Getting Involved

 Approved by Board July 2017


Tenants, Members and Residents experience enhanced skills, confidence and active citizenship through engagement opportunities

 

Summary

The purpose of this storyboard is to provide an insight into NPT Homes’ contribution to providing involvement opportunities. This is a dynamic process and so the storyboard is subject to continual update.

The NPT Homes outcomes for this storyboard of Getting Involved were agreed so that they tracked the contribution being made to achieving the Welsh Government’s delivery outcomes.

NPT Homes has continued engaging with a broader group of tenants in the decision making process and further work has been done to evidence the outcomes of involvement. The Haven Housing Review followed by the ongoing Evaluating Haven Housing shows this approach to involvement is being embedded. Such projects have been successfully delivered through working in equal partnership with tenants and by maximizing all available assets. NPT Homes values the work and support of all our volunteers and their contributions were highlighted during National Volunteer Week.

Future areas for improvement are reflected in the action plan at the end of this section.

 

Details of areas for improvement which were identified during the last self-evaluation and the progress made can be found at the end of this document.

What difference do we want to make? (Main Outcome)

Tenants, members and residents build confidence through engagement

 

  • Between August 2016 and April 2017, 103 Getting Involved events were held.

Engagement Opportunities

To help tenants build confidence through engagement a range of activities are made available. In response to an action in the last “Getting Involved” storyboard, the production of monthly monitoring sheets for tenant empowerment activities have been piloted. These provide updates on newly involved tenants, events and projects.

The diagram opposite, which was also produced in response to an action in the last storyboard shows the various activities helping to inform the Board.

 

 

Haven Social Group

The Haven Social Group is a group of tenants who plan, co-ordinate and promote social activities to reduce loneliness and isolation for older people, such as the Big Sunday lunch and various trips. Non-Haven tenants have also joined the group and are being included in activities with the aim of creating a more inclusive community. The success of this initiative shows how we are realising the vision set out in the Offer Document for developing and supporting activities in schemes, including joint activities with the local community.

 

A tenant gives their viewpoint of such opportunities: https://youtu.be/YVP7l0zR4bU

 

Volunteers Questionnaire

Following on from the internal audit review by Barcud last year of Tenant Engagement and Membership which provided a ‘substantial’ assurance rating, an annual survey has been conducted with 24 tenant volunteers. The majority of volunteers who took part in the survey were extremely positive about their involvement and some extracts follow:

Building Confidence – The majority of tenants felt their confidence had been improved through volunteering:

“Feel more confident to give my opinions on any issues”.

“Being encouraged by staff I will give my opinions whether they are good or bad”.

 

Skills and Employment Opportunities – Tenants recognised they had gained knowledge and skills across a range of areas which could help further volunteering and employment opportunities.

 Benefits of Engagement – Tenants were aware of the benefits tenant involvement brings to NPT Homes and to themselves:

”I'm interested in Haven Housing where I live and also my landlord is important to me”

“Using time credits to pursue more interests and visiting different venues”.

  • 20 out of 24 (83%) of current volunteers felt their involvement had benefited them and the organisation. 
  • 22 out of 24 (92%) of current volunteers would recommend volunteering to other tenants. 

A copy of the survey report can be found here Current Volunteers Questionnaire

 

Tenants, members and residents enhance transferable skills and employment opportunities through engagement

 

Digital Helpers

Digital helpers are a tenant group who are supporting other tenants to become digitally included. Digital sessions involve teaching tenants digital skills including learning how to use an iPad, Skype relatives, set up e-mails and apply for on-line utility bills. In recognition of tenants’ contribution to this project. NPT Homes’ tenants collected a volunteering award at the 2017 awards’ ceremony held by Neath Port Talbot Council for Voluntary Service. In addition they have received the Wales Council for Voluntary Action Digital Runner-Up Award.

 

Tenants enjoy the sessions and the opportunities that can flow from them. This has included one tenant experiencing a work placement in the IT department.  

 A tenant has talked about how she has benefited from the digital sessions: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZFSW65ZxsrM

 A poem written by a tenant who took part in the digital inclusion project complimenting a member of staff who took the project sessions.

 

Staff ensure tenants, members and residents understand the benefits of engagement

Task and Finish

A number of task and finish opportunities provide tenants and members, some of whom are new to engagement, with the opportunity to learn more about the benefits of getting involved.

 

 

Membership Policy review

In response to an action in the last “Getting Involved” storyboard: Members, non-members, staff and partners worked together to review the current Policy. They focused upon what it meant to be a member, how could it be made more meaningful and be better promoted. Members and tenants were briefed about data protection and received interview skills training before carrying out telephone surveys with members to get their views about membership.

This review also helped show how such opportunities can benefit members and tenants by building their confidence as shown in one tenant’s story (https://youtu.be/Vt_Ytf7L9uY)

AGM 2016

The AGM in 2016 was planned using the co-design approach to involve tenants in all aspects of organising the event. Following the success of a less formal AGM in 2015, the co-design approach allowed tenants to build upon this and be more creative in the delivery of the additional features for the AGM in 2016. The outcome was an informative and enjoyable event for members. Tenants achieved this by working in partnership with staff to present information, showcase their skills through stalls, provide entertainment, create prizes and judge for the award of prizes.

