Job success for Eileen

Published 19 May 2017

 A local woman who regularly attended a WDH work club in Featherstone has secured a permanent job after volunteering through the Dr Jackson Cancer Appeal shop.

During support sessions with WDH’s Community Employment Officer, Eileen Slater was encouraged to become a volunteer at the charity shop in Featherstone. Through her experience and a recommendation from the Shop Manager, Eileen has gone on to permanent employment with a cleaning company.

Bill Mulroe, Shop Manager at the Dr Jackson Cancer Appeal shop, said: “We were only too pleased to give Eileen a chance. We needed someone good to support us with our stock control, sales and customer service and this work clearly brought her out of her shell. Eileen was so good. In fact, she quickly progressed to being front of house, working without supervision which was so impressive in such a short time.”

He added: “I’m so proud that she has found a paid job using the experience that she gained with us. I’m looking forward to seeing her progress.”

Shabana Yousaf, WDH’s Community Employment Officer, said: “I have to thank Bill for being so supportive and bringing out the confidence in Eileen. I will really miss her at the work club but I wish her all the very best success in the future.”

Eileen said: “My dad passed away with cancer, so when the volunteering opportunity came up I really wanted to work here. I was quite shy at first but working at the hospice shop I got the chance to meet people, which is great. I made friends and people say hello to me now.”

She added: “I’ve been really happy having Shabana as my advisor. If it wasn’t for her I don’t think I would have got this post.”

WDH’s Community Employment Advisors regularly visit work clubs held across the district. They are skilled professionals who can help WDH tenants to find jobs online, offer guidance on how to write a CV and apply, offer interview skills and tips, and help individuals to find the right training course. They have helped more than 4,500 people so far, assisting over 2,000 into training and over 1,400 into employment. 

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WDH super homes leading the way in sustainable building


WDH super homes leading the way in sustainable building

Published 12 May 2017

 Specialist academics from Sheffield Hallam University, University of Salford and as far as Australia visited Park Dale in Airedale this week to see how the site has become one of the UK’s largest housing developments with a zero-carbon footprint.

The guests visited the 91 homes at Park Dale as an example of a low carbon housing development which included a presentation by WDH on the history of the site and wider retrofit work that has been carried out to promote affordable warmth across the Wakefield district.

They were also given a tour of the site, a visit to the boiler house and learning centre, before getting the chance to meet tenants in their homes.

Dr Stephen Berry, Manager - Research Node for Low Carbon Living at the University of South Australia, said: “The estate is a wonderful example of housing of the future. It’s a great trial of how a whole package of solutions, are delivering good outcomes for residents.”

He added: “There were lots of fabulous learnings to be taken to help us deliver exactly the right thing when it comes to these ‘super homes’. It’s so important to hear from the tenants themselves and how they benefit fully from them. The houses are built for families to generate efficiency in general everyday necessities including cooking and heating. There is a clear improvement to residents’ quality of life.”

Steve Wright, who lives in one of WDH’s super-efficient homes, said: “The money we save is fantastic. Our utility bills have more than halved. You have to use the facilities properly of course to feel the benefit but the benefits are exceptional. I very rarely need to put the heating on. Overall it’s very efficient and the benefits of the development fit into the modern lifestyle we have.”

Simon Gutteridge, Sustainability Manager for WDH, said: “It was an honour to have experts in their field to visit one of our neighbourhoods. We take great care in ensuring our developments improve health and wellbeing in our tenants as well as making the cost of living more affordable by improving energy efficiency.  It is clear that our developments, such as Park Dale, are leading the way in sustainable living and making a lasting and positive impact on the lives of our tenants.”

Completed in 2011, Park Dale was developed by WDH to offer realistic and affordable ways in which to build economical homes for sale and rent. This has resulted in improved recycling, and lowering the cost of energy bills by 40% compared to the average home. The site has gone on to be one of the most popular developed by WDH featuring 91 properties built to level 6 of the Code for Sustainable Homes and the social investment has been a great success, including employment opportunities and over £1,500 raised for local charities. 


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