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Posted on 8:43am Friday 15th November 2013
I have been counting down the days to Wednesday, 6th November when I was going to be the Guest of Honour at “Our Journey Together”. This event took place at The Making of Harry Potter – Warner Bros. Studio Tour London.
Posted on 1:35pm Friday 6th September 2013
I really enjoyed last Saturday, not only was it a really sunny day in Cassiobury Park but also the very first Herts Pride Event! Herts Pride 2013 was based around the theme of Health and WellBeing. There were lots of different agencies there and I got all sorts of health advice. There were also amazing things to buy, see and eat. It was really a day that appealed to the whole family. I met lots of people who were having a great time. There were also some fabulous acts in the Glam marquee stage and the Vibe with Pride stage had some amazing dance and music acts.
Posted on 11:23am Thursday 22nd August 2013
In celebration of our Sixth Birthday in September all of our staff have been given the opportunity to give something back to the community by carrying out six hours of voluntary work over a six month period. It’s what the Trust and our Gateway ethos is all about and together all our efforts will make such a positive difference to our local community areas and to ourselves. We are calling this Challenge Six.
Posted on 9:41am Friday 16th August 2013
On Thursday, 12th August I was very privileged to meet Prime Minister David Cameron and Olympic Cyclists Sir Chris Hoy and Victoria Pendelton. They were visiting Watford Cycle Hub, which is one of our Social Enterprises, to find out how the Hub is promoting cycling in Watford.
Posted on 3:06pm Monday 12th August 2013
I was really excited to hear about the success of our bid for funding from the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA). This will support our growing programme of new homes to meet the need for affordable housing in Watford & Three Rivers.
Posted on 10:45am Friday 9th August 2013
Last Saturday and Sunday the Trust organised a Pop Up Business event at Harebreaks Community Hub. With over 30 people from Watford, Three Rivers and Hertsmere attending this was a key part of our drive to help 100 people into work by summer 2015. I can never turn down the opportunity to expand my ideas and made sure I enrolled on this course as soon as I heard about it. Am I glad I did it was truly inspiring. The weekend included exercises in confidence building, understanding your target market and selling skills. It also guided attendees on the use of social media and the internet for trading and a demonstration of how easy it is to build a website. The trainers were inspirational and good fun and the event was really engaging. So much so, that the group will be meeting again on Saturday 21st September to share their experiences and how they have got on with their 3 key actions they took from the weekend.
Posted on 1:57pm Tuesday 30th July 2013
To help our tenants pay their rent by Direct Debit, one of the new incentives I am really excited about is a quarterly ‘Trusty’s Seasonal Savings’ offer. This is our first offer for new tenants signing up to Direct Debits and they, in turn will receive Home Contents Insurance for free for the first 12 months. How cool is that!! Do make sure you look out for other offers going forward after all, these are great opportunities not to be missed.
Posted on 11:00am Friday 19th July 2013
It’s Election time again for our tenants and leaseholders. This year we have 2 vacancies on our Board and 3 on the Gateway Leadership Team (GLT). I am pleased to report that we have had some really excellent and capable candidates come forward!
Posted on 3:14pm Tuesday 16th July 2013
Although we are having beautiful weather, the economy out there is pretty tough, jobs are harder to find and unemployment is high. Changes in welfare benefit mean that people are seeing a reduction of money coming in to their homes. To help combat this, the Trust and the Pop Up Business School are working together to offer local people the latest tools, techniques and ways of starting a business. This is a fantastic opportunity to come along to the Watford and Three Rivers Pop Up Business Event which is taking place at Harebreaks Community Hub, Harebreaks Watford on Saturday, 3rd and Sunday, 4th August. The Business School is running a two day version to help you get going, start your own business and make money!
Posted on 10:33am Thursday 20th June 2013
The variety I have in my role as Trusty is second to none. I always have a wonderful time whenever I get the chance to attend events and particularly, those that engage with older people and I am extremely privileged to have had the opportunity in the last week to attend two such events. Last Friday (14th June), I joined residents of Tree Bridge House in Garston when young and old sung their hearts out at the final afternoon of our popular music project, ‘Singing in the Schemes’.
Posted on 9:22am Thursday 23rd May 2013
I recently visited the newly refurbished soft play area at Watford Mencap Children’s Centre. We awarded £3,574 from our Better Communities Fund to refurbish a soft play area at the Children’s Centre in St Albans Road which is used by children with learning disabilities.