This year our Academy, a group of members who review the performance of NPT Homes (more information on the Academy is included in the next section), have been heavily involved in planning the AGM. In particular they have developed the communications for the event, undertaken an Equalities Impact Assessment to ensure that the pre-event plans, the event itself and post-event evaluation is inclusive to all. Members of the Academy will also be telephoning members in advance of the event to answer any queries members may have and encourage maximum attendance. The outcomes of this work will be reported in a future ‘Getting Involved’ storyboard.

Armchair Readers

Our Armchair Readers Group is responsible for giving our publications the ‘Tenant Tick’, a stamp of approval ensuring that it meets the requirements of the Corporate Style Guide.

(See the Communication Storyboard for more information about this group.)

Time Credits

Time Credits is a scheme where tenants are rewarded for their involvement with us and can spend them with organisations within the community on health, well-being and social activities.

Tenants who are involved with the Time Credits Evaluation group came together to plan an evaluation of the scheme. One success they have had has been getting tenants to spend their time credits, a difficulty that can be experienced with such schemes. They designed a questionnaire to find out why tenants were not spending them and produced a leaflet to send to tenants. They also attended Interview Skills training to prepare for their role before they started visiting tenants with staff.

Following the completion of the survey and an analysis of the results they have been able to identify improvements to the scheme enabling tenants to benefit from their involvement. Improvements included the addition of new spend opportunities and a promotional booklet about the scheme was updated.

  • 1031 Time Credits have been issued between August 2016 and June 2017.
  • 367 Time Credits have been spent between August 2016 and June 2017 with local partners.

Illegal Money Lending

NPT Homes and Coastal Housing Group have been successful in securing a grant from the Welsh Illegal Money Lending Unit (WIMLU) for a joint awareness raising project about unlicensed, illegal, money lenders. Tenants and staff will work together using a co-design approach to produce an information leaflet, DVD and e-learning toolkit together with an awareness event. Tenants will also be involved in helping identify and surveying a local area where residents will be asked about their experiences of loan sharks and also be provided with guidance and support.

Evaluating Haven Housing

Following the launch of Haven Housing it was agreed to evaluate the impact using a co-design approach, which shows the mainstreaming of this way of working. This was a new approach for the tenant volunteers who received training to prepare them for their role. As a group they drove the project forward by promoting it, gathering residents’ views, analysing the results for each scheme, presenting the findings and making recommendations to the service managers followed by feeding back the results to tenants.

 

114 Haven Housing tenants gave their views on Safety and Security, Environment, Friendships and Activities, Belonging and Contribution, and Support and Independence via a questionnaire. The overall results for the survey were positive. One tenant volunteer states how important such engagement opportunities are:

Tenants, members and residents feel that they can make a difference in their communities through active citizenship

Annual General Meeting

The number of attendees and voters at the AGM for 2016 (including proxies) compared to previous years is shown below:

 

2016

2015

2014

% of Total Members in Attendance

17%

(54/319)

19%

(60/319)

12%

(29/250)

% of Total Voters Including Proxy Voters

24%

(77/319)

24%

(76/319)

22%

(54/250)

 

Of the 54 in attendance, 40 completed an evaluation form and the results are shown here AGM Feedback and Recommendations 2016. For those who didn’t attend, the main reasons given were ill health and holiday commitments. A variety of quotes were given by members, the vast majority of whom gave positive feedback:

“I enjoyed hearing about the involvement of the tenants. I hadn’t realised how much is going on.”

“I found the stalls very helpful as I learnt a lot of information I did not know beforehand.”

 “Being amongst the staff and tenants was lovely. Thrilled with the New Volunteer Award.”

The Academy

Our Academy is a group of members who review the performance of NPT Homes. The group carries out research, reviews data and makes recommendations to Board. It gives members the opportunity to learn new skills, meet new people and develops Board members of the future. Here are some quotes from the group about the difference it has made to them:

 

 

Tenant Assessors

The Tenant Assessors monitor the cleaning and garden maintenance services in and around the communal areas of flats. The tenants liaise with NPT Homes to ensure that the work being carried out is meeting the required standards.

A Tenant Assessor when asked what benefit their involvement has replied with: “By knowing that any issues concerning communal problems can be raised with NPT Homes for a solution or a form of action.”

Tenant Assessors have also talked about their role and what difference it makes:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aEQZcnwXqf8&feature=youtu.be

  

RNIB Assessors

The RNIB Assessors are a group of tenants who have been trained to assess Haven Housing schemes to help us achieve the Visibly Better standard. This work involves the RNIB Assessors conducting audits of the Haven Housing schemes.

One of the volunteer tenants talks about his involvement with this initiative:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jvYJQdAwPI8

 

 Action Plan