Posted in housing, Social housing

Provision for tenants with mental health needs

Rethink Mental Illness was formed almost 50 years ago by a group of people who were caring for a loved one living with schizophrenia. The charity was co-founded in 1972 by John Pringle whose son was diagnosed with schizophrenia after an article written by Pringle was published on May 9th 1970.

Their service in Stroud offers independent, quality housing to tenants with mental health needs. They support people to achieve personal goals, offer emotional and practical support with day-to-day living, and help develop skills to live independently in the community in order to build a meaningful quality of life as defined by them.

They’ve also provided training and launched local and national campaigns that have changed, and continue to change, how people and society as a whole view and behave towards people living with mental illness.

People with experience of mental illness, and those who care for them, shape their expert advice, information and training, and over 200 services. They also drive campaigning and help to run over 140 local support groups. Supporting all this life-changing work are their supporters, volunteers and staff members.

Supported group flats and housing will usually mean living in a block or group of flats or houses with other people who need some support. They may have similar support needs and may offer each other support. Often accommodation is self-contained, with shared communal areas such the lounge, utilities and garden. There should be 24-hour emergency support available if needed. Often there will be support onsite. Read more here.

The local housing department, social services or your local community mental health team can give information about supported accommodation services in the area. Or the local council website could help, see’.

If the couple mentioned in the post below this agreed to work with Rethink, neighbourhood mediation could be offered in an attempt to motivate offended locals to give them another chance. Eventually, they and their neighbours could become happier and the surrounding area more harmonious.







Posted in housing, Social housing, social needs, Stroud District Council (SDC)

Rehabilitation in situ: an alternative to moving out problem tenants

Since this site was set up in January this year it is surprising to note on the statistics page that in addition to the local councillors alerted, people from several other countries (snapshot right) have ‘tuned in’.

A post in May referred to forthcoming news about two more Duderstadt tenants in need of rehabilitation. However, there has been a lack of information due to lock-down and also a heavy workload imposed by people, who now have more time to reflect, offering a number of reports and articles for publication in the editor’s other websites.

For a year or so great unease has been expressed about the erratic behaviour of two individuals in the Duderstadt area and having spoken to one and seen the other, thought it was perhaps just a clash of personalities and a reaction to eccentricity. The female resident is withdrawn in public, unless she is – or feels – provoked by other residents, when she becomes verbally abusive in the extreme, on the street or from her window.

During lockdown, however, due to a chance meeting at a local bus stop, more information emerged

A young woman who lives below this couple said that she is often awakened by sounds from their flat which she believes indicate not only quarrelling, but physical violence, following heavy drinking. She had no idea whom to contact about this, so I recommended her to phone Cllr Charles Townley, Chair of the Housing Committee, but at the time did not have his number to hand (omission now rectified).

It seems likely that instead of just moving them to another area, these problems could be addressed by those experienced in dealing with alcohol addiction and mental health issues.

The obvious first ‘ports of call’ seen online (though there are others in the area) are Stroud’s Rehab4Addiction and Rethink, a community mental health organisation which might consider some neighbourhood mediation, enabling offended locals to give the couple, if they agree to work with these agencies, another chance.

Eventually, the couple concerned and their neighbours could become healthier and happier and the surrounding area more harmonious.






Posted in housing, Social housing

Another problem at Walter Preston Court solved

It was good to hear that new double-glazed doors and windows have been fitted to these flats.

However, for many weeks a faulty new door posed problems – the most important one being that it could not be locked. The resident, taking her regular lockdown walk had to use the fire exit and walk a considerable way to leave the block. As she has considerable difficulty in walking and is in constant pain, this was a real problem.

Repeated phone calls led to at least two visits during which ‘bits were taken off‘ but the door could still not be locked and she had to rely on using an interior bolt.

She intended to contact Cllr Charles Townley, Chair of Housing, by phone as he advises, but before she did so, the repair was finally done to her complete satisfaction.





Posted in health, housing, Social housing, social needs, Stroud District Council (SDC)

Lockdown peace for some Duderstadt residents

Those living near a drug addict in Duderstadt Close, Paganhill (above), who have been regularly woken up in the small hours by the arrival of his supplier, welcomed his eviction.

A housing officer arrived one day with two burly assistants and apparently just said “Out!” and that was it.

Three questions are asked:

  • Why did it take so long to address this illegal and disruptive behaviour?
  • Where did the evicted person go? Was he merely moved on the distress a new set of neighbours?
  • Are there centres where such people can be rehabilitated?

Next post: two more Duderstadt tenants in need of rehabilitation




Posted in Problems, Successes

The entrance lights to Walter Preston Court are now working

walter preston court (2)

In an earlier post we noted that for months, despite repeated phone calls to Stroud District Council made by several residents, the lights outside the entrance to Walter Preston Court had not been working.

Residents, some with mobility and eyesight problems, were afraid to return home after dark and – especially in winter – had to leave events early.

In future, problems should be addressed more rapidly, as Stroud District Council is switching to directly employed in-house labour instead of contractors.

They believe that council tenants will notice an improvement to the way their repairs are carried out from April 2020.





Posted in housing

SDC housing tenants look forward to a good service from the new in-house repair and maintenance team


For years Stroud District Council (SDC) has been led by a cooperative alliance of the Labour, Green and Liberal Democrat parties – a ‘rainbow alliance’ (below).

SDC is the only authority in Gloucestershire which owns and manages its social housing. Like many housing organisations across the country they are switching to directly employed labour. In 2015 they brought their heating services team in-house and tenants reported much higher levels of satisfaction.

For many years, SDC used two contractors to provide repairs and planned maintenance to their stock of around 5000 council homes in the district: Mi Space in the south and NKS Contracts Central Ltd in the north.

They believe that council tenants will notice an improvement to the way their repairs are carried out from April 2020 because the service is being brought in-house in order to improve quality, increase customer satisfaction and – in the long term – save money.

The new service will be based in Littlecombe near Dursley which has good transport links to the SDC’s stock of homes that span the district.

SDC will be investing in the latest technology to make sure their service is efficient and customer focussed.

The tenants will be involved in shaping the new service telling us their priorities and working alongside us to make sure we keep our promises.

SDC would like to hear from any council tenant reading this blog who would like to get involved by phoning: 01453 754182 or emailing

Read the SDC news here: