My delegate experience: Sally Booth
Monday 12th of March 2018
We asked Sally Booth, Community Connections Officer at Cross Keys Homes to tell us about her experience of being at our Engaging Communities Conference.
I had no hesitation in saying yes when invited to the conference though to be honest, I’ve only worked in housing for just over a year so I didn’t know what to expect. What I hoped was that I would learn something and meet new people. Though I sit within the communities team and I train one day a week, my role is very specialised and I work with a specific group of tenants with specific needs. My learning curve has definitely been steep, this last year in the way social housing works. However my background as a lecturer does help with assessing needs and gaining outcomes.
I appreciate that we are really fortunate that our company was able to send 7 delegates to the conference, knowing that each one of us would gain something different. As we were all there for different reasons we often chose different workshops to attend. This was great because when we all got together we discussed what we had learnt and what we could take from it as a team as best practice – a conversation which will continue going forward too.
Having booked the workshops in advance and then promptly forgotten what was booked I was glad that we had a reminder on our lanyards to tell us where we were supposed to be!
The workshops always involved some round table discussion with other delegates, which meant that we could discuss amongst ourselves challenges we face and share successes and best practices and business cards swapped. What really came across to me was that no one was competitive and wanted to be the best, everyone wanted everyone to be the best.
Lots of things which were discussed made me think of things that we do well but also things we could do better at. I would certainly question anyone who thinks they’ve got nothing to improve on. There were also things mentioned that I had no idea about but that just meant I wanted to learn more.
I think it’s important to attend the Tpas events no matter how long you’ve been working in housing as it’s an ever changing sector, with new regulations, challenges, technology and resident needs there’s always something to learn. What impressed me the most was the atmosphere, it was professional yet informal. It was quite obvious that everyone there was there because they wanted to be and they really cared about communities. I enjoyed the keynote speeches and left inspired and proud to work in housing.