News

 

Heating deal provides a warm glow


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Keeping Genesis Housing Association residents happy and warm.

Property maintenance and energy management specialist, DW Support Services (DWSS), has secured a £20 million four year framework agreement to support one of the UK’s leading housing associations – Genesis.

The contract – which also allows other housing providers to procure the same services without further tendering - involves the maintenance of existing plant rooms and heating systems and supplying new, combined heat and power (CHP) gas fired boiler systems, renewable heating and smart metering installations.

It serves the entire Genesis property portfolio across the South East of the UK and is the second major contract for the Oxfordshire based business this year. In July DWSS was awarded a repair and maintenance contract, worth up to £26 million, on the Isle of Wight, by Southern Housing Group.

This latest deal – in which DWSS will be supported by Luton based Enerza Solutions, a specialist in modern district heating, metering, control and billing systems – secures up to 40 jobs and will create new training and employment opportunities.

Said DWSS Managing Director, Colin McMahon: “We are delighted to broaden our range of services with Genesis in line with our strategy to provide integrated support to our customers. We look forward to providing high levels of service, the best possible value and impressing those who matter most – residents in the association’s homes.

Our aim is to improve the efficiency and reliability of the heating systems through the installation of cutting edge, yet tried and tested technology. This in turn should bring long term improvement to our clients’ communities.”

Chief Executive Officer of Enerza, Shahid Mirza, added: “We are delighted to partner with DWSS, combining the expertise of both companies to increase the efficiency of Genesis property assets. We also look forward to utilising a range of technologies to further enhance the GHA portfolio.”

Around 100,000 people live in Genesis homes. As one of the UK’s leading housing associations, it owns or manages 33,000 properties across London and the east of England, including temporary housing, homes for rent and sale and supported housing.

As part of the G15 Group, which is made up of London's largest housing associations, it contributes to the provision of homes for roughly one in ten people living in the capital.

With a new headquarters in Thame and offices in London and Reading and the Isle of Wight, DWSS maintains and refurbishes affordable housing, education establishments, and supported housing and care homes throughout London and the South East of England.

In 2014 the company became a member of the Fastflow Group - a specialist in utility infrastructure, providing services to, among others, Northumbrian Water, Scottish Water, Anglian Water, National Grid, Northern Gas Network and Wales and West Utilities.

The group provides work for over 600 people and turnover this year is expected to exceed £70 million.




Isle of Wight deal boosts property specialist

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DW Support Services has won a major repair and maintenance contract on the Isle of Wight worth up to £26 million.

The deal with Southern Housing Group will see around 42 employees from the previous service supplier join DW via a TUPE transfer agreement.

It also marks the first venture outside mainland Britain for DW Support Services and its parent company, the rapidly expanding Fastflow Group.

Already working with Southern Housing Group in Theale, DW Support Services will take on responsive repairs, void property works, cyclical decoration and planned maintenance work on 3,500 Isle of Wight homes from June 1st 2016. 

The contract is for five years with an option to extend for five more.  It also provides scope for additional services to be added, including gas servicing, repairs and installations, planned refurbishment, cleaning and grounds maintenance, fire alarm testing and emergency lighting.

Said Managing Director of Oxfordshire based DW Support Services, Colin McMahon:  “We are delighted to have extended our scope of works with Southern Housing Group and look forward to providing high levels of service, while offering the best possible value to our client.

“We are also looking forward to upgrading the homes of thousands of people on the Isle of Wight, as well as delivering social benefits, to bring long term improvement to our clients’ communities.  In addition, we look forward to welcoming new employees to our growing team.”

Southern Housing Group is a registered housing provider managing more than 28,000 homes across London and the South East. 

Said Paul Wenham, Property, Maintenance and Investment Director:  “We believe we can improve the services to our customers and achieve better value for money by appointing a single partner to deliver these works.

“We have an excellent working relationship with DW Support Services in another operating area and anticipate another successful partnership on the Isle of Wight.”

With new headquarters approaching completion in Thame and with offices in London and Reading – and now the Isle of Wight – DW Support Services looks after 200,000 homes, education establishments, supported housing and care homes throughout the South East of England.

A call centre team provides responsive day-to-day support for clients, delivering 30,000 repairs a year, while planned maintenance, refurbishment and energy saving solutions are provided to 20 principle clients. 

The Southern Housing Group contract takes the order book to almost £30 million a year.  In addition, DW Support Services has recently secured places on five procurement frameworks to provide property maintenance services to registered housing providers, councils, police and fire authorities and education establishments across a large area of southern England.  This opens the door to a wealth of planned and cyclical work over the next four years.

In 2014 the company became a member of the Fastflow Group, a specialist in utility infrastructure, providing services to, among others, Northumbrian Water, Scottish Water, Anglian Water, National Grid, Northern Gas Network and Wales and West Utilities. 

