LIVE - The magazine for Optivo residents Winter 2017 - Page 9

New lease of life for Denbridge Road A London retirement property – and its residents – are enjoying a fresh lease of life after a much needed renovation. Residents at Denbridge Road in Bromley, worked with Housing Officer Naomi Adams, to improve the 100 year old building with a lick of paint and new communal furniture, as well as new windows and an upgraded water system. Naomi said: “This shows what a difference you can make when the residents and the housing association come together. I’m really pleased with the result we’ve had.” And it’s not just Naomi who is delighted with the result; hear what the residents think: Brian said: “Before the upgrade I’d only really ever chat to anyone else when I was in the laundry room. Now we can sit and chat and laugh together for the first time in the communal room. It’s brought people out of their rooms. Gwen said: “I never used to invite family and friends over, but we’re proud to have guests now. We’ve had birthdays for grandchildren - and for the residents.” Deborah added: “I’ve always loved living here, but this has really pulled people together. Just a few changes have made a huge difference to the place and the residents.” Helping those in need When housing benefit is suddenly stopped, it can have a devastating impact. For resident Gordon Barrow, from Bromley, it meant he was unable to pay for gas, electricity and even food. But Housing Officer Naomi Adams and Financial Inclusion Officer Sonia Greyson- Newman were able to help. When they heard of Mr Barrow’s situation they were able to make an emergency referral to a local food bank and help him with a grocery shop. They helped to source him a new cooker, as well as a bed and mattress for his home, free of charge. They also helped him to restart his gas and electricity supply and regain 9 his benefits, as well as access to further vital financial support. Mr Barrow said: “I don’t know how I survived. I used to stay out of my house all day and was looking in shop bins for food. I am so thankful for the help I’ve received. I feel wonderful now. I have suffered with health problems but I feel much better and I really appreciate what Optivo staff have done for me. I didn’t realise that housing associations helped residents in this way; it’s so important to have this service.” If you need financial support, please email us at: grpmoneymatters@optivo.org.uk or call 0800 121 6060