Bayswater Tenants and Residents Association (TARA)

Tuesday 23rd of April 2024

When it comes to engaging residents, arranging activities, looking after their wellbeing and much more – Bayswater Court TARA sets the bar high.

Bayswater has a long history of involving residents and ensuring their voices are heard, which goes back to the 1970s when the 90 flat tower block in east Hull underwent a makeover. The TARA itself was officially constituted in 2015 and has since gone from strength to strength. 

A great asset for the TARA is its community room, a flat where the TARA hold their weekly activities, such as dominos, darts, and bingo three times a week. This winter it was the venue for fuel debt advice, thanks to the TARA’s successful bid for an Affordable Winter Warmth Grant.  This money paid for two members to qualify as advisors, who achieved their level two award, and were able to advise their neighbours on where to get help and to save money on their energy bills. In addition this grant also enabled them to purchase items such a slow cookers, air fryers, heated bodywarmers, blankets and duvets helping residents to keep warm and save energy; and for seven months offered hot meals free of charge. This is the second time the group have been successful with their application for this funding.

Bayswater TARA are in the process of creating a library for tenants where they can donate unwanted books. They also have audio books for those tenants who prefer books in an audio version. They will also be offering digital classes as the TARA were gifted internet access by their local provider KCOM. They have been given access to internet enabled tablets by the Tenant Participation Team on their loan scheme which will allow for tenants to have a digital offer. 

Bayswater TARA takes great pride in its two gardens for which they are responsible.  In fact, the TARA has won the Best Community Garden Award in the citywide annual Tenants’ Garden Competition five times and in 2023 achieved exemplar status. They have the largest community garden in the city with a neat, small plot to the side of the car park and a much larger area. The latter is particularly special. It’s safely enclosed with ample seating, dementia friendly, and displays a colourful array of plants. Thanks to a special relationship that Bayswater Court has developed with the nearby Wilberforce College, the concrete garage walls that abut the garden display a stunning mural depicting landmarks in Hull, painted by the students.  The garden was the perfect venue for the TARA’s party marking the King’s Coronation and other outdoor activities.

It's not just Bayswater Court’s residents who have benefitted from the TARA’s work. Entrance to the blocks is via individual residents letting their visitors into the communal area from their flats. It was noted that this could cause a problem for the emergency services getting in if, for example a resident had fallen ill and couldn’t reach the access button. As a result of representation by the Bayswater TARA, the emergency services now have their own key fobs for all the high-rise blocks in the city, giving peace of mind to residents that there would be no delay if help were needed.

Representatives from the TARA are active in the Hull Tenants’ Forum and many of its project groups including Multi Storey Living, Communication and Publication, Customer Access, Scrutiny Panel, and Neighbourhood Management.  Commenting on the achievements of the Bayswater Court TARA, Mark Nearney, Assistant Director for Neighbourhoods and Housing at Hull City Council says, “The TARA makes a real difference in their community. They are the voice of Bayswater’s residents.  Furthermore, they are always prepared to help with projects and activities across the city which contribute towards improving residents’ homes and the services they receive.”