WE’RE OPEN! Community delight as Castlemilk Pantry opens its doors to shoppers
June 7 2021
A BRAND new pantry aiming to help people access healthy and affordable food has opened its doors to the community in
It is located within Castlemilk Community Centre in Castlemilk Drive and launched on Thursday, June 3.
The pantry operates by giving members who sign up for £1 a year access to around £15 worth of goods for a flat rate of just £2.50 per shop and got off to a flying start with 92 people signing up on day one.
It delivers a dignified approach to tackling food inequality and where pantries are already operating, they have proved an instant hit with local people.
The pantry also addresses the issue of food waste . Shockingly, £9.7 billion of food is wasted in the UK each year for a variety of reasons and we all have to learn to conserve food and throw out less.
The pantry will be stocked with a wide variety of fresh, frozen, dried and tinned products with special offers each week and will sell food purchased from another social enterprise – the UK’s longest running food redistribution charity FareShare
The Castlemilk pantry has been in the planning for over two years but was delayed by a year due to the pandemic.
Its opening is ideally timed for the easing of rules for retail and other services being given the green light to restart.
Castlemilk's housing associations have been at the forefront of the pantry drive led by Ardenglen Housing Association supported enthusiastically by neighbours North View, Cassiltoun, Craigdale and Glasgow Housing Associations.
Fiona Hamilton, Castlemilk Pantry Co-ordinator said: “This is a landmark achievement for Castlemilk. To have our own pantry serving the local community is a great step forward in defeating food poverty and offering a value for money way of purchasing food. We’re delighted to be open for business.”
Staffed by volunteers it is currently open to everyone living in the G45 postcode area, with plans to open to other local communities, once it is established. The Pantry will be mostly staffed by volunteers. It will open initially for across two days per week from 10am – 3pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays then increasing to operating across 18 hours per week.
The pantry acknowledges the generous financial support given to the project which has come from the Scottish Government’s “Investing in Communities Fund”; Glasgow City Council Town Centre Action Plan Fund; Glasgow City Council “Communities Fund” and The National Lottery “Community Led Fund”.
The funding has meant two jobs have been created - the Pantry Co-ordinator and a Community Development Worker.
In addition the pantry is working with an organisation called “Raising Standards” who will support it with a Community Chef/Nutritionist.
The Community Chef/Nutritionist will deliver training to local people including certified cookery courses and deliver cookery demonstrations available in store and online.
The Community Development Worker will develop the Castlemilk “Pantry Plus” initiative which will go beyond the concept of a dignified approach to buying food. This role will help empower local people, build positive relationships and encourage them to seek support across a wide range of areas such as money advice, health and employment. It will also act to “signpost” people to other organisations offering help.
The Castlemilk Pantry is part of the Scottish Pantry Network which is made up of pantries from across Glasgow and Inverclyde where communities have come together to address the issues of hunger and food waste with a sustainable solution.
Audrey Simpson, Chief Executive of Ardenglen Housing Association, said: “This is a hugely-significant development for the Castlemilk community as we tackle head on the issue of food inequality and deliver a solution right on people’s doorstep.
“We encourage residents to sign up for membership and find out why the new pantry can be a cost-effective alternative deserving of local support.”
Pantry shopper Leighann Ingram who is also volunteering to serve customers added: “What a difference this will make to the Castlemilk community. I would encourage people to make full use of this brilliant new way to shop to ensure it is a big success.”
We’re open…Karen McDonagh, Chair of Ardenglen’s “Community Committee” (left), Ardenglen Chief Executive Audrey Simpson and Ardenglen Chairperson Liz McKenzie.
The savings all add up….pantry shopper and volunteer Leighann Ingram.
Ready to serve…the staff and volunteers behind the Castlemilk pantry
Welcome to your pantry…..Fiona McGovern, Regeneration Officer at Ardenglen Housing Association (left); Sally Pritchard, Community Development Worker and Fiona Hamilton, Pantry Co-Ordinator
ARDENGLEN NAMED HOUSING ASSOCIATION OF THE YEAR
Ardenglen has been named Scotland’s Housing Association of the Year.
In a sensational win, we scooped the top award in the keenly- contested Scottish Home Awards 2020.
And it was described as “the icing on the cake” in the same year as we celebrate our 30th birthday.
Due to the ongoing health emergency, the event was held digitally for the first time ever.
Commenting on the stunning success, our Chief Executive Audrey Simpson said: “This is the perfect birthday present for Ardenglen in a very special year for us. It is undoubtedly the icing on the cake.
“This Award recognises the important role Ardenglen plays within Castlemilk – going far beyond just collecting the rent and confirms our commitment over three decades to our wonderful community.”
We focused our submission for the Award not just on its unwavering commitment to regenerating Castlemilk but on our approach to people – tenants, staff, its Board and volunteers.
Cultural change played an important part in the entry - notably following the creation of our “One Team” initiative delivering a truly “people-focused” commitment to our work.
The long-established community work of the association ideally equipped Ardenglen – in common with fellow Castlemilk housing associations – to tackle the unprecedented challenge of the ongoing health emergency later in the year.
Our planned 30th anniversary celebrations were severely curtailed as we chose instead to focus staffing resources and financial commitment instead to helping the Castlemilk Together initiative.
Made up of local housing associations and other organisations, Castlemilk Together has, for many months, spearheaded the local effort to help the community with food and other methods of support during the pandemic.
Audrey added: “I want to pay particular tribute to the Staff and Board members whose efforts have resulted in winning this Award.
“Equally importantly, special mention must also go to our Community Committee who, through their work, do so much to create the community spirit that defines Castlemilk.”
Our Chair Liz McKenzie said “This is a tremendous achievement not just for Ardenglen but Castlemilk, too. It shines the spotlight on the work our community is doing as we build homes and support our neighbourhood in so many ways. We like to think of Ardenglen as the anchor which holds our community together and this has been especially important during the ongoing health emergency.”
A TEAM EFFORT TO TACKLE VIRUS, AGM IS TOLD
Castlemilk pulled together like never before to offer a helping hand
September 16 2020
CASTLEMILK pulled together like never before as it faced the onslaught of the coronavirus pandemic.
Families were offered unprecedented support as Ardenglen joined others in reaching out to rescue the community from Covid’s devastating effects.
