When we asked you to vote for our partnership with Cairn Housing Association we made some promises about what the partnership would mean for you. These were:
The partnership between Ancho and Cairn is now firmly established in both organisations, with a lot of work going on behind the scenes to ensure better value for money and equip our team to provide better services in our communities.
We are facing challenges with the impact of coronavirus but the partnership with Cairn has given Ancho the strength and resilience to face the problems that lie ahead. We know there is much more to do, and in the year ahead we’ll be looking at how we can work together to provide better services to our tenants and other customers.
We have completed the second year of the five year planned maintenance programme, with £1,159,962 spent on upgrades in 2019/20. These included:
Ancho has celebrated their 20th anniversary at their 2020 annual general meeting, two years after tenants voted to become a subsidiary of the Cairn Housing Group.
Reflecting on the last year, Mary Black, Chair of the Ancho Board, said:
“We have faced up to a challenging year as we responded to the national lockdown that put restrictions on our ability to provide housing services. Housing associations are not immune to the impact of Covid-19 and the benefits and support of our partnership with Cairn Housing Association are clearly showing. Being part of Cairn Housing Group has made both organisations more resilient to the challenges of this year and those that are still to come. In the year ahead, we will be looking at how we can further integrate operations and strengthen the bonds between our organisations, to plan for the best possible services to our communities.”
Mary Black said, “The AGM gave an important opportunity to mark the retirement of Jackie Brown after 19 years’ dedicated service as a member of the Ancho Board. Jackie served as Vice Chair and Chair and her commitment and energy to the work of Ancho, including steering the Association into the partnership with Cairn, is very much appreciated and we wish Jackie well for the future.
“Our Board are delighted to announce Bill Finlay’s election as Vice Chairperson. Bill brings many skills to Ancho from his career as a Chartered Accountant, where he provided audit, accounting, corporate governance, legal compliance and business advice to company boards and CEOs. Bill’s wealth of experience is a great asset to our team and I look forward to working with him in his new role on the Board.”
Jason MacGilp, Chief Executive of Cairn Housing Group, said:
The Ancho team has kept focus on service delivery in a challenging year. As part of the Cairn Housing Group we continued to roll out our five-year programme of improvements in Irvine, with £2.1m spent on upgrades including kitchens, roofs, windows and doors. Ancho tenants are also benefitting from a five-year rent guarantee as part of the partnership with Cairn, which offers reassurance of continued affordability at a time when every penny counts.
“We are grateful to our team for their hard work and commitment during an incredibly difficult time for everyone, and the incredible support they’ve offered to our tenants in North Ayrshire.”
Did you know that for just £1 you can become a shareholding member of Ancho?
Shareholding membership is open to anyone over the age of 16 that is a tenant, service user, or anyone who makes an active contribution to Ancho activities. As a member you can get involved and shape the future of the association by:
If you are interested, please get in touch with Carolyn Owens by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 0800 990 3405.
We really want to involve tenants in a more meaningful way in how decisions are made. Traditionally this has always been about bringing tenants together in a room but with all the other pressures on people’s time, we struggle to get people to come along. We want to shake up how we do things and try something new, so we drafted a new Customer Involvement Strategy for how we see this working over the next three years.
We recently sent this draft strategy out for consultation and here are the results…
What kind of involvement would you participate in?
Completing surveys or questionnaires (online) 10
Estate walkabouts with staff to find improvements 8
Feedback about our publications 3
Focus groups or meetings in person 3
Scrutiny projects lasting one or two full days (in person) 3
Completing surveys or questionnaires (by post) 2
Long term scrutiny projects (lasting many months) 2
Focus groups or meetings by video conference 2
Scrutiny projects lasting one or two full days (online) 2
Are you more or less likely to participate online or face to face?
I'd prefer to get involved online 5
I'd prefer face to face meetings 1
I have no preference 7
Thanks to everyone who took the time to respond. We will take this feedback into account when we are planning ways to involve you in decision making and consultations.
At the time of writing we’re updating the strategy to reflect your feedback and ideas. We’ll have more
detailed feedback on this consultation shortly and the final strategy will be posted once its been approved by our Board.
Cairn Housing Group’s Out of Office Festival
Cairn Housing Group is celebrating Scottish Housing Day with the start of their inaugural Out of Office Staff Festival, which will see Cairn Housing Association and Ancho colleagues participating in a wide range of online workshops and events over the next three weeks.
The festival programme includes sessions on topics such as mindfulness, yoga and unconscious bias, as well as workshops on health and safety, service design, new systems for staff feedback, and Cairn and Ancho’s wider role in their communities across Scotland.
