Both of our Company Directors have a long and special relationship with Carpenters TMO, a tenant managed organisation in East London. Mekor was the TMO Manager when the organisation was set up in the early 1990s and Alicia was the consultant helping the TMO negotiate the management agreement with the council and establish its policies and procedures. It was during this time that Mekor and Alicia realised they shared a passion for working with and supporting communities. They set up NewmanFrancis to combine their skills and expertise to help make a difference in many more neighbourhoods.
Over the past 10 years, as NewmanFrancis, we have continued to work closely with Carpenters, sharing our skills and experiences to support the work of the organisation and ensure that local people remain at the heart of this successful TMO.
We have helped ensure that Carpenters TMO was not only successfully established, but that it continued to flourish over the years. A key aspect of this is successful communication. We have engaged with local people, businesses and stakeholders and have also worked with the Board to ensure that residents’ feedback is responded to. We instigated focus groups to enable local people to review different aspects of the housing service they receive, such as repairs and maintenance. This empowered residents to steer future service delivery and showed how the TMO was run by and for the benefit of the local community.
We have carried out annual resident satisfactions surveys to help the TMO understand local needs and react to them accordingly. This has been coupled with our ongoing advice, training and support for the Board. As well as conducting good governance workshops to equip Board members with the skills needed to successfully steer the organisation and provide strong leadership, we have also helped to develop the business plan to the ensure this well-run and effective business continued to thrive and provide an excellent service to its residents.
Over the last few years the future of the TMO has become less certain and we have continued to support the TMO through the difficult times including supporting them through a staff restructure.
Successfully empowering local people to build their confidence and skills and take control of the future of the neighbourhood has left a lasting legacy. The neighbourhood was a confident, forward looking and thriving community.
Five TMO residents have benefitted from our Neighbourhood Workers programme; learning valuable skills to support their careers. They represent the benefits of tenant involvement and are perfectly placed to encourage their neighbours to engage with the TMO. These individuals have organised fun days, outings and consultation events; put on a successful black history month event; held Arabic classes, organised music and dance activities, promoted intergenerational working; and supported the TMO to use social media and involve more young people.