Help and support for customers
Between 1st April 2015 and 31st March 2016:

We saw the official opening of the ToolShed, which is the social enterprise that we funded and now support to provide multi-trade traineeships and attitudinal training for local young people

We ran another super successful Business Start-Up course that culminated in a Dragon’s Den event and saw new local business ideas receive funding to get themselves off the ground

Our Chef’s Club returned to teach people cooking skills and give budget advice on how to prepare meals without spending too much

We took our Red Kite News online so that we could share news more regularly without spending on postage each time – this has given us the ability to track the readership and things that customers are interested in, so that we can share more of the news people care about – feedback has also increased, with comments such as: “Some interesting stuff going on, well done” and “thank you, always interested in what you have to tell us and I like to take part when I can” and “Thank you for the info, very interesting”

We launched our new website and refreshed our app so that they were both more accessible, more easy to navigate and now look and feel more like ‘us’

With a focus on supporting our customers and giving them as many opportunities as we can to develop themselves, learn new skills and open doors, this year we have put emphasis on the additional things we can provide, outside of normal housing related support, so that we can truly release the potential in our communities.

As a result of the training we have offered, our customers have developed skills in a whole range of areas including IT, report writing, sitting on interview panels, procurement, face painting, monitoring performance and carrying out telephone surveys.

We will be supporting our customers to get into work by involving local businesses and co-ordinating training and work experience opportunities. We will also be looking to increase our investment in social enterprises.

In April 2016 we introduced a new way of working which meant that customers could make their own appointments and we can carry out more targeted visits to make better use of our mobile experience teams by directing services to where they are needed. The idea is that the most appropriate staff can be called on to carry out home visits depending on their skills and experience. We will be developing this new approach over the coming months to make sure that productivity is increased as a result and at the same time costs are reduced.

Training our customers, ensures that they can make a more effective contribution to what we do and help us make sure we are spending money in the right places. They can also add value to what we do by training our customers to carry out telephone surveys they were able to complete a total of 1724 telephone surveys to find out about the experiences other tenants had of our repairs service. We want to make sure our training is fun too – by training our customers in face painting, they have even helped us at community events.

By bringing our newsletter on line we have managed to save over £20,000. We are supporting our customers to get on line as more and more services are provided in this way.

Annabel Balderson (Leaseholder and Business Start Up Graduate 2015):

“The Business Start up course actually gave me the push I needed to start my business from a hobby, along with the knowhow and the confidence to actually do it!

It gave me all the tools, support and funding too. It was my best achievement in 2015... If it hadn't been for Red Kite and the opportunity you generously gave me, I wouldn't be doing what I do now.

You've given me drive, direction and determination to succeed in running my own little business. Thank you for that!”

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