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Freebridge Housing tenant joins new national panel

Freebridge Community Housing tenant, Anne Manning, has been successful in gaining a place on the Housing Ombudsman’s new national Resident Panel.

The panel, which is due to have its first meeting later this month, is a new initiative by the ombudsman to help provide an opportunity to residents to help develop the service they provide.

It will be made up of residents from a wide cross-section of landlords who are members of the Housing Ombudsman Scheme, who will meet online to discuss key areas of the ombudsman’s work.

Freebridge Community Housing at Lynn
Freebridge Community Housing at Lynn

Anne said: “Having been on Freebridge’s Tenant Panel for a number of years I have always been interested in how complaints are dealt with and have been actively involved in looking at complaints cases received by Freebridge.

" I am very happy to be part of the ombudsman’s new Residents Panel, which will ensure that the voice of tenants will be clearly heard in discussions the ombudsman has about complaints which have been made to housing associations across the country."

Sophie Bates, director of housing at Freebridge, said “Over the last couple of years Freebridge has completed a great deal of work improving the process we follow in respect of any complaints that are made to us. That said, we are always looking to make further improvements to what we do so it’s great that Anne has gained a place on this new Resident Panel as it should help us to gain a greater understanding about some of the wider thinking being had about complaints, including best practices that may be happening elsewhere.”

Richard Blakeway, the Housing Ombudsman, said “I’m absolutely delighted to appoint our first Resident Panel after an overwhelming response from residents. The panel will provide valuable insight and feedback on our plans to grow and develop the ombudsman, alongside our extensive engagement with landlords.

“This a crucial year as we will be publishing our next three-year plan in the summer. By increasing the scale of the Resident Panel we will be able to hear a much stronger resident voice within these plans, together with developing our approach to promoting awareness and learning from complaints.”

Freebridge is current recruiting to its Tenant Panel, which was set up in 2011 to give customers an opportunity to provide a direct voice into the heart of the organisation’s structure to help support and shape its services. Anyone interested in either finding out more, or wanting to make an application to join the panel, should visit the vacancies page of Freebridge’s website at www.freebridge.org.uk

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