When one of our Tenant Panel members, Roy Collison, heard about #HousingDay #ProudTenant, he jotted us an email telling us of his most recent #proudtenant moment.
We’ve published his story below because we felt it just goes to show how the Tenant Involvement team have empowered him to take control and resolve a situation that was affecting his community – rather than walking away and letting someone else deal with it. (Warning – don’t read this if you are eating your lunch!)
Residents, staff and dignitories enjoyed a cuppa and a pasty around the new communal picnic tables and benches at Hawkins Road, Newquay, last week.
Ocean with the help of Hawkins Road’s residents hosted an event to celebrate the installation of the new furniture in their communal area outside the block on Thursday 5th November. A number of residents and their children turned out to thank Ocean for the new improvements to their living area which is part of an ongoing programme of planned improvements to the block.
“The residents here are so pleased with our new benches and picnic tables and we are so grateful to Ocean for providing them. We will really enjoy using them”, beamed Nancy Moody.
“It’s been a lovely afternoon with the local residents and we have enjoyed using the new outdoor furniture whilst drinking tea and eating pasties together”, concluded David.
The residents in the block of flats owe these new welcome additions to Ocean’s ‘Treasure Chest’ fund.
“Ocean’s tenants can apply for funds through our Treasure Chest Scheme to help them host community events, street parties and various projects within their neighbourhood. Hawkins Road’s new furniture is a great example of how Ocean’s Treasure Chest is used by our residents to unite them with others in their community”, added David Renwick, Ocean’s Group Chief Executive
We hope the residents of Hawkins Road will enjoy many more such events, bringing together the community.
With a week to go, the creator of #HousingDay Adrian Capon gives 11 reasons why we need it now more than ever:
#HousingDay is a national 24-hour social media event to celebrate the positive impact of social housing on thousands of tenants and those working in UK housing.
In 2014, it produced thousands of tweets and participants, while reaching millions of people. This year’s event is on 18 November.
1.Like never before housing is a political hot potato
Without a strategic vision for housing across all tenures, we will not solve the housing crisis. A new government ambition to support people into homeownership is welcome. But what about those for whom ownership will only ever be a pipe dream? #HousingDay provides a voice to all.
2. Where will the poor live?
This question keeps appearing in my Twitter feed and, as far as I know, there is no definitive answer. Unless this is satisfied, we should not give up on trying to solve the housing crisis. We need to listen to the needs of under-represented groups – those marginalised for no fault of their own. On #HousingDay we can at least try to do this.
Last year’s #HousingDayresearch carried out with Ipsos Mori painted a picture of a British public favourable towards social housing. By five to one they agreed rather that social housing plays an important role in tackling poverty but many remain oblivious to the types of people who live in our homes. Housing organisations’ wider work in local communities is critically important. This year, as part of the National Housing Federation’s Community Impact Week, we can showcase the valuable work we do in all parts of the country and reach out to a wider audience.
housing day chat banner
5. Finding stories
Like last year, we’re finding stories which can help celebrate, educate and remind the wider public why social housing really does matter. And in some small way chip away at what social housing is all about and tackle perceptions.
6.Putting tenants at the heart of #HousingDay
This year’s focus on #proudtenant is about residents sharing experiences of how their lives have been positively impacted upon. Tenants who have tirelessly volunteered to be more involved in services have already made a positive and potentially life-changing impact to thousands of people.
7.Tenants are people
We should not forget our tenants are people and #HousingDay is about making sure their voices can be heard. Tenants have talents that can be harnessed to help improve services and enhance the lives of other people. We need to have trust in the tenant approach. Tapping into more human authenticity without a corporate gloss is what this should be about.
8. Tenant voices in the spotlight
I don’t believe we give over enough attention to cover the impact of government policies on our tenants. I would urge all housing organisations to be more representative and ensure the views of their own tenants are heard. #HousingDay encourages tenants from a variety of backgrounds to shout about what they do and what they think about services and policies. #HousingDay supportsTPAS who are looking for up to 50 people to find a strong voice.
9.Connecting tenants together
One of social media’s biggest strengths is its unparalleled ways to reach out, to engage in two-way conversations and connect people with each other. My ultimate aim is to create a springboard for further tenant networking and campaigning. The hashtag #HousingDayChat can create a regular conversation to build momentum, trust and consistency. In future, this will be organised by tenants themselves – a networked community.
10. Tenant power
This year tenant power echoes much about what we’re trying to achieve with #HousingDay. It’s also been echoed by blogger Bessy Banks’ #30daysofhousing campaign. On day 6, Bessy wrote:
“Finding our own voice and speaking to others in common is very powerful. There must be some way and necessity to collect and share these voices, to seek out and involve the involved residents in estates and neighbourhoods in cities, towns and villages the nation over. We have so much in common and the ability to share. There are many people doing great work in scrutiny who must have a voice too. I suppose the theme I am seeing is a movement of #tenantpower and a reclaiming of some of the confidence we seem to have lost.”
11. Get involved on 18 November with #HousingDayChat and beyond
I’m urging everyone to get involved on 18 November in whatever way they can. We’re looking out for tenants to participate in a second #HousingDayChat, 8-9pm. This is a great opportunity to tune into what tenants are saying and to ask questions. We can also celebrate some of the day’s highlights and discuss where we can go from here.
There will be even greater challenges ahead for the team with the arrival of Universal Credit. This new Benefits System will affect far more people than with the introduction of Welfare Reform.
At the moment, very few people are aware of Universal Credit and how it will affect them. The team has their work cut out, explaining the changes, what needs to be done before claiming, how to claim and subsequently how to cope with the new single monthly payments.
At the end of this month, the Welfare Advice team will be joining forces with other Ocean staff to visit in person around 400 households expected to be most affected by Universal Credit.
If you would like to speak the Welfare Advice team or know someone affected by Welfare Reform or Universal Credit, please contact them:
As part of Ocean’s ongoing support of the Royal British Legion’s annual Poppy Appeal, Ocean held a ceremony on 28th October to illuminate a giant printed version of the poem ‘For the Fallen’ to help launch this year’s appeal.
The poem proudly appears on the front of Ocean’s office, displayed alongside our now familiar giant poppy which was made by Ocean’s apprentices 2 years ago.
The famous words were written by Robert Laurence Binyon, in September 1914 , just a few weeks after World War One broke out, and have been adopted by the Royal British Legion to remember those who have ‘fallen’ in combat.
David Renwick, Ocean’s Group Chief Executive, said,
“We are delighted once again to be involved in this important remembrance and fundraising event.
We are extremely grateful to those men and women who fought for our freedom in past and present conflicts.
We all must be mindful of those powerful words ‘Lest We Forget’ and continue to honour those who have fallen, and provide support for those who survived but are in need of our help.”
A commemorative plaque of these immortal words is located on the edge of the cliff at Pentire Point, Polzeath (on the North Cornish coast), where it is believed the poem was composed.
For the Fallen
Poem by Robert Laurence Binyon (1869-1943), published in The Times newspaper on 21st September 1914.
With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children,
England mourns for her dead across the sea.
Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of her spirit,
Fallen in the cause of the free.
Solemn the drums thrill: Death august and royal
Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres.
There is music in the midst of desolation
And a glory that shines upon our tears.
They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
They fell with their faces to the foe.
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old: Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun and in the morning We will remember them.
They mingle not with their laughing comrades again;
They sit no more at familiar tables of home;
They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;
They sleep beyond England’s foam.
But where our desires are and our hopes profound,
Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,
To the innermost heart of their own land they are known
As the stars are known to the Night;
As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust,
Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain,
As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,
To the end, to the end, they remain.