided by the Centre.  He advised that once again it has been a very busy year for all our services.  He commented “the services the Centre provides to both individual service users and groups are innovative, preventative, proactive, participatory and inclusive”.  He highlighted the importance of partnership development in providing services which has been further enhanced over the past year.

Service user Outcomes have been very positive outcomes.  The Centre prevented homeless in 253 cases in the past year.  Becoming homeless has numerous impacts on families in particular:- economic, social, health and educational.  The Centre highlights for every £1 they receive they return a benefit of £21.72.  John welcomed the very positive feedback that all our services received over the past year. This emphasises the spend to save mantra that both ourselves and South Ayrshire Council agree works well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Suzanne Slavin presented the Service User Feedback – Annual Report 2014-15

Heather Anderson from South Ayrshire Council Policy and Strategy gave a very informative presentation on Housing Options and the impact on Homelessness presentations.  She reiterated the value and importance of partnership working between the Council and the Centre and how the Council values our work and what challenges there are for the future.

 

First Home achieved 2 awards

Our excellent First Home Service recently achieved 2 awards.  The first award was a gold award for Innovation from South Ayrshire Council “Outstanding People Awards”.  The second award was a Bronze National Award from the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities.  John Mulholland CEO of the Housing Centre said “this is a recognition of the value of partnership working and the positive impact this can have on young people.  The staff at First Home are very proud to receive these awards.”

OP award FH pic

 

 

Suzanne Moffat, Senior First Home Officer said “as the service has developed we continued to work with partners and young people shaping the service to meet their needs.  Our Capacity Building Programme came directly from this model.  The outcomes and feedback we receive is very impressive and we look forward to taking the service forward in the years ahead.”

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