Welcome to our Resident Voices Group

Hello. My name is Stephen, and I would like to welcome you to our Resident Voices Group.

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 resident services.

We have now reached the point of hosting our first meeting, but before I tell you more about this I think it would be helpful if I shared with you some achievements of our Resident Involvement Network.

Resident Involvement

For the past two years, Notting Hill Genesis (NHG) has done a huge amount of work to create a merged organisation. Board, staff and residents have worked collaboratively to co-design and introduce a new operating system that delivered against the NHG Resident Promise.

In support of this work, last year our involved residents volunteered time to take part in 62 Resident Involvement Network activities, with 53 recommendations being made towards service improvement. As of April 2020, 30 of these recommendations have been delivered.

Some examples include residents making a series of communication recommendations whether on the language of procedures such as income collection or subletting, the wording in the online rents’ booklet for residents or internal training for staff on hoarding.

Resident recommendations have led to improvement in how we can get involved, such as supporting a resident to be trained to co-chair the LGBT+ forum.

Two significant projects resulted in several resident recommendations being realised in 2019/20. This included making NHG offices more Disability Discrimination Act compliant thanks to an accessibility review carried out by our Health and Disability Panel and some key suggestions made by a Service Charge Steering Group on the language, format and communication of service charge packs. This went out to approximately 12,000 residents during a pilot in November 2019.

Another resident involvement group to have made a significant impact this year has been the newly formed Asset Management Steering Group, who’s recommendations helped draft the NHG Standard for Homes. It also gave robust feedback on the language and commitments of the draft document prior to it going to committee. This document will set the commitments required for all existing Notting Hill Genesis homes to meet as well as providing the criteria for planned investment going forwards.

A major outcome of the year was the work of the resident Oversight and Scrutiny Group who recommended that resident involvement is embedded within the NHG procurement process. Following a meeting with the director of procurement, staff now need to consider resident input with every procurement exercise.

Resident Voices Group: the link between our involved residents and board

Our recent review led to further improvements in the ways that residents can be involved in both our governance and operations. Building upon our vibrant Resident Involvement Network, each sub-Committee of the NHG Group Board will now have resident membership and we have also put in place the Resident Voices Group, created by and for residents working collaboratively with staff and board.

The Resident Voices Group will regularly review feedback from our Resident Involvement Network and other resident engagement and resident services documentation such as our annual Resident Satisfaction Survey and complaints. They will combine these with other relevant information such as estate inspection reports and planned asset management, such as cyclical works. It will be the place where the voices of our residents are brought together and used to make our services work better for everyone.

The Resident Voices Group will produce a Residents’ Annual Report for submission 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 would like to take this opportunity to thank our involved residents for your contributions so far. Your support is very much appreciated by everyone at NHG. I look forward to working with our Resident Involvement Network group chairs and welcoming others in the months to come so we can continue to support improvements in services and resident satisfaction.

I will be sharing 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.