"The role is here to ensure the customer's voice is heard and is taken into consideration. I relish the opportunity I have been given to getting out into the community to engage with our tenants."
Bernie Hubble, Customer Voice Officer
Bernie Hubble has been appointed as the Customer Voices Officer, a role that will be dedicated to ensuring the safety and wellbeing of residents and giving them a platform to voice their opinions.
Bernie has worked for Warrington Housing Association for three and a half years, as an Independent Living Co-ordinator, and was appointed to the new role this month.
She said: “Primarily the Customer Voice Officer role came about after the publication of the Social Housing White Paper which aims to shake up how social housing organisations operate.
Bernie said: “I am excited to progress our work with our customers. I was already heavily involved in WHASP – Warrington Housing Association Scrutiny Panel – run by the resident prior to the white paper, so we were already an organisation that sees the importance of involving the residents in our work. It is our way of making sure the residents have a voice and can scrutinise the way the organisation runs things that affect them as residents.
“WHASP is made up of our customers so our members are the ‘customer voice’ and look at areas such as customer service, repairs, new buildings and voids. Their findings help shape the delivery of our service which directly benefits the customers’ as a whole.
“It, therefore, felt like a natural progression for me to become the Customer Voice Officer and I was fortunate to be offered this. The role works across all the teams we have at WHA to ensure the customer's voice is heard and is taken into consideration. I relish the opportunity I have been given to build on this and to getting out into the community to engage with our tenants, something which I find especially rewarding.”
The Social Housing White Paper has seven themes, all linked by one common thread – that the safety, wellbeing, and opinions of social housing residents are paramount, and it’s down to landlords to demonstrate engagement and performance to their residents.
Bernie added: “One of the first things I want to put into action as part of our Community Action Plan, is to start running roadshows where we can get out and about to meet our tenants, learning about them and letting them know what we are about and how we can work together.
“Also, I work with some great people here at WHA who also want to make getting the customers voices heard a priority I’m really looking forward to connecting with my colleagues to discuss how much value there is in listening to what our tenants have to say, and how we can all make a difference in thinking about the customer first, plus making sure that the white paper standards are incorporated into all that we do.