Welcome to our Zebra news. Here you can find out what social events we’re organising and what’s happening in your neighbourhood as well as our news. Contact Zebra housing@zebrahousing.com on any issues and to express your views on anything that we do. We want to find out how we can make Zebra better.

September 2, 2020

ZEBRA NEWS AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2020

Covid-19Obviously, things are different and we don’t really know what the next few months might bring in terms of Covid-19. But Zebra remains very active doing most of what we have always done but in a different way. You can still phone and email us. We are still providing most of our services to residents and still letting flats by email, Zoom and WhatsApp, and we making sure you are safe and secure in your homes.A number of new residents are now joining us, and we are helping them if they have to quarantine by providing essentials.We’ve learnt a lot and have made some improvements to our services. There are hand sanitisers in strategic positions in every building. Our cleaning regime is now much more thorough with disinfecting and steam cleaning. We have resident wardens and deputy wardens to make tenants feel more at home and deliver a personal, local service. And we will be introducing a residents’ IT portal to further improve communications and accessibility to services.Our maintenance service has now largely returned to normal – although every job is risk assessed to ensure the safety of residents and staff. We are completing a number of projects we started at the beginning of the year.But it is really important that all residents continue to follow the advice that Steve has been sending out to you, particularly social distancing and that you remain vigilant and cautious. Your example will help new residents settle in and observe the practical rules we have introduced to ensure everyone is safe.Once again, we send our thanks to our staff and contractors for helping us to keep everything going and keeping you safe in your homes, and to all our residents for the way you have responded to our rules and guidelines.Major RepairsWe put a number of projects on hold and mothballed others earlier this year. We are now completing them. The shared bathrooms at Jerome are now largely completed and in use again. The refurbishing of the staircase at 34 Chalcot Crescent is now underway again and will take about another 4 weeks to complete and this includes updating lighting and fire detection equipment..Scheme MeetingsAs new residents move in this late summer/autumn Steve is going to organise meeting with groups of residents at individual schemes in gardens, where we can all socially distance safely, and by Zoom where that is impractical. We want to find out what your concerns are so we might be able to help out, and what our priorities should be for the next 6 months.Re-opening our office – we want to hear your view and ideasWe are not minded to re-open our office to visitors until, probably, next year although staff might occasionally work alone there. We’ve got on quite well without an office and whilst it was difficult at first we’ve adapted and we think our service to residents is as good as ever.Most residents and applicants choose to contact us by email. Very few ‘phone and very few call at our office and most of those are residents of Jerome House. We have also found that we can work as effectively at home as we can in the office.But we do need to have a physical office as our centre although we don’t need to open it in the same way as it was open before and not for the same time periods because much of our work can be conducted both remotely and in a different way. We are also investing in new technology which should enable residents to manage their repairs and other services using web-based functions. We are looking at how our local presence at schemes can be improved through the way in which we use our staff, wardens, and deputy wardens.So if any residents have any thoughts and suggestions about this please contact housing@zebrahousing.comSocial ProgrammeSadly, this is still on hold. We continue to monitor accessibility to theatres and exhibitions and will restart our social programme when it becomes viable.     
June 30, 2020

ZEBRA NEWS JUNE/JULY

Coronavirus UpdateZebra remains very active doing most of what we have always done but in a different way. You can still phone and email us. We are still providing most of our services to residents and still letting flats (without actually coming into physical contact with new residents) and we making sure you are safe and secure in your homes. We’ve scaled back our maintenance programmes doing what’s necessary and what’s safe and we always do a risk assessment before we send out maintenance staff to your homes. Health & safety remains our top priority.As you will all have seen, we have expanded and enhanced our cleaning service so that every scheme is now cleaned on a daily basis. This includes disinfecting all common areas (including shared bathrooms, WCs, laundries and hard services) and regular steam cleaning.It is really important that as we come out of lockdown all residents continue to follow the advice that Steve has been sending out to you, particularly social distancing. In the next few weeks, we will also be installing hand sanitisers at strategic points in all schemes, which we encourage all residents to use.Once again, we send our thanks to our staff, contractors, wardens, deputy wardens for helping us to keep everything going and keeping you safe in your homes, and to all our residents for the responsible way you lave responded to our rules and guidelines. Re-opening our office – we want to hear your view and ideasWe are now beginning to look at what re-opening means. Many staff remained working throughout lockdown but those that were furloughed are beginning to return. But it’s clear that we need to remain very cautious and vigilant for the foreseeable future. We’ve also learnt some lessons from this period which we’ll want to carry forward.Most residents and applicants choose to contact us by email. A few phone us. Very few call at our office and most of them are residents of Jerome House where the office is located. We’ve also found that we can work as effectively at home as we can in the office. However, it is unsustainable for us to continue using Steve and Heidi’s home as our centre of operations.We need to have a physical office as our centre but we don’t need to open it in the same way as it was open before and not for the same time periods because much of our work can be conducted both remotely and in a different way. We are also investing in new technology which should enable residents to manage their repairs and other services using web-based functions. We are looking at how our local presence at schemes can be improved through the way in which we use our staff, wardens, and deputy wardens.So if any residents have any thoughts and suggestions about this please contact stevem@zebrahousing.com Major RepairsWe put a number of projects on hold and mothballed others when we moved into lockdown. We’ve tentatively restarted some of these including the refurbishing of shared bathrooms at Jerome and the kitchen replacement programme. We are very conscious that work on the staircase at 34 Chalcot Crescent remains unfinished and are looking at restarting it in the middle of July. But it’s difficult because of the constraints of working in a confined area which is used by a lot of people.Scheme MeetingsLast year Steve held a number of meeting with groups of residents at individual schemes. We are now planning on holding a series of meetings in those buildings with gardens, where we can all socially distance safely, and Zoom meetings for those buildings where that is impractical. We will aim to hold these meetings later in the summer, when new residents coming in for the 2020/21 academic year will be able to participate.We want to know how you are doing, what more we can do and how you’d like us to develop services in the future. Perhaps you can comment on our thoughts about re-opening the office?We will let you know when we have set the dates for these meetings. Social ProgrammeThis is just a reminder that we have cancelled our June garden party – this is the first time in our history.We are monitoring accessibility to theatres and exhibitions, and will restart our social programme when it becomes viable.     
May 18, 2020

