East Devon tenant Janet Sullivan receiving her Outstanding Service to Your Community award from John Golding, East Devon’s Strategic Lead - Housing & Environment, Housing, Health & Environment

Annual council tenants conference proves a great success

A recent conference for East Devon District Council tenants successfully tackled a wide range of topics, including healthy meals, activities, local events for people to attend to help reduce isolation and speaking with staff and contractors about issues relating to their homes.

The annual event, which took place on 11 July, was organised by a group of tenants who set the theme Healthy Living and Wellbeing. The tenants  invited speakers, arranged the agenda and organised all the activities.

Peter Sullivan, a Sidmouth tenant, chaired the event at the Baptist Church Hall in Whitford Road, Kilmington, which was attended by around 80 people, including tenants, district council officers, contractors and councillors.

Tiggy Parry and Hannah Smart from Health & Local Food for Families (HALFF) spoke about how HALFF can help tenants with healthy cooking and wellbeing courses. Aaron Clark and Penny Hartnell from East Devon’s Community Development service talked about their work in helping to reduce isolation in the community and gave advice on how to tenants can grow their own food.

Tenants were given plenty of time to meet staff, contractors, councillors and stall holders and to ask them any questions. This meet and greet session has once again proved a great success, with those attending saying how much they enjoyed being able to speak with staff members face to face about their particular areas of service.

After a delicious two course lunch supplied by LAP Foods based in Payhembury, HALFF gave a number of healthy cooking demonstrations. Communtiy Development Officer, Aaron Clark and Mobile Support Officer, Margaret Whitehouse demonstrated chair exercises and indoor bowling using an Xbox.

Community and staff awards were presented to people who tenants thought deserved recognition for the work they do for others.

The tenants’ award for Outstanding Service to Your Community was given to Janet Sullivan of Lymebourne Park in Sidmouth, for the help she has given to neighbours and/or the wider community. 

The Excellent Customer Service award given to a member of staff nominated by tenants and other staff members for the friendly, efficient and helpful customer service they provide went to Scheme Manager Margaret Whitehouse.

There was a free raffle with many of the prizes donated by local businesses, the conference committee and East Devon staff.

The conference committee wants to thank all the tenants, staff, councillors and guests who attended the conference.  A big thank you to the venue staff and LAP Foods for providing excellent service and refreshments throughout the day, also the council for its commitment to tenant involvement provision, and for listening to and acting upon their tenants' views.

Commenting on the overall success of the day, Councillor Pauline Stott, Chairman of East Devon’s Housing Review Board, said:

The conference was an excellent day with plenty of active participation, which everyone appeared to enjoy greatly. It was lovely for all the tenants to get together and to exchange views, as well as meet our officers. A good day was had by all.