Working with our customers: engagement update July-September 2023
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 July-September 2023…
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.
- CVP membership now stands at 172 engaged customers
- 18 CVP meetings and other engagement activities held this quarter
- 17 customers attended the anti-social behaviour policy review meeting
- 8 customers participated in the latest customer void inspection
- 219 customers engaged July-September
FCHO and all registered providers of social housing must comply with standards from the Regulator of Social Housing.
The standards ensure tenants:
- Get quality accommodation
- Have choice and protection, and
- Can hold their landlords to account.
The Regulator of Social Housing has recently published the newly proposed consumer standards and across August and September we held two sessions with customers to gain feedback around the new standards, ask whether customers felt they would make a meaningful difference and if they could be implemented.
- 35 customers attended the sessions
- Customers gave valuable feedback around ways in which we could implement new aspects of the standards as well as how the Regulator could potentially regulate them when they go live
- 11 customers took part in July’s Performance Challenge meeting.
- Following the last meeting, the newly revised performance report was shared with CVP members. The group gave positive feedback around the new format, suggesting it was much clearer and easier to follow. The CVP also reviewed the accessibility and usefulness of MyAccount, and the group’s feedback was shared with our Business Transformation team.
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 fly tipping.
- 24 customers took part in the September Neighbourhood Champion inspections.
- Customers told us that the standard of internal block cleaning - specifically around stairs and bannisters - has dropped. This has been reported back to the Neighbourhood Care team for consideration and feedback to the group.
Customer Sustainability Champions
Our Customer Sustainability Champions are helping us on our journey to make our customers’ homes and communities, and our business, more sustainable and fit for the future.
- In August we met with our Customer Sustainability Champions to discuss emerging green technologies and the benefits for social housing tenants.
- 6 customers attended the session and were very keen to learn about new and upcoming technologies, specifically the potential money-saving benefits for customers, especially with the ongoing cost of living crisis.
We support community and voluntary groups in Oldham with a number of funding streams.
ROCA (FCHO Funding)
ROCA (Respect Our Community Awards) is our grant/contributions scheme which offers funding to community and voluntary groups in Oldham.
- Grants and contributions made between July and September 2023 totalled £7,450
- These grants and contributions cover a range of community impact projects from wellbeing for older people through to grassroots play/recreation delivery
- £15k of external funding was secured by one of our community partners to help them improve local natural spaces.
Funding & Partnership Development
- Currently we are awaiting decision on a total £250k of funding from an external funder for a large, Oldham wide community engagement project.
We are involved in multiple community partnerships and networks and support community groups with activities like grant funding applications outside of ROCA and our Community Awards.
- At the request of our community partners at Ridgefield Street Community Centre and at Nelson Way Community Centre, we are continuing to offer a series of armchair yoga sessions. Having successfully secured further funding through ROCA, these sessions will continue till late November across both centres.
- We continue to develop ideas and projects with a network of Oldham community planting groups and with the support of our Neighbourhood Care team.
- We have a presence in the Oldham Poverty Action Network and Community Explorers meets, and the Oldham Women Action Group.
- We are in the process of working with Reel CIC in the delivery of a course named “Reclaim your Life” which is structured around health and wellbeing. This is an accredited course which will be rolled out at one of our community centres.
- We are working with Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) and all our community centres to encourage active travel travel through walking and cycling groups.
- We are supporting our community centre in OL1 with plans to develop the outdoor space adjacent to the centre for.
During this quarter...
Customers told us they would like to be more involved in our internal funding stream ROCA, and the processes behind it.
We have recruited and facilitated an initial ROCA information session to inform customers about ways in which they can get involved and how they can work with us to review funding applications.
Customers gave feedback around the Neighbourhood Strategy, for example customers suggested it would be useful to do a gap analysis looking at what’s not in the communities and what customers want.
Our Head of Tenancy and Neighbourhood Services took this feedback on board and is exploring how it can be implemented.