Hello and welcome to my April 2022 Chief Executive Blog.

I started a blog a while ago and got some really useful feedback, so for the rest of 2022 I plan to write a blog every couple of months.  Please do send your feedback if you have any comments, ideas or concerns.   I am always interested to read what you say and will make sure we consider it fully and respond to you.

The theme of the blogs this year will be the Inspired by our Communities  approach.  This approach was first launched back in 2020. This is our biggest ever programme of consulting, listening, and responding to our tenant feedback - which I am extremely grateful for.

In 2021, we wanted feedback that went beyond normal satisfaction surveys, to get a deeper understanding of your views and to find out what you really wanted and needed from us. The huge number of responses we received as part of Inspired by our Communities 2021 told us that being listened to, and getting more involved with Southway, was important to many of you. 

What we did

We carried out 362 in-depth telephone surveys of tenants with the company Viewpoint. We sent weekly online surveys to our existing mailing list, receiving over 500 individual responses. We also looked at the amazing 2,200 responses to our STAR Survey and other feedback from routes such as complaints and compliments. 

What we found

You gave us a real variety of detailed and valuable responses. We were pleased to hear that many of you were happy with our services, in particular the support and care offered by our staff throughout the pandemic. Some clear priorities emerged, highlighting the areas you said we needed to invest in, continue to focus on, or improve.

These were:

  • Effective communication
  • Good customer access
  • Tackling poverty
  • Quality of homes
  • Community safety
  • Looking after our environment
  • Considering the specific needs and individuality of our tenants.

These main priorities are supported by individual pieces of feedback, which we can keep referring to check we are on the right track.  In 2022 we are focusing on getting the basics right, because you told us that this is what is most important to you. 

What we're doing next

We have already started using these priorities to create detailed action plans.

This includes:

  • Growing and reorganising our Customer Hub to improve the service including how quickly we respond to your calls and enquiries
  • Carrying out a detailed review of how we communicate with you so that we can then work on the areas that we need to improve
  • Looking at ways to improve how we respond when our tenants need mental health and wellbeing support 
  • Reviewing the standard of our homes when they are let to new tenants, and looking at how we can work with you to improve the way we tackle damp and mould 

There will be a chance for you to be involved in each priority area. To take part:

  • Make sure that we have your current email address, that you have signed up to our MySouthway portal, and follow us on social media so that you can take part in consultations from home.
  • Check out our latest involvement opportunities by contacting Maureen Ward at m.ward@southwayhousing.co.uk

Our tenants play a key role in our governance and leadership structures, on our Board and Peoples and Places Committee.  We will have vacancies later this year. If you are interested in joining our Board or Committee please email governance@southwayhousing.co.uk or look on our website for more information about what’s involved.

Please do get in touch with me if you have any comments about my blog.  Good or bad, I’ve always got open ears. Email: chiefexecsblog@southwayhousing.co.uk