22 Jul 2022

Improving communities with a week of action

At Staffs Housing we take customer engagement seriously. We want voices to be heard and help shape the way we do things. In my role as a housing manager, I’m always thinking of new and innovative ways we can engage our customers.

We want to create quality, affordable homes that residents are proud to live in. It’s more than just providing bricks and mortar. It’s all about making sure our schemes, villages, and homes are places where communities can come together.

It’s why I launched Staffs Housing’s first community week of action: The Big Green Summer Clean.

At the start of June staff, customers, volunteers, and partners from across our communities came together to brighten up our schemes with flowers and plants, remove litter from the schemes and surrounding streets, and help customers get rid of any clutter. It was a great opportunity for staff from across the group to leave their desks and get out into our neighbourhoods to meet customers.

The week began on Monday with our group chief executive Diane and staff volunteers building a new raised plant bed and filling it with flowers at one of our schemes. We also collected nine bags of litter from the surrounding areas. Our customer engagement officers were able to have lots of conversations with customers while we worked.

On Tuesday we had a skip drive encouraging customers to rid their homes of any unwanted clutter. It provided a great opportunity to tell customers about our new customer involvement property maintenance groups too.

Wednesday was the busiest day of the week. In partnership with our maintenance contractor, Ian Williams, we transformed a tired looking community room into a bright, clean, and customer friendly space. Our customer engagement officers were able to speak to residents about what they wanted to use the room for. A polytunnel was installed to support those green-fingered customers who grow their own plants and veggies. A 14-tonne skip was filled with over 15 bags of litter!

On Thursday we partnered with a local college for children and young adults with disabilities and taught them how to plant beautiful hanging baskets. They loved hearing about the work we were doing in and around their community. We’re hoping to support them with their passion for gardening by providing work experience opportunities with our in-house gardening team. We were also out and about in the community too where we filled another skip and filled ten bags with rubbish.

Friday was a real community affair. Staff, customers, and our partners came together to celebrate the hard work throughout the week. We thanked them with ice cream, goody bags, cakes, tea, and coffee.
The week was a great success. In total, we had over 40 staff volunteers who collected 60 bags of rubbish, filled three skips, installed flower beds, painted a community room and delivered a gardening session to college students.

We had fantastic support from our partners like Unitas who donated litter pickers and bags and then collected the bags once we’d filled them. As well as Ian Williams who helped us overhaul the community room.

The best part was being able to get out and about and speak to our customers, in their own homes and neighbourhoods. Our staff got a real sense of what it’s like to live in the communities we serve. What a week!

Written by Laura Dalton

Laura Dalton is a housing manager at Staffs Housing