Posted on 9:30am Thursday 16th May 2013
Are you a social media fanatic???? I never thought in a million years I would spend my day “tweeting”. You really have to keep up with web-based technologies and what better way to inform everyone of my hectic life than tweeting so I have set myself up with a “Twitter” Account.
Posted on 9:45am Thursday 2nd May 2013
One of the reasons I so enjoy being me is that I lead such an exciting and diverse life. An example of this is last Thursday, 25th April I had the privilege to be standing on the Terrace of the House of Commons to attend the launch of “Jobs at Home”. I mean how often do you get a chance to attend an event such as that?
Posted on 4:28pm Thursday 18th April 2013
Last week I talked about the Green Canteen and all those lovely vegetables I could use. This week carrying on with the health living theme I thought I’d tell you about another really exciting Social Enterprise we’ve helped to develop - the Watford Cycle Hub.
Posted on 8:23am Friday 12th April 2013
How green are your fingers?? I love gardening and find it very therapeutic – there is something about being out in the fresh air, cultivating plants and watching them grow to maturity. Although with the extreme weather conditions we have been experiencing this year, it has been far more challenging but we are really excited at how the Green Canteen has developed since its inception in August last year.
Posted on 11:15am Friday 22nd February 2013
There are lots of changes taking place to the Welfare Benefits system this April and I’m sure that many people must be worried about how it affects them. So I thought I’d discuss these changes with our Financial Inclusion Officer so I could help anyone who asked me about them.
Posted on 12:15pm Thursday 14th February 2013
With the precarious nature of today’s economy and many jobs being lost nationally with businesses going into administration, if that happened and you found yourself with no pay cheque next month, how would you cope? How would you pay your bills and buy food for the family? These are the questions, our residents are facing day in, day out, with many facing a pay freeze, the threat of redundancy hanging over them and some facing problems just getting basic benefits.
Posted on 8:49am Monday 21st January 2013
Last Saturday we held a very successful event at our new Community Hub at the Harebreaks. We have refurbished the building, which was formerly managed by Age Concern, with investment from our Better Communities Fund.
Posted on 12:03pm Wednesday 19th December 2012
Don’t you just love Christmas! Memories of my childhood at this time of the year are just magical. For those children who are fortunate enough to experience a happy Christmas it’s such an amazing time. With their excitement building up throughout the month, waiting with baited breath when they wake up on Christmas morning to see if Santa has come down the chimney and left the toys they have asked for.
Posted on 2:29pm Wednesday 5th December 2012
At this time of the year, I get invited to so many social occasions which I am sure is due to my extrovert personality and incredible sense of humour. Being so popular and in such demand, my diary management is paramount in order that I can accept as many invitations as possible. In fact, as the party time of year starts to come into full swing, in order not to let anyone down I try and juggle my attendance so I don’t have to say no and let anyone down.
Posted on 2:51pm Wednesday 21st November 2012
It’s always an exciting time when there are lots of new projects taking place and our New Business Team is helping meet the targets of better homes and friendlier communities. Our new 2012-2017 Business Plan, which we launched in September, has a target of 500 much needed new homes in the Watford and Three Rivers and we are already planning for these There is a shortage of affordable housing in Watford and Three Rivers and so new housing is always in demand.
Posted on 4:02pm Tuesday 30th October 2012
With the clocks going back last the weekend, it’s the time of the year when you want to curl up in front of the television with a mug of hot chocolate and watch your favourite movie. The days get shorter and seem to merge into each other. You open the curtains in the morning and before you know it, you seem to be drawing them closed again.
Posted on 2:36pm Tuesday 16th October 2012
Last week I attended the official launch of the Watford Foodbank which is currently based at the Leavesden Green Community Centre. We are looking to refurbish the centre as part of our commitment to being a community business so the Foodbank will need to find a new home soon.
Posted on 3:44pm Thursday 5th April 2012
I can tell that its spring as I’m starting to get invites to go out and visit our local community areas. I had a wonderful time at the grand opening of our brand new play and fitness area at the Meriden on Wednesday. The Meriden is our heartland and we have been working together with Watford Borough Council and play specialists Proludic, to install the UK’s first ever Sports Legacy Zone. We are very proud of this landmark venture.
Posted on 11:00am Friday 23rd March 2012
Don’t you just love this time of the year, the Spring is my absolute favourite. The days start to get longer and are so much milder. The sun starts to come out of hiding and the bulbs are beginning to come out in full force with brightly coloured daffodils waving their heads saying to everyone, notice me what a spectacle I make.
