Our four regional resident panels help us monitor our housing services, policies and performance.
You can contact your panel to discuss priorities for your area at any time. We refresh panel membership every three years.
The role of resident panels
Our resident panels are designed to help scrutinise our services in detail, suggest improvements and tackle local issues. They give residents a voice and ensure we are aware of residents’ concerns. They decide what is important for the local areas and oversee local improvements.
Resident Panels meet four times a year and attend an annual board awayday to discuss our strategic direction and our plans. Each member also attends at least one tenant and resident association or community meeting in their area, as well as an estate tour once a year. In return, members receive a small allowance.
All panels have a chair, up to seven residents and one independent member, plus a member of One Housing's Executive Team.
Although each panel is focused on a specific region, their work feeds into our Customer Services Committee to help us identify common issues for all residents. The Customer Services Committee is a key decision and policy-making body and reports to the Group Board. Each resident panel chair sits on this committee, to feedback what they have learned from their areas. It is currently chaired by resident board member and North resident panel member Alex Jones.
Resident Panel recruitment drive
Is your local community something that’s important to you? Maybe you’ve been inspired by those people who’ve come together to do great things in their local neighbourhoods during the pandemic? So many people have shown that working together can really make a difference and if that’s something that inspires you, we want to hear from you. Our regional Resident Panels are made up of local residents who also want to make a difference. How do they achieve that? By having direct input into how we deliver services, by helping us develop new strategies, and by coming up with action plans for your local area.
We currently have one vacancy for our East Region Resident Panel, and two vacancies for our West Region Resident Panel. In our experience, Panels are most successful if they are made up of a representative cross-section of their resident community and everyone is welcome, whatever your background or previous experience of getting involved. We particularly encourage applications from younger people, lone parents, people with disabilities, LGBTQ and BAME residents.
The Resident Panel usually meets four times a year, however there are also opportunities to collaborate online and during lockdown we’ve been holding meetings via MS Teams. Don’t worry if you’re not an IT expert though – we’ll provide training if you need it! We are really grateful for the time and dedication that Panel members give and, in recognition of this, they receive £1,200 per year.
This covers Havering, Lewisham, Newham, Southwark, part of Tower Hamlets and Waltham Forest.
The chair of this panel is Richard Macmillan.
Richard is a charity lawyer at the British Heart Foundation, a keen volunteer lawyer for Pride in London, a campaigner for the Liberal Democrats and a volunteer pianist for St Barnabas in Bethnal Green. He is passionate about housing and being the voice of residents across East London so that they feel heard.
This covers Barnet, Camden, Enfield, Hackney, Haringey, Ealing, Islington and Westminster.
The chair of this panel is Linda Sluys.
Linda has been a resident of One Housing for over 30 years. She is currently retired but fully involved as chair of our North Resident Panel. She is also an officer of the West Hampstead and Fortune Green Neighbourhood Development Forum, which had its Neighbourhood Development Plan formally adopted by the London Borough of Camden last year. She has a background in local government, having worked in regeneration; helping to encourage and expand the skills of residents - this included providing employment training and extra tuition for students, arranging health education, as well as administering grants for community groups. She also has significant experience in housing development having worked with architects and building contractors.
This covers Bracknell Forest, Reading, Windsor and Maidenhead, Slough, West Berkshire and Wokingham.
The chair of this panel is Ceilia Gresswell.
Ceilia is a resident member and has over 20 years’ experience working with high-profile, blue-chip organisations to secure and deliver major projects. She is currently working for the Rail Executive. A specialist in EU Procurement and Tender and Bid Management in the public and utilities sector, Ceilia provides a wealth of expertise to help secure and deliver major contracts. Ceilia also has extensive experience in auditing processes and data analysis.
This covers E14 in Tower Hamlets and the Isle of Dogs.
The chair of this panel is Jan Bros.
