Children show housing tenants the way

Published Wednesday, 9th April 2014
Child and tenant at the 2014 Spring Conference
High Greave Junior School pupil Katelin Lacy shows tenant Donald Alexandra some of the benefits of using housing services online, with Councillor Terry Adair (back) looking on.

School children were on hand to offer a little guidance to council housing tenants at this year’s Tenants’ Spring Conference.

The annual event is an opportunity for tenants to share their views on future plans for housing services, as well as find out about a range of other council services.

As part of the organised workshops, pupils from High Greave Junior School were invited to attend the conference to demonstrate to attendees how easy it is to access services online.

The Council's Director of Housing and Neighbourhood Services, Dave Richmond, said: "Tenants contribution is vital in how we plan for the future. The conference gave customers an opportunity to give us their views on our future plans, and they gave us some very good ideas for possible improvements and how we can provide the best services at the most efficient cost.

"In return, we wanted to give something back to tenants, so a number of information workshops were organised for residents. There were also around 20 stalls offering advice on everything from growing your own vegetables to switching energy supplier.

"The Digital Inclusion workshop was the most popular workshop at the conference, with many people saying they felt it was a really useful session and they had no idea just how much could be done online.

"We were delighted to welcome High Greave Junior School to help out in this workshop. Not only were they a pleasure to work with, but young people often know more than the adults when it comes to technology. They certainly impressed a lot of the attendees on the day!"

Staff from the Council’s housing options service Key Choices gave information on downsizing on the day, as well as the home-swapper scheme and medical assessments and adaptations. Those who attended were surprised by some of the statistics; especially about how many have registered for home-swapper. Attendees were also interested in eligibility for the schemes.

A Welfare Reform workshop focused on vulnerable tenants and the elderly. Suggestions from tenants included a ‘directory’ of professionals which would give information on who to contact for those in difficulty. Some people also suggested a decorating scheme for less able tenants.

Attendees were also given information on Area Housing Panels and the role they play in improving estates. Those who took part said they enjoyed discussing the barriers to community involvement. Some of the attendees registered an interest in joining a panel.

Miller Bear welcomed just over ninety tenants to the conference, with some green-fingered tenants also registering for the 2014 Garden Competition.