Author Archives: Jayson Winters

Our friend Alan, greatly missed…

Our much loved and respected Board member Revd Alan Ashton died just before Christmas 2017.

CONSTANT ADVICE

Father of three grown-up children, Alan had been an MMHS resident since 2007, and joined the Board in 2010.

As well as his engagement with Board matters, he often popped in to MMHS’s  office to say ‘hello’.

Alan was a walking encyclopaedia of Methodism, and a constant source of information and advice for us all. To say he will be greatly missed is an understatement.

ABIDING MEMORY

Alan used to be in the construction industry before becoming a Methodist minister in 1978. He loved ballet and opera, and was always ready to share his love of music.

An abiding memory is of his impromptu practical demonstration of Swan Lake at our fringe event at the Methodist Conference in 2017! Alan’s heart was full of fun and faith.

‘Alan was our friend as well as our colleague,’ said CEO Mairi Johnstone. ‘Personally, I shall miss his humour, wisdom and commitment.’

Satisfied? Say so with our new online form

tenants'-survey-1Herald your heroes or reveal the rogues – by filling in our online ‘satisfaction survey’. A list of top traders is being compiled by the Society – and tenants have a key role to play.

Through this special form on the MMHS website, householders can share their views on repairs carried out on their homes. Their findings will make up a database of recommended contractors. Tenants are encouraged to answer the following questions:

  • what date did the contractor complete the work?
  • was the operative courteous?
  • did the operative leave your home clean and tidy?
  • would you be happy to have this contractor undertake work for you again?

Tenants are asked to rate the overall service they have received. ‘This new questionnaire will enable us to obtain “real time” responses shortly after repairs have been completed,’ said Maintenance Manager Glenn Fry.

‘The responses will help us improve the Society’s service. They’ll enable us to compile a more comprehensive database of good and reliable contractors.’

MMHS has offered a similar form before, but only for work where an order has been raised prior to works being carried out. ‘That’s been very effective in monitoring the quality of repairs,’ said Glenn.

‘But we’ve never captured this data on retrospective orders. Now we can gather tenants’ views on the repairs service provided by traders so we can maintain high satisfaction levels – and identify good and bad contractors.’

Our Godfried sang for Mary Berry

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MMHS worker Godfried Addo hit just the right note when he took part in a major seasonal TV programme over the Easter holidays.

Godfried, who is Property Services Director with the Society, is part of the Ghanaian Methodist Fellowship choir (pictured) who sang on popular TV cook Mary Berry’s show Easter Feast.

HEART AND SOUL

‘It was pretty good,’ said Godfried. ‘At the time of recording we weren’t too sure what was going to be included in the programme. But we knew our contribution was to be used for the introduction.’

TV productions are usually filmed well in advance of transmission date. So the choir had been asked to stage an Easter celebration event back in February. They rose to the challenge and put heart and soul into the filming for production company Shine TV.

‘The church was packed,’ said chaplain Rev William Davis. ‘It was a wonderful service. Two hundred people were there. It went very well.’ They sang, danced and waved their handkerchiefs – and didn’t hold back!

Even though it was brief, the edited clip was full of energy when it was shown on the BBC Two programme during Holy Week. ‘We made Easter arrive early,’ said Godfried, ‘and created just the right atmosphere.’

The two-part series showed food writer and presenter Mary Berry (pictured) as more than just a woman of flans and fairy cakes. She explored the foods that bring together different Christian communities on Easter Sunday.

EASTER RECIPES

10570911-low_res-mary-berrys-easter-feastMary shared her favourite Easter recipes including – hot cross buns, simnel cake and roast lamb. She learned how every Christian community and culture – from Russians to Filipinos, from Caribbeans to Italians – has its own way of commemorating this most important festival.

The Ghanaian Methodist Fellowship Chaplaincy choir was reformed in its current structure in 2013 and now has more than 40 members. Membership is made up of people from Methodist churches across London (Photo of Mary Berry BBC/Shine TV/Craig Harman. Mary Berry’s Easter Feast can be viewed on iPlayer).

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Rapid response to repair survey

new-kitchenFeedback has been overwhelming to the Society’s latest property survey. More than 500 tenants rushed their completed questionnaires back to MMHS within a month of the 2016 review starting.

Such a rapid response delighted the Society’s property team. But they were encouraged even further when some householders also added glowing comments to their forms.

‘We’re well satisfied with the way you’ve cared for us over the years,’ said one respondent. ‘Everything is adequate for our needs,’ said another, ‘we’re grateful to MMHS for providing a home for us.’ And one tenant simply said, ‘Just thank you for a beautiful home’.

CEO Mairi Johnstone sent out the letters in March, inviting tenants to take part in a new planned maintenance programme. ‘We needed basic information on the condition of each home,’ said Mairi, ‘and then householders’ views would help us draw up the programme for many years to come.
‘We didn’t expect such a wonderful response with such heart-warming comments. That has been a lovely bonus to the scheme. Thank you for the encouragement!’

Enclosed with each letter was a form which asked questions about the condition of each kitchen, bathroom, windows, driveway, roof and external painting. Tenants were asked to give brief descriptions of anything they saw that concerned them.

‘Once a programme has been put together for the planned maintenance, we’ll write again to inform householders about any work that needs to be done and when it will be undertaken,’ said Mairi. ‘Regular repair needs that people have identified will receive our attention separately.’

The Society has undertaken a general study of its housing stock in the past. But this is the first repair and maintenance survey – and particularly where tenants have submitted their own findings. ‘We thought they’d be the best experts on their own homes,’ said Mairi.

(Pictured is a kitchen at a house in Greater Manchester, recently refurbished by MMHS contractors)