Welcome to our Winter Tenant Newsletter. In this edition, you will get to read about what SCH has been up to,

Over the last several months, we’ve received many fantastic nominations for our SCH Property Care Recognition Program, and we want to thank all of our Housing Officers who have been noticing everyones hard work in maintaining and improving their property care. It’s clear that our Southern Cross community takes great pride in their homes.

We’re pleased to announce this month’s winners are Ms Colleen Barnes & Ms Fay Hitchins. Colleen was born & raised in Nowra, lived in Melbourne for many years with her family before returning to the Shoalhaven where she’s lived in her property for 32 years. Fay has been a Nowra resident her whole life, “I’ve been here a long time and I like where I live”. We asked what got the ladies interested in gardening. Colleen told us it started with her Mum, “she was an amazing gardener, everything she touched just bloomed and I think she was the inspiration that got me into it”. Fay though, was self- taught, “I just learned everything myself, getting my hands dirty. I just love doing the gardens even though sometimes it breaks your back!”

Maintaining their gardens has bonded Fay & Colleen, they share tips and help one another out. They shared with us that it also bonded their community, “there used to be a little group of us in the street. We’re the same age and we looked after each other. It’s nice to know that you have friends that care and are there for you”. It  is Fay and Colleens shared passion for gardening that brought  them together. Even now, Fay’s garden brings people together  “I can’t do most of the garden work now. I just pay some of the  blokes that are down on their luck to come and do most of the  work for me. I like helping them out, they are good fellas, and  they do some great work”.

We asked the ladies what being a Southern Cross tenant and  having secure housing meant to them. Fay told us, “It means  a lot, no one wants to have to look around for a house these  days”. Colleen added, “the private rental market is way too  expensive. I personally don’t want to ever move because I love  my home and I’m very grateful”. Both ladies agreed that their  experience with Southern Cross was very positive “they look  after us well. The thank you cards make us feel good. Winning  the competition was a good surprise and we appreciated the  vouchers

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