The National Tenant Engagement Conference is one tenant gig that attracts a very mixed crowd.
Wednesday 2nd of August 2017
Tpas Operations manager, Louise Thompson shares her thoughts on her experiencefrom the National Tenant Engagement Conference.
If you search the conference hashtag #tpasconf17 on twitter, this is the top tweet is from our boss, Jenny Osbourne.
#tpasconf17 proved engaged tenants are NOT the disrespectful phrase I often hear of "same old faces".we are all ages, diverse & passionate!— Jenny Osbourne (@TPASJenny) July 14, 2017
These 140 characters sum up perfectly the main thing I will take away from this year’s conference and judging from the number of re-tweets probably other peoples too. You only had to look round the packed room on the first day to see that this is one tenant gig that attracts a very mixed crowd. (Think Bruce Springsteen concert or Love Island).
Over the two days I came across younger people sharing scrutiny stories with older folk, northerners and southerners talking all things digital, a huge range of different ethnic groups and backgrounds all discussing the stigma surrounding social housing, oh and just about everyone agreeing on the outrageous hotel bar prices J. Even our fabulous keynote speaker Alex from the youth engagement specialists Fourteen19, commented on the impressive number of young people at the Conference, and he should know!
The Conference really did show that Tenant Engagement is changing and gathering a more diverse fan base, probably because involvement is now offered on so many different platforms and channels – there really is something to suit everyone!
But of course there’s still some folk out there who roll their eyes at the mere mention of tenant involvement and start banging on about it being the self-same demographic, and the same old boring meetings. All I can say to you lot is you obviously ain’t been to a Tpas Conference (Oh and you could probably do with commissioning us to do some work with you)
In terms of my other conference highlights, I really enjoyed the excellent key note speech from Wythenshawe Community Housing Group CEO, Nigel Wilson. My favourite line being “We may want to do other things but that doesn’t mean we can stop providing social housing.”
Also it was great to hear so many success stories in my scrutiny workshop where tenants were able to evidence how their recommendations had made a difference to services.
Finally I have simply got to mention Salt and Pepper ladies from Oxford City Council who for me totally smashed the 80’s disco.