That was the uplifting message at the Association’s AGM held remotely due to ongoing restrictions.
Chief Executive Audrey Simpson paid tribute to the work of the Castlemilk Together organisation – which featured many local organisations, housing associations including Ardenglen - and an army of willing volunteers.
Together they delivered thousands of meals during the lockdown particularly to isolated and vulnerable tenants.
Despite the challenges, Audrey was able to pinpoint key successes during the organisation’s 30th year namely:
- The launch of the £3million “Cathkin 7” development of 22 homes
- The collection of 97.7 per cent of rent owed to Ardenglen
- It took just 8.6 days to allocate empty homes
- 95.3% of repairs were carried out right first time
- 92% of tenants were satisfied with the repairs service
Audrey said: “I am delighted to present such a positive scorecard. It is a reflection on the hard work and commitment of our staff and I want to take this opportunity to thank them.
“The year ahead could be our greatest challenge yet, building on our recovery from the pandemic, but being mindful that it remains a very real issue. We will be developing a new business plan, and looking to have a root and branch review of our operating world. I also want to offer my sincere thanks to our Board of Management for their ongoing dedication and commitment to Ardenglen.”
The AGM was the final one for Chair Maureen Cope MBE who has relinquished the role but will remain on the Board.
Maureen has a distinguished record in community activism and is easily one of the best known names within the housing association movement in Scotland.
Her decades of dedication to the Castlemilk community is unmatched and she is a much-admired figure in Castlemilk and beyond.
Ardenglen is grateful that Maureen will remain on the Board offering her unrivalled expertise and knowledge in ensuring a bright future for Ardenglen.
There were two key appointments following the AGM – notably the election of a new Chair Liz McKenzie following a period as Vice Chair and Mark Ingram as Vice Chair.
A brief Special General Meeting was also held prior to the AGM to approve a change in the rules governing the Association.
BRINGING THE YOUNG AND YOUNG-AT-HEART TOGETHER
Trail-blazing Castlemilk project aims to make older people better connected
July 6 2020
A TRAIL-BLAZING new initiative to tackle loneliness and isolation among older people and make them better connected has been launched in Castlemilk.
At the heart of it is a plan to bring young people and those in later life together to help the young at heart become more digitally included.
Now Ardenglen has been awarded funding totalling £15,454 from The National Lottery Community Fund to make it happen.
Known as the Connected Castlemilk “Digital Intergenerational Programme” its key aim is to make sure older people in the community become more aware of local activities and to help them pick up digital skills. It is being delivered in partnership with Castlemilk Youth Complex.
We swung into action after the coronavirus crisis starkly revealed how older people were, in some cases, detached from everyday life – made all the more worrying because of the sheer numbers shielding or who have no family nearby.
The new programme aims to achieve several outcomes:
- To ensure the young at heart become more connected digitally by giving them confidence to use new technology and the internet
- Young people will be encouraged to apply for relevant youth awards based on the help they provide for older people
- Young people will use the experience of helping older people to enhance their college or university applications and also make them an appealing prospect for potential employers
- Isolation and loneliness will be tackled when senior citizens become more digitally connected to friends and family
Meanwhile a new “Connected Castlemilk” website is being created bringing many community activities together in one place – making it easier for people to assess which ones they are interested in.
Crucially, it will be informed and populated by findings from the intergenerational project and working with the “Castlemilk Together” organisation - made up of housing associations, other voluntary groups & local people.
The aim is to ensure that the wider community can see the spread of what is on in the wider community. By doing so this will avoid duplication of services and events especially happening on the same day or times.
We already have a strong track record in helping the community where we have our homes.
Our much-admired “Community Committee” – made up of volunteers - has for several years sought to bring the community together with events for children, families and seniors throughout the year – many in the popular Maureen Cope Hall in Castlemilk.
And for some time we have been delivering successful intergenerational programmes both with Castlemilk High and Miller Primary schools.
Fiona McGovern, our Community Regeneration Officer, said: “This is a hugely-significant development and we are immensely grateful to receive such generous funding from the National Lottery.
“The situation with digital exclusion among older people has been brought sharply into focus during the ongoing health emergency with worrying numbers of older people unable to connect digitally to what's going on or what help might be available.
“We are determined to change that and with our partners in Castlemilk we have been working very hard in recent months to ensure older people are not left behind.
“Young people and older people are a natural fit and bringing them together will undoubtedly have positive outcomes for both.”
Audrey Simpson, our Chief Executive said: “We are delighted to be doing our bit to tackle digital inequality – especially among older people. This is an exciting project which will have far-reaching benefits in terms of inclusion by bringing the young and old together. It will open doors for those in later life and that is something everyone will welcome.”
Betty Campbell is one Castlemilk senior citizen among the first to benefit after receiving a tablet device to help her become more digitally aware. She is now using it to see and chat to her grandchildren in Jersey and Australia.
Betty said: “It’s wonderful. It makes thing so much easier and being able to keep in touch with my grandchildren during the lockdown is fantastic.”
ARDENGLEN’S HAPPY ANNIVERSARY HOMES!
£3.7 million housing boost for Castlemilk unveiled in same week the Association turns 30
February 13 2020
ARDENGLEN has delivered a £3.7 million homes boost for Castlemilk.
We have unveiled 22 new homes in the same week we n marked our 30th anniversary.
Chief Executive Audrey Simpson called the new homes “the perfect way” to celebrate three decades of service to the Castlemilk community.
Tenants have started moving in to the properties – built by McTaggart Construction – on Ardencraig Road.
Our “Cathkin 7” project creates a new landmark development where once there were disused school playing fields at the former St Martins primary school.
The development consists of 15 one, two and three bedroom flats, four two-bedroom houses and three wheelchair-accessible flats.
The new housing has come about with financial assistance from Glasgow City Council and the Scottish Government of just over £2 million.
Audrey added: “We are very grateful to Glasgow City Council and the Scottish Government who share our vision of creating affordable new homes. We are all working together to bring real benefits to the communities we serve.
“Everyone will welcome these new homes. Ardenglen is deeply committed not just to making our communities great places in which to live but to building new homes which people really want.”
“We also want to thank McTaggart Construction for its excellent work throughout the building process.”