ZEBRA NEWS MAY 2020

Coronavirus Update

Since our office closure in March we’ve adapted our service (and all our lives) to a very different world. But you can still phone us - ‘phones are diverted to Steve and Heidi’s home, and all of our email addresses are active, regularly monitored and emails responded to. We are still providing a basic service to residents and still letting flats (without actually coming into physical contact with new residents), and our one aim is to keep you and your families safe and secure in your homes.

We’ve scaled back our maintenance service doing what’s necessary and what’s safe and we always do a risk assessment before we send out maintenance staff to your homes. Health & safety remains our top priority.

The one area where we’ve actually expanded our service has been cleaning and every scheme is now cleaned on a daily basis. This includes disinfecting all common areas (including shared bathrooms, WCs, laundries and hard surfaces) and regular steam cleaning.

It is really important that all residents continue to follow the advice that Steve has been sending out to you. This will ensure that we are all do everything we can to keep our residents, staff, and cleaning and maintenance contractors safe.

Once again we really want to thank our wardens, deputy wardens, building contractors and cleaners for helping us to keep everything going and keeping you safe in your homes.

Board News

Our Board met last week for the first time since lockdown. The meeting was conducted by Zoom. It of course focused on the actions we have been taking to safeguard our residents, staff and contractors and how we are continuing to operate the Zebra business. The Urgency Committee (a Committee of the Board) consisting of the Chair, Vice-chair and Treasurer continues to meet fortnightly.

Major Repairs

We’ve obviously put a number of schemes on hold whilst others have had to be mothballed until we get through this crisis. This includes the work at 34 Chalcot involving new lighting and fire detection, re-plastering and redecoration and the bathroom refitting programme at Jerome. As soon as we are able, we’ll resume work and we are very sorry for the inconvenience.

Scheme Meetings

Last year Steve held a number of meeting with groups of residents at individual schemes. We’re now thinking these meetings would adapt very well to Zoom. We are now planning on holding a series of Zoom meetings over the next two months. We want to know how you are doing, what more we can do and how you’d like us to develop services in the future.

When these are arranged, Steve will contact you with the details on how to participate.

Social Programme

We’ve cancelled our June garden party – this is the first time in our history. Here are some personal suggestions for various events

The National Theatre is streaming different shows every week. Try Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night and Anthony and Cleopatra or the adaptation of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Go to nationaltheatre.org.uk for more information.

The BBC has a recording of the adaptation of Angela Carter’s Wise Children. Go tohttps://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p0892kf6

Please refer to our previous updates for further online suggestions for you and your families.

April 15, 2020

OUR LOVELY CLEANERS

Our lovely cleaners, working over Easter – and they left an Easter Egg for Every flat. We are terribly grateful to them and as one resident commented “ the building is especially sparkling these days, unsurprisingly, so many thanks to the cleaning crew for all the extra work. Feels very safe!"

April 7, 2020

Coronavirus

The Zebra office closed on 18 March with ‘phones diverted to Steve and Heidi’s home and other staff working from home. So, we are still providing a basic service to residents and still letting flats (without actually coming into physical contact with new residents) with the assistance of our wardens and deputy wardens – and a big thank you to them.

