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!

Tracey Lees, Chief Executive of Wandle, to retire

Announcement from Chair of the Board, Dr Valerie Vaughan-Dick MBE

Tracey Lees, who became chief executive of Wandle Housing Association (Wandle) in 2015, has announced that she is retiring.

Tracey Lees’ long career in housing began in 1983 and has included being Chief Executive at The Barnet Group, as well as holding director positions at the Home Group and Thames Valley Housing Association.

Chair of the Board, Dr Valerie Vaughan-Dick MBE, said:

“We wish Tracey Lees all the best for her retirement. She leaves behind a solid legacy with a strong team and a robust foundation for Wandle’s future. The Board and I are proud of what she has achieved and thank Tracey for her role in leading Wandle for the last seven years. The process for appointing a new CEO will commence shortly. Tracey Lees will remain in post until the new CEO joins Wandle.

Tracey Lees, said:

“It’s been a privilege to lead Wandle for the last seven years. I would like to thank the Wandle Board, colleagues, and customers for their support. I will leave behind a strong Board and Executive Team and I wish Wandle all the very best for the future.”

We are currently recruiting for a new chief executive, if you are interested you can read more about the role here.

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. 

Queen Elizabeth II

Everyone at Wandle is deeply saddened by the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. 

The Queen ruled for longer than any other Monarch in British history, and was a dearly loved and respected figure, who solemnly served the Commonwealth with unwavering faith, high courage, and a quiet heart. 

Our heartfelt condolences are with her family during this difficult time. 

We invite you all to write a message of condolence in the public memorial book on the official palace website: https://www.royal.uk/send-message-condolence

 We acknowledge that this will be a very sad time for the country and encourage you to discuss your feelings and reach out to loved ones who may also be struggling. 

“I declare before you all that my whole life whether it be long or short shall be devoted to your service.” – HM Queen Elizabeth II, on her 21st birthday address 

Queen Elizabeth II 1926 - 2022

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!

13 places where kids can eat for £1 or less

It’s the school holidays and the cost-of-living crisis might be making it harder to afford summer holiday activities on a tight budget. 

Below are some of the places where little ones can eat for free or cheap this summer. 

  • Morrisons – Get an adult meal from £4.99 and you’ll receive a free children’s meal. The supermarket is offering this nationwide, so find your nearest store and more info here.
  • Asda – Kids eat for £1 at Asda Café with no need of paying for an adult meal. The offer runs until 4 September. Find your nearest store here.
  • Yo! – Children under 10 can eat free from 3-5:30 pm, Monday to Thursday, until 29 September. The offer runs for every £10 spent on food for an adult meal. Find more info.
  • Beefeater, Brewers Fayre & Table Table – Up to 2 children can enjoy a free unlimited breakfast with every adult £9.50 breakfast purchased. Find out more info: BeefeaterBrewers FayreTable Table.
  • Hungry Horse – Children get a free breakfast when you buy an adult breakfast for at least £3.49. Find your nearest pub here
  • Dunelm – Kids eat for free at Pausa Cafés at Dunelm. They can get a mini-main, two snacks and a drink for every £4 spent. Find out more.
  • Ikea – All kids eat one hot meal, jelly, a soft drink, and a piece of fruit from 95p until 3 September. Find out more.
  • Bella Italia – Kids eat for £1 with the purchase of every adult main from 4-6 pm, Monday to Thursday. They will enjoy three courses and fruit water. Check with your local restaurant if they’re running this offer.
  • Dobbies Garden Centres – Kids eat a free lunch menu plus a drink with an adult main meal. Find more info.
  • Café Rouge – Kids can eat 2 or 3 courses for £1 with every adult meal. Available until 31 August, find out more info.
  • The Real Greek – Kids eat free on Sundays for every £10 spent on an adult meal. The offer includes a kids’ meal, drink and ice cream or sorbet.
  • Preto – Children under 10 can eat free from noon when you buy an adult rodizio. More info.
  • Sizzling Pubs – Kids eat for £1 with the purchase of every adult main from 3-7 pm, Monday to Friday. The offer runs until 2 September. Find out more.

Staying BBQ safe

The weather is glorious, and the perfect time to clean up the barbecue (BBQ) and start grilling! However, barbecuing can become dangerous when not done responsibly, so it’s vital to always keep safety in mind. 

Below are some hints and tips to make sure you keep safe this summer. 

  • Never use a barbecue (including disposables) indoors or on your balcony. 
  • Keep children, garden games and pets well away from the cooking area. 
  • Don’t cook in communal areas. Have your barbecues in a private space, away from neighbours and well away from sheds, fences, trees or shrubs. 
  • Have a fire extinguisher close to hand and know how to use it/ you also need to know how to cut the gas supply, and it’s useful to know how to treat burns
  • Never leave your barbecue unattended. 
  • Smoke can get in hair, clothes, eyes and lungs, but also contains carbon monoxide and other dangerous substances. Try and keep your distance as much as possible. 
  • Grilling gloves and utensils with a long handle will keep arms and hands safe from flames. 
  • Wash your hands before preparing food, after touching raw meat and before eating. 
  • Check food is cooked: ideally, burgers, chicken and sausages should be tested with a thermometer before eating and no pink meat should be visible.  
  • After you have finished cooking, check the charcoal is cold or the gas has been turned off. Store your barbecue in a safe, dry place and not on your balcony. 
  • Remember to clean up your barbecue after using to avoid any pests. 

See more advice on safer barbecues from London Fire Brigade

If you have an emergency while having a barbecue, please call 999.