Brenda Flynn is one of our residents who is helping to make a difference by being involved in the way the Association is run.

Brenda has lived in one of our homes in Darlington since 1963.

She joined one of our Focus Groups in the 1990s when resident involvement was still a new concept within housing associations.

In 2011, Brenda joined our Scrutiny Panel, which looks at the Association’s policies and procedures, covering areas such as tenant satisfaction, repairs and maintenance, equality and diversity and complaints.

Brenda explains: “The Scrutiny Panel meet every six weeks and the meetings usually take no more than two hours and are held in Newcastle or York. All travel expenses are provided and you receive lunch too.

“We get sent paperwork prior to each meeting which we are asked to read, so we are prepared.

“The meetings are interesting and we are able to put forward suggestions for change, and these suggestions are put to the senior management team and ultimately they can go to the board.

“I always feel we are listened to, even if action is not taken each time”

Brenda continues to be an active member of our Focus Group.

She says: “The Focus Groups meet three times a year, in Newcastle, Hull and Darlington. They also only take a few hours each time and you get lunch and travelling expenses.

“At these meetings we discuss any policies that may need to be changed due to new legislation or around matter such as keeping pets.

“We also get to choose the recipe and puzzle for RHA News, the resident magazine, and we choose the winner of the annual gardening competition.”

Brenda also attends our annual Resident Forum and has been helping us with the planning of our centenary celebrations.

Brenda says she enjoys being one of our involved residents and has no hesitation in recommending it to others.

She adds: “It gives you the opportunity to meet other residents and hear their own experiences of being a tenant, as well as getting to know staff.

“I have made new friends through my involvement and gained a much better understanding of how housing associations work.

“It’s good that residents have a voice and in my opinion you have a much better chance of changing things for the better if you become involved.”


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