The group provides work for over 600 people and turnover this year is expected to approach £70 million.


 

 

Support for cycling challenge

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An Oxford based business has literally lived up to its name by supporting a cross channel cycling challenge which will raise money for a local charity.

Property management and maintenance specialist, DW Support Services, has agreed to cover all the expenses of the five riders tackling the Tour de Frambo and provide cycling gear branded with the trip logo.

The donation – worth around £1,500 - means all the sponsorship raised will go to the award winning Yellow Submarine charity. It helps people with learning disabilities to build their confidence, independence and a sense of self-worth, while meeting the huge need for respite for families and carers.

The 221 mile trip is the idea of Francis Delany, 39, long time supporter of the charity, who himself has cerebral palsy. He will set off on May 2nd - accompanied by friends, Dick Newman, 52; Pete, 41, and Ellen, 36, Mazey and Jason De Donato, 21, all from Oxford.

The riders hope to reach Paris on May 8th – just the day before Francis’ 40th birthday. He said: "Last year I swam a mile to raise £700 for Yellow Submarine, which gave me the confidence to think of a bigger challenge. I came up with the idea of the Tour de Frambo bike ride from Oxford to Paris. Arriving in Paris the day before my 40th birthday will be very special.

“Although it will definitely be gruelling for me I have been doing lots of cycling around Oxford, to and from my job at Homebase, training almost every day.

“This is not just about raising money. I also hope to help those with disabilities and to inspire people to do their own challenges. I think of myself as an able bodied person in a disabled body and I want to help people like me, who need a little more support.

“Yellow Submarine helps people to live independent lives and that is why I like to support it. I want to thank DW Support Services for its support because it means that far more of what we raise will go to the charity.”

Francis is writing a blog about his training which can be found at www.tourdeframbo.com. The link to the donation site can also be found there. To find out more about Yellow Submarine visit www.yellowsubmarine.org.uk

Paul Cashmore, a director with DW Support Services, added: “One of our contract managers knows Francis and when he heard about the Tour de Frambo and the fact that the team needed to raise quite a bit of cash before they could donate a penny to the charity, he asked if the company could help.

“The business and the people who work for it, regularly support worthy local causes and so we thought the least we could do would be to cover the trip expenses.

“We have been following Francis’ training through his blog and know how hard he and his friends have been working to make this possible and we wish then an enjoyable, successful and financially rewarding ride.”

Kate Sankey, Interim Head of Finance and Compliance with Yellow Submarine, said: “The support and generosity of DW Support Services means a huge amount to the cycle team, the organising committee and the charity and we thank the company hugely for the sponsorship.”

DW Support Services provides responsive repairs, planned maintenance, refurbishment and energy saving solutions to 10 clients in the south east of England – providing work for around 300 people. This includes more than 165,000 homes and five million square feet of office space.

Last year the company became a member of the Fastflow Group, a specialist in
utility infrastructure, providing services to Northumbrian Water, Scottish Water,
Anglian Water and National Grid (gas).

The group provides work for over 600 people and turnover this year is expected to
top £60 million.


 

 

DW Support Services to deliver 3900 responsive repairs throughout South East London

 

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We are pleased to announce that DW Support Services will be partnering with Family Mosaic to deliver responsive repairs to 3900 homes located throughout South East London and has an estimated value of 2 million p.a commencing in March for an initial duration of 15 months.


DW Support Services and Hastoe Housing Association partnership

 

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DW Support Services are extremely pleased to have been awarded the Contract to Partner with Hastoe for the delivery of day to day responsive repairs, void property works, packaged repairs/ maintenance and out of hours emergency works measured term contracts.b

The Employer’s current property portfolio comprises approximately 4,000 dwellings located in Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Cambridgeshire, Devon, Dorset, East Sussex, Eastern Cornwall, Essex, Hampshire, Hertfordshire, Kent, London, Middlesex, Norfolk, Oxfordshire, Somerset, South East
Lincolnshire, Suffolk, Surrey, Sussex, West Sussex and Wiltshire. And DW will look after Area 4 comprising Bedfordshire, Bucks & Oxfordshire. 
The Contract Period will be four years with an option to extend for a further 2 years by mutual agreement.
About Hastoe;-
Established by the Sutton Dwellings Trust in 1962, Hastoe now owns and manages over 7,000 homes in 62 local authority areas.  Our properties are predominantly rural and we specialise in providing sustainable and affordable rural housing to enable local people to remain within their communities. In 2011 we completed our 200th village scheme, confirming our position as the leading specialist rural housing association. 

