Environmentalists blog – August 2017

What a fantastic month it has been for the Maltby Environmentalists!

The group were lucky to appear not once, but twice on BBC Radio Sheffield over the past few weeks! The first appearance saw James having a chat with Rony who had been asking South Yorkshire what we were proud of…well we couldn’t be prouder of our Environmentalists! We’d love to share a link with you to the interview but it’s not on iPlayer any more!

Our second appearance came on the back of chatting with Rony when we invited BBC Radio Sheffield to join us on one of our litter picks to talk with the group and find out a bit more about what’s going on. Kat (the presenter) came down in the BBC Radio Sheffield van and spoke with two of our amazing volunteers, Marta and Olivia, the founder of the group, Freda, as well as James who helps run the group.

Having a chat with Kat live on air!

It was a lovely day and it was great to see so many children and adults coming out to join in. To say thank you for getting up so early (we were on live at 8.30am during the school holidays!) we treated to group to bacon sandwiches, and they were delicious! We’d like to say a big thank you to everyone who came down and got involved – new and old members!

From the piece on the radio we’ve even had other people who live in Maltby get in touch who were inspired to set up their own group!

If you missed the interview you can still listen in, but hurry, it will come off BBC iPlayer in the next week or so! You can listen in by clicking here.

You can also take a look at this month’s vlog from James by clicking the link below.

Environmentalists blog – TPAS awards win

Fresh from their national TPAS award for Excellence in Community Action, our Engagement Officer, James Smith, spoke to Freda who runs the Environmentalists group about what the award means to them.

You’ll also notice another guest appearance from Baby the dog who received her very own medal!

We really enjoyed the whole awards evening – below are a couple of snaps that we took on the night.








Here’s the moment we found out that the Environmentalists had won…

Environmentalists blog – July 2017

Our Environmentalists have been busy over the past couple of months enjoying the sunshine and have been up to loads!

We were delighted to welcome our newest member Olivia to the Environmentalists, and we’ve even recruited some furry friends to help us with our work! Don’t Jack and Jazzy look great.


Take a look at our video to find out more about their good work.

Tender opportunity: Remedial fire safety works at Birch Avenue Care Home

Contracts finder reference: SYHA001-DN281570-01122401

We’re looking to appoint a contractor for a project which will involve improving fire safety protection measures at Birch Avenue Care Home in Sheffield. The home comprises of four interconnecting bungalows which are of traditional construction, with brick walls and a pitched, tiled roof.

Key elements of the work include:

  • Repairs or replacing a significant number of fire-resisting door sets.
  • Upgrading existing fire door sets by installing combined intumescent and cold smoke seals.
  • Designing and installing additional cavity barriers.
  • Installation of fire-resisting glazing units to certain rooms.

We will require the contractor to be third party accredited (covering the areas listed above), recognised and carried out by a body that is independent of both supplier and customer organisations, for example BRE and FIRAS.

To register an interest in tendering for this work, or to submit a tender please use to the ProContract e-procurement portal.

If you have any questions or would like to find out more about the work please contact Matt Steventon on 0114 2900 325.

Two awards for SYHA staff in Queen’s Birthday honours list

We’re delighted to announce the exciting news that two members of staff at South Yorkshire Housing Association have been named in the Queen’s Birthday honours list.

Our Chief Executive, Tony Stacey, has been awarded an OBE for services to social housing – a career which began back in 1979

Head of Co-design and Improvement, Ruby Smith, has been awarded an MBE for services to her local community of South Anston, and is one of the youngest recipients of the award this year.

Tony Stacey OBE

Tony was appointed as Chief Executive of SYHA in 1995 and during his time leading the organisation it has grown to become one of the highest performing social landlords in the country.

Recognised as a leading figure on housing nationally, Tony has championed the rights of the most vulnerable people and fought to make sure that everyone has access to genuinely affordable housing.

Recently he has led national campaigns to fight against the compulsory Right to Buy, as well as the proposed Local Housing Allowance cap.

He has also been instrumental in bringing together local authorities, housing associations and other landlords locally to form the Sheffield City Region Housing Compact, a unique partnership which will focus the efforts of organisations in the Sheffield City Region to work together to end the housing crisis.