Our Chair Maureen Cope MBE added: “This is great news for Castlemilk. The development has transformed an area of waste ground and once again delivered on Ardenglen’s promise to build homes for our community.”
Councillor Kenny McLean, City Convenor for Neighbourhoods, Housing and Public Realm, said: “It’s great to see the completion of more new homes in Glasgow, this time these 22 new homes in Castlemilk. We helped to fund the building of these homes, and were delighted to work with Ardenglen Housing Association on this project, which will not only improve the lives of the new tenants but add to the regeneration of the area. The Association has played a key role this regeneration over the past 30 years.”
Drumming proves a sensation as Autumn Family Fun day hits all the right notes
DRUMMING up support from the community is nothing new for our hardworking Community Committee.
So it was no surprise that kids beat a path to the Autumn Fun Day at the Maureen Cope Hall where they took part in a host of activities including drumming.
The drums were a new feature for the annual event to round off the October week school holiday which also offered face painting, the chance to make your own pizza with lunch thrown in.
There was also a firm emphasis on healthy eating with free fruit for all the youngsters.
Our Chief Executive Audrey Simpson praised the efforts of the Association’s Community Committee for masterminding the fun once again.
Audrey said: “The hard work of our volunteers in the Community Committee can be seen throughout the year in so many events. Its members always put Castlemilk first and they play a key role in bringing people together. We applaud their efforts and enthusiasm.”
On Friday, October 25, the Community Committee hosts its next family event – the Hallowe’en Party.
BUSY AGM AS ARDENGLEN HAS EYE ON THE FUTURE
Members told of commitment to “continuous improvement”
OUR members received an upbeat message of continuous improvement at the Ardenglen AGM this week.
New homes for Castlemilk were nearing completion, voids have been dramatically reduced to a third of the Scottish average and a new “Strategic Map” now sets out what Ardenglen will do in the coming years.
Delivering her Chief Executive’s message to a very busy AGM – strongly supported as usual by the Castlemilk community - Audrey Simpson spoke of “change and progress”.
Audrey said: “It is important for Ardenglen to make sure we continue with clarity of purpose and operate with passion and commitment to the community we serve. To do that we had to rejuvenate our purpose to inspire our tenants, staff and the community to push for more.
“I know the importance of a map to make sure you can get to here you want to go. That is why we have developed our Strategic Map. The map sets out our direction of travel for the coming years and provides a compelling vision, purpose and organisational values.
“And in the true spirit of the housing association movement, we will carry on transforming communities by providing aspirational homes and services and to enhance the quality of life for our customers.’
Members were also told there is also to be a new “Community Plan” underpinned by input from residents.
Audrey added: “The plan is led by the community, will fully reflect the views of the community and we hope owned by the community. This will provide us with real insight to take to key partners and to develop new initiatives, services or projects.”
Meanwhile Chair Maureen Cope MBE listed a series of achievements including the number of voids slashed significantly and almost £800,000 spent on renewing windows and doors. Feedback suggested tenants now find it easier to heat their homes at a time of continuously soaring fuel bills.
Maureen singled out the Scottish Government and Glasgow City Council for helping to fund the 22 new homes Ardenglen is building and praised builders McTaggart for its construction performance.
Maureen added: “Welfare rights continues to be an important part of our work with £622,807 gained for those who came looking for help – a truly astonishing achievement and something we are very proud of.”
Finally, Maureen thanked dedicated Board members and hardworking staff at Ardenglen for their commitment to housing and the Castlemilk community throughout another year.
In 2020, Ardenglen will celebrate its 30th anniversary.
AN EGG-CELLENT WAY TO CELEBRATE SPRING AT ARDENGLEN
April 15 2019
A Spring Family Fun Day has once again helped bring the community together in Castlemilk.
A huge turnout of families attended the event organised by our Community Committee with a firm emphasis on enjoyment.
In fact, the attendance was so large that it easily surpassed any other event run by the Community Committee in recent years.
The occasion, held in the Maureen Cope Community Hall, included a magician to entertain the kids and a keenly-contested Easter egg hunt.
Also featured were examples of the work done by a group called “Sew Fabulous” which is part of Ardenglen’s inspiring “The Only Way is Up” initiative known to the local community as “TOWiU.”
It is one of our programmes designed to build people’s confidence, skills and resilience and has significant community support.
Sew Fabulous provides the opportunity for local people to learn new skills through the manufacture of textile goods from reclaimed fabrics.
Ardenglen Chief Executive Audrey Simpson said: “The turnout at our Spring Family Fun Day was exceptional and we hope that everyone who came along had a fantastic time.
“Special mention must go to our Community Committee which does the most incredible job. It all comes together thanks to their hard work and expert planning.”
ARDENGLEN ANNOUNCES A SERIES OF KEY STAFF APPOINTMENTS
January 31 2019
ARDENGLEN has unveiled five new members of staff in a range of key roles.
The appointments will further strengthen an already-strong team and equip the organisation with the skills needed for the future.
Announcing the new team, Chief Executive Audrey Simpson welcomed the five saying she was delighted to have them on board.
Audrey said: “We have a great team at Ardenglen. With a full review of our vision, values, purpose and strategic objectives in the coming months, staff are joining the Association at an exciting time.
“Many of our tenants are suffering greater financial hardship than ever before and we will have a key focus on value for money and innovative working, with first class customer services at the heart of everything we do. The five new staff are an important addition to ensure we can achieve our ambitions.”
The most senior appointment is DAVID BYFIELD who joins Ardenglen after 12 years at Linstone Housing Association in Linwood, Renfrewshire where he was Corporate Services Manager.
He has been a housing professional for 20 years takes up the new position of Director of Finance, Digital and Corporate.
David said: “I am delighted to be joining Ardenglen. As an award-winning Association it places great emphasis on supporting its communities both in terms of building new homes which are very much needed in Castlemilk and in its regeneration work.”
David has a degree in Business Technology, is a CIH Member and is a Member of the British Computing Society.
The other staff who have taken up their new posts are: Housing Assistant HAYLEIGH RENNIE; KELLY BURNS, Senior Customer Services Assistant; Housing Officer WILLIAM BOALE and JACQUI MILLS, Corporate and Compliance Officer.