Posted on 9:07am Thursday 15th March 2012
I could not contain my excitement when I heard that Watford Borough Council’s Planning Committee have given us approval regarding our proposals to increase our housing stock and build 16 houses and flats on 3 of our garage sites at Croxley View. Not only will this enable us to build much needed housing, after all, it’s definitely no secret that there is a shortage of housing in Watford with so many people on the housing waiting list. This will also address some of the problems of nuisance behaviour which the garages attracted.
Posted on 1:00pm Friday 2nd March 2012
Over the last few weeks we have been recruiting new volunteers to help us make our services better. We’ve had loads of responses so far from people we’ve never worked with before and I am looking forward to them joining our friendly team at the Trust and doing some fun things with me too.
Posted on 9:41am Wednesday 15th February 2012
After local residents informed the Better Communities Fund (BCF) they wanted better facilities at Meriden Park, the BCF approached Watford Borough Council for permission to provide equipment on their land. On 6th February this year work commenced with the construction of a Sports Legacy Project on the Meriden Park, within one of our largest housing estates and should complete sometime in mid April 2012. Specially designed by Prodludic, one of the UK’s leading providers of outdoor play and sports equipment, the BCF are on schedule to deliver this Inter-Generational Sports Legacy.
Posted on 2:06pm Friday 13th January 2012
One of the questions I keep getting asked when I am out and about is what will happen after we complete our first five-year Improvement Programme in September 2012 - will we carry on improving homes? The answer, of course, is yes, absolutely!
Posted on 11:15am Wednesday 21st December 2011
Christmas is a time with very mixed messages. It’s a magical time for children …..just by watching their little faces come alive brings the most incredible magic to this time of year. It could be a visit to Father Christmas, looking at shop windows with all their gifts beautifully displayed saying ‘take me home’. The lights twinkling in the evening air with nostalgic music adding to the atmosphere even an outing to a Pantomime.
Posted on 12:09pm Thursday 15th December 2011
Christmas is getting closer and closer and what better way to count down than by eating chocolates from my advent calendar. I don’t worry about calories at this time of the year so much yummy food to enjoy …..all those mince pies, roasted chestnuts and of course, Christmas pudding ….the list can go on and on. I decided to start my Christmas shopping earlier than usual and it has made such a difference. I am really impressed how organised I am with just a few last gifts to decide on and I am almost finished. It was my ultimate plan to try and avoid the usual last minute panic buying in the shops with the crowds at the checkouts and so far that is exactly what I have done. I even managed to stick within my budget setting myself limits of how much I was prepared to spend on each gift. It’s so easy to get carried-away and end up spending far more than you originally planned to and was no way I wanted any nasty surprises in January when the bills start to come in. I am really pleased how disciplined I have been with my shopping this year.
Posted on 11:51am Friday 9th December 2011
Although I do love watching television I also enjoy listening to the radio and last weekend I had the privilege to listen to our Chair, Diane Lee who appeared on BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme which was recorded at Watford Town Hall. Diane was taking part in a ‘Focus Group’ discussion about the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement and was one of a handful of people taking part in the discussion with presenter John Humphrys. The other participants included Mayor Dorothy Thornhill, local residents, business people and a couple of students. I could listen to Diane speak for ages and ages, she is so knowledgeable and gave her views from both a personal perspective and as Chair of the Trust. It was a very honest and profound interview and the comments from the group discussion touched on the difficulties experienced by a large cross-section of the local community. I can tell you it made me even more concerned about the economic situation that is around all of us today.
Posted on 4:08pm Friday 2nd December 2011
November saw the sprouting of moustaches on lots of colleagues faces around the office. Of course, I always like to get in on the act and participate in most events where I can and the thought of not having to shave for a month and have the ragged look really appealed to me. Movember is a charity that raises funds for prostate cancer, testicular cancer and raise awareness for men’s health, and other cancers that affect men.
Posted on 11:29am Friday 25th November 2011
The year has flown by so fast (hopefully not as quickly as the turkey I am hoping to have for my lunch this year), but it does seem like only yesterday when I was sitting at home watching the Queen’s speech on Christmas Day.
Posted on 4:15pm Tuesday 15th November 2011
Yo! is an ambitious youth community programme giving young people more of a say on what goes on in their neighbourhood. Whether it’s new youth activities, safer streets, or a way to help elderly residents and last Saturday, I attended the first event and did I have fun!!