Monday, 9 August 2010

MEDIA OPPORTUNITY: Councillors do their bit for environmental volunteering

Two senior Leeds councillors will be rolling their sleeves up and getting their hands dirty at the Rosebank Millennium Green project this week.

Executive board members Councillor Lucinda Yeadon and Councillor Tom Murray will join forces with local councillors and loads of volunteers to work on this inner city green space and help to redevelop it for the benefit of the local community.

Rosebank Millennium Green was transformed from a derelict site in 2000, and now needs more work to improve its natural biodiversity and open it up as a place for the whole community to come together and enjoy for years to come.

As part of the 2010 Leeds Year of Volunteering, volunteers, residents and partner organisations are being invited to work together throughout August on path improvements, the creation of new growing spaces, an orchard and a community art project that will compliment the site.

**************** MEDIA OPPORTUNITY ****************

WHAT: Media are invited to photograph Councillor Yeadon and Councillor Murray will join local councillors to take part in activities such as paving, terracing, step building, art works and mosaic-making
WHEN: 12 noon, Tuesday 10 August
WHERE: Rosebank Millennium Green, Rosebank Road, Hyde Park, LS3 1HH


Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, executive board member with responsibility for the 2010 Leeds Year of Volunteering said:
“This is a fantastic project and I’m really excited to have the opportunity to be a part of the redevelopment of this fantastic space for the benefit of the local community.
“Leeds is already one of the greenest cities in the UK and we want to continue to protect our environment and make further improvements, particularly in inner city areas.
“There are loads of different activities on offer here, and its really easy to get involved, so if you’re interested in the environment and fancy taking part in something a bit different during the summer, come along and have a go.”

Funded by Awards for All on behalf of Rosebank Millennium Green Trust, the project is keen to attract new volunteers to help make improvements to the green and bring the local community together. So if you, your work colleagues, family and friends fancy getting involved in activities on Tuesdays, Wednesdays or Thursdays including construction, conservation, making mosaics and learning circus skills please get in touch with Jenny Twaddell on Leeds 245 8863 or email j.twaddell@hydeparksource.org.uk for more information. Alternatively, visit the website http://rosebank2010.blogspot.com/

Notes for editors
For more information about volunteering opportunities visit Volunteer Centre Leeds, 12b St Paul's Street, Leeds LS1 2LE, telephone 0113 395 0405 – open Mondays to Thursdays 10am to 3pm. Alternatively visit our website www.leedsyearofvolunteering.org.uk

If you are or know of a volunteer or group of volunteers who have made a difference in your local community or organisation, why not nominate them for a volunteer award? Anyone can make a nomination by visiting the year of volunteering website: http://www.leedsyearofvolunteering.co.uk and completing an online form. Alternatively, forms are available from Volunteer Centre Leeds, Enterprise House, 12 St Paul’s Street, LS1 2LE.

The closing date for nominations is 30 September 2010. Everyone who is nominated for an award will be sent a certificate of congratulations. Shortlisted finalists will be invited to the awards evening on 1 December at Leeds Civic Hall.

ENDS
For media enquiries please contact:
Michael Molcher, Leeds City Council (0113) 224 3937
e-mail: michael.molcher@leeds.gov.uk

Good customer service? It’s right at the heart of communities in east Leeds


Caption: Residents, East North East Homes Leeds staff and chief executive Steve Hunt at Leeds Museum

Going above and beyond in the community has earned a council housing organisation a national accolade for good customer service.

East North East Homes Leeds (ENEHL) has achieved the prestigious Customer Services Excellence (CSE) award.

One of the three Arms Length Management Organisations that manages and maintains council homes in the east of the city on behalf of Leeds City Council, ENEHL successfully achieved the award for its housing offices after an inspection by the government’s Cabinet Office in July.

It was commended for ‘behaviours and practices that exceed the requirements of the standard’ which means ENEHL acts as a champion for customer service, leading the way for other organisations.

On awarding the standard, the assessor commented that: “There is ample evidence that ENEHL undertakes community initiatives which go beyond its normal remit… ranging from supporting the Fire and Rescue Service in helping to encourage fire safety amongst young people; Michelangelo’s Mates, a scheme to help people will learning disabilities acquire skills and support older people; accommodating volunteers with limited time to contribute to their community; help with language acquisition; and encouraging and supporting members of staff to give their time with paid leave for work within the community. These examples go well beyond the requirements of this element and is worthy of Compliance Plus”

The assessment was based on a thorough inspection of all housing services that ensured they were designed around the needs of the public. This involved ensuring that the customer was at the centre of all decisions made from the chief executive down to frontline staff. There was also a strong focus on effective partnership working with agencies like the police and the fire service, and ensuring hard-to-reach groups aren’t ignored.

Angelena Fixter, chair of East North East Homes Leeds board, said:
“We pride ourselves for putting customers at the heart of everything we do through an ongoing process of inspections and checks to ensure we’re providing customer services that is responsive to our residents’ needs.
“Good customer service is all about having the right people, in the right place doing the right things and this award is a real credit to everyone involved”.

Karen Wray, a tenant of East North East Homes Leeds, said:
“I sit on the Customer First Board at ENEHL and have seen how the needs and feedback received from customers influences how housing services are provided.
“The CSE award is a well deserved achievement and a tribute to the friendliness and motivation of the staff who work hard to get problems sorted for customers! “

Notes to editors
The Customer Service Excellence standard was developed to offer public services a practical tool for driving customer focussed change within their organisation. For more information on the Customer Service Excellence standard visit http://www.cse.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/homeCSE.do

East North East Homes Leeds is one of three Arms Length Management Organisations (ALMO) which manage and maintain council housing on behalf of Leeds City Council. It is wholly owned by the council, which retains ownership of housing stock and sets rents.
East North East Homes Leeds manages 19,000 council-owned residential properties in Boston Spa, Burmantofts, Chapel Allerton, Chapeltown, Collingham, Gipton, Halton Moor, Harehills, Linton, Meanwood, Moor Allerton, Moortown, Seacroft, and Wetherby.

ENDS
For media enquiries please contact:
Michael Molcher, Leeds City Council (0113) 224 3937
e-mail: michael.molcher@leeds.gov.uk