WE RAISE £3000 AND EARN PRAISE FROM SOCIAL BITE
December 10 2018
Ardenglen has completed our “Sleep in the Park” participation and received the personal thanks of Social Bite Co-Founder Josh Littlejohn MBE.
The Ardenglen team met Josh during his whistle stop tour of Scotland’s four principal cities where thousands were taking part in the mass sleep out to raise awareness of homelessness.
Josh praised the efforts of the housing association saying it had done “a magnificent job.” The total raised across Scotland is surging past £3 million.
The five members who took part in the Kelvingrove Park event were: Audrey Simpson, Diane Hendry, Leanne McGowan, Kerri Downie and Allana Hammell.
The fundraising by Ardenglen - which has take part over the last few weeks - saw the figure rise to almost £3000.
Chief Executive Audrey said: “Not for a moment did we wake up the following morning and think that we remotely understood what it is to be homeless.
“There was something very powerful about bringing thousands of people together to focus on trying to help on this vital issue. Thanks to Josh Littlejohn MBE for meeting us and to everyone who sponsored us.”
Ardenglen would like to thank our contractors for helping contribute to the money raised. They are City Technical Services, Sidey, McTaggart Group, The Print Brokers and Caledonian Maintenance Services
The Ardenglen staff took with them a banner specially produced by Ardenglen’s “Sew Fabulous” group which offers the opportunity to learn new skills through the manufacture of textile goods from reclaimed fabrics.
Philanthropist John Watson OBE who helped fund the Glasgow Sleep in the Park singled out housing associations for a special mention.
He said: “We know there were many housing professionals representing a number of Scottish housing associations sleeping out at Kelvingrove. Their willingness to join the fight to defeat homelessness is a shining example of the dedication that they offer in their working lives to helping others and which defines Scotland’s housing association movement.”
Ardenglen “bowled over” after winning community “soup-off”
November 13 2018
ARDENGLEN Housing Association caused a stir this week by winning a great Castlemilk “Soup Off.”
The Association’s “Happy Gardeners” group emerged victorious in the keenly-fought community contest held at Castlemilk Parish Church.
Six teams battled it out to persuade members of the public their soup was the best on offer.
And when the votes were tipped out of the ballot box Ardenglen came joint first with “Fair Deal - Help Yourself Grow.”
Ardenglen’s soup was a “curry roasted red pepper and aubergine” offering and was widely praised by those who sampled it as “spicy and delicious.”
The community event was organised by Castemilk Together - a community organisation which as the name suggests aims to create togetherness.
Ardenglen and Cassiltoun Housing Associations along with Castlemilk Community Church are partners in Castlemilk Together.
It has a firm emphasis on food wellbeing and the promotion of healthy eating and nutrition.
The event was well attended and Castlemilk Parish Church Minister Rev Sarah Brown presented the winners with their prizes which included a book of recipes and cooking utensils.
Community-led environmental charity Urban Roots played a key role in helping to run the event in partnership with the Church.
The Happy Gardeners group is part of Ardenglen’s community initiative known as “The Only Way Is Up” or TOWiE for short which is a key part of its regeneration work.
Fiona McGovern, Ardenglen’s Regeneration Officer, said: “This was yet another example of the Castlemilk community coming together for an event which was worthwhile and enjoyable. The soups were delicious and we congratulate both groups who triumphed on their winning recipes.”
HOUSING STUDENTS CALL IN TO CASTLEMILK
Ardenglen and Cassiltoun play host to visit from University of Stirling
November 1 2018
A visit well worth making……..the students in Castlemilk.
STUDENTS from the University of Stirling have visited Castlemilk as they see first hand the vital work being done by community-based housing associations.
The students from the University’s Social Policy and Housing course visited Cassiltoun and Ardenglen on their study visit.
It provided a valuable insight into the day-to-day running and workings of busy housing providers with a particular emphasis on their regeneration work.
At Cassiltoun, they were briefed by Chief Executive Charlie Millar and Clair Malpas, the Regeneration Manager on its work. This included an overview of the wide range of community regeneration activities delivered by the Cassiltoun Group including health, education, social engagement and employment programmes.
Charlie and Clair also focused on Cassiltoun’s business diversity through its social enterprise programme and the impressive 5 year development plans including building 42 flats and houses costing just over £5 million by December 2019.
One highlight was a tour of Castlemilk Stables – owned by Cassiltoun’s subsidiary Cassiltoun Trust. In 2017 the Stables celebrated its 10th anniversary and was undoubtedly a landmark regeneration triumph by the housing association and which has won a string of awards.
Another highlight for the group was meeting Anna Stuart MBE a founder of Cassiltoun Housing Association who was described by the participants as ‘inspirational’.
Charlie Millar, Chief Executive of Cassiltoun, said: “We were delighted to host the visit from the University of Stirling. This has been a good opportunity for the Housing Studies students to see first hand our social and economic regeneration and learn what is a priority for Castlemilk.”
At Ardenglen, students met Staff and Board members and were given an insight into its regeneration successes.
They were told of Ardenglen’s community initiative known as The Only Way is Up. It offers a range of free activities from gardening to cookery, IT help, get-together groups for men and women, first aid sessions and even a sewing group – all aimed at building people’s confidence and giving them new skills.
The students were also treated to a musical performance by
“All That Glitters” – the initiative’s creative writing and song group.
Much of the regeneration work undertaken by Ardenglen is carried out by the hugely-admired Community Committee made up of volunteers who arrange social events for the benefit of the local community.
Audrey Simpson, Ardenglen’s Chief Executive, said: “It is essential that the housing professionals of the future see first hand how housing associations deliver their services on the ground.
“This study visit allowed two housing associations to demonstrate the deep-rooted achievements not just in building homes but delivering change that improves people’s lives in the true spirit of the housing association movement.”
The study visit was led by Dr Kim McKee, Senior Lecturer in Housing Studies at the University.
Kim said: “We would like to say thank you to Ardenglen and Cassiltoun Housing Associations for welcoming our first year Housing Studies students on their recent site visit.
“The students have been learning about the range of services social landlords provide beyond their traditional housing management role. The visit provided them with key insights into the ethos underpinning the community-controlled housing association movement and the sheer range of community development and regeneration activities many social landlords are now engaged in.
“It was a very positive learning experience for them, and they valued being given the opportunity to meet local people who used and help support the services provided.”
