Get Involved

Pickering and Ferens Homes is committed to providing excellent quality homes and services which enhance later life and ensuring that we meet your needs and develop in line with your expectations.

By working with our residents and involving you in every aspect of what we do, you are able to influence decisions and take part in what is happening.

There are lots of ways to get involved with the associations various meetings, panels and committees. Some options take up very little time, while others take more time and commitment. Our goal is for everyone to be able to choose an option that works for them.

This page aims to demonstrate exactly what we have to offer and how much of your time and commitment it will involve.

Why get involved?

  • Play an active role in improving our services for all residents
  • Influence decisions that affect your housing services
  • Make your area a better place to live
  • Give us your views on the services you receive
  • Be part of an interest, improvement or review group
  • Gain useful skills
  • Take part in training sessions, one-to-one mentoring, volunteering
  • Meet new people
  • Increase your knowledge of housing services provided
  • Attend our annual social events for rewarding our involved customers

Will it cost me anything?

To make sure that our involvement opportunities are accessible to all and do not cost you more than energy and enthusiasm, we will pay any reasonable expenses such as travel costs etc. For any queries please contact the Resident Involvement team (01482) 223 783.

How much time will it take?

Different levels of involvement will take different amounts of time, depending on what you want to do. Involvement can range from a five-minute telephone call to a full day session. It can be a ‘one-off’, or you could get involved on a regular basis. Click on the titles to find out more about each section.

How to get involved

The ways you can get involved are:

Resident Trustee

The Board of Trustees governs PFH and is made up of 12 Trustees including two resident Trustees. The Board has overall responsibility for such things as :-

  • Setting strategy policy and direction
  • Ensuring that PFH is self-sufficient and effective organisation
  • Establishing plans of action
  • Managing risk;
  • Monitoring performance;
  • Regulatory compliance.

Its main role if to ensure that PFH is managed properly and achieves its mission to provide high quality housing, services and support for people in need. We currently have 2 resident members on the Board.

Who can get involved?
Any resident can apply. You will have to go through an interview process and if there are more applicants than vacancies a resident postal vote will be undertaken. Vacancies are advertised on PFH website and via People First magazine.

Time Commitment
There are 5 meetings per year plus 2 away days. Resident Trustees will also need to read papers and take part in training.

Resident Committee

The Resident Committee is the main residents group which works closely with PFH to develop our corporate
resident involvement and communication strategies. It will also propose policy changes made by the Customer
Action Panels and recommend service improvements to PFH. It is an opportunity for residents and staff to work in partnership together on developing the resident involvement offer, influencing improvements to policy that affect residents and monitoring performance against standards as part of co-regulation. The Resident Committee champions resident led initiatives and ensures residents views are made clear.

Who can get involved?

The membership of the group is made up of residents who represent:

  • Resident Associations / working groups that are recognised by PFH
  • Geographical areas (residents living in areas that are not represented by a Resident A ssociation or working group)
  • A representative from each of the Customer Action Panels

Time Commitment
Minimum of 4 meetings per year with papers to read beforehand.

Resident Led Scrutiny Panel

The role of the panel is to scrutinise the performance and services being provided by PFH from the perspective of those receiving the service. The role involves looking very closely at our services and then questioning, listening and analysing the information about the services before producing a report of the groups findings. As a result of the Panels investigation a report and improvement plan (if necessary) is presented to the Board of Trustees and made available to residents.

Who can get involved?
Up to 12 residents can sit on the Panel and recruitment is through an open selection process. Please note however that to avoid any conflict of interest members of the Board of Trustees and Customer Action Panels are not allowed to sit on the Resident Led Scrutiny Panel.

Time Commitment
Meetings usually last for two or three hours and the frequency of the meetings increase during a scrutiny investigation. There will also be additional time commitments for carrying work relating to the scrutiny investigation such as work shadowing, surveying, talking to residents, interviewing. The requirements will depend on the nature of the work involved for each investigation.

Customer Action Panels

Customer Advisory Panels are split into different areas which are:

Residency Action Panel
This panel will look at issues that are related to living in your home. This covers areas such as neighbourhoods, anti-social behaviour, allocations, income, Weekly Maintenance Contribution (WMC) (Rent) and service charges. The group will review and influence policy changes in these areas and monitor key performance and targets.

Property / Technical Services Action Panel
This panel will look at maintenance and design issues as well as monitoring the Property Services sections work. This will include day to day repairs, refurbishments and the design and build of new homes. This panel will also help to set and monitor the Property Services budget. The group will review and influence policy changes in this area and monitor key performance and targets.

