On Wednesday 14 October Orbit Heart of England customers, staff and contractor partners participated in Orbit’s first ever ‘Together we’re better’ partners’ day in Warwick. The event was held to learn more about the services offered by our contractors and gain a better understanding of how everyone can work in partnership to improve services that matter to Orbit customers.
Orbit’s partner contractors, including Willmott Dixon, Mitie, Ian Williams Ltd, Hankinson Group, Anglian Building Products, Appello and Swale Heating, delivered presentations about their services and held open forum discussions with staff and customers. In addition to this, contractors talked about their community investment plans which support Orbit’s priority of promoting employment and skills, financial inclusion, wellbeing and digital inclusion. The event was an opportunity for everyone to share information, network and ask questions. Over 100 people attended the day which was both fun and informative.
Sue Bailey, who is an Orbit customer in Stratford-upon-Avon and acts as a customer housing inspector, says; “It was an interesting day! It’s nice to see that Orbit and contractors have listened to customers and are making improvements to move things forward with regards to looking after customers’ homes.”
Executive Director for Orbit Heart of England, Vivien Knibbs, says; "We are delighted that customers, staff and contractors were able to come together to build relationships and share information so that together we can deliver a truly 'customer first experience' for Orbit customers. By working together, we can create a better environment for local people both now and in the future."
Over the last 18 months Orbit Heat of England has changed the way in which it manages its property services. Orbit has moved from delivering repairs, servicing, and investments works from an ‘in house’ service, to working with external specialists to care to Orbit’s 16,500 homes.
We have long term investment plans for our communities and in April 2014 Willmott Dixon took over Orbit’s repairs and voids contract. Since then, Orbit has continued to establish a number of long term partnering arrangements with our preferred partners. In the last 12 months, gas servicing and repairs have been delivered by Swale Heating, kitchen and bathroom renewals by Mitie and Ian Williams Ltd, window and door replacements undertaken by Anglian Building Products and external painting and repairs by Hankinson Group, and in the last few months, we have added fire and door security contracts provided by Appello who will start work for Orbit next month.