But inevitably we’ve been forced to scale back our maintenance service so that we are now only doing urgent and emergency repairs, and health & safety work and inspections.

Our cleaning contractor of many years, Happy Hands, has proved invaluable continuing to operate an enhanced regime, which includes daily cleaning and disinfecting of all common areas (including shared bathrooms, WCs, laundries and hard services) and regular steam cleaning.

It is really important that all residents maintain good health and safety practice, and continue to follow the advice that we have been sending out to you all. This will ensure that we are all do everything we can to keep our residents, staff, and cleaning and maintenance contractors safe.

Board News

The Urgency Committee (a Committee of the Board) consisting of the Chair, Vice-chair and Treasurer has been meeting with the Chief Executive and Finance Director regularly

Major Repairs

We’ve obviously put a number of schemes on hold whilst others have had to be mothballed until we get through this crisis. This includes the work at 34 Chalcot involving new lighting and fire detection, re-plastering and redecoration and the bathroom refitting programme at Jerome. As soon as we are able, we’ll resume work and we are very sorry for the inconvenience.

April 7, 2020

SOCIAL PROGRAMME

Social Programme

We’ve cancelled or postponed all the events. If you’ve booked any tickets which you can’t now use, you should contact Steve for a refund. However, there are still things you can do, and a number of Theatres are offering free streaming of their productions.

The National Theatre is streaming different shows every week starting with the feel-good hit One Man, Two Guvnors, featuring James Corden’s hilarious Tony Award-winning performance as the goodhearted, chronically hungry servant Francis Henshall. Go to National Theatre nationaltheatre.org.uk for more information.

The Royal Shakespeare Company has announced Culture in Quarantine with the BBC broadcasting some of its best shows of the last few years including

Macbeth (2018), directed by Polly Findlay with Christopher Eccleston and Niamh Cusack

Hamlet (2016), directed by Simon Godwin with Paapa Essiedu

Romeo and Juliet (2018), directed by our Deputy Artistic Director Erica Whyman

Much Ado About Nothing (2014), directed by Christopher Luscombe

Othello (2015), directed by Iqbal Khan with Hugh Quarshie and Lucian Msamati

The Merchant of Venice (2015), directed by Polly Findlay

 

And for Children..

There are a huge number of online resources to keep your children busy at home. Here are a few we recommend:

The Dyson Foundation

A series of challenge cards, that are fun and testing.

https://www.jamesdysonfoundation.co.uk/resources/challenge-cards.html

BBC Bitesize

An incredible amount of Key Stage focussed content for all subject areas. A fave is a really challenging maths game called Guardians: Defenders of Mathematica. Amazing to see how quickly the kids can add and subtract four-digit numbers if there’s a new shield at the end of it.

www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize

Pobble365

This ‘picture a day’ website has been great for creative writing each day offering different challenges from diary entries to sentence challenges. The kids also love sneaking a look at the next day’s picture.

www.pobble365.com

Nat Geo Kids

A mix of games, quizzes, videos and free downloadable resources which is perfect for keeping active minds busy.

www.natgeokids.com/uk

March 17, 2020

COVID-19 UPDATE

We are still active and continuing to offer accommodation but following government guidelines we have asked staff to work from home.

Please email housing@zebrahousing.com for any enquiries

We are available during normal office hours Monday – Friday 9.30am – 5.30pm on 0207 584 2906.

Please be aware that the office in South Kensington is not accepting visitors

February 13, 2020

A blue plaque at Carleton Road

The blue plaque to commemorate the fact that 73 Carleton Road was the home of the famous late 19th century/early 20th music hall star, Marie Lloyd, has been installed. There will be ceremony later in the year to formally unveil it.

February 13, 2020

 Art exhibition by Samia AL-Shouli ** 15 – 17 February 2020 **

Dr. Samia Towfeek Al-Shouli is a Zebra resident. Not only is she a physician (clinical immunology and allergy) and author of 5 books but she is also an artist in the abstract world through the medium of sculpture as well as painting in oil and acrylic on canvas and fabric.

An exhibition of her work - Arwah Aberah – can be viewed at Old Brompton Gallery 238 Old Brompton Road, Kensington, London SW5 0DE between 15 and 17 February.

February 13, 2020

Major repairs

The installation of the new fire detection system at Jerome has been complete. We are still looking at ways to reduce false alarms, but residents can help by opening windows if there’s a lot steam/smoke from cooking. Of course - for families with children please be vigilant when opening any windows.

We’ve completed the repairs to the flank wall at Carleton Road.

We plan to start work on the stairwell at 34 Chalcot on Monday 17th February. This is a big job involving new lighting and fire detection, re-plastering, redecoration, re-carpeting and fitting a new door entry panel. It’s likely to run into the summer.

And we hope to start work on limited redecoration of the front of Jerome House in April/May 2020.