In his 22 years as Chief Executive of SYHA, Tony has overseen a huge expansion and diversification of SYHA business, including:

  • The growth of SYHA’s assets to be worth nearly a third of a billion pounds.
  • Expanding the organisation’s portfolio of homes to 6,000.
  • Support for 16,592 customers in SYHA’s LiveWell services – which include support for mental health, learning disabilities, homelessness, older people and substance misuse.
  • SYHA being named the 40th best not-for-profit organisation to work for in the Sunday Times Best 100 List 2017.

Tony Stacey has featured consistently in the 24 Housing PowerPlayers lists; in 2015 he finished second, higher than leading politicians, other housing leaders and even the Prime Minister.

Speaking about the award, Tony said: “I am delighted to receive this award. I saw Ken Loach’s Cathy Come Home when I was 10 and I decided there and then that I wanted to work in housing and do something to tackle homelessness.

“Good quality housing makes such a difference to people’s lives. SYHA has been at the forefront of ensuring excellent housing services really do sustain communities and help people to realise their full potential. SYHA is a great organisation and I have been very privileged to lead it.”

Ruby Smith MBE

As an active figure in her community, and regular volunteer with a range of local organisations, Ruby has worked tirelessly to make sure older people in Sheffield never feel isolated or lonely.

In 2013 she launched Crackers and Company, who provide a Christmas Day meal for anyone on their own at Christmas in the South Anston area. The group has grown every year and last year welcomed nearly 100 people who enjoyed a meal and drinks, met new people and all left with gifts.

In her role as Head of Co-design and Improvement at SYHA, Ruby has transformed the organisation’s approach to co-design and quality. Ruby’s work has enabled the organisation to win funding for new services like Age Better in Sheffield, a £6 million Big Lottery funded scheme that aims to tackle isolation and loneliness in Sheffield.

Her passion about the link between health, housing and social care, and that people who use these services should help design them, has led to successful services like Over2You, EatWell and Co:Create being formed in the past five years alone.

Ruby has travelled the world with UNICEF and co-ordinates the Sheffield branch of the organisation. In 2012 she became the youngest person ever to receive an honorary fellowship from UNICEF, and in 2013 was named UNICEF fundraiser of the year.

In her short career Ruby has already amassed an incredible list of achievements, including:

  • Former member of the British Youth Parliament
  • Carried the Olympic Torch in 2012 in recognition of her fundraising work
  • Part of the Age Better in Sheffield team who won the UK Housing Campaign of the Year award in 2015
  • Finalist in 24 Housing’s Young Leaders 2016

Speaking about the award, Ruby said: “To know that people from my community, organisations I work and volunteer for, have come together to nominate me for this is just so heart-warming. Lots of people have already said to me ‘you must be so proud’ and I am, but not of myself; all the things I do, I do with wonderful people around me.

“I’m proud of all of them and all the things we achieve together; all the team that work together at South Yorkshire Housing Association, all the volunteers who give their time to make Crackers and Company possible, and all the people who donate to UNICEF. I could go on!

“Lots of people have commented saying it’s great for me to get an MBE as a woman and as a young person. So, to young women, I would say we need you to lead, now, so that a young woman receiving an MBE isn’t surprising news. There’s no shortage of problems in the world, just find one you care about and do something about it today, don’t wait. Trust that if you start, and you start with heart, people will follow.”


Important customer information – Fire Safety

Our thoughts are with the residents, families and emergency services that have been affected by the tragedy at Grenfell Tower in London.

Whilst SYHA does not have any high rise tower blocks, we want to reassure our customers that our properties are maintained to very high standard with fire being one of our top priorities.

What happened at Grenfell Tower was unprecedented. As the facts of this tragedy emerge, SYHA will work with our partners, contractors and local fire authorities to apply the lessons learned to keep our customers safe.

If you have any questions or concerns please do get in touch with us.

Matt Steventon, Health and Safety Manager 

National recognition for five-star kitchen manager

A local kitchen manager has been recognised for his excellent food safety standards at a national awards ceremony.

Glen Biggin, a Community Payback Officer at South Yorkshire Community Rehabilitation Company was named Food Safety Champion at the annual Sodexo Service Excellence awards.

He was singled out for his continued excellence in ensuring all food safety requirements are met at the Turnaround Café at the Westmeads extra care scheme in Royston. The award also recognised the efforts Glen has made to reach a 5 star Food Standards Agency rating for the kitchen.

Run by South Yorkshire Housing Association, the Turnaround Café is run as part of a community payback scheme where offenders on community service prepare and cook hearty hot meals seven days a week for the 60 residents and day service customers at Westmeads.

