Warrington-based, Your Housing Group, which owns and manages 33,000 properties in the North West, Staffordshire and Yorkshire has launched a campaign to get its customers more involved in shaping the way the organisation does things.
The social landlord is looking for its customers to be the ‘eyes and ears’ of the company by becoming mystery shoppers to test the services, complete surveys, keep a service diary, monitor complaints and take part in estate clean-up days and attend one-off consultation events. They will also be encouraged to identify areas of environmental works, join a regional Customer Assurance Panel and get involved in defining the services the business delivers through the Service Committee.
To help residents who wish to get involved, a free Your Learning training programme is available, designed to offer support and skills so everyone feels confident about getting involved formally or informally.
Kathy Cowell, Chair of Your Housing Group said: “We promised that within our first three years we would review our customer engagement and this is exactly what we’re doing. Over the last few months we have held two major events for 150 customers where we have listened to their views on involvement, scrutiny and governance plans and reported back on how we are developing them in-line with their wishes. Customers asked for a flexible approach which gives them the chance to get involved in lots of different ways, depending on the time they have available, and this is what we’re doing. We’re asking our customers to help us help them by holding us to account and taking corporate responsibility and so far the response has been fantastic. ”
John Cogbill, Executive Director for Assets at Your Housing Group said: “Whether our residents have an occasional half an hour to spare, half a day a month or a lot more time to offer, we have a range of ways for people to get involved as much or as little as they want. We really want our business to be designed by our customers for our customers. We know our customers can make a real difference to how the business runs by scrutinising our services and this will help us deliver service very effectively. We hope to see as many people as possible at this event and encourage them to bring their neighbours.”
Patrick Sharman, Chair of Your Housing Group’s Operating Board said: “When we merged in 2012, the name ‘Your Housing Group’ was born out of our history, culture and values. Residents and customers are at the heart of the association, wherever they live. Helping to develop a Customer Involvement Framework has been an exciting and challenging journey over the last few months. At its core are opportunities for involvement at all stages from neighbourhood to governance. We have devised flexibility in the framework, together with training as appropriate, to enable customers to find something that suits them. This allows everyone the chance to provide valuable, decision influencing feedback for us. I would particularly encourage those who have not felt able to participate before, to add their experience to those long committed to shaping the organisation.”
Special Involvement events for Your Housing Group residents will take place next month. Anyone interested in attending should call 0345 345 0272 or email email@example.com for more information.