Hastoe Housing Association is the non-charitable parent of four subsidiaries: charity Hastoe Wyvern; development company Hastoe Homes; bond issuer Hastoe Capital; and, trading organisation Sustainable Homes Ltd.  The latter is a leading training and advisory consultancy operating in the field of sustainable housing.

Hastoe’s vision is centred on seeking innovative solutions to housing issues; supporting rural communities; and a commitment to environmental sustainability.  These are not simply empty words: this vision is delivered by the Board and staff who embody our values by being customer inspired, enterprising, passionate, professional and open and transparent.  

The homes we provide are spread between Cornwall and Devon in the West and Norfolk and Lincolnshire in the East – and all points between.  Our stock was built in two main tranches: town estates built in the 1960s and rural homes built since the 1990s.


 


High praise for DW Support Services in Broomfield


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Both residents and colleagues have extended high praise to DW Support Services, working on the Elderly Residents scheme in Broomfield, Staines.
The scheme, comprised of 3 blocks with 32 residential units, was subject to a recent refurbishment program. The team undertook both interior and exterior decoration, including repairs to plaster and pointing, and the installation of soak away tanks, preventing damage and health risks in surrounding walk ways and grass land.

DW tradesman Guy, Dave, George, Luke, Steve, John, James, Nathan, painters Dave and Lee, and the apprentices were commended by Scheme Manager Kirsty Rushen for their incredible contribution and work ethic on site. Kirsty said: “Obviously working with a vulnerable client group, such as the elderly, can sometimes throw up issues or problems.I had not one complaint from the residents, in fact just the opposite. They found the men to be polite, thoughtful and a real breath of fresh air to have around. I would really like to say a heartfelt thanks to each and every one of them.”

A2Dominion’s Assistant Director of Property Services Emma Solomons mirrored the praise, commenting: “The team have set a shining example of how to complete a cyclical project that should ensure that Responsive Repairs teams should have minimal maintenance to complete on this scheme going forward. Keep up the good work!”.




Getting ready to PARTY!


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DW Support Services, 2 Cousins Powered Access and the JYC staff and kids are getting ready for the switch on of the Christmas lights!

Rose Hill residents are in for a festive treat with the official switch-on of the Christmas lights by Father Christmas, carol singing, music, dancing by Lil Tapz and an international food festival. Father Christmas and his elves will be talking to every child, spreading festive cheer and handing out presents to every child!

Community worker Fran Gardner said: “Our light switch-on has become a tradition in Rose Hill. Although everyone in our community celebrates Christmas in different ways, this time of year is perfect for people of all cultures to come together with family and friends, to celebrate, socialise and have fun.”

Organisers are hoping this year’s festive event will be the biggest yet after more than 500 people joined in last year.

DW Support Services are proudly supporting the event and welcome you all to come along and join!
For more information visit Rose Hill’s Facebook page – facebook.com/RoseHillRP




Looking pretty in pink.


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DW Support Services workers donned pink hard hats, hi-vis vests and boots to raise money for Breakthrough Breast Cancer.

On Friday the 24th of October a team of DW Support Services builders went to work dressed in pink to raise money for a charity fighting a cancer which has affected colleagues.

And, as they took a break from carrying out repairs at the Potters Court residential development in Greater Leys, colleague Tracey Morris provided refreshment in the shape of pink cup cakes.

Office Administrator Becky O’Connor and Safety Manager Ray Smith were the driving forces behind the fund raising day which is expected to make up to £500 for the charity.

Ray said: “The guys really got into the spirit of the day and we are pleased to have been able to show support for such a worthy cause.

“As well as Tracey, the wives of two other members of our team have been affected by the disease so it is something which is close to our hearts.”Tracey, from Littlemoore, Cowley, recently returned to her job as Senior Residents’ Liaison Officer, following treatment. Together with friends and family she ran the Race for Life in July to support cancer research and said of her colleagues’ efforts: “I think it was really great effort by everyone at the company to do this and especially brave of the guys to turn up on site dressed in pink.”

Every hour one woman in the UK dies as a result of breast cancer. The goal of Breakthrough Breast Cancer – which has been around for 25 years - is to eradicate the disease for good by improving early diagnosis and developing new treatments.





Taking a dive to help Charlotte walk.


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This bank holiday weekend (August 25th) Keely Sinnott and her partner Mark Phillips will take to the skies to help little Charlotte Nott walk just a few steps.

The couple will take part in a skydive to raise funds for the six-year-old who lost all four limbs to meningitis four years ago.

Keely, 37 , from Horspath, Oxford and Mark, 32, from Tadley near Basingstoke will be joined by 22 other brave jumpers to raise money for the Charlotte Nott Trust Fund.

