Tenants from across Fife and beyond met up online on Saturday for the Kingdom Group’s hugely popular Summer Gathering event, held entirely online for the second year in a row. Though coronavirus restrictions have been almost completely lifted, the online format proved so popular with tenants last year that the decision was made to hold the event virtually once again this year.
The Summer Gathering is an informal get together where tenants can find out about the Kingdom Group’s plans for the year ahead and share their views on the subjects that matter to them most. The event provides an opportunity for tenants to ask questions of Kingdom’s staff and Board members.
Bill Banks, Group Chief Executive with Kingdom welcomed tenants and outlined the programme for the event, which included a focus on consultation, participation, and the support services available through Kingdom.
Free workshops were offered to all who attended including mindfulness and gardening and staff from Kingdom’s Tenancy Support Team and Kingdom Works, Kingdom’s employability project, explained more about the work they do and how they are able to support tenants and their families.
Max Scotto, Kingdom Housing Association’s Tenant Participation Officer said, “One of the best things about holding the Summer Gathering online is that we’re able to engage with tenants who, in many cases, have never participated before. We work hard to develop and strengthen the range of opportunities tenants have to participate and we do all we can to show that tenants do have a voice and can have a real impact on the services we deliver.”
Kingdom also launched their newly approved Tenant and Customer Participation Strategy at the Summer Gathering with a view to developing and strengthening the range of participation opportunities.
Matthew Busher, Kingdom’s Interim Director of Housing said, “Since we moved to a more remote way of working and using technology over the last year, it’s been really interesting to see what’s possible in terms of tenant participation. We actually have more customers involved in consultation and decision making than we did before the pandemic and we look forward to seeing even more in the future. The challenge for us is to keep raising the bar and delivering continuous improvement. Maximising customer engagement is an important way in which we can do that.”
In addition to tenants and staff, members of Kingdom’s Management Board were also in attendance and emphasised the value the Board places on customer feedback when making decisions.
Linda Leslie, Kingdom’s Joint Vice-Chair said, “On behalf of the Board I’d like to thank Scrutiny Panel members for their hard work and continued commitment over the last year. I’d also like to thank all those who contributed to policy reviews, responded to surveys and generally engaged with Kingdom. Kingdom’s mission is to provide More Than A Home. To make sure we’re able to do this, Kingdom’s Board members greatly value customers’ views on services, on policies and on the quality of their homes. Those views inform the strategic decisions that we make at Board level and I encourage tenants of all ages and from all backgrounds to participate wherever possible.”
George Duncan, Tenant Member of the Scrutiny Panel, gave a heartfelt account of his experience over the last 6 years as a Panel member and the many friendships he has gained over that time. George highlighted the great satisfaction he derives from knowing that the work that the Panel does helps tenants and improves the services Kingdom delivers. He also commended Board members and staff for listening to and acting upon the feedback received and concluded by encouraging more tenants to get involved because “Kingdom does listen and your voice makes a difference”.