Glen is now working with Sodexo to develop a qualification for offenders in food safety, which could help them find a job and change their lives for the better.

Glen said: “I’m shocked, I didn’t expect this at all. Working with South Yorkshire CRC has been a wonderful experience, the opportunity to give back to local communities and residents has always been an inspiring role for me.”

Dawn Lomasney, Project Lead at Westmeads said: “We’re so proud of Glen, the residents absolutely love his food – especially his corned beef hash which he is famous for!

“Having food of the highest standard prepared fresh on site really does make a huge difference to the wellbeing of our customers, especially the visitors to our day centre, who struggle to cook for themselves.”

Westmeads extra care scheme provides independent living for people aged 55 and over living in Barnsley, as well as providing day services at their LiveWell Centre.

If you’d like to find out more about places at Westmeads, or about spending the day at the LiveWell Centre, give the team a call on 01226 702030.

Election candidates invited to talk about solving housing crisis

South Yorkshire Housing Association is joining hundreds of housing associations across the country calling on candidates standing in the General Election to make housing one of their top priorities.

It comes as the National Housing Federation launches a week of action for the sector to come together and highlight the role it can play in solving the housing crisis.

Between 2011 and 2015 there were 37,000 too few homes built to keep up with demand in Yorkshire alone.

Coupled with the average home in the region costing seven times the average income, and private rent charges soaring, the need for affordable housing has never been higher.

Housing associations are well placed to build the homes we so desperately need, with South Yorkshire Housing Association already having committed to building 1,180 new homes over the next five years – but we can do more with the right backing.

The association is calling on all local candidates standing in Sheffield City Region seats in the General Election to call for funding and land to be made available for housing associations to ramp up the supply of new affordable housing.

We’re also asking candidates to commit to fight against the planned Local Housing Allowance cap, which will lead to certain closure for supported housing for vulnerable people in the Sheffield City Region.

Tony Stacey, Chief Executive of South Yorkshire Housing Association, said: “There’s no way around it, we’re in the middle of a real housing crisis. We’re not building anywhere near enough new homes to meet demand and it’s exactly why homelessness is on the rise.

“The message is simple. Housing associations are ready to do their bit to help solve the crisis, but we need support. We’re inviting every candidate standing in a Sheffield City Region seat in the General Election to come and meet with us, talk about housing and how we can work together.”

To arrange a meeting with Tony Stacey please email t.stacey@syha.co.uk

1940’s themed event raises money for defibrillator in Glossop

A 1940’s themed fundraising event has helped to raise more than £300 towards a defibrillator at our Whitfield House extra care scheme in Glossop.

The event was attended by people in fancy dress from across the local area who bought cakes, took part in a raffle and made generous donations throughout the day.

Staff and customers with the new defibrillator at Whitfield House

Staff and customers with the new defibrillator at Whitfield House

The defibrillator will provide the residents of Whitfield House and guests at the site’s LiveWell Centre, which provides day services for older people in Glossop, instant access to potentially life-saving equipment.

Staff and customers at the scheme all received basic training on how to use the defibrillator from Val Cochran, a Community Specialist Paramedic from North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust.

Matthew Reather, Project Lead at Whitfield House said: “We’d like to thank everyone who came along to the event for their generosity and support.

“Should the worst happen having a defibrillator on site ready to use will make a huge difference – the chances of surviving cardiac arrest if a defibrillator is used raises survival chances from 5% to 74%

“We’d also like to say a big thank you to Zoe Shaw who runs our armchair exercise class for her extremely kind donation of £415.”

Val Cochrane, Community Specialist Paramedic, said: “It’s fantastic that local people have really got together to get equipped with a life-saving defibrillator.

“Once a patient goes into cardiac arrest there are just a few vital minutes to save their life which is why we really need the help of people in the community to start life-saving CPR as soon as possible even before we have chance to get there to give people the best possible chance of survival.”

To find out more about Whitfield House and the day services on offer for people living in Glossop call 01457 856 772 or visit the LiveWell section of our website.

Environmentalists blog – May 2017

Fresh from our Tpas Awards celebrations the Maltby Environmentalists got back to doing what we do best with three litter picks over Easter.

We said thank you to the group for all their hard work with some Easter treats and got together to go through an update on health and safety whilst we’re out and about litter picking.

Take a look at my video blog for this month by clicking the link below.

Here’s what Annette had to say about our health and safety session with the group.

Here’s some of our favourite pictures from the month!