The Tenants Information Service (TIS) was thrilled to welcome more delegates than ever before at the Westerwood Hotel and Resort to take part in a full and varied programme that included an excellent line-up of sector leader speakers.
TIS chief executive, Ilene Campbell, said: “Housing is more than bricks and mortar. Never before has it been so crucial that tenants work together with their landlords to have their say and influence decisions about the housing services that they receive.
“This hugely inspiring 3 day event facilitated this process with an array of meaningful workshops, interesting study tours, and ample networking opportunities.”
Practical workshops explored East Lothian Council’s experience of housing revenue accounts, facilitated by James Coutts, the positive outcomes that can be achieved when supporting communities to learn digital skills delivered by Shayron Anderson from Thenue Housing Association and understanding housing’s role in supporting people living with dementia, facilitated by Donna Milton from Arneil Johnstone.
Greatly anticipated highlights of the conference also included a live panel discussion chaired by Sir John Curtice, professor of politics, University of Strathclyde, which manifested the weekend’s theme of ‘More than Housing’. Delegates learned and challenged panel member’s views on pertinent housing issues, wider health initiatives, and discovered new technology that tenants and landlords are pioneering to drive forward improvements within the sector.
Social Bite co-founder, Josh Littlejohn MBE, discussed the key milestones of the Social Bite Village. A project that allows resident to bite back at issues that have troubled them in society, provide pathways into employment, and add a fresh social housing offering to those in need.
TIS were also equally successful in inviting delegates to participate in raising awareness for ‘Socks for the Street’. Edinburgh schoolboy, Joseph Cox, 12, launched the initiative after being moved by the number of homeless people on the streets and vowed to do something to help. Delegates showed their generosity by donating socks, underwear, hats, gloves, plasters, and wet wipes at the event.
Centrestage Music co-founder, Fiona McKenzie, closed the weekend on a high as she shared her inspirational journey to build energetic, inclusive communities with arts at the heart. The uplifting plenary encouraged the audience to get involved and motivated delegates to continue to lead the way and shape the future of Scottish housing.
Feedback from the weekend has been immensely positive and TIS has been overwhelmed by the feedback.
“An exciting, enthusing, and fantastic event that is a must for anyone involved in the housing sector.” – William Irvine, Service Improvement Group, Glen Oaks Housing Association
“It was not only motivational for tenants, but it was also professionally enriching. I learned new things, made good contacts, and felt inspired to work even harder to make a difference.” – Max Scotto, Tenant Participation Officer, Kingdom Housing Association
“If you get the chance to go to this conference – go! It is an ideal opportunity to meet new people and discover information which might help you and your organisation flourish.” – Doreen Chalmers, Langriggs Tenants & Residents Association
Official photographs from the event will be available to view and download online soon at www.tis.org.uk.