What's a community?

March 8th, 2016 by Andy Evans in Customer Service blog

A man outside smiling

Andy Evans, a customer from Hartlepool and a volunteer member of the North East Viewpoint Team gives us his views on 'What is a community?' in his guest blog ...

Andy Evans is a customer from Hartlepool and a volunteer member of the North East Viewpoint Team. He recently attended the regional TPAS conference (a tenant engagement organisation bringing tenants and landlords together).

Read Andy's insights on one of the TPAS topics under discussion, 'What's a community?' in his guest blog ...

What’s a community? – by Andy Evans

It appears to be such a simple question to ask, but do we truly know the answer to this?  According to the Community Cohesion Strategy it is about creating a common vision and sense of belonging to everyone, valuing and appreciate people from different backgrounds, developing strong positive relationships between people from different backgrounds in the workplace, in schools, in neighbourhoods and brokering relationships between groups and communities.  

So how does your housing association measure up to the Community Cohesion Strategy?  I would have to say it got myself thinking about my housing association, Home Group and do I feel that it’s hitting the four key points as stated above.  

Home Groups vision is to: "help its customers and clients to open doors to new opportunities and healthy lives".

I have been a customer of Home Group for just over one year and have been an involved customer for a year.  I have seen how much commitment Home Group puts into bringing communities together for the benefit of everyone even if they are not a Home Group customer or client.  

Home Group prides itself on its equality and diversity which is woven into its culture and this commitment extends to the communities that it helps to establish. Home Groups runs many initiatives that bring people together, to enable them to gain new opportunities and skills, such as DIY skills and money management workshops. 

Home Group is a very engaging housing association that puts its customers and clients at the centre of its core values, ensuring that people have a voice in the community in which they live in, and helping to build better relationships with the wider community. 

In summary, I do feel that Home Group works extremely hard to provide community cohesion, however, it's not just about the housing association, it's about people engaging, becoming involved and wanting to build better communities for the next generation.  

It is far too easy for people to sit back and to complain about community cohesion and the lack of input from your own housing association, however you can make a big difference by being involved.  

Remember your input can change things for the better if you stand up and become involved in shaping the direction that your housing association takes in providing community cohesion. 

Do you want to share your views, be involved and help shape the future direction of Home Group? There’s a range of ways you can. Visit our 'Get Involved' pages for more information.