The festival coincides with the AGMs celebrating Ancho’s 20th anniversary and Cairn’s 30th anniversary, with updated staff awards confirmed to celebrate the outstanding contribution of colleagues during the Covid-19 lockdown.
Michael Catlin, Cairn’s Organisational Development Business Partner, said:
“Our teams have responded brilliantly to working from home, so it is no surprise they’ve been snapping up spaces for our different events across the festival programme. Cairn has an ambitious strategy for the innovative use of technology for service delivery and staff engagement, and our Out of Office Festival is another big step forward.”
Jason MacGilp, CEO of Cairn Housing Group, said:
“We are always ready to try something different, and the Out of Office Festival is a great opportunity to focus on staff wellbeing. Through these events we are reaching out to colleagues and reinforcing our One Team ethos, with a great range of sessions to support staff and to share experiences and ideas, and to have a bit of fun along the way.”
The Warm Home Discount could help you save you money on your energy bill.
The Warm Home Discount scheme requires suppliers, by law, to help vulnerable people in the UK pay for their energy. The money isn’t paid to you, it’s a £140 rebate applied to your electricity bill between September and March – unless you’re on prepay meter, in which case you’ll usually be sent a top-up voucher.
There are two ways to qualify, with a different process for each.
To qualify you must
If you get universal credit and earn an income of less than £1,349 pounds in an at least one month since November 2018, you’re eligible if you have any of the following:
If you’re eligible, you’ll need to apply directly to your supplier. You should do it as early as possible as discounts are often limited and cut-off dates vary between suppliers. Applications can open as early as August.
Please note that not all suppliers offer the warm home discount and criteria can vary between suppliers, to find out if your supplier does offer the Warm Home Discount, contact your supplier direct. Their contact details can be found on your last bill. You can also find out this information by going onto their Website. Your supplier may allow you to register your interest in the warm home discount in which they will send a TEXT alert when the application process opens.
With regard to switching suppliers It’s important to check the qualifying criteria if you are thinking about changing suppliers.
To get the rebate next year, you’ll need to be with a participating supplier on the ‘qualifying date’. This is usually in June or July.
If you’re on certain benefits and you have to apply to get the discount, you should always check before you switch that the supplier offers it to those on benefits, as criteria can differ between providers and check that the supplier’s scheme is still open to applications. You will then need to apply with the new supplier
If you would like further information on this scheme please contact ANCHO on 01294313121. We'll be able to provide advice in relation to any queries you may have.
We recently sent an email survey to 228 ANCHO tenants to ask their views on the frequency, content and format of the ANCHO newsletter.
17 people completed the consultation, which is a response rate of 7.5%. The survey asked a series of multiple-choice questions and questions that allowed our tenants to provide written feedback. This helped us to get a wide range of data about how they feel about the newsletter.
Summary of responses
91% of tenants surveyed replied that they read our newsletter in some way, be it cover to cover or skim reading.
6 out of 9 respondents preferred to receive email bulletins, with 1 preferring printed copies and 2 preferring both printed and online copies. Tenant responses showed that tenants demonstrated equal preference for an email bulletin once every two months and once every three months.
Tenants told us that they liked the content of the newsletter. Key themes brought up in the content feedback included news that related directly to tenants, and content about important contacts or services that could help them.
The high level of readership among our tenants shows that there is a definite need for a newsletter or a news bulletin.
Due to tenant’s preference for email bulletins and their concerns over the financial implications of producing the newsletter we will send a newsletter email bulletin every two months and a printed version of our newsletter every six months so that there are two printed copies every year.
Doing this will let us communicate with our tenants more frequently, reduce waste, and support those who do not have access to the internet.
The Scottish Housing Minister Kevin Stewart has moved to reassure social housing tenants of the safety measures in place as landlords, including ANCHO, plan the resumption of routine repairs and planned maintenance work. The letter also outlines measures which have been put in place to assist tenants through the pandemic.
In an open letter to council, housing association and housing co-operative tenants to provide advice and information on Scotland's route map for moving out of the coronavirus crisis, Mr Stewart said individual landlords are now beginning to plan for resuming services following the guidance available, and taking account of local circumstances.
Kevin Stewart's open letter to housing association tenants
This is where we will let you know about anything new thats happening at ANCHO.
Sovereign House, Academy Road,
Irvine, Ayrshire, KA12 8RL
Mon: 9.00am - 4.00pm
Tue: 9.00am - 4.00pm
Wed: 9.00am - 4.00pm
Thu: 9.00am - 4.00pm
Fri: 9.00am - 4.00pm
Registered Society under the Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies Act 2014
Scottish Housing Regulator
Recognised as a Scottish Charity
Registered property factor