Helping residents make their voice heard

Hello again. In my first blog, I shared that the Resident Voices Group will be the place where the opinions of our residents are heard and used to understand our residents' experience. Residents' voices will then influence evidence-based recommendations and support improvements to positively impact services.

On Wednesday 29 July we held our first Resident Voices Group via Zoom. The group is made up of the chairs and/or representatives of our established groups and projects, as well as resident board members and residents who sit on our board sub-committees. It was a pleasure to see that all 13 Resident Voices Group members committed to our first meeting along with our dedicated staff team. A big thank you from me to all.

As with many inaugural meetings, our agenda was intentionally ambitious. We set out to provide time for resident members of the group to share the outcomes of some projects recently completed by residents. Patti Openibo, Chair of Hammersmith and Fulham Scrutiny Group talked through her group’s work on Gas Warning Safety Letters. Lindy Leonce, Chair of our Oversight and Scrutiny Group discussed Fire Safety. And then Martin Dean, Chair of our Asset Management Residents’ Steering Group provided us with the findings of their Repairs Communication and Safety Measures project work.

The Resident Voices Group is a collaboration between residents and NHG staff, who then gave us an initial whistle-stop tour of three areas relevant to the work of our group. Ollie Levy, Resident Involvement Manager presented Resident Involvement over the last quarter. Sue Sargeant, Director of Housing Management ran through some initial highlights from the annual satisfaction survey, and Ellie Desborough, Assistant Director of Leasehold Services talked us through the resident experience when contacting NHG.

After hearing from both staff and residents, the group split into two to discuss the key areas that we would like to investigate further. I was encouraged to learn that three similar key themes arose from both discussions:

  • Satisfaction results: taking a closer look at where and why residents gave a lower score.
  • Communication: looking at how NHG contacts residents and how residents contact NHG – understanding the issues around different touch points and the resident experience.
  • Homeownership experience: including a deeper dive into the experiences of leaseholders within the group, as well as drawing upon recent feedback from all our homeowners.

Next steps

The Resident Voices Group agreed to split into three working groups, one for each of the above themes, to identify the main issues and how these can be addressed or investigated further by wider resident involvement project groups. Each working group will meet over the next month or so, after which we will be asking more residents to work with us to make improvements where they are needed.

The Resident Voices Group will meet quarterly and will keep up to date with resident involvement activities and any feedback NHG receives about the service. Our next Resident Voices Group meeting will be on Tuesday 27 October.

The group also agreed to begin to explore the framework for our Residents’ Annual Report which we will submit to the NHG Group and Executive Boards. This annual report will showcase the work of the Resident Involvement Network, share themes, and make recommendations for service improvement for NHG to consider. NHG will use the Residents’ Annual Report to refresh the Resident Promise, the organisational commitment to residents on the services they receive.

I will continue to provide updates about the work of our Resident Voices Group here from time to time. If you would like to find out more and get involved in any opportunities, please contact: involvement@nhg.org.uk

Stephen Bitti
Chair
Resident Voices Group

Stephen  Bitti
Stephen Bitti

Stephen joined the Notting Hill Genesis Group Board (as one of two resident Board members) in April 2017 and, until our recent governance review, he worked with colleagues as part of the Resident Services Committee. As part of the recent restructure, he was asked to develop and chair the Resident Voices Group. He also serves the new Operations Committee of the Board.

Stephen has been living with a long-term medical condition for almost 30 years and has been a social housing resident for over 20.  He lives with his partner in a small, one bedroom flat, within a building of 38 mixed tenure homes. He is also the chair of his diverse residents' association. When he's not working with Notting Hill Genesis, he runs a Healthwatch in London where the team gathers people’s experiences of NHS and social care services. They then share these themes and insights with those who can improve the quality of these services.