Said Keely: “I have known Charlotte since she was at pre-school with my daughter Isabelle and we always try to support fund raising events for her. We did the skydive last year and although I was nervous I really enjoyed it and I am looking forward to doing it again.”

Keely and Mark both work for the Oxford based property repair and maintenance business DW Support Services (Oxford) Ltd. The company recently joined the Fastflow Group which is sponsoring the pair to the tune of £500.

Fastflow owner and CEO, Neil Armstrong, said: “This is such a worthy cause and Keely and Mark are very brave to take on such a challenge. It’s not something I could do easily.”

The Charlotte Nott Trust Fund was established by her mother and father, Jenny and Alex, both 32, soon after her daughter lost her arms and legs below the joints as she battled the killer disease.

Over the past four years the money raised has provided the determined little girl from Cowley in Oxford with specialist limbs that have enabled her to walk, play and enjoy life with her friends and family.

Limited NHS budgets for prosthetics in Oxfordshire mean Charlotte can only get fairly basic aids, which have proved too heavy for her to use. So her family have driven an almost constant round of fund raising to help keep her mobile with made to measure specialist equipment.

With each set of legs costing around £6,000 and a growing child needing two sets a year, the challenge is a big one but Jenny said: “We have had a great deal of support from our local community, for which we are extremely grateful. It’s what keeps us going really – that and the look on Charlotte’s face when she masters new skills.

“However it is very demanding and so our strategy now is to arrange perhaps two or three major fund raisers each year – of which this weekend’s skydive is one. We’d like to thank everyone who is taking part and all those supporting them.”

The skydive is taking place at Hinton Airfield, Brackley and anyone wishing to donate to the cause can go to www.charlottesappeal.com click the donate tab. To make the gift specifically for the skydive, look out for the ‘Add Special Instructions’ option after contributing and add ‘Skydive Keely and Mark’.




DW Contractors join the Fastflow Group.


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At the beginning of June DW Support Services joined the Fastflow Group.

All staff transferred employment and an investment and development strategy is being planned.

Neil Armstrong, Fastflow CEO and owner, said: "I relish the opportunity to help the business to continue its impressive growth. While the work the two organisations do is quite different, they are founded on very similar principles, making this deal a great fit. It is my belief that both organisations will learn from each other to become even stronger players in their sectors".

The enhanced group will employ over 600 people and in the current financial year is forecast to turn over £60 million. For more information on Fastflow, visit www.fastflow.co.uk

David Exley, who founded DW Contractors in 1986, added: "I would not have sold unless I was confident the business and the people who have worked so hard to help me build it were going to be in safe hands. I will remain involved for the next few months to help ensure a smooth transition and reassure our clients that they can still rely on the same levels of support from the same team".







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L&Q London Housing Association


DW Contractors are pleased to announce that L&Q has appointed DW Contractors as one of its new contractor to deliver painting services to L&Q properties throughout their West Region.

The new six year contract has a value of £1.5 million p.a, with a possible six year extension. The new contract started in August 2013 to deliver internal communal areas and external painting works to L&Q housing stock. We are currently working with L&Q to recruit an apprentice and for further details click here.





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a2dominion


We are a Term Partnering Contractor for the provision of cyclical redecorations, responsive repairs and planned maintenance/void works for A2Dominion.

DW work in conjunction with the A2Dominion and their team to deliver a Cyclical Redecoration and Repairs' programme including Void Rehabilitation and Planned Maintenance to approximately 5,000 homes in the North area, covering:

  • Oxfordshire
  • Berkshire
  • Buckinghamshire
  • Wiltshire
  • South West and West London

DW Contractors and A2Dominion have an outstanding working relationship, with a collaborative approach and similar ethos. As a result, KPIs are consistently in the region of 90% and above.





Catalyst Housing Group


Catalyst proposed as its commitment to achieving Best Value to let its Cyclical Redecoration Contracts on a Partnering basis in line with Best Practice principles. Accordingly, Catalyst Housing Group has entered into a Partnering arrangement with two Contractors, and DW is one of the Partners contracted to deliver this service.

Under the terms of the five-year Contract, we undertake Catalyst's Cyclical Redecorations programme, which includes the following aspects:

  • External redecorations and associated repairs to houses, flats and sheltered accommodation.
  • Internal redecorations and associated repairs to communal areas of flat blocks and sheltered accommodation.
  • Roof repairs/replacements.
  • Window and door renewals.

The Catalyst Housing Group provides more than 16,000 affordable homes in London and the South East. They are proud of the fact that they help people into homes they treasure and communities they can thrive in.

David Exley, Managing Director of DW Contractors, comments: 'This contract is fantastic news for all of us at DW Contractors. We are committed to delivering continuous, high-quality services to our Housing Association and Local Authority Partners and we look forward to working with the Catalyst Housing Group'.




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