BUSY AGM AS NEW MEMBERS OF THE BOARD ANNOUNCED
September 17 2018
TWO new members of our Board of Management have been announced by Ardenglen.
Alex Warren and Lucy Carr joined the Board at the busy Annual General Meeting.
Welcoming both to the Board, Chief Executive Audrey Simpson praised their willingness to serve the community and highlighted their skills which would be “invaluable” to the Association.
Alex is currently Director of Strategic Development at the much-admired Wise Group – an organisation well known for having a transformational effect on people’s lives.
Alex has been with the Wise Group for over 11 years and is fiercely passionate about the work that they do. He is responsible for the leadership, direction and management of all strategic business development, in order to provide the foundation for the sustainable delivery of social impact and growth across the business.
Alex said: “I’m delighted to have joined the Board of Ardenglen. I know full well the work that is done in the Castlemilk community to deliver good housing and change people’s lives for the better.
Ardenglen is a shining example of a housing association operating at the heart of a vibrant, thriving community where housing is greatly-valued by the people it serves.”
Lucy is a retired primary school teacher, has been a tenant for 15 years and a member for eight. She has a strong connection to Castlemilk having been brought up in the community before moving to South Africa and living there for 22 years.
On her return to Britain she came back to live in Castlemilk and is a keen supporter of the concept of the housing association movement and the work it does in the delivery of much-needed local housing.
The new appointments follow Ardenglen’s recent Board appraisal and Skills Audit.
Audrey Simpson said: “We welcome Lucy and Alex to Ardenglen and feel sure their contribution will be significant in the work we do.”
Meanwhile well known Castlemilk community campaigner Maureen Cope MBE was elected Chair. Maureen has a long and distinguished history of social activism in Castlemilk – championing community housing and many other local causes which matter in her neighbourhood and beyond.
In her address to Members, Audrey reaffirmed that value for money to keep rents affordable remained a key priority.
Audrey said: “With great uncertainty around the financial climate it has never been more important to operate as efficiently and effectively as we can.”
Audrey also intimated that the Association was working with others to prepare for the impact of Universal Credit being rolled out in Glasgow in December in order to minimise its effect on tenants.
Audrey also focused on a strong repairs performance at Ardenglen reporting high levels of satisfaction with 95 per cent of tenants giving the service the thumbs up.
Members were also told that November will see the start of building work on Ardenglen’s new £3.6 million housing development of 22 properties – being built with generous financial support from the Scottish Government and Glasgow City Council.
Read all about it as Dolly Parton’s “Imagination Library” delivers a books bonanza for Castlemilk kids
September 11 2018
CASTLEMILK youngsters have booked their place in a brand new reading initiative thanks to Craigdale and Ardenglen Housing Associations AND star Dolly Parton!
The hugely-admired singer famed for her stellar country music career also runs the globally-renowned “Imagination Library” designed to get kids reading and create a love of books.
Now it has been launched in Castlemilk after two housing providers signed up to the Imagination Library delivering a huge reading boost to kids.
All youngsters aged from birth until they reach their fifth birthday who are signed up will now get a book sent to them FREE OF CHARGE in the post each month after the housing associations put up the funding. The launch coincided with International Literacy Day.
The Library was created by Dolly Parton and has been a runaway success elsewhere in the UK and in the US, Canada and Australia
Youngsters attending the Castlemilk launch got their first book handed to them – the Beatrix Potter classic The Tale of Peter Rabbit - with a life size rabbit on hand to make the story come alive for eager young readers. They also enjoyed storytelling from members of “Book Bug” team from the Scottish Book Trust.
Two hundred and thirty Glasgow children whose parents or guardians are tenants of housing associations are already signed up to the scheme and it is hoped to extend this across the city.
Similar arrangements are in place with other housing providers in West Lothian and South Lanarkshire.
Audrey Simpson, Chief Executive of Ardenglen Housing Association said: “We know that having access to books from a young age is important and can have a positive impact for a child such as developing language skills, improved concentration and encouraging a thirst for knowledge.
“When we heard about the Dolly Patron Imagination Library, we were blown away by the project and the impact it could have on Castlemilk youngsters but then realised it was not available. We set about changing that.
“We also recognise that investing in young people is really important and believe the Imagination Library is a great way to support our pre-schoolers.”
Anne Marie Brown, Director of Craigdale Housing Association said “We are delighted to work in conjunction with Ardenglen and the Dolly Parton Imagination Library to give the children of our community the opportunity to grow their imaginations from a young age”.
Kirsteen Watson, Regional Director for The Dollywood Foundation UK said: “Momentum is really building in Glasgow and we are thrilled to welcome the two housing associations from Castlemilk on board. I am absolutely sure that Dolly will be delighted too. She is committed to ensuring the Imagination Library plays a key role in the development and education of children.”
A LIFELINE FOR CHRISTOPHER
Ardenglen steps in to make life better for young man with serious health needs
July 25 2018
Audrey with Nancy Pate.
A YOUNG man and his family have been given a new lease of life after their home was transformed by Ardenglen.
We stepped in to adapt the property to help alleviate the health needs of 20-year-old Christopher Pate in what was the biggest adaptation it has EVER carried out.
Christopher is cared for by his devoted Mum Nancy with help from his brother and sister.
But it became clear that Christopher’s health requirements meant the home had to be altered.
A significant financial contribution was made by Glasgow City Council towards the cost of the work.
A brick extension was built onto the existing house creating a spacious bathroom with a shower for Christopher. A ceiling-anchored hoist, installed to help him get out of bed, has been added as part of a new bedroom.
The family are thrilled with the alterations which Nancy described as giving Christopher “a real helping hand”.
Nancy explained: “These improvements from Ardenglen make all the difference. The hoist, along with his new bedroom and bathroom, will transform his life. We cannot thank Ardenglen enough.”
To mark the completion of the work - which was done in just a few short months - Chief Executive Audrey Simpson called round with flowers for Nancy and to see the transformation.
Audrey said: “Ardenglen Housing Association is delighted to have carried out this adaptation which is the biggest we have ever undertaken. It will make a huge difference to Christopher and his family especially his Mum Nancy who is so dedicated to caring for him.
“It is a shining example of the work that housing associations do in the communities we serve to make a difference to people’s lives.”
