Community Participation – Getting Involved
What is Community Participation?
In short, Community Participation is simply about you giving your views on the services you get and about your neighbourhoods and communities, so we can work together to make things better for everyone.
We need you to:
- Help us improve and shape our services
- Make us more accountable to service users
- Provide people with opportunities to make a difference in the places where they live
It’s about getting YOU involved in what (and when) you want. We value each and every one of our tenants and want you to be involved in shaping DGHP – now and in the future. Whether you’d like to give just five minutes each month or would like to join a committee meeting every couple of months, we have a number of ways for you to get involved, both formal and informal, for something that we hope will suit everyone.
If you want to know more, and if you have any questions, get in touch with our Community Participation Team and we’ll be really happy to help. Call our Customer Service Centre on 0800 011 3447 and ask for the Communities and Communications Team.
Discussion Groups – Come along and give your views on a particular matter to DGHP staff. Topics include repairs, maintenance and rent increases. Time commitment: as desired.
“You Said, We Did” – A ‘bank’ of interested tenants who we contact about various topics including allocations, arrears, maintenance and more. You choose the level of involvement and how often you would like to be contacted.
Mystery Shoppers – Test us! Join us to look at the service at our area offices and Customer Service Centre. Time commitment: from 1 hour/year. Training provided.
Surveys – DGHP will ask for your feedback and opinion from time to time on a specific matter (carried out face-to-face questionnaire or by telephone). Time Commitment: as desired.
Working Groups – Work alongside DGHP on projects such as helping to develop strategies, arranging events like the regional tenants’ conference or working on our tenant newsletter. Time commitment: from as little as 3 hours/year.
Board of Management – The decision-making body within DGHP consisting of tenants and independent members. Decisions undertaken here benefit both DGHP and its tenants. Time commitment: average 15 hours/month.
Scrutiny Panel – A smaller panel responsible for reviewing specific elements of DGHP’s services. The current scrutiny panel consists of 5 members and has already looked at the housing application form and DGHP’s repairs service. Time commitment: each subject may require a set of 10 x 2 hour meetings over a 3 month period.
Tenants and Residents Associations (TARAs) – formed from tenants and residents of an area. This group which meets approximately once a month and helps to deal with local issues with the aim of improving their community. Time commitment: 1 hour/month plus any community projects.
Tenant Membership – open to every DGHP tenant. You will be placed on our consultation register and offered opportunities to take part in a survey or discussion group as needs arise. Members are also eligible to elect members onto the Board. Time commitment: low level; only if member wishes to attend AGM and/vote in elections.
Dumfries and Galloway Federation of Tenants and Residents Association – made up of members from local TARAs, they form the Independent Tenant Movement for Dumfries and Galloway. Time commitment: from 3 hours/month, 1 meeting/month.
Youth Panel – Working with young people to give a voice to the young about relevant issues. Time commitment: from 6 hours/year.
How do I get involved?
You can get involved with DGHP as a Board member or join your local TARA or other group by emailing us here. You can also contact our Customer Service Centre on 0800 011 3447 and ask for the Communities and Communications Team. (All TARA’s accredited by DGHP are listed with contact details on our RTO list here.)
Our Community Participation Strategy & Area Action Plans
Area action plans have been drawn up to target specific actions in specific areas for each corner of the region – Nithsdale, Annandale and Eskdale, Stewartry and Wigtown. These plans mean that the team, and DGHP as a whole, will have priorities very much linked to each of the four areas.
These action plans have been developed around the basic concepts of Communication, Consultation, Participation, Education and Diversity.
In 2016, DGHP was awarded Gold Accreditation by Tenant Participation Advisory Service (Scotland).
In recommending the award, TPAS, the nationally-recognised lead tenant participation organisation, said:
“We’re delighted to award our highest grade of accreditation to DGHP. As an organisation, DGHP has always fully embraced tenant participation and continues to live up to its’ reputation as one of the leaders in the country. We know how hard tenants and staff work together to deliver the best possible housing services.
“We have seen tenants involved in a range of activities, influencing decisions and scrutinising performance of DGHP’s services. We hope that this award recognises those achievements”.
We will continue to build on this success and ensure that tenants continue to be at the centre of everything we do.
Community Participation – Who We Are …
In 2016 DGHP merged the Communities and Communications sections of the organisation. The new team, named the Communities and Communications Team, consists of the Communities and Communications Manager, Community Participation Manager, Community Participation Officer and Communications and Website Assistant.
Within the section all communication, website and social media channels are dealt with as well as all community participation. In basic terms, as well as all communications, the service oversees and organises all of DGHP’s tenant involvement events.
As a company we are always looking to engage with our tenants and are always thinking of new and innovative ways to do this. However, if you have a project you think DGHP could be involved with, please get in touch with the team on 0800 011 3447.