How to get involved

Published , updated

We have lots of opportunities for you to be involved so you can help to shape our services.

Here are some of the involvement opportunities currently on offer. They are constantly being improved and updated. So contact us, together we can find the best way to suit your particular interest and availability. Whether you’d like to attend regular meetings or just answer occasional email surveys, there are ways you can be involved that suit you.

The Forum

2 hours every other month

At each meeting there are two workshops about the latest developments from a particular service area. Attendees are then asked to give their feedback. Lunch is provided after the event and transport can be arranged.

Scrutiny Team

2 days a month

The team monitors performance to ensure that objectives are met, services are shaped around our residents and to hold Derwent Living to account. Recommendations go to senior management. Full training provided.

Mediation Team

1 day per case

With professional training and a recognised qualification in mediation, you will work alongside our staff on several cases per year. You will not be asked to help with disputes in your own area, and we’ll pay any out of pocket expenses.

Editorial Panel

2 hours every 3 months

Open to all customers. Meet at our head office to review each edition of the Derwent Life newsletter, and plan articles or themes for future editions.

Digital Champions / We are Digital

1 hour a month

Open to customers who would like a little help accessing the digital world. Free training either 1-2-1 or over the phone provided by trained professionals to help you reach your goals. From shopping online, to video calling & online banking. Anything is a possibility.

Independent Complaints Panel

1 day a month

If you are a good problem solver and can remain impartial, this one’s for you. The panel includes customers from across Places for People group and other Housing Associations who want to help customers and their housing provider resolve complaints. Full training is provided.

Reading Panel

2 hours when required

This panel reviews and checks documents via email to ensure that they are customer friendly. Great for customers who are short on time but want to get involved.

Resident Associations

1 hour a month

Groups are formed in local areas and work with Derwent Living. These groups hold a number of meetings a year, campaigning for local improvements and organising social events. We can support you in joining a local group or starting your own.

Clean Inspectors

1 hour a month

Become an inspector for the cleaning service that is provided in your area. This is a great opportunity to provide us with feedback while monitoring the standard of work. Full training will be provided and any expenses covered. This can be done online via our website.

Green Inspectors

1 hour a month

Become an inspector for the landscaping service that is provided in your area. This is a great opportunity to provide us with feedback while monitoring the standard of work. Full training will be provided and any expenses covered.


10 minutes

From time to time you may be asked to fill in a survey for us, regarding the services you receive. This is so we can identify areas of improvement and feedback to the relevant service area. Surveys are done via text, post, email and/or telephone so it’s important we have your up-to-date contact details.

Social Media and Online Opportunities

10 minutes

Keep up-to-date with the latest news from Derwent Living via the web and social media, including our Click n Chatter Facebook page where you can meet other customers from the Places for People group. We also host a monthly virtual coffee morning “The Cyber Sofa” to give you a chance to discuss any local issues.

How you can be involved in making decisions

The types of decisions you can be involved in making fall into three areas:

  • Strategic and policy decisions
  • Tenure specific decisions
  • Local area based decisions

Strategic and policy decisions

  • At Derwent living we aim to involve you at the heart of the decisions making process and on the issues that will have the greatest impact on all our customers.
  • As part of their role the many of our forums and panels look at and make decisions on Derwent Living’s strategies and polices, affecting the services received by all our customers and the future direction of the business.

Tenure specific decisions

  • Some of the decisions that you can make may affect a particular group or tenure such as leaseholders for example. If you want to be involved in making decisions relating to your tenure group or service area there are options for involvement.

Local area based decisions

  • Often customers feel that the most important decisions they can make are those that directly affect their neighbourhood. To influence the decisions that are made at a local level there are involvement options available, some of these will vary between areas.

Frequently Asked Questions about customer engagement 

What is Customer engagement?

Customer engagement is your opportunity to have a say and influence decisions that affect your homes, the services you receive and the area in which you live. Through customer engagement we can ensure that customers are at the heart of our decision making process, and with your feedback understand the needs of our customers, whilst continually striving to improve services and satisfaction. Through our wide range of involvement initiatives we want to ensure that all customers have equal access and opportunity to be able to get involved and have their say.

I would like to get involved but attending meetings isn’t always right for me, what else is available?

Derwent Living have a range of methods for our customers to be able to have their say. As well as holding meetings we carry out consultation through email and text surveys, in addition to postal surveys or those done over the phone. We are also looking at ways of creating more opportunities for e-involvement such as online discussion forums and polls. If this sounds like something that you would be interested in, just make sure we have your up to date contact details such as phone number and email address.

An upcoming meeting is out of my area but I’d really like to come along, I don’t have my own transport is there any alternative?

We want to make our initiatives and events accessible to everyone, therefore we can provide transport where required – and also cover travel expenses for customers who do have their own transport, or make use of public transport.

I’d like to get involved but can’t commit all the time, is there anything else I can do?

Derwent Living understand that our customers lead busy lives with many other commitments, but we also know that it is important to you to be able to have your say. Therefore, we can work with you to find an initiative that is right for you. The Forum is a meeting that takes place every other month and customers can attend as and when they wish. There is no membership, meaning that customers are not relied upon to heavily commit. You can also take part in occasional questionnaires or surveys to give us your feedback on topics specific to particular service areas. Your views and opinions help shape services and drive improvement.

How can I find out more about becoming involved?

Take a look at the various options within this section. This area gives an overview of the type of opportunities available. You can also contact us to find out more. We can also provide training and support to help you get involved. You can find out more on our training and support page.

STAR awards

STAR awards are designed to recognise when people go above and beyond to help others. As part of the Places for People Group, Derwent Living customers can enter nominations for both the People's Choice and Good Neighbour awards.

People's Choice

This is your chance to thank a member of Derwent Living staff that you feel has been supportive, dedicated and worked hard to help you or someone you know. To nominate someone - or even an entire team - please complete the Star Awards nomination form.

Good Neighbour

Do you know someone who works tirelessly for their community? Then nominate them for the Good Neighbour award and give them the recognition they deserve!