Service Plus Action Panel
This group will look at the issues related to living in our Service Plus accommodation. The group will help to review and influence service decisions to help improve the quality of life of the residents living in these schemes. The group will review and influence policy changes in this area and monitor key performance and targets

Community Navigator (Community Based) – (Medium Level Commitment)

  • Community Area Navigator (CAN)
    The CAN will undertake monthly site inspections in their own locality, and others if
    appropriate. This is to identify any issues relating to the external communal areas and will
    include feeding back on the work of contractors, reporting communal repairs, identifying
    scheme improvements and making suggestions for improvement. CAN’s will report issues to
    PFH and provide feedback on a monthly basis at meetings.
  • Community Social Navigator (CSN)
    The CSN will see residents (particularly new residents) on an individual basis if they request
    it. They will share information on what is going on in PFH, may establish interests, help them
    make the first step to becoming involved in the social activities in their area, signpost to
    support them if they want to do more, and offer a short-term buddy service and introduce
    them to the PFH community. CSN’s will usually receive referrals from PFH and will attend
    monthly meetings to feedback and report on outcomes.
Disability / Diversity Action Panel

This group will help promote equality and diversity by encouraging residents with a disability to help PFH review its services, policies and procedures. The group will help to ensure that issues are raised, standards are met and PFH promotes a positive image of disability.

Who can get involved?
The number of residents who can sit on each of the panels is agreed with each panel. With the exception of the disability panel residents should apply to be on one Customer Action Panel this is to encourage diverse groups of residents voices to be heard. Residents who are on the Disability/Diversity Action Panel can also be on one other group. Residents are invited to tell us which areas of our service they are interested in. E.g. repairs service. This helps us to target our consultation with customers who have a special interest in the specific area. Please note that to avoid any conflict members of the Resident Led Scrutiny Panel are not allowed to sit on any of the Customer Advisory Panels.

Time Commitment
Minimum of 2 meetings per year, there may also be some ad hoc meetings when required. Involves some reading before the meetings. You will also be expected to listen, discuss, challenge and feedback on the various issues.

Neighbourhood Panels

These panels are for individuals who have practical ideas about how your neighbourhood/local community could be improved and projects that could benefit everyone in the neighbourhood or wider area.

Who can get involved?
If you have these ideas then we want to work with you . You might have ideas that, with a bit of support from others could improve the environment or help more vulnerable community members, improve communication or community spirit or even get rid of a problem that has been affecting you or lots of your neighbours.

We can help you by :

  • Providing information and advice
  • Help develop your ideas and make a plan
  • Involve other neighbours
  • Help to find the funds that might be needed

If you have great ideas, share them with us and we’ll try and help you to make them into a

Time Commitment
Meetings schedules are to be agreed but will usually take place every 8 weeks and last for 1 - 2 hours. The meetings are interactive, with lively discussion taking place.

News and Views Panel

The News and Views Panel develop and decide upon the articles for inclusion within each edition of the People First magazine. The panel also works with staff to look at customer information reviews to make sure that the information provided in our publications is both friendly and easy to read. The group also works with staff to develop the programme for the annual Resident Show. The show includes a variety of displays and information, consultations and feedback and workshops to address specific issues.

Who can get involved?
Any resident can join the group

Time Commitment
Meetings are held every 6 weeks, they usually take place on a Wednesday at various PFH schemes and last for approximately 1 – 2 hours. The meetings are very interactive , with lively discussions taking place.

Resident Inspectors

Resident Inspectors will be those people who volunteer to check out our services in different ways. The inspectors may look at the areas that they are living in and let us know how we are doing inspecting services such as cleaning and gardening services and communal repairs. Inspectors may act as mystery shoppers, inspect some of our void properties making sure that we do what we say we are going to do.

Who can get involved?
Any resident can become an Inspector

Time Commitment
Meetings will be held every 6 – 8 weeks, however Inspectors will be asked to review the services on their schemes on a continuous basis. May involve some training

Green Champions

These are residents who volunteer to advise on ‘green’ issues relating to Pickering and Ferens Homes properties, and encourage the wider resident population to become more environmentally friendly through small behavioral and lifestyle changes. As a group the champions may cover a range of environmental themes and may undertake such things as energy audits, test energy-saving options and report their experiences to Pickering and Ferens Homes.

Who can get involved?
Any resident can become a Green Champion

Time Commitment
Meetings schedules are to be agreed but will usually take place every 8 weeks and last for 1 - 2 hours. The meetings are interactive, with lively discussion taking place. Will involve some training.

Virtual Panels

Resident are able to get involved on the consultation and feedback from their own home via the virtual forms. Residents are able to have their say without having to travel for miles and without having to commit a lot of time.  The panel members will consulted via e-mail and sometimes telephone.

Who can get involved?

Any resident can become a member of the virtual panel

Time Commitment
Information will be sent out to residents on an ad hoc basis, it will involve some reading of documents and feedback to PFH.

Express your interest

If you are a PFH resident and would like to express your interest in getting involved with the association’s various meetings and groups, please complete this form and we will be in touch to advise you on the best way forward.