As part of our Big Door Knock in June, we asked residents whether they would be interested in helping us to monitor the grounds maintenance and cleanliness of our blocks to help improve their neighbourhoods. We are pleased to say that we have now doubled our number of volunteer resident inspectors!
Fred, our longest-standing resident inspector, told us about the role and why other residents should get involved...
I live at Tree Bridge House and my role a resident inspector is ensuring cleanliness inside and outside the building by liaising with scheme officers, cleaners and the contractor, Accuro.
Each inspector has information on what to look out for in terms of cleaning and grounds maintenance. Then, as often as we want, we send a report to Watford Community Housing ranking each topic.
For example, if I’m ranking the bin area as zero that means that there is a huge build-up of rubbish and something needs to be done. A three means the area is clear and no action is needed. I am lucky that our scheme officers and cleaners are very thorough and do a marvellous job, but I am there to help if they miss something, or if I spot an issue first.
I had no idea what a resident inspector was when I first moved in, but someone mentioned it and I was immediately interested. I have volunteered all my life, so it just felt right – I was in the police for 40 years, a volunteer for St John Ambulance, British Red Cross, also a volunteer Scout Leader for 40-odd years. I think it’s essential to help out in my block. This is my home and I care about what it looks like – I am proud of where I live.
Interacting with my neighbours in Tree Bridge House and their families, with my neighbours on the road, and with our scheme officers and cleaners. I just really enjoy talking to them and helping out in any way I can. By building these relationships, my neighbours feel like they can come to me if they can’t get hold of a scheme officer.
Recently I got our gate bolt changed – each Wednesday night I had to unbolt the gate in order for the bin workers to get in the next morning, but sometimes other residents would re-bolt it and the rubbish wouldn’t get collected. I reported this and asked for the Fire Brigade lock so the bin workers could open it themselves, and Watford Community Housing happily sorted that out for us. It’s a small improvement but it takes the pressure off me and other residents.
The support from Watford Community Housing is absolutely brilliant – after five years I can’t fault it at all! I work with staff here, from the Communities, Housing and Customer Relations teams, and they are all lovely. It always feels like a two-way relationship, like they always want to help, rather than me just reporting to them all the time.
Do it! There is so much you can do if you push yourself and get involved. More volunteers are always needed so if you’re interested, go for it!
We are always on the lookout for more volunteers to help us keep our neighbourhoods as clean as possible.
If you would like to join us, or would like any more information, please contact our Customer Relations team.