TOP CLASS HOMES FOR CASTLEMILK!
Former school playing fields to become new homes in £3.6 million housing boost from Ardenglen
July 5 2018
New homes from Ardenglen…..what the new housing will look like
FAMILIES in Castlemilk are in line for £3.6 million housing boost after a major new housing development was announced.
We are building 22 new homes bringing much needed new housing to our community.
The homes will be built on the vacant site of the former St Martins Primary School playing fields in Ardencraig Road.
Work is expected to begin in the autumn and take around a year to complete.
Chief Executive Audrey Simpson said: “Everyone will welcome this exciting new development of homes – it is just what the community needs. Ardenglen is deeply committed not just to making our communities great places in which to live but to building new homes which people really want.”
The new housing has come about with generous financial assistance in the form of grant funding from Glasgow City Council and the Scottish Government of just over £2 million.
The rest is being funded by borrowing by the Association which is common practice when a housing association builds new homes.
The development will consist of 15 one, two and three bedroom flats, four two-bedroom houses and three wheelchair-accessible flats.
Audrey added: “We are very grateful to Glasgow City Council and the Scottish Government who share our vision of creating affordable new homes and are helping to fund this development. We are all working together to bring real benefits to the communities we serve.”
Councillor Kenny McLean, City Convener for Neighbourhoods, Housing and Public Realm at Glasgow City Council, said: “This new development will see yet more homes that suit a wide range of people coming to Glasgow - a welcome trend that we now see regularly in the city. In this case, I am especially pleased to see the site of a former community asset being used to bring these 22 new homes to Castlemilk.”
The construction work will be carried out by McTaggart Construction which won the contract.
BENEFITS CASH BOOST FOR CASTLEMILK TENANTS
Housing association’s welfare rights help soars by 29% to hit new financial high of £636,000
June 21 2018
BENEFITS help for tenants in Castlemilk has hit a new high thanks to the work of a housing association.
Ardenglen Housing Association has disclosed that its hugely-popular Welfare Benefits Service has helped almost 300 people in the last financial year.
Now it has calculated that the amount of money it has helped tenants obtain between April 2017 and March 2018 has topped £635,800 – up from £494,000 in the previous year and a rise of almost 29 per cent.
Ardenglen which offers the service two days a week says it is “working flat out” to help its tenants with many unaware they are entitled to certain State benefits.
And it warned that it expects the free service it offers to be even busier when the controversial Universal Credit is rolled out with Castlemilk included in December.
Last year 275 people were assisted by Ardenglen in the 12 month period with help given to obtain such benefits as Disability Living Allowance, Housing Benefit and Council tax reduction.
In some cases claims were backdated providing a windfall for tenants who received cash they didn’t even know they were entitled to.
Audrey Simpson, Chief Executive of Ardenglen said the figures proved beyond doubt its vital role in helping the Castlemilk community but warned that they were an “illuminating insight” into the struggles some people face.
Audrey said: “We are very pleased indeed to have helped our tenants to access this money to which they are entirely entitled. But they come with a warning. When Universal Credit is rolled out in December we expect further pressure on household incomes and we must be prepared to deal with what we anticipate will be a rise in requests for help.”
Ardenglen revealed that the biggest amount it obtained for tenants was in Personal Independence Payments at £163,742 while Employment Support Allowance topped £125,327.
Working tax credit accounted for £19,414 in claims while Carer’s Allowance accounted for £21,808.
Child Tax Credit claims accounted for £20,013 and Child Benefit of £3,536 – both of which are benefits which help families with dependent children.
Audrey Simpson added: “We are totally committed to delivering a welfare rights service which we believe is an important aspect of the work all of us do within housing associations.”
SPRING HAS SPRUNG IN TIME FOR FAMILY FUN
April 19 2018
A Spring family day helped bring the community together once again in Castlemilk.
A huge turnout of families attended the event organised by Ardenglen’s hard-working Community Committee with a firm emphasis on fun.
The occasion was held in the Maureen Cope Community Hall with ever-popular dance group “Blaze” and a magician to entertain the kids.
Also featured were examples of the work done by two groups which are part of Ardenglen’s inspiring “The Only Way is Up” initiative known to the local community as “TOWiU.”
It is one of Ardenglen’s programmes designed to build people’s confidence, skills and resilience and has significant community support.
Stunning examples of the work carried out by sewing group “Sew Fabulous” were offered for sale including cushions. Sew Fabulous provides the opportunity to local people to learn new skills through the
manufacture of textile goods from reclaimed fabrics.
The occasion was also used to showcase the work done on reclaimed furniture giving them a new lease of life and undertaken by the “Mending Castlemilk” group.
Ardenglen Regeneration Manager Lesley Macphee said: “The turnout at our Spring Family Fun Day was fantastic and hopefully everyone had a great time. Thank you also to the Ardenglen Community Committee whose hard work and expert planning made the day an occasion to remember.”
THE ONLY WAY – IT JUST MAKES OUR DAY!
Ardenglen tenants take a bow as they celebrate another year of making things better
CASTLEMILK this week celebrated a regeneration project which is making a real difference to people’s lives.
Ardenglen Housing Association’s hugely-popular project known as “TOWiU” helps people in a range of ways – all aimed at building confidence, resilience and giving them skills.
TOWiU stands for The Only Way Is Up – five words that sum up the ethos of what the initiative is all about.
Those taking part got together last week for a special event and lunch to share stories and celebrate with their achievements with one another at the Maureen Cope Hall in Castlemilk.
And it came just eight months after the future of TOWiU was assured for the next two and a half year’s when a cash windfall was delivered from Big Lottery Scotland totalling £145,740.
This money is already being used to fund a variety of free projects:
- IT skills, literacy help and job search for residents
- RE-START - a “positive parenting” programme
- Language help for those whose first language isn’t English
- “Wan Direction” - for over 40s men focusing on lifelong learning, health and wellbeing
- “All That Glitters” – a creative writing programme delivered in partnership with “Glasgow Life” offering songwriting and music
- “Bright Sparks (Revive)” aimed at over 40s women focusing on lifelong learning health and wellbeing
- “Sew Fabulous” – the opportunity to learn new skills through the manufacture of textile goods from reclaimed fabrics
- “Mending Castlemilk” – breathing new life into second hand furniture
- “Happy Gardeners” - the opportunity to grow things and care for the gardens at the Maureen Cope Community Hall. Healthy cooking is also included.
