Due to the Covid-19 virus, we are having to make changes in the way we operate, and in the way we support residents. Please read the latest newsletter, below, and the following notices, from our Estate Manager Lloyd Edwards.
Latest newsletter - April 2020
Back copies of BETRA News, our Out-of-hours Emergency Procedures booklet and our Residents Handbook - on our Publications page
BETRA Tenant Management Organisation (TMO) was formed in April 2004, part of a government scheme to help give back some power to residents on estates.
We are run by a small, voluntary board consisting of local residents, supported by the estate manager Lloyd Edwards and a small staff team.
We strive to make our community a friendly, welcoming and comfortable place to live. We work to ensure that our estate is maintained and our residents supported to the highest levels possible. And we encourage residents to play an active part in the running of our organisation, the building of our community.
Set in Harold Hill, part of the London Borough of Havering in East London, our estate is made up of 13 Houses, all of which are three stories high:
The last Wednesday of each month, in the boardroom,
from 5-7pm Suspended until further notice.
Meet friends and neighbours for an easy-going chat over a few games of bingo, followed by an end of game buffet on the house. All
Safer Neighbourhood Team
Police officers from the Safer Neighbourhood Team will continue to hold contact sessions in the BETRA office over the next few months
Residents are free to come along and discuss any issues of concern they may have. Or you may have information that you want to pass on to them, or simply wish to know what the local Police are doing in the area. All discussions will be in strictest confidence.
These meetings take place in the BETRA office every two weeks. Contact the office for details of the next meeting.
Our newsletter is published quarterly. If you would like to contribute an article, perhaps on the ways we can improve our community, or if you have any other suggestions for the things we could include, please get in touch with Lloyd. All ideas welcome.
See back copies of BETRA News.
Did you know the mutual exchange scheme allows social housing tenants to advertise their property with a view to swapping their home with another social housing tenancy?
If you would like to advertise your flat for a mutual exchange, we can publish your home’s details here. We will not publish names and addresses, just the key information.
Three local properties currently available for a swap:
A) 3 bed top floor looking to downsize
B) 1 bed top floor looking to up- size
C) 2 Bed looking to Up-size (with particular requirements)
If these are of interest, or you have friends in the area looking to swap, please get in touch. For a more direct approach to swapping homes you can register with www.homeswapper.co.uk
Need help with computers?
Residents sometimes ask us for help with using computers. In fact, there is help available in our local neighbourhood.
ICT Skills Training
At The Betty Strathern Centre, ICT Skills Training provide free basic computer courses to local adult communities in the areas of East London and Essex.
Training ranges from the basics, such as how to turn on a computer, searching the Internet, creating and using emails, to more advanced accredited courses using the Microsoft Office programmes. For the accredited courses, there would be a small charge towards the cost of your second qualification certification.
Tuesdays 10:15 – 12:15 at Betty Strathern Centre, 41 Myrtle Road, Harold Hill, Romford, Essex, RM3 8XS Website: ictskillstraining.org.uk
Harold Hill Library
Then there's always Harold Hill Library. Our local is located on Hilldene Avenue. It’s a very popular facility, fully accessible, and with lots of events and activities, including a Citizens Advice Service every Monday and Thursday 10am-2pm.
You can phone Harold Hill Library on 01708 434973 for more information. Here ere are some of the facilities it has to offer:
• 11 computers providing internet access • Homework station
• Four car parking spaces
• Six cycle posts
• Limited Exhibition space
• Adult reading group
• Young at Heart group that meets the last Tuesday of every month
• "Reading Buddies" to help your children develop their reading skills
• Regular baby rhyme time sessions for under threes and story times for under fives
• Black and white photocopier
• E-books and audio books.
Shares in BETRA?
“Did you know you can become a BETRA shareholder? Our shares won’t make you rich,” says Lloyd Edwards, “but they do show you care.”
BETRA belongs to you: we are your tenant management organisation. Getting that message across to everyone on the estate is a challenge, but it remains important because without your interest and involvement BETRA will wither and die.
For that reason, tenant management organisations like ours often issues shares to their residents, both tenants and leaseholders. It’s not something we’ve promoted much here at BETRA, but we’re changing that now.
Board members and elected officials must be shareholders, but now we want you all to become BETRA shareholders. It won’t cost you anything as we only charge a nominal 10p per share. The value of each share stays the same, but of course its real value is real value is in what it symbolises – your support for BETRA.
It should be said, BETRA delivers the same service to residents whether or not they are shareholders. However, if you would like your very own BETRA share, to hang on the
wall perhaps or on the fridge door, please visit the office today. And don’t forget your 10p!
Late last year we had our annual general meeting. All went well and officers were put in place as below for the coming year.
The AGM is an open event to all residents, so do come along next time if you want to find out more about how we work. The same is true for our regular Board meetings, which residents can attend as observers.
BETRA officials 2020:
Wendy Thomas - Chair
Jill Horsham - Treasurer
Keith Mercury - Secretary
Above, Lloyd Edwards, BETRA Estate Manager,
and below, Jennie Goddard, our Part Time Housing Assistant.
Jennie Goddard on the top tips she most often gives residents
I would always advise tenants to keep up with their payments for rent / charges and to not fall behind.
If they do find themselves having difficulties making payments, or their circumstance have changed, it is of the utmost importance to inform Havering of any changes.
The importance of not spending outside of your budget and to regularly check / make a list of your outgoings and money coming in.
Not all tenants have access to PCs, so we are able to assist them with whatever they need when they come to the office and we can carry out searches for them.
Some of our tenants struggle to cope with changes to their day-to-day lives, finding even slight changes unsettling. Sometimes all they need is a little guidance, and it’s great when we are able to provide this.
Let’s hear it for BETRA’s community wardens. For the last 10 years or so, they have played an important role in supporting our community.
Community wardens work alongside other Council staff, the police and police support officers, working together with BETRA to make our estate as pleasant as possible.
They provide an approachable, friendly and a highly visible presence in the areas where council tenants and lease- holders live. They can help with general enquiries about the estates as well as anti-social behaviour.
If you are currently experiencing noise or any other type of anti- social behaviour, then please contact the community wardens on 01708 726 685 and request a visit. If, however, you have concerns about criminal behaviour you should always contact the police.
Easter Egg Hunt
Coming soon! - watch notice boards for details.