Providing a diverse range of accommodation for people with learrning disabilities and additional needs.

First Choice E-Bulletin

Welcome to issue 3 of the First Choice news bulletin. This quarterly email will keep you up to date with what is happening at First Choice.


Message from the Chief Executive


Welcome to the latest edition of the e-bulletin from all at First Choice.


We are pleased to welcome more new staff members to our team. In this bulletin we are pleased to introduce our new Strategic Housing Manager, Janet Bochel, who joins us from Taff HA and a second Technical Services Officer, George Marshall. They are both settling into their new roles and will no doubt meet many of you in the forthcoming months.


I am delighted to announce that I will be retiring at the end of 2016, and whilst extremely sad to leave the association I am looking forward to retirement. A recruitment process is underway for a new Chief Executive – more about that in the next e-bulletin. I hope to say goodbye to many of you in the next couple of months or you are welcome to pop into the offices on the afternoon of 15th December to join a small celebration of my retirement.


We have continued to develop schemes during the period of uncertainty over funding of supported housing and welcome the recent announcement by the DWP. We are also further challenging costs in all areas, but in particular the cost of developments and the level of rents.


Hilary Ryan        
Chief Executive, FCHA



Board Members


September saw the association hold its 2016 Annual General Meeting and the following members were elected to the Board of Management.


Graeme Tipple
Nick Worman
Mark Morgan
Gordon Brown
Margaret Cowap
Andrew Jones
David Worrell
Holly Stedman
Louise Howells


The following Board members resigned in 2015/16:

Andrew Woods
Tim O Connell
Alison Johns


Formal positions will be elected at the October 2016 Board meeting where the association will appoint a new Chair following the resignation of outgoing Chair, Alison Johns, with interim cover provided by Vice-Chair, Nick Worman.



Development Update


Closer - to - Home Strategy (C2H)



First Choice recently completed the refurbishment of 3 properties as part of the Closer-to-Home Strategy. Working in partnership with Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council, Swansea City Council, Bridgend County Borough Council and the Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board the 3 properties shown below were delivered as part of the Closer-to-Home (C2H) Strategy. The properties now provide bespoke supported accommodation for tenants with learning disabilities.





First Choice have worked in partnership with Neath Port Talbot CBC and Kingfisher Developments (Wales) Ltd to refurbish a large detached four bedroom house in Neath for 4 tenants with a learning disability with sleep in staff accommodation. The property has been jointly funded using social housing grant and private finance.





First Choice have worked in partnership with Flintshire CC and W.D. Stant Ltd to refurbish a detached house in Connah’s Quay for 4 tenants with a learning disability and provide sleep in staff accommodation, using social housing grant and private finance. The property offers spacious living areas to the ground floor with four tenants bedrooms and 2 shower rooms to the first floor.



Tenant Events


In recent months the following tenant events have been held:


  • Tenants’ Voice newsletter group meetings in Vale of Glamorgan and Powys.



  • Summer Ball in conjunction with Community Lives Consortium in Swansea.



• 10 pin bowling event in Flintshire


  • Ivor Voice Club meetings in Powys, Conwy and Rhondda Cynon Taff.




  • My Voice, My Choice event in conjunction with Mirus in Cardiff.



  • BBQ event with games and music in the Vale of Glamorgan.



In the coming months we look forward to 10 pin bowling and a tenant workshop in Shropshire, former POW camp visit in Bridgend, Halloween disco in Cardiff and Ivor Voice Club meetings in Denbighshire, Powys and Swansea.




First Choice were proud to be named 8th in the 24 Housing Top UK Landlords Awards. The association was also shortlisted for a Customer Services Award with 24 Housing in the same quarter.





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Registered with the National Assembly for Wales under Number J094