- “GRUB’s UP” - a six week long programme delivering health, hygiene and cooking skills leading to a recognised qualification
The housing association says it is “100 per cent committed to helping the community” and praised the commitment of those who have taken part again this year.
A highlight of the event was a superb musical interlude delivered by “All That Glitters” featuring songs they wrote themselves and which won huge applause.
Lesley Macphee, Regeneration Manager at Ardenglen, said: “Everyone who has taken part in the various aspects of TOWiU deserves a pat on the back. It has been a wonderful year of achievement and success.
“There is no doubt that TOWiU is making a difference in the community we serve. Our success in obtaining funding from Big Lottery Scotland last year will allow us to carry on making a difference to 2020 at least.”
Ardenglen Chief Executive Audrey Simpson added: “Keeping our TOWiU project going is a crucial part of our regeneration work within Castlemilk and many people rely on it. Ardenglen has always believed our role is to help our community in whatever way we can. And that includes developing initiatives like TOWIU which undoubtedly change people’s lives for the better.”
SIGN HERE FOR GOOD GOVERNANCE SAYS ARDENGLEN
Association launches Charter setting out "highest standards" of governance
Ardenglen Housing Association has launched a new "Charter" outlining our unwavering commitment to good governance.
Ardenglen's "Leadership Governance Charter" enshrines key values and objectives in what is a vital component to the good running of any housing association or housing co-operative.
Jointly unveiling the Charter, Ardenglen Chair Isa Brier and Chief Executive Audrey Simpson said it was developed through close co-operation between the Board and staff.
It has been individually signed by each of the 11 current members of the Ardenglen Board.
The Charter's key elements include:
- Giving clarity to the organisation's purpose, roles and accountability which will be "vigorously pursued"
- A clear understanding of everyone's responsibilities
- Accountability to members, tenants, service users the Scottish Housing Regulator and others with a connection to the Association
- Continuous development of the skills of the Board
- The need for high standards of integrity and behaviour
- An ongoing review of governance
- Ensuring relationships are constructive, professional and supportive.
Commenting on the Charter, Audrey said: "All of us involved in the housing association movement understand how critical good governance is to the proper functioning of any community-based housing organisation.
"But we have taken the decision to enshrine it in a Leadership Governance Charter which has the benefit of re-dedicating Ardenglen to the principle of excellence within the organisation.
"Quite apart from our regulatory obligations, our members and tenants have every right to expect us to meet their understandably-high expectations on governance. The new Charter sets out very clearly the way we are doing that."
Policies under consultation
Asbestos Management / Estate Management Policy 2012 / neighbour disputes and anti social behaviour policy / Repairs and maintenence policy
Rent Increase Consultation 2018/19
Ardenglen Rent Increase Consultation Survey 2018 / Consultation info 201819 / Rent consulation letter
Rent Increase Consultation Survey
Click here to complete survey
YOU’RE IN THE MONEY!
Housing association provides a helping hand and obtains a half million pound benefits windfall for its tenants
November 6 2017
ARDENGLEN has delivered a welfare rights windfall to our tenants worth ALMOST HALF A MILLION POUNDS.
We can reveal that nearly THREE HUNDRED people were assisted by its welfare rights service in just a year.
And it helped them access State benefits to which they were entitled and not claiming.
We are “delighted” at the figure of £494,582 and it is undoubtedly a helping hand to our community.
Ardenglen runs a welfare rights service on two days a week when people can seek advice on a range of money matters.
Many housing associations offer this service to tenants who may not be accessing money which they are entitled to claim.
This can be due to a number of reasons such as the complexity of the claim process or lack of knowledge that they qualify for such benefits.
Now the figure has been revealed after 296 people sought Ardenglen’s help.
In some cases we were able to get payments backdated helping to ease the hardship on families and individuals.
By far the biggest amount successfully obtained for tenants was Personal Independence Payments also known as PIP which accounted for just over £115,000.
Personal Independence Payment is a benefit that helps with the extra costs of a long-term health condition or disability for people aged 16 to 64.
Carer’s allowance accounted for £17,731 put back in people’s pockets while child tax credit claims were a huge £29,688.
Disability living allowance accounted for £15,945 while successful claims for working tax credit was £7,212.
Older tenants were able to claim for £10,656 in pensions
credit while many other benefits accounted for smaller amounts.
Diane Hendry, Head of Housing Services at Ardenglen, said: “These are remarkable figures and show very clearly how we are helping people in the communities we serve.
“Claiming benefits to which people are perfectly entitled can be complex and time consuming and our whole approach is not just to help people but to make it as simple and easy to understand as possible.
“It is very clear from these figures that people have not been claiming their entitlement and we are delighted to have been able to ease the financial burden on so many people.”
Audrey Simpson, Chief Executive of Ardenglen, said: “We are totally committed to delivering a welfare rights service which we believe is an important aspect of the work all of us do within the housing association movement.
“Almost half a million pounds returned to people in Castlemilk is a significant boost to the income of early 300 people and we encourage all our tenants to make use of this service if and when they need it.”
ALL FRIGHT ON THE NIGHT AT ARDENGLEN!
Spooky fun helps make party a Hallowe’en hit for Castlemilk families
October 31 2017
A NIGHT of spooky fun in Castlemilk set the scene for Hallowe’en!
Ardenglen Housing Association and its hardworking “Community Committee” staged the occasion full of family fun for the most frightening night of the year.
It took place in the Maureen Cope Hall in Castlemilk with all tickets for the event snapped up quickly.
Werewolves, Wonder Woman, clowns, mummies (the bandaged kind), the bloodthirsty walking dead and even a toddler who came dressed as a caveman helped make the night a great success.
Audrey Simpson, Chief Executive of Ardenglen, said: “Our Community Committee put on another fabulous party and the response from local families was brilliant as usual. It wouldn’t have been possible without the Community Committee’s hard work and we hope everyone had a terrifying time.”
*The housing association and local families gratefully acknowledge another year of financial support for this event from Adams and Duncan Funeral Directors. Thank you to them for their kind generosity.
WHAT A TOP TEAM!
