We believe that every person deserves to be treated with respect and offered an equally good level of service. This doesn’t mean that we treat everyone the same. It means that we listen to the needs of our customers, staff and partners and tailor our service offer to you as an individual.
To ensure that each individual experiences equally good opportunities and services, we take steps to support less able people to lead safer and more rewarding lives. We also recognise that not everyone gets the best deal e.g. in applying for jobs, accessing buildings or services or in understanding housing or employment issues. These are the basic elements of most people’s lives that they take for granted.
These are some of the things we do to support our customers, employees and others who use our services, so that they get the same chance to take those things for granted:
Positive about disability accreditation – this is the “two ticks” symbol that you will see on all our job advertisements. It means that applicants who have a disability who meet the minimum criteria for a role will be guaranteed an interview. It also means we are an employer that treats its disabled staff well and have been accredited by the Job Centre Plus.
Floating Support referrals – we make referrals to the local floating support service, funded by the Supporting People programme of Essex County Council. It aims to support people to maintain their tenancy when they might be at risk of losing it e.g. due to rent arrears caused by debt problems or anti-social behaviour. We work closely with the support worker allocated to the resident to help them maintain their tenancy successfully.
Translations – if you need help to understand the information we provide either by letter or over the phone, we supply translations and support. This might mean getting important letters or tenancy agreements put into another language, getting someone to translate words in person or over the phone, changing documents into Braille or large type or having a staff member visit you at home to talk to you in person.
Adaptations service – we build all new homes to Lifetimes Homes Standard meaning they should be easy to adapt if your needs change whilst you are living there. We also have a budget to spend on minor adaptations like grab rails, ramps and other changes like removing thresholds. Speak to a member of our supported housing team for more information.
Sheltered & supported housing – we provide housing with support for young parents in Maldon, over 100 people with learning, physical and sensory disabilities across Colchester, Tendring, Braintree and Maldon and over 300 homes for older people across North Essex.
Care and repair - This year the Society is piloting new handyman service in partnership with Swan Care & Repair. The service is designed to help older and disabled tenants to remain living safely at home and can help with small home improvements and jobs that the Society’s repairs service doesn’t cover e.g. changing light bulbs or batteries, putting up shelves or picture hooks, putting together flat pack furniture etc.
Anyone living in the Colchester, Tendring, Maldon, Braintree or Chelmsford area may qualify for this service anyway, You can find out more by visiting the Swan Care & Repair website here. This is not a free service and there is a small charge.
If you are a Colne tenant (not a homeowner), disabled, over 60 years of age or live in our sheltered housing then you will qualify for reduced rates. Make sure you mention Colne Housing Society when you call.
We will be reviewing the success of this pilot later this year. Make sure you use it and tell us about your experience. We would love to get your feedback!