Working with our customers: engagement update Apr-July 2021

Engaging with our customers and listening to their views is very important to us. Customer feedback makes a difference to the way we deliver our services, drives improvements for everyone who lives in a First Choice Homes Oldham (FCHO) home and local communities, and helps us as we strive to be an excellent landlord.

On this page you can see all the ways we’ve worked with our customers to make positive changes April-July 2021…

FCHO Customer Voice Panel

Our Customer Voice Panel (CVP) is made up of customers from across our neighbourhoods and has been set up to give a real voice to those who live in our homes, so they influence our services and bring about improvements.

  • 55 people now part of the CVP
  • 14 customers attended the April CVP meeting
  • 14 CVP meetings held this quarter
  • Customers reviewed our:
    • Repairs and Maintenance Policy
    • Compensation Policy
    • Access Procedures Policy
    • Sustainability Strategy
    • Community Services Strategy

FCHO Neighbourhood Champions

Our Neighbourhood Champions carry out quarterly neighbourhood inspections and report back on the condition of their neighbourhood including grounds maintenance, communal area cleaning, litter and flytipping.

24 customers took part in the April inspections.

Following April’s inspections we have:

FCHO Funding Awards

Our Stronger Communities team supports community and voluntary groups in Oldham with a number of funding streams.

ROCA (Respect Our Community Awards)

ROCA is our grant scheme which offers funding
to community and voluntary groups in Oldham.

Grants of up to £500 are available and are awarded to groups that provide the most benefits to our local communities.

Our April round of ROCA funding saw:

  • 14 applications
  • 9 awards made to 7 community groups
  • £4471.50 funding initially (additional small amounts to follow)

Community Grants

Alongside ROCA, Stronger Communities has another internal FCHO fund to support our community partners. Our Community Grants funding supports activities relating to community engagement and research.

April-July ’21:

  • 15 community initiatives supported to apply for community grant funding
  • £8,196.25 in pipeline for distribution across these initiatives.

Community Groups/Networks

Stronger Communities supports and is involved in multiple community partnerships and networks. It supports community groups with activities like grant funding applications outside of ROCA and our community awards.

We have helped a number of community partnerships to apply for funding. This includes:

  • 1 Ideas Fund application – wellbeing/ Coldhurst community partnership
  • 1 Groundwork Eco fund application (planting and participation/ Coldhurst community partnership)
  • 3 Awards for All developed (multiple themes/multiple Oldham community groups)
  • 1 UK Community Renewal Fund (multiple Oldham community partners/across Oldham).

Stronger Communities is also working with the Action Together Community Explorers and the Oldham Central Youth Network to identify opportunities for our community partners and to promote the activities of our community groups.

West Vale redevelopment

West Vale is our project set to transform the area where Crossbank House and Summervale House currently stand and build 88 high quality, new homes to help meet local housing need. We are working with local people and organisations for the benefit of the community as the West Vale project progresses.

  • 88 local people engaged with us during this period
  • 1 Neighbourhood Network meeting held to support the development of the West Vale regeneration plan
  • 3 working group meets to discuss proposals for a multi-use games area (MUGA) at land in front of Richmond Academy's sports pitches. This has been identified by the Neighbourhood Network as a priority to enhance recreational facilities for local people
  • Clean Me Up Scotty app developed with Oldham Community Tech Partnership to support Residents to identify areas where litter picking required (Community Action Map)
  • Great British Spring Clean community litter pick held around West St/Vale Drive neighbourhood on 11 June. Local schools, Oldham Council, West Vale Resident Engagement Panel and Action Together engaged
  • ‘Accessible Neighbourhoods’ mini-consult follow on activity complete - enabling people with disabilities to input to consultations on places
  • Digital Assets research complete. Enabling communities to ‘own’ community data
  • Virtual West Street complete (participatory design tool). Enabling Residents to virtually input into regeneration plans via a 3D model (participatory design)
  • Proposed tree siting resident feedback activity. Co-designing tools to involve Residents in the placing of new trees

You said, we did

During this quarter customers reviewed our:

  • Repairs and Maintenance Policy
  • Compensation Policy
  • Access Procedures Policy
  • Sustainability Strategy
  • Community Services Strategy

We also consulted with customers about building and fire safety to find out their priorities around our investment work.

  • 193 customers engaged April-July 2021
  • 150 customers engaged in the Customer Insights survey
  • 152 hours of customer engagement April-July 2021

FCHO Heading 07

Recruiting our new Chief Finance Officer

We invited a group of customers to be involved in the process to recruit FCHO’s new Chief Finance Officer.

  • 5 customers took part in recruitment day, held virtually
  • Customers met all candidates and had the opportunity to ask them questions and provide feedback on who they felt was most suitable for the role. The successful candidate Tracy Woods has been appointed and will start in post in mid-July

Neighbourhood Plans

We are developing 21 Neighbourhood Plans to connect our customers with the area they live in. The plans will cover everything from the number of homes we own in the neighbourhood and what our current customers think about living there, to investment work and support available to customers.

  • 2 Neighbourhood Plan working group meetings held
  • 7 customers attended first meeting
  • 5 customers attended second meeting

What our colleagues and customers say

Here’s some recent feedback on our customer engagement from our customers and colleagues.

“As a customer it sounds good to be part of the selection process for the position which holds great responsibility for organisation serving us.”

Customer L Khan, reflecting on role in Chief Finance Officer recruitment.

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Get involved with our Stronger Communities team

If you would like to get involved with our Stronger Communities team, please get in touch.

Telephone: 0161 3937117