But what’s it like being a member of the group?
Andy said “We’re part of something that’s bigger than just our individual tenancies or our individual properties – and it’s good to be able to contribute to that.” This was a sentiment that was echoed by others in the group. Piotr noted that one of the reasons he wanted to be involved in the group was because he was so impressed with the impact he was able to have, not just on his community, but on the whole area Abri covers. We’ve got over 80,000 customers, so being part of this small but powerful group that makes recommendations on how we operate definitely has a large impact.
Some of the members are longstanding residents of Abri. Debbie enjoys being part of the group as she gets to see what goes on behind the scenes. She notes that she’s gained a better understanding not just of how Abri operates, but of housing more widely. Debbie also had the chance to lead on one of the reviews, which she found hugely rewarding.
Dot loves getting the chance to scrutinize what we get up to and work out how we can do things with more efficiency. She says “I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the last twelve months and hope to carry on looking at areas within Abri that could be made more cost effective.” Dot loves listening to her fellow residents and getting an idea of how she and the other members of the scrutiny group can help them with the problems they have.
All the members of the group agreed that it just felt great to give back to their community. Dennis says “I care about housing for everyone” and this is a strong reason as to why he got involved. He wants people to take social housing seriously. Piotr noted how much he loves coming to meetings, as there is always an underlying theme of ‘how can we help people’, it’s something that all the members are passionate about. Andy stated how good it’s been to see that we, at Abri, have been taking the group’s recommendations seriously. He says he can see how valuable the work of the group has been, and that makes it all worth it.
Sioux wanted to join the group as a way to give back. Her husband was struggling with health issues and they needed to move to a home that was more suitable for them. We were able to help them find the right home for them in the village they loved, and had lived in for over 40 years. Sioux describes being in the scrutiny group as “a reason to look forward and take life back again.” She’s also found a group of like-minded residents who are passionate about doing good, which gives her a reason to get excited about every RSG meeting.