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We are here for more people in Merthyr and RCT

Pobl recently took on responsibility for the running of four supported housing services in the Merthyr Tydfil and Rhondda Cynon Taf areas.

Transferring 34 staff over from an existing provider is tough to do at the best of times, but to do so in the middle of a nationwide lockdown takes a great deal of tenacity and innovation – and we are delighted to be able to highlight the fantastic efforts being made by everybody involved.

From April the 1st, Pobl took over as support provider for four new hostels in RCT and Merthyr. The hostel services have been delivering accommodation and support in the area for many years. Last year, however, the local authorities decided to review the provision and retender the cross-county hostel services. Pobl won the contract and have been working with existing staff to provide the best possible services for the people who need them.

Becoming Pobl Difference Makers

Project Workers: Lynsey Morris and Linda Lewis

We were initially very worried about TUPE and how the transition was going to pan out. We had nothing to worry about! The Pobl Managers and HR met with us all prior to the take-over for a consultation, this was very reassuring and helpful as staff were extremely worried about the TUPE process. Dafydd Davies (Area Manager) was very open and honest in explaining Pobl’s goals for the hostels going forward.

We feel that Pobl have a very good internal structure with regards to staff welfare, pay and general communication. Staff were very impressed with the delivery of PPE on the first day of joining Pobl. We are still learning the new systems and how we’re moving forward as part of Pobl but enjoying every bit of the challenge.

Kyle Ritchie, Service Manager is overseeing the operation of the four hostels, said that regular meetings with the Pobl Senior Managers and implementation of Pobl Policies and Procedures installed a sense of calmness in the projects. The structure that has been put forward has had a positive effect on colleagues and service users alike.

Pobl Services in Cwm Taf

The area is well known to Pobl. We already provide Floating Support services in Merthyr, as well as supported accommodation services for people who are struggling with mental health issues, substance dependency and those who need support focused on reducing re-offending. With the addition of these four new services, Pobl is the largest provider of supported housing services in the county.

The four accommodation services each support ten people and have continued with minimal change since the transfer. Merthyr hostels are Chaplins, which is a young person’s scheme and Garth Villas for those with general needs. The Rhondda Cynon Taf schemes are The Grange (young person’s scheme) and Mill Street Hostel (focused on homelessness). The services are spread over Cwm Taf with two hostels in RCT and two in Merthyr.

“The transition of the services has been particularly difficult due to the Covid outbreak, nevertheless we communicated with staff to discuss TUPE transfer, new working arrangements and line management changes. The staff have found the transfer to Pobl a positive experience and we are delighted to have in place such dedicated staff teams who embrace Pobl principles.” Jeff Gooch, Assistant Director of Support