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Frank Haslam Milan sponsorship feature

Housebuilder marks expansion in Wales with new office launch

Croeso i Gaerdydd

Frank Haslam Milan (FHM) recently celebrated the opening of their new offices in South Wales. Regional Director David Haskell cut the ribbon to the premises which are situated at Mulberry Drive, in Cardiff Gate Business Park.
The leading community regeneration specialist also boasts offices in the West Midlands, the North East, Scotland, the South West and Yorkshire. FHM decided to open a branch in South Wales as a result of its recent client growth.
The opening of the Welsh offices coincides with the company’s plans to expand its current team and expertise. The office will serve as Head Office for the South Wales region, becoming one of FHM’s larger companies.

Since starting work in South Wales and the South West in 2010, the brand has enjoyed a busy work schedule. Recent contract wins have been the catalyst for a permanent presence within the region.

New Director

Regional Director David Haskell has been tasked with heading up the new office in Cardiff for FHM.

Having joined FHM last year, the 48-year-old currently oversees all South West and South Wales business projects for the Keepmoat company, focusing on winning new business in these areas whilst maintaining strong relationships with clients.

He joined FHM from Midas Construction Ltd where he spent 10 years as a Divisional Director for both Wales and Devon and Cornwall.

At the office opening David said: \’I’m delighted to be here today to officially open the new office ahead of our launch event in January. We hope to make a difference to all the communities that we are working with. Now we have this new base it will be easier for us to work more closely with those communities.\’

In November 2011, David was honoured to present the Housing Hero award at the Welsh Housing Awards 2011. The award celebrates the unsung heroes of the Welsh housing world. An accolade close to FHM’s heart, the Housing Hero award celebrates those going the extra mile to help others and change lives for the better.

David said, \’As sponsors of the award, FHM admire and share the passion of all of the candidates. We were very proud to be able to share the evening with all the nominees in this category\’.

Community connections

FHM pride themselves on working closely with the local community. Head of Business Development and Customer Care, Katy Leverton, comments, \’We base our reputation on the exceptional work we do within the communities we are working in and our ability to work alongside tenants. We always aim to leave a positive, lasting impact on the community.\’

FHM are currently delivering various refurbishment works to properties across South Wales on behalf of Valleys to Coast and Merthyr Valleys Homes. Working in tenants’ properties gives FHM the opportunity to establish close links with the communities and forge personal relationships with the customer.
It is also an invaluable opportunity to get involved with the local schools, informing them that FHM are working in the area and ensuring local children are aware of the health and safety risks. As a result, FHM contact local primary schools to deliver health and safety presentations to the pupils.
Whilst working in Merthyr Tydfil on behalf of Merthyr Valleys Homes to install 830 new kitchens and bathrooms, FHM has honoured its commitment to the community by agreeing to install a new kitchen to the Old Ynysowen Nursery school – now Trinity Child and Family Centre in Aberfan, Merthyr as a gift.
The new kitchen will be used to cook some delicious healthy treats for the children and families who use the centre.

FHM’s Site Manager Lynne Mc Grail Allsopp said: \’We are delighted to be able to support Trinity Child and Family Centre in this way as the new kitchen is going to complement the wider refurbishment of the building.

\’The kitchen is very modern – it’s the same design as we’ve used in the Merthyr Valleys Homes refurbishment programme.\’

Rolling out similar gestures for Valleys to Coast, FHM are always looking to do something different with the community.

Not only do FHM take their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) very seriously, they also have a strong employment policy which benefits local suppliers and sub-contractors.

Local Employers

FHM understands the tough economic climate has made it difficult to find work, especially if they have been out of work for a prolonged length of time. By working closely with various organisations Frank Haslam Milan has been able to take on several full time employees many of whom had been long term unemployed.

FHM employee Beth Lloyd was diagnosed with the deadly Swine Flu virus in October 2009 and came close to death after the illness left her comatose for two weeks and in a wheelchair for six months.

Her determination to rebuild her life meant teaching herself to walk again, gaining new qualifications and finding a new job.

After spending almost a year recuperating, Beth found looking for work a challenging prospect, with the impact of the recession and her lack of confidence after being unemployed for so long both contributing factors.

However, through Valley to Coast’s Housing Targeted Recruitment and Training programme; the JobMatch and Want 2 Work schemes, she found a placement with FHM – when she joined the company on a temporary basis in January earlier this year as part of FHM’s contract with V2C for improvements to their non-traditional properties.

Working as a Tenant Liaison Officer Beth was able to build up her confidence again and gain new qualifications – studying for an NVQ in Customer Services.

She impressed her employees so much that when the initial placement ended last month, FHM offered her a permanent position within the company.

Beth, of Ogmore Vale, said: \’It’s the best job ever and it has really helped my recovery too. There is lots of walking involved which has helped build up my muscles again after being in a wheelchair for so long.

\’I was quite nervous about getting back into work after being ill for so long but things have worked out so well – I couldn’t be happier.\’

FHM’s Regional Director, David Haskell said: \’Beth has impressed everyone with her enthusiasm and determination – she has overcome some major challenges and has worked extremely hard since joining FHM.

\’We were really pleased to be able to offer her a permanent position with us and are sure she will be a real asset to our team.

\’We are keen to offer support and training to help unemployed people in the area find jobs and Beth is a great example of how companies like us can benefit from schemes such as JobMatch and Want 2 Work.\’

V2C’s Head of Assets & Procurement, Andrew Smith said: \’Beth’s experiences demonstrate how a genuine partnership between public, private and third sector organisations can make a real difference to people’s lives at the same time as improving the condition of homes.\’

JobMatch is a Welsh Government, Department for Work and Pensions and local authority backed initiative offering support to help people overcome barriers to employment.

It can help people with training and gaining new qualifications, as well as linking people with suitable job opportunities, and encouraging self-employment.

The ‘Want 2 Work’ project is a joint initiative supported by the Welsh Government and Jobcentre Plus to help unemployed people find work in Wales.

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