Better days ahead

Our helping hand fund recently helped a resident who was struggling to manage her home after a difficult time.

CH* is a vulnerable resident who recently left an abusive relationship that impacted every corner of her life, and her children had been taken into care due to the volatile environment at home.

As a result, CH* found it challenging to maintain the upkeep of her property. It was decided that the best approach would be to decant her to a different property, whilst our maintenance team carried out much-needed repairs and redecorated.

The whole process took a few months, but the impact of having a safe and calm home has been immeasurable.

Our resident support team also used the helping hand fund to purchase a cooker, washing machine, and essential food items. This will go a long way in supporting CH* to settle in and move on with her life after a turbulent few years.

We don’t tolerate domestic abuse of any form, and there is more information about we can support you on the domestic abuse page on our website.


Keeping the peace

Wandle’s ASB team have successfully brought peace back to a community in Wandsworth who had been enduring years of antisocial behaviour from a fellow neighbour.

For several years, both Wandle and the Police had received several reports from residents about a very disruptive neighbour who was making their lives a misery.

The tenant in question was a known drug user who regularly vandalised the communal entrance and their neighbour’s cars. In addition, they verbally abused others in the community with personal and racial slurs. This behaviour was seriously impacting the other residents, and their overall wellbeing was being badly affected.

We always want to support residents in maintaining their tenancies and find a solution that suits all affected so they can move on and co-exist happily. Over the years, we had tried a variety of soft approaches to engage the perpetrator but had been met with resistance.

Enough was enough, and after an incident which involved them damaging the communal entrance door and the electrical cupboard, the police handed the resident a Criminal Behaviour Order (CBO). If she breaches her CBO, we will be forced to apply for a repossession order, but this is always the last resort.

Sometimes the legal route is the only option, and time will tell if it has the desired outcomes. We do not tolerate antisocial behaviour and will always take complaints seriously. The easiest way to report ASB is through MyWandle. If you do not yet have an account, you can register here.

Greenfingers competition results

We are delighted to announce the winners of our annual Greenfingers competition. All the entries are creative and peaceful sanctuaries for our residents, as a place to express themselves and relax.

Winners

Outdoor Garden: Janie Skinner, Croydon

Indoor Garden: Fiona Glen, Wandsworth

Edible Garden: Kafayat Timson, Croydon

Community Garden: Soul food Garden – Wingate Crescent, Croydon

Runners up

Outdoor Garden: Donna Spiller, Sutton

Indoor Garden: Ranka Smith, Wandsworth

Edible Garden: Annette Denvir, Southwark

Community Garden: Paul Percy and Jack Luff, Sutton

“Our community soul food garden at the end of Windows Crescent was initiated two years prior to the pandemic. It offers a place where neighbours can contribute and reap the harvest. There is so much to harvest in so many levels, it’s a place to connect with mother nature and enjoy being outside in the open. The garden boarders Mitcham common so we have the common as a backdrop with all the added wildlife wonders that makes our little heaven a special place.”

Soul Food Garden, Wingate Crescent, Croydon.

Keep an eye out for next year’s annual gardening competition return in 2023!

Office closed on Monday 19 September

We will be closed on Monday 19 September to join the nation in the National Day of Mourning to observe the funeral.

This means we will be closed from Friday 16 at 6pm until Tuesday 20 at 8am to pay tribute to her immense contribution. Our usual out of hours service is in place for any emergencies, on 0300 2000 120. 

Be scam aware

We are in the thick of a cost-of-living crisis, and prices are rising at rates we haven’t seen since the 1970s.

Unfortunately, criminals are trying to capitalise on the current situation by targeting households with false offers of rebates, grants, and support payments.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has warned about scam messages claiming to be from local government authorities and the energy regulator Ofgem.

Below are 3 signs to watch out for if you are concerned you’re being scammed.

Beware texts asking you to claim or apply for cost-of-living help

If you’re eligible, you do not need to apply for the payment and you don’t need to call the DWP. They will never ask for personal details by SMS or email.

Councils will never call to ask for your bank details

Many councils, as well as the Local Government, have urged people not to give out their bank details over the phone and to not believe claims about a £150 council tax rebate.

In most cases, the rebate is paid automatically to those who pay their council tax by direct debit, and they should have received their payment by now. Your might have also received a letter from your council asking for your bank details so you can claim the rebate via bank transfer. If you are unsure, please contact your council directly.

If you get a call and you’re not sure the caller is genuine, hang up immediately and call your council directly to report the scam.

Ofgem is not offering a £400 energy rebate

You will never be texted by Ofgem to sign up for anything to receive money or a rebate, ignore any messages that suggest otherwise.

If you’re worried you’ve been scammed, here’s what to do

Below is a checklist of what you should do if you think you’ve been scammed:

  • If you’ve already responded to a scam, end all further communication immediately.
  • Call your bank directly and cancel any recurring payments – for speed and ease, you can alternatively call the new 159 hotline.
  • Report the scam to the police through Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040, or report a scam anonymously on the Action Fraud website. If you’re in Scotland, report a scam through Advice Direct Scotland on 0808 164 6000 or on the Advice Direct Scotland website. You can also report scams to Police Scotland on 101.
  • If you wish to seek further help, contact Citizens Advice Scams Action via the Citizens Advice website, or call its Scams Action helpline on 0808 250 5050

Youth empowerment collective

Are you 16 – 25 and a Wandle resident?

Are you passionate about your community?

Do you want the opportunity to develop your personal and professional skills? Do you want to be part of something bigger?

If so, then we want to meet you!

You are invited to join our youth empowerment collective, a group of young residents who are passionate about their growth and development and influencing their communities.

Come along to an introductory information session to find out how you can get involved.

We will be discussing:
exciting training and employability opportunities
how you can contribute to Wandle News (our seasonal magazine)
funding available for youth community projects that you care about
how you can influence change at Wandle

If you’re interested and would like to learn more, please choose from two online sessions via the survey :

Which session would you like to attend?
Thursday September 5.30 – 6.30pm
Friday 2 September 1 – 2pm

We look forward to meeting you!

Peace at last for Southwark residents

We recently successfully removed an illegal occupant from a property in Southwark.

The illegal occupant had been a tenant of Wandle’s but was also a perpetrator of domestic abuse, and we had previously moved the survivor and her children to a new and safer home.

The perpetrator was known to Wandle and the local community as an antisocial nuisance, for playing loud music at all hours, illegal drug taking, and even living in the communal areas. In addition, not only was he abusive to his family but to Wandle staff and contractors.

Despite efforts to assist him and give him housing advice and work with partner agencies including Southwark Council Housing Team, he was still refusing to leave, even though he had no succession or legal rights to the tenancy.

The Police removed him from the property several times, but he repeatedly broke into the property, and was storing his belongings in the communal areas.

Our community safety team worked closely with our partners and the local Police team to ensure a positive outcome for residents. Last week, the team successfully secured an injunction order which restricts the perpetrator’s access to the block and safeguards our other tenants and our property.

Maria Ramos, head of customer service delivery, said: “The safer neighbourhood team have worked tirelessly on this case, and our other residents can now live in safety and peace. Behaving in an anti-social way is unacceptable, and we will always work with those suffering.” We take domestic abuse seriously and will always be available to support residents experiencing abuse. We recently achieved DAHA (Domestic Abuse Housing Alliance) accreditation, which is the national benchmark for how housing providers should respond to domestic abuse and recognises that housing providers are in a unique position to identify abuse, prevent it and provide support to survivors.