My experience of a Tpas Virtual Roundtable
Tuesday 23rd of June 2020
My name is Jackie and for the last 3 years I have been a Resident Inspector for BPHA.
I had previously owned my own house but sold it and rented privately for a number of years, then due to ill health I applied to BPHA and was allocated a bungalow 5 years later. I volunteered when I retired as I wanted to keep my brain active, meet people and do something useful.
With BPHA I’ve been able to work with other Resident Inspectors in a variety of tasks from telephoning and visiting Tenants to ascertain their satisfaction with work that has been done in their homes to participating in meetings, workshops and training.
This all stopped in March due to Covid 19. I live alone. The virus has prevented me from taking part in all my external activities. I go shopping once a week and can count on one hand the weekly conversations I have had by phone.
So when Elaine the Resident Engagement and Scrutiny Co-ordinator at BPHA asked me if I would like to take part in a Tpas online Roundtable event, I jumped at the chance. But after accepting, I dithered about whether I’d done the right thing. Who would be in the group, would I be the least experienced, would I be able to contribute anything, would I be able talk logically and more importantly would I be able to cope with the technology to connect to the meeting! I have to admit the latter was my biggest worry!
On the day of the event, I hadn’t had my invite to join so phoned Elaine in a bit of panic, I then found out the invite had gone into my spam folder. I was so busy following the instructions for connection that all my other fears vanished. It’s amazing how the easiest tasks have become mountains in the last few months through lack of practice and new ways of working. It was so simple to connect to the discussion.
What can I say about the event except it was very enjoyable experience. The group wasn’t large but it was filled with a wide variety of people. It was inclusive. The Tpas staff set some rules to ensure everyone was able to voice an opinion. You didn’t feel stupid. You felt that your opinion mattered. I used my brain again and felt that I made a contribution. Plus I learned how other housing providers and tenants provide their solutions.