Our 12 months in pictures
Owen Read, Resident History
Last January, inspirational young resident Owen Read told us his story about his fundraising work to raise funds for the village of Madiana in Gambia. He first became involved with the village of Madiana after his Aunt Debbie asked him to collect what he could to be sent over to the villagers. This included medical equipment, clothes, shoes, gardening equipment, furniture, books and stationery.
Soon after Debbie booked Owen a ticket for him to come to Gambia with her and visit the village that he had been helping. Once there he helped the villagers by distributing the donations from the UK and one moment was particularly poignant for Owen:
“About 4 years ago I had donated my mountain bike to the village. One day I was walking along and saw a young boy who was now riding it. He was so happy with his bike and to see where my bike had ended up made me feel amazing.”
When we last spoke with Owen he had already used some savings to book a flight to go back to Madiana and help further.
Our tenants helped us win a regional award for our Learn For Free programme
Learn For Free is our resident-led training programme which offers free training courses and skills improvement to our residents with the aim of improving people’s lives and helping people to find work.
In February we were delighted to be awarded the 2017 Tenant Participation Advisory Service (TPAS) Excellence in Employment Skills and Training Southern Award and even more delighted to win the national final in July.
Women from across Plymouth created a quilt in memory of Joyce, a tragic story of a woman who died alone in a London flat. The idea got women to come together to celebrate and remember their fellow females and address social isolation.
The finished quilt was 2.5 meters high by 2.9 meters long and contained 56 individually-decorated squares. It was edged with white, green and purple as a nod to the suffrage movement.
It will eventually be displayed in the Plymouth History Centre when it opens.
High Street works finished
We held a planting party to mark the end of renewal works at High Street Flats.
Mi-space and our PCH Manufacturing team carried out the works, which included new windows and doors, renewed boundary railings and revamped balconies.
We invited residents to help us plant some low-maintenance shrubs in the outdoor area.
Students learning outside the classroom on Finland expedition
Primary school children across the city had the chance to take their learning outside of the classroom thanks to Anthony Jinman and Paul Hart's Education Through Expeditions (ETE) which aims to raise the aspirations of young people through unique learning opportunities.
Marine Academy Primary (MAP) were approached by Anthony as a local outstanding Academy to join him on a trip to Finland.
In order to raise enough money for the expedition, they set up a Crowdfunder page which attracted donations from organisations across the city. When PCH learned that two of the children from MAP were residents of ours we pledged £1,000 in sponsorship to help towards the expedition.
We met up with the children at MAP and it was fantastic to see how much they had enjoyed their experience and how much they have grown in confidence.
Tree climbing Awards
Our tree specialists Colin Rowland and Joe Berryman attended the Arboricultural Association’s annual Arb Show, where they took part in a number of tree climbing challenges.
One of their trials included going right out on a limb and hitting a bell with various types of equipment – including a chainsaw – before throwing a baton into a bucket on the ground.
Lost dog at Plumer House
We welcomed a lost dog into our headquarters during the summer when Yorkshire Terrier Jake spent a morning with us.
Jake was found by one of our electricians, Lewis Sutcliffe while he was working in Whitleigh. When Lewis couldn’t find the owner, he brought him back to Plumer House where obliging staff looked after him until his owner was located.
The Summer of Web
August was the start of the Summer of web with the launch of our new website. We listened to your feedback and created a new and improved website that catered to all your needs alongside the launch of our new portal #MyPCH which allows you to check your balance, pay your rent and notify us about a repair, all from the palm of your hand.
North Prospect Phase 2 completed
We reached another North Prospect milestone this year when the final home in Phase 2 was handed over to a tenant.
The Thornton family were the last family to move into the development, having relocated from nearby Ash Grove.
The completion of Phase 2 marked the end of our partnership with Barratt Homes, who were our contractor on Phases 1 and 2 of the regeneration.
Bookcase project at Mayflower Academy
We were more than happy to help Mayflower Academy in North Prospect in its quest for bookshelves for pupils to take home.
We donated some funds to the school so they could buy flat-pack bookshelves for families.
The project aimed to encourage pupils to develop a love of reading from an early age.
The PCH Men’s Shed is a project set up for residents to share the tools and resources they need to work on projects together and to socialise in a safe, friendly and inclusive venue. Run out of an actual shed the project has already been a big hit with its members.
Ryan Huws, Communities Worker for PCH said: “From the first session the guys got on really well and it was clear to see that they all enjoyed it – even though the first half an hour was a health and safety talk! The ideas for the projects have all been thought up by the members themselves and it’s great to see everyone so enthusiastic - they’ve really taken ownership of the Shed and the work they’ve taken on.”
Plumer House Christmas light switch on
Ten children who were involved in the Kids with Cameras project were invited to switch on the Plumer House Christmas lights.
Before the event, we had been showcasing the photographs taken by a group of children across our estates to see what it is like growing up in a PCH house as a young person. We invited those who took part to come and switch on the Plumer House lights as a big thank you.