ARK Housing Association is committed to providing its tenants and service users with a person-centred service. This relates not only to the work which we undertake for and on behalf of tenants and service users, but also to facilitating their involvement in the wider community. We aim to encourage citizenship and participation in all areas of our community.
In order to take forward our work in this area, we appointed a Tenant & Service User Participation Officer, who ensures that our tenants and service users are supported to become involved, and to have a voice, both within ARK, and in other projects and initiatives in local communities.
We believe that citizenship and participation are about everyone having certain rights and responsibilities and how those rights and responsibilities are put into practice. Anyone can be actively involved in their community if they want to be.
Through our work we ensure that our tenants and service users are better equipped to represent themselves, take control of their lives and become more involved in their local communities. We are also hoping to reduce the isolation that many of our service users experience, by expanding their social networks.
We have been doing a lot of good work to achieve our aims:
- Supporting people to speak up about issues of concern in their support services, tenancies and local communities
- Supporting people to explore their right to be safe and not to be harassed
- Supporting people in choosing new staff
- Supporting people to be involved in induction training for new staff
- Supporting people to focus on employment opportunities
- Supporting people to chair meetings, or to speak at meetings and workshops
- Facilitating the development of ‘speak out’ groups for service users to meet up in local communities.
These are just a few examples of the work that we have been doing in this area. We are very keen to hear from people with their own ideas, suggestions, or requests in relation to Citizenship and Participation. Find out more about the work of our Tenant and Service User Participation Officer and how you can contact her.