News

Celebrating 50 extensions in Waltham Forest tackling overcrowding

Aston Group and Waltham Forest Council are celebrating completion of the 50th home extension, part of a £60 million programme of improving living standards across all Council housing stock.

Councillor Louise Mitchell, Cabinet Member for Housing and Homelessness Prevention, visited the Leyton home of the Hobbs family, which is the 50th residence to be extended by the Council, working in partnership with Aston Group.

Robert and Linda Hobbs, and their two sons, were living in an overcrowded two bedroom home. The loft conversion has created a new bedroom and second bathroom.

Robert said: “It is absolutely brilliant. What the Council have done is made life easier for me and my family. It has given us more room, it’s like a different house.”

The shortage of larger, family homes is a challenge for many local authorities, including Waltham Forest.

Cllr Mitchell said: “This programme of loft conversions and extensions addresses a pressing need for families, providing them with the additional space they need to live comfortably and relieving their overcrowding.

“This is only part of our ambitious housing strategy. Alongside our plans to build new homes we are investing £60 million in improving our existing Council homes, including installing 1,200 new kitchens, 2,500 new bathrooms and 1,400 new central heating systems.”

Aston Group have developed a method to the extension works which minimises the disruption to the families during the conversions.

Left to right: Mr and Mrs Hobbs, Dominic Woodford, Aston Group Construction Manager, Cllr Louise Mitchell at Waltham Forest and Reginald Martin, Project Manager, Waltham Forest.

Dominic Woodford Construction Manager, Aston Group, said: “We are sympathetic to the resident’s needs. “We ensure that most of the work is carried out from the outside of properties, with only final breakthrough and service extensions requiring internal access during the final two weeks of work. This allows families to remain living in their homes throughout the construction process.”

As part of the works, fire and building safety standards in the properties are upgraded and insulation work completed to improve energy efficiency, providing safer and more energy-efficient homes.

As well as providing families with a refreshed, appropriately-sized property, the works have substantially added value to Waltham Forest’s housing stock, creating an approximate increase in the stock value to £6.4million on a project spend of £3.3million.

Reginald Martin, Project Manager at Waltham Forest said, Having recently joined the team, I’m pleased to be celebrating this fantastic milestone with our partners Aston Group. I have been overjoyed to see the positive impact the work we are doing is having on the lives of our residents.

The proposed designs are not limited to solving an overcrowding issue – they consider the principles of the local character and distinctiveness of this Borough and are based upon an understanding and evaluation of its defining characteristics. In particular, the materials, colour, scale, and textures selected respect the character and heritage of the area. For these reasons, we believe that this and future projects will continue to make a positive contribution in Waltham Forest. 

We are motivated to keep this valuable and much needed programme moving forward”.

Pipeline to Employment

Aston Group are committed to supporting our local communities by providing a pre-employment programme called Pipeline Into Employment, through a variety of pre-employment training workshops and courses, work experience placements, internships and apprenticeships. We appreciate that some people can find these types of courses daunting, and therefore fail to take up the opportunities on offer. If you are interested but are experiencing any fear or anxiety about taking part, please do contact us for a chat, as we will hopefully be able to put your mind at ease and can offer 1-2-1 bespoke appointments. Our sessions are designed to be fun ,helpful, down to earth, and easily accessible with friendly tutors in a very relaxed, informal environment. Don’t be put off by the unknown, let us help you achieve your goals, after all one conversation could change your life!

We offer FREE workshops on #CVWriting#InterviewSkills#MockInterviews, and #JobSearch #JobApplication advice. Usually held at locations in Waltham Forest and Romford, these are currently being delivered virtually due to the Covid 19 social distancing requirements.

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COVID – 19

In light of COVID-19, Aston Group is continuing to provide a service to our clients where social distancing guidelines can be maintained and where safe systems of works are secured. Our continuation of services is underpinned by Government guidance and in accordance with the site operations procedure – protecting your workforce by construction leadership council as well as the letter from the department for business, Energy & Industrial Strategy advising the continuation of construction works. Aston Group is working closely with all stakeholders to ensure that we are aligned and measured in our approach to the situation which is therefore subject to constant and ongoing review of our stance in relation to the guidance.