Jan Bros has lived on the St John's estate for 32 years. She runs a social enterprise called J-go Consultants & Training, which supports local people running community projects. J-go has been running for 14 years and has links with over 65 local regeneration projects. Jan has considerable experience of training, enterprise and regeneration in social housing, public sector finance, contract management and procurement of major works contracts. Additionally, she has a keen interest in food growing, and would love to be involved in developing more sustainable food-growing projects on the Island.
If you’d like to see what your resident panel members talk about, you can find summaries of the discussions in these resident panel round-ups.
Becoming a resident panel member
We review membership every three years and residents are chosen via an application, interview and selection process. They require varied skills, expertise and experience to join. This is because we want panel members to represents all residents, monitor and scrutinise our services and work with us to design service improvements.
One of our most recent recruits is John Lestourgen, who joined the West Region Resident Panel in June 2020. We asked John a few questions about what led him to apply. Here's what he had to say.
Have you been involved in this kind of group before?
I have been involved in resident groups in an unofficial capacity for several years. I have worked with many of my residents to bring about change in my building and the community.
What made you decide to apply?
I decided to become a Resident Panel Member because it'll be a fantastic opportunity for me to have my voice, as well as the views of residents around me, heard at an official level.
What are you hoping to achieve as a member of the Panel?
I believe this will be a chance for me to work directly with One Housing and become a collective voice for all residents, especially in Berkshire. I would like to be a part of the change and a positive impact and to leave behind a positive legacy in my local community in Slough, Berkshire.
Are there specific things that you want to address?
I want to work closely with One Housing to develop initiatives that help to improve our living standards as well as our community. I would also like to see more initiatives locally for our young people and families, for example family activities for residents and youth programmes for the youth.
Do you think residents in the West have different issues to residents in other regions?
I think different regions experience different concerns. For example, here in Slough, we do not have much green spaces it is a very concrete area. It is also a place where there is limited space. What I would like to see how we can improve the spaces we do have around our buildings and utilise these spaces to its full potential. I hope to work with different regions to learn from them but also work together to share ideas and issues that we all face.
We've also spoken with our young resident Leslie Amoah, 25, who is keen to keen to bring his fresh new ideas to the table.
What do you do for a living?
I graduated in international business management and I’ve been working in real estate for a year. Aside from that, I’ve a family business I’m quite heavily involved with. It’s a Ghanaian restaurant, we’ve been up and running for about two years. I’m involved with the customer service side of things, design and operations.
Have you been involved in community projects before?
I took part in a community initiative in my local area called FindX community initiatives last year. I was involved in various projects: we cleaned the streets of Canning Town and provided free hot meals to homeless and less privileged people. This is where lots of us live, so we took responsibility upon us to improve the local area. This is just something that’s within me, I always want to try and help and add value where I can in my local community.
What are you hoping to achieve in this new role?
What I really want to achieve is to be a voice for the younger generation, particularly the 16-25 age group. It’s easy for us to be left out, so I want to echo their voice and bring some of my ideas to the table. I also want to find out more about the needs of One Housing tenants: see what services already exist and what can be changed or added, so that the experience for tenants gets better and better.
Are there specific issues you want to address?
I think that in London young people face similar issues such as anti-social behavior, mental health, gang violence. Year on year, you can see the increase in violence and there isn’t much support at all which is sad, but I think it’s very important for young people to find a place where they feel they belong, a place where they don’t feel intimidated and where their culture and ways are accepted.
Why is it important for young people to take interest in their local community?
I feel there’s a gap between the young and older generations in the way we think, our interests. I hope we will be able to close that gap and express our thoughts and ideas, which will enable us to create a positive culture and get other young people to say: ‘This is something I fit into.’ Hopefully we’ll then start seeing this multiply and have a greater effect.
What are your ideas and things you want to improve?
I’ve ideas about a platform where anyone can input the skills they have, or want to get into, and then start discussions around that. This could be a virtual hub that focuses on employability and providing the youth with opportunities, and where people can access resources and support. Nothing is set in stones yet, but this is something I’m passionate about.
It’s a wonderful opportunity that I’ve been given. I’m grateful for that. I just want to be able to give my best and echo the thoughts and ideas of the younger generation.