Ardenglen triumphs at “housing excellence” Awards
October 30 2017
ARDENGLEN is celebrating a sensational win at the CIH Excellence Awards.
The Association was named as “Team of the Year” at the glittering Awards ceremony in Edinburgh on Friday
We won after dealing with widespread alarm among tenants following a murder in the community in the summer.
The Association hurriedly implemented a series of measures to calm the community deeply anxious about the crime.
Ardenglen set about reassuring our tenants that we stood firmly on the side of safety and would “do everything we could” to ensure people – especially those with children – felt secure.
Police Scotland are still undertaking a high profile investigation and have a significant presence in the community. They have named an individual they want to trace in connection with the murder.
Ardenglen’s submission to the Awards was entitled “Standing Up for Safe Communities – Dealing With extreme Violence.”
During the turbulent days following the murder, Ardenglen rehoused our vulnerable tenants and worked closely with social work colleagues. The Association faced logistical challenges with accessing properties cordoned off by police and held regular meeting with police and neighbouring housing associations.
Chief Executive Audrey Simpson, who attended the event with colleagues, said: “The Association had to deal with a unprecedented level of public concern including families who literally wanted to move out of the area.
“It required exceptional team work to cope with a fast-moving and rapidly-changing situation which led to closer than ever co-operation with the police.
“It also showed that in difficult times tenants and the public in general look to a local housing association for leadership illustrating why the housing association movement plays such a vital role in communities.
“And it proved that working together is the key to defeating crime and anti-social behaviour. Police Scotland have been exceptional partners in addressing these issues.
“We are naturally delighted to have won – it is a huge pat on the back for the Ardenglen team”.
ARDENGLEN FUN DAY - A BIG SUCCESS
Community Committee does it again with magic and marshmallows!
LOOKING FANTASTIC…a youngster who enjoyed some face painting.
October 23 2017
MAGIC and marshmallows helped make our Autumn Fun Day a great success.
The event was organised by our brilliant and hard-working Community Committee.
It was firmly focused on the family with a magician, a dance troupe, stalls and even a fire pit offering free toasted marshmallows for those with a sweet tooth. Face painting proved particularly popular
The day was held in the Maureen Cope Community Hall and was well attended by families.
Audrey Simpson, Chief Executive of Ardenglen, said: “The effort that went into organising it was fantastic and our thanks are due to the Association’s dedicated and hard-working Community Committee. Their commitment to the local community is fantastic and we thank everyone of them for what they do.”
Ardenglen named as a finalist in Housing "Excellence Awards"
Ardenglen Housing Association has been named as a finalist in the keenly-contested Chartered Institute of Housing Scotland “Excellence Awards.”
The Association has made it to the final of the prestigious HOUSING TEAM OF THE YEAR category for its ongoing work in “Standing Up For Safe Communities.”
The CIH Scotland Excellence Awards 2017 are Scottish housing’s biggest hunt for the projects and people that make a huge contribution to the sector.
The Awards celebrate the best of housing, and the people and teams that go above and beyond in their approach to providing housing in our communities.
The award winners will be announced at an Awards Dinner at Murrayfield Stadium in Edinburgh in October.
The only way is up!
Delight as our community gets first part of £145,740 to improve people's lives
Sum achievement……the Ardenglen team behind The Only Way Is Up with the Big Lottery funding boost.
OUR community has now received the much-anticipated Big Lottery TOWiE cash boost which will make a difference to many people’s lives.
The first amount of £47,934 from our three-year funding of £145,740 has now been received by the Association.
As everyone knows, the TOWiU project – which, of course, stands for The Only Way Is Up - has been a runaway success.
Ardenglen is 100 per cent committed to helping our community and the sensational news as a real boost for Castlemilk.
Ardenglen Chief Executive Audrey Simpson said: “This is great news for our community. Keeping our TOWiU project going is a crucial part of our regeneration work within Castlemilk and many people rely on it.
“We are immensely grateful to Big Lottery Scotland for this funding. Ardenglen has always believed our role is to help the community we serve in whatever way we can. And that includes developing initiatives like TOWiU which undoubtedly change people’s lives for the better.”
Announcing the Ardenglen money, Maureen McGinn, Big Lottery Fund Scotland Chair, said: “I am delighted that Ardenglen has been successful in obtaining a Big Lottery Fund grant. I wish The Only Way Is Up every success as it goes on to develop and expand for the benefit of the local community.”
Karen McDonagh, Chair of Ardenglen’s Community Committee added: “This very generous award means we have secured funding until 2020. We simply can’t stop smiling.”
Ardenglen Members Attend Another Successful Annual General Meeting
As usual, our Members were out in force at Ardenglen’s AGM on August 23rd.
Ardenglen’s Chairperson Isa Brier gave a presentation which emphasised our investment in your home; the success of the varied projects at the Maureen Cope Community Hall and the continued efforts of everyone involved at Ardenglen to strive for a fairer society and tackle inequality in our community.
Isa also paid tribute to the hard work of her fellow Board members, Community Committee and staff for their dedication and commitment to Ardenglen.
Our new Chief Executive Officer, Audrey Simpson then gave a presentation recognising the hard work of all staff. This included meeting and sometimes exceeding targets for repairs, income collection and allocating houses. Audrey also raised awareness of the community’s efforts to save Castlemilk Job Centre from closure.
Next, members heard from the Association’s Auditor, who confirmed that Ardenglen’s finances are strong and that our business is being run correctly; our Auditor also stated that there were no areas of concern.
The meeting then moved on to elect our Board of Management for the next year. The following members were elected to represent the membership:
- Isa Brier, Chairperson
- Maureen Cope, Vice Chair
- Liz McKenzie, Treasurer
- Ann Marie Docherty
- Sharon Nelson
- Isobel Pope
- Frank Young
- Karen McDonagh
- Elaine McPhail
- Mark Ingram
- Mary Eardley
After all the official business, members were shown a short film written and produced by Wan Direction, part of “The Only Way is Up” ; a project for men over 40 which focuses on lifelong learning, health and wellbeing. The film had some wonderful archive footage of Castlemilk and can be viewed on our website.
Finally, in true Ardenglen tradition, the AGM closed with a hotly contested game of prize bingo, well done to our lucky winners.
Thanks to everyone who came along, your support is greatly appreciated.