Aston Group are committed to being able to provide critical services and statutory compliance in these unprecedented times to ensure that the safety of residents is put first and that they are secured.

Click the link below for more information:

Renovating and rejuvenating

Aston Group handed over the communal lounge at Dilwyn Court, a sheltered accommodation, last month. Staff from the London Borough of Waltham Forest (LBWF) as well a LBWF Ward Councillor attended. Cllr Mitchell said a few words with regards to the Grenfell Tower tragedy as it was the 2nd anniversary. She went on to say that Aston Group are updating all of the fire precautions within the building which includes doors, ceilings, paint, alarms and more.

Carlynne, Head of Sheltered Accommodation at Waltham Forest, said a few words about the project and had a lot of praise for Astons Group saying, all staff go the extra mile in their work.

More than half the residents attended together with a number of Waltham Forest Senior Management. Everyone was very impressed with the quality of the work and the fact that the programme was delivered on time and on budget! All the residents were especially impressed by the new layout of the lounge and with the new lights offering a WOW factor. One particular resident said that they loved the new kitchen and could not wait for their kitchen to be installed. An opportunity was given to all residents to view the kitchen units, oven and hob and installation dates were provided to everyone giving them plenty of notice before the refurbishment works commence within their own flat.

The opening event was very successful and everyone enjoyed themselves. Well done to everyone for their efforts and for pulling out all the stops.

Work experience works

Read about our latest work experience student , Georgia Walters, who spent a week in the office with our team. It gave her an insight into a real working environment and opened her eyes to the diverse world we work in.

My name is Georgia Walters I’m 15 years old, and I currently go to Frances Bardsley Academy school for girls, I’m doing work experience at Aston Group in Romford.

How did I find out about Aston Group?
My teacher, Miss Wood, helped me find a work placement at Aston Group. At first, when she told me about the place I was going to do my work experience at, I was a bit apprehensive, I was not sure how heating and the subjects I take at school come together! I am currently taking photography, geography and media studies (as well as the core subjects). I was a bit confused as to why she chose Aston’s for my work experience! I didn’t expect Aston’s to be what is it.

But now I can understand why! I came to the conclusion that they do much more than just heating. They are like a little community helping each other and also helping the outside community grow. That’s what I like about them. So far I have had a great time here, everyone is very welcoming, friendly and like to have a laugh every now and then and so do I. I was asked by my supervisor Rachel Statter if I wanted to do an article about myself also about my time at Aston’s, and of course I said yes ! I have always wanted be featured in an article but never had the chance to. Since I’m a media student myself I thought this would be a good idea and would help me in the future.

If you would like to find out more regarding a work placement or an apprenticeship visit http://astongroupuk.com/our-people/ or contact us on: recruitment@astongroup.co.uk

A brand new space for residents at Longfield House

Aston Group are currently working on three sheltered blocks within the Borough of Waltham Forest. Renovating the kitchens and bathrooms of the individual flats providing interiors that are dignified, personal and enabling. These projects showcase the work we do and the timescales we work to. The experience we have gained has given us a better understanding of how best to work with residents on an individual basis whilst meeting their needs and aspirations with the ongoing refurbishment work.

Longfield House was started on the 14thJanuary with the initial site set up, the first stage was the installation of all the pipe work in the corridors with new heating pipe work and a new fire system.

We held consultation meetings with the residents at Longfield House to inform them of the process and involve them in choices. We complete the communal room first before starting in their flats, this makes a lovely place for residents to relax and use the communal space while flats are being refurbished.

The process is very tightly run, we open a flat on a Monday and close a flat on a Friday, this process works well with continuing communication between the residents and the on site RLO (Resident Liaison Officer).

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