It’s our members that make Tpas such a great organisation to be part of and what better way to show this than with our member spotlight feature.
Each month we will invite one of our members to share their engagement achievements, tips and ambitions, allowing you to keep bang up to date with what others are up to across the sector.
November 2020 Member Spotlight
Places for People
We asked Joanne Gallagher, Customer Experience Manager to share what they are upto.
If you'd like to contact Joanne about any of the below, click here
Give us a little known fact about your organisation
We are Places for People Group; we are placemakers; our work impacts on the lives of people across the U.K. – providing homes to live in, communities to retire to, spaces to stay active, supported homes for independent living, and student accommodation. We've been providing affordable homes to rent for almost 50 years and we always pride ourselves on excellent service and are known to be one of the UK’S biggest landlords.
Throughout 2019 / 2020 we generated £87.9 million in social value in local communities.
Tell us about a time that engagement has made a difference to your services or communities
The 2020 coronavirus pandemic forced us to change how we were delivering services to our customers, with quick thinking and fast actions, we focused on maintaining essential services and protecting our customers and colleagues. We quickly established a Customer Task Force group, a service which would maintain contact and engagement during the pandemic and help everyone access much-needed support. To date, our customers have benefitted from over 58,000 calls via the Customer Task Force; from requests for help to a friendly chat, the service has ensured they’ve have had someone to talk to.
A key message that came from conversations with our customers was that they often felt lonely and isolated. From this feedback, we knew we had to do something to support our customers and so we created ways for our customers to be able to access a number of activities which have helped reduce isolation, improve physical health and support digital inclusion — especially for our later life customers.
A particular highlight is our collaboration with We Are Digital, together, we are delivering a programme of 30, four-day courses for customers needing intensive support with digital and financial confidence and learning.
A total of 1,224 customers across the country have attended our digital inclusion support opportunities.
We are really proud of all our colleagues who have helped support the Customer Task Force, ensuring out customers felt supported and listened to.
What are you currently working on when it comes to engagement?
As one of the UK’s leading registered providers, we provide property management services for over 60,000 affordable and social housing properties throughout England and Scotland.
To help bring those companies together and to strengthen customer governance and group approach to customer involvement, we have established a National Customer Group.
The National Customer Group is a group of customers from each landlord who will have a strategic overview and influence on key issues, policies and strategic priorities affecting services to customers across the Affordable Housing Group as a whole.
Landlord companies include:
- Places Homes
- Living Plus
- Chorus Homes
- Castle Rock Edinvar
- Derwent Living
The group will represent the customer voice, it will work with smaller more local customer involvement groups such as scrutiny teams and ensure there is a two way communication between Places for People Regulated Board and customers. The group will help shape and improve services whilst sharing best practice across the Affordable Housing Group.
The group will:
- Influence key issues, policies and priorities affecting the customer experience across the Affordable Housing Group.
- Work alongside local customer involvement groups such as scrutiny teams and ensure their voice is heard at the NCG.
- Be a key part of the two way communication between the Places for People Regulatory Board and Affordable Housing customers.
- Help shape and improve services and share best practice across the Affordable Housing Group.
Why did you decide to join Tpas?
We chose to join Tpas to ensure that Places for People were supported to deliver Tenant Involvement and Empowerment across the business and to be able to reach out and share knowledge and experiences with like-minded people and businesses.
Tpas are a valuable extension to our business and support both customers and our colleagues in the having the ability to empower and influence changes to services.
Tpas also offer a range of training, insight and resources to help us deliver effective engagement.
What is your top engagement tip?
To put people before processes and to listen carefully.
Listening to tenants is key to delivering excellent customer service, if we’re not listening to their views how do we know what services we should be providing or if in fact we’re getting things right?
How do we know where were making a difference where it matters the most to our customers?
Places for People have recently launched its’ People First Strategy which puts colleagues, customers and clients at the heart of everything we do and will therefore create more effective customer engagement.
Our promise: ‘Places for People Group companies put people first. We treat everyone honestly, courteously and fairly.’
How We Deliver Our Promise: We Listen, We Learn, We Deliver, at every step of the journey.
Guided by our SPIRIT values, the People Promise is our mantra for putting our customers and colleagues first in everything we do.
What’s the one thing you are really proud of when it comes to engagement?
We’re super proud of the people on Chorley Youth Zone’s Inspire programme. We’ve been patrons of this dynamic, purpose built facility which offers support and activities in a fun and safe environment for three years now, helping the borough’s young people enjoy life and grow into confident young adults.
This Lancashire town needs support when it comes to young people; statistics show that of the 15,000 individuals aged between 8–19 years living here, 13.3 % of them are living in poverty. 14.1% of those in year 6 — the last year of primary school — have also been diagnosed as clinically obese.
Inspire’s work though is making great strides in combatting these statistics, with many young people already benefitting — including Senior Club member, Laura who lives in Chorley and has attended the Youth Zone regularly since its opening. Now enjoying a social life world away from her solitary past, Laura has built brilliant relationships with the Inspire team, regularly attending the centre, trying out new activities and making new friends — all in a safe and secure environment.
Previous Member Spotlights
October 2020 - Community Gateway Association
September 2020 - Dacorum BC
August 2020 - Eastend Homes
July 2020 - Connexus
June 2020 - Gridizen
May 2020 - Grand Union Housing Group
March / April 2020 - Onward Homes
January / February 2020 - Estuary HA
December 2019 - Muir Group
November 2019 - Blackpool Coastal Homes
October 2019 - Texthelp
September 2019 - Greatwell Homes
August 2019 - Selby DC
July 2019 - North Star Housing Group
June 2019 - Rotherham MBC
May 2019 - Homes for Haringey
I'd like to be in the spotlight
If you'd like to be featured in our Member Spotlight and highlight the work you are doing, please get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Why choose Tpas?
We've been promoting, supporting and championing tenant involvement and empowerment across England for two and a half decades
Not for profit
Investing in Tpas means benefitting frim the latest tenant involvement policies and practices but also securing and supporting the future of the tenant involvement agenda
We offer the only independent evidence-based accreditation scheme that assesses resident involvement arrangements.
Our shared knowledge, expertise and experience with staff, tenants, landlord and contractors are the building blocks of this organisation.
Find out more?
For more information please contact our dedicated membership team
Business Services Officer
Telephone: 0161 868 3500
Head of Business Services
Telephone: 0161 868 3500