The Big Day Out (2012)
More than 200 people turned up to Derwent Living’s Big Day Out at the Roundhouse, Derby, which took place on Saturday 23 June 2012. The event allowed residents to meet staff and find out about the organisation. The day was split into two parts with a formal AGM followed by fun activities for all the family.
People were invited to take part in prize draws to win an iPad 2, 3DTV and an Xbox. As well as a giant Scalextric, there was a bouncy castle and a barbecue. Residents were also given the opportunity to have their say on Derwent Living’s services in a Big Brother style video booth.
Derwent Living App
In August 2012 we launched our mobile app for smart phones.
We felt that it was important to keep up with the advancements in technology and through consultation we realised that our customers would appreciate a new and innovative option for getting in touch with us.
Customers were first demoed the app at our Big Day Out in June 2012, and the feedback we had was good with suggestions on how we could make improvements. We took your suggestions and put it all together for when the app was launched in August.
Within the first week of the app being available we’d had 315 downloads, and the feedback we were getting was good too: “I found the App extremely useful and easy once you have used it a couple of times. Much more convenient than phoning or email. Will use again”
Resident Scrutiny Team win gold
In August 2012 Derwent Living’s Resident Scrutiny Team were recognised with a Gold Award from East Midlands Tenant Participation Forum.
The award was given to the team for their positive changes made within Derwent Living and for being a good example of best practice in resident scrutiny.
It is a fitting reward for the volunteers who make up the team, each of them give a lot of their free time and show great commitment. The scrutiny team was setup to help Derwent Living to improve our services for all customers and work within a framework of co-regulation.
One of the elements that set the Derwent Living team apart was the level of training they have received, having all completed a fifteen week Chartered Institute of Housing level 2 course.
Dave Underwood, chair of the scrutiny team said: “It’s fantastic for the team to win this award and get this recognition, we are really proud of what we have been able to achieve so far.”
For more information on Resident Scrutiny go to the Scrutiny Team page.
In September 2012 Derwent Living launched a new involvement initiative called The Forum.
This new group bought together customers from a range of different panels into one initiative. Topics covered at the first meeting included, Welfare Reforms and Modernisation Programme.
The Forum encouraged some lively discussions and attendees were able to have a direct influence by voting on a ‘big decision’ at the end of the session.
28 customers attended our first event held at The Derby Conference Centre and said that the meeting was ‘interesting and informative’ and ‘gave everyone a chance to have their say’.
The meetings take place every two months, for more information or to book your place at the next meeting contact us.
Bedroom Tax Roadshows
In October 2012 Derwent Living took to the road to visit customers who would potentially be affected by welfare changes and in particular the ‘bedroom tax’.
Using a mobile home as our office for the week, staff visited 18 different areas and spoke to over 200 people to inform and advise about changes to the welfare system. Customers were able to see whether they would be affected or not with the use of our Bedroom Tax Calculator.
36% of those we spoke to would in fact be affected by a reduction in housing benefit, and were signposted to how they could receive further advice and assistance about the changes that will have an impact on them.
Service Spot Checkers
In October 2012 we launched our Service Spot Checkers project.
For their first task the group of customer volunteers spent an entire morning contacting other customers to gain their feedback on a recent repair that had been carried out. In total the service spot checkers made 94 calls and spoke to 43 customers, the results that they gathered indicated that 95% of those that they spoke to said yes, they were satisfied with their recent repair.
The service spot checkers then fed back the results to members of the Asset Management Team and representatives from Liberty, and made their own recommendations, which included keep up the good work.
The team of customer volunteers were impressed with the feedback they were receiving first hand from other customers, and the fact that it was customers speaking to other customers made them feel like they were getting more honest opinions.
The team will continue to ‘spot check’ more service areas throughout the organisation. If you would like more information or are interested in becoming a Service Spot Checker then please contact us.