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“You can change things” – why resident involvement matters

Lisa Stead, a Tenant Engagement Officer at Connect Housing, recently spoke to resident, Peps, about her experience getting more involved with her housing provider.

Peps’ story is unique. Originally from Bramley and after a stint living in India, Peps later found herself living in a Connect property in Leeds.

After a successful career in business and hospitality, running venues across the city, Peps had health complications and realised she wouldn’t be able to carry on working at the rate she had been.

It was when Sharon Malone, one of Connect’s Community Housing Officers, popped round that she had the idea to ask Peps if she’d be interested in getting more involved.

Sharon Malone…came out to see me…she said something along the lines of that the board was in need of new members and if I would be interested, consider it…and I went well go on then.

 

Peps’ passion for community shines through, and was a clear motivation behind her wanting to join some of Connect’s resident involvement opportunities.

We’re losing that community spirit and I think that is something that we should really try to embrace and bring back.

You may have heard the words ‘tenant engagement’ or ‘resident involvement’ thrown around a lot, but what do they actually mean? Simply put, the purpose of ‘tenant engagement’ is to provide opportunities for residents to give their opinions on how Connect is run, so that their services work for the people that live in their properties. Peps said:

I think through tenant engagement…you can blossom [residents] to feel like they have a voice to say “I do think my area could do with this”.

We want you, because we want to know what you think. You live in the houses, you know the issues because you live with them.

Peps also acknowledged that getting involved isn’t for everyone. Connect offers a range of different involvement activities, from a one-off focus group over Zoom, to being involved in a full scale scrutiny review of the complaints service. This is so residents can have their voice represented as little or as much as they’d like. More information about getting involved can be found on this website – just head to the Get Involved home page.

Speaking to Lisa Stead, Peps said she would like to “see the unspoken voices heard”, calling for residents to “change things” because “as a resident, you can”. You can watch the interview with Peps on this page, or on our YouTube Channel, where you’ll find more stories from Connect.

If you think you’d like to get involved with Connect, simply email gettinginvolved@connecthousing.org.uk or give us a ring on 0300 5000 600.

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