Celebrating home improvements across Derbyshire Dales
Published by Diana Maccarthy for Frank Haslam Milan in Housing and also in Communities
L-R: Trevor Smallman (FHM), Kerri Ollivent (FHM), Dales Housing tenant Mrs Audrey Powell, Jacque Allen (Executive Director for Dales Housing) and Louisa Davies (Programme Maintenance Manager for Dales Housing).
DALES Housing and Frank Haslam Milan (FHM) are celebrating the success of a new partnership - after 400 homes were improved across the district in the first financial year.
Community regeneration specialist FHM, part of the Keepmoat Group, was appointed in July 2011 to deliver Decent Homes improvements over three years on behalf of Dales Housing, which owns and manages 3,500 homes across Derbyshire Dales.
Improvements included brand new kitchens that tenants were able to personalise with choices of styles and colours of units, worktops and tiles, for example, and brand new bathrooms, with a modern suite and choices of tiles, floor coverings and paint. Tenants had input into new room layouts, so the fresh facilities were suited to their individual requirements.
Dales Housing tenant Mrs Audrey Powell, aged 81, has lived in a bungalow in Ashford in the Water for three-and-a-half years and is delighted with her new magnolia and brown colour themed kitchen.
Audrey, who lives with her son Keith, joined in the celebration with Dales Housing and FHM, and said: “The kitchen was pretty basic before but it’s nice and modern now and it’s given me quite an uplift to see it so nice. I’ve got extra cupboards and it’s really enhanced the bungalow. The men who did the work were very good, I couldn’t fault them.”
FHM has been upgrading wall and back boilers with new combi boilers and carrying out electrical rewires too for Dales Housing, part of the Acclaim Housing Group.
At the end of the first financial year, FHM was pleased to count the success of the new partnership, having completed 230 kitchen and bathroom improvements and 170 heating upgrades and rewires.
FHM has also taken on a local apprentice thanks to the contract,18-year-old Jack Brookhouse, from Matlock, who will receive training in joinery. It is providing work based experience in joinery for 17-year-old George Brown, also from Matlock, too.
FHM has around 60 operatives working in the district and has a satellite office in the village of Tansley.
Jacque Allen, Executive Director for Dales Housing, said: “The 400th property is a great milestone to have achieved at the end of the first financial year, which demonstrates that the partnership between Dales Housing and FHM is developing well. We look forward to building on these strong foundations with FHM over the course of the three year programme.”
Martin Smithurst, Managing Director, from Frank Haslam Milan, added: “We think passing the 400 mark in just eight months demonstrates a strong start to our relationship with Dales Housing. We look forward to working in communities across the district to deliver the Decent Homes improvements, which make such a difference to Dales Housing’s tenants.”
FHM has carried out school talks in the district so children who live close to where improvements are being carried out understand how to stay safe around construction sites.
FHM also supports Dales Housing’s monthly coffee and cake mornings, which encourage customers to meet up and helps generate a good sense of community spirit. It also backs local charities, like the Bakewell-based Helen’s Trust, which helps incurably ill people to remain in their home.