Posted on 21 February 2020
Our Future Leaders Programme is encouraging younger residents, from more diverse backgrounds, to get involved.
“Involving younger residents has definitely been a challenge for us,” said Resident Engagement Advisor Lynsey Brogan. “With the odd exception, our involved residents have tended to be older and predominantly white.
“It was clear our approach to recruiting involved residents was not attracting younger residents, or many from BAME backgrounds. It’s important that, as far as possible, resident feedback and influence reflect all of our residents, not just some of them, so we decided to try something new: combining resident engagement with career and personal development opportunities.”
Lynsey and Resident Engagement Manager Robert Cooper worked with Dionne Lewis-Reid, a life and career transition specialist and empowerment coach, to develop a six-week ‘Future Leaders Programme’, covering:
- Confidence and motivation
- Skills profiling and job goals
- An introduction to social housing and Hyde
- Influencing skills
- Teamwork and leadership
- Resident engagement at Hyde.
“We called it the Future Leaders Programme because a leader is someone who influences others. We want to give participants confidence to be effective influencers, so they can help change things for the better. The resident engagement element gave them the chance to put their new skills into practice and help their career development,” Lynsey explained.
The programme was promoted via social media and with emails targeted to younger residents including, but not exclusively, those from BAME backgrounds. Six residents took part in the first programme:
- Ahmed, an IT consultant
- Carla, a university student and blogger
- Georgina, a mature student
- Halimo, a nursery teacher
- Jayson, director of a care company
- Olivia, a nanny.
Chief Executive Officer Peter Denton attended the programme’s graduation event, sharing his thoughts on leadership and answering questions from the group.
"The programme has been a resounding success for recruiting involved residents," Lynsey said.
"It has enabled us to get to know residents before they sign up to get involved, to get an idea of what people might be best suited to. The residents also had a chance to get to know one another, so they should already know some other people taking part in resident engagement, once they start getting involved; and they also found out more about Hyde.
“Ahmed, Halimo and Jayson all applied to join our most senior residents’ committee, Hydewide Residents Voice, and Carla, Georgina and Olivia have been involved in more informal resident engagement activities, such as focus groups and workshops. Carla and Jayson also attended our staff conference in November.”
The second Future Leaders Programme is now underway, with 11 participants from across London and Kent, aged from 22 to 47 and all from BAME backgrounds. An additional week has been added to the programme, giving more time for practical demonstrations and activities, following feedback from the first group. Robert said “The new group is great, really engaged and have a lot to say, all from a range of backgrounds including housing, youth work and education. We’re really excited about working with them and as ever so impressed with our residents!”
“We’re looking forward to having Chief Customer Officer Susan Stockwell as our special guest at the graduation,” Lynsey said. “We’re sure it will be really inspirational for our predominantly female participants this time around to hear from a female leader at Hyde.”