"Now, more than ever, housing organisations need to build genuine partnerships with their tenants, and local communities."
Community involvement is a key element in improving neighbourhoods and services. You need to find staff that are enablers and facilitators, who offer communities the support they need to formulate and voice their own opinions. Staff who dominate, or staff who "take over", no longer help us achieve our consultation objectives.
A key aspect of this work is to help you draw up a community map for the community you wish to work with and to plan the key messages you want to convey in your consultation. Involving local people delivers improved services and saves money by better targeting local needs, so it is important that you understand the community you are working with.
DWA understands the problems and pitfalls involved in developing customer and community consultation programmes and we can help you develop a strategy that works and can lead to better services. DWA has produced a guide to better consultation.
Remember - only 4% of us ever want to get involved in anything. So the trick is to provide as many different opportunities as possible for people to get involved and have their say. Plus, are you "telling" or listening? Consultation must be a two-way process!