Back to the list

Going that extra mile...

Going that extra mile...

Photo of Annie with the caravan One of our employees has gone that extra mile to remove an unsafe caravan that was blighting parts of Swansea community.

The dumped caravan was becoming a major problem as it constantly appearing in different parts of Swansea but nobody would admit to owning the vehicle.

Acting in the community’s interest, Gwalia Neighbourhood Housing Officer Annie Woods made arrangements to have the caravan removed permanently.

She said: "I issued a notice for the caravan to be moved from Llangwm in Penplas, which it was, but to our surprise it turned up at Ffynon Caeconna in Portmead a couple of days later.  It was becoming a bit of a game. I had spoken with Environmental Health at the Council and the Fire Service, who had serious safety concerns about the condition of the caravan and as it was dumped on Gwalia land we had to act.

"When I shared my concerns with Andy Heslop, Gwalia’s Head of Landscaping, he didn’t think twice about offering to move it himself. And he used his own vehicle because a suitable van with town wasn’t available."

First Andy needed to check the condition of the van, if it was road worthy to be towed and the tow hitch was the same as his personal vehicle.

Liaising with Swansea Council’s Environmental Health team and Mid and West Wales Fire Service to ensure that they were happy with the arrangements, Andy moved the caravan the next day.

But, what he didn’t anticipate was the condition of the caravan.

"It was filthy," he said. "It really posed a danger to the community. When we got it back to Gwalia’s depot in Swansea and inspected the inside, we were horrified. It was infested with flies and all sorts. We had to intervene or someone could have got hurt."

Executive Director of Customer Services Richard Davies said what Andy did does go above and beyond the call of duty.

"Gwalia staff are committed to ensuring all of our tenants live in a clean and safe environment," he said. "Andy helped ensure that this problem was dealt with swiftly and efficiently for the benefit of the communities in the Penderry ward. I would like to thank Andy personally and on behalf of our tenants."