Pauline has been an involved resident for over 35 years, contributing to her local community and the wider Clarion service provision in numerous ways.
“I started getