We are proud to announce that we have been shortlisted for the Northern Housing Awards ‘Best Resident Involvement Initiative’ 2021 award!
This award is for organisations that go above and beyond in the ways they connect with their customers and who put tenants at the heart of everything they do, engaging with them in a meaningful way. The judges are particularly looking for innovative forms of engagement with residents and how these allow people to shape the services housing organisations offer.
Sian Coulton, CGA’s Community Engagement Manager, was thrilled:
“We saw this award as an opportunity to showcase our new approach to tenant engagement, including our engagement portal and how we have continued to involve and support our customers and communities through innovative delivery of the service. To be shortlisted is a real testament to the hard work all the team have put in to improve community involvement and we are really excited. Thank you so much to everyone who has supported this project throughout”
Our Digital Engagement Story
In 2019/20, CGA commissioned an independent review entitled ‘Let’s Talk Engagement’ which allowed us to consult with nearly 600 residents. The 100-page review analysed what we offered by way of involvement opportunities and made recommendations on how we could better engage with our diverse communities and hard-to-reach groups.
With this in mind, we worked with tenants to co-create a new Engagement Framework that is more impactful, gives better value for money and most importantly meets residents’ needs. Further consultation allowed us to produce a new Community Engagement Strategy and restructure the team to allow us to deliver activities effectively, with residents being directly involved in the recruitment of new staff.
Residents have also worked with us on a new set of ‘Service Standards’. A tenant-led task and finish group directed this review, with nearly 300 people sharing their views on what services they expected. From this, we carried out an in-depth review of all front-line services to ensure we met these standards and where necessary to change the way we delivered services. It’s also meant we could completely transform our current set of standards reducing them from 47 Service Standards down to 17 Gateway Promises, which are more understandable for residents.
We have used our digital engagement activities to help us keep track on what residents are worried about or where they need support, which has enabled us to shape our services accordingly particularly over the last 12 months. More than 2,000 people have benefitted over the last year.
William Fell, one of our involved tenants said:
“Over the last 12 months, CGA have been amazing with myself, my family, and my neighbours. The opportunities for us to get involved have had a huge impact on my family and the community I live in. We have done everything from creating customer promises, choosing names, giving feedback on leaflets, choosing which charities to support, and having our say on what CGA should focus on in our community. I feel like you genuinely care. CGA are always there to guide us in the right direction and work with us on any issues where we live. Thank you so much for all you have done and are still doing.”
Another involved tenant, Chenelle Halsall said:
“When I signed up as a tenant with CGA I was told about all the opportunities to get involved and thought I would try it. I really enjoyed it and felt like my opinion was being listened to, so I decided to join the Complaints Group and Tenant Committee as I wanted to be a voice for tenants and ensure they were being heard. I have learnt so much in my time, not just about housing but also personal skills that have helped me in my own work. Most recently CGA have supported me to undertake the HDN Board Excellence programme which is allowing me to further my knowledge and confidence. The next challenge I have set for myself is to become a Board Member.”
The winner of the "Best Resident Involvement Initiative" will be announced on the 13th May, so we have everything crossed that it will be good news! Keep an eye on our social media as the night unfolds.
To find out who we are up against, and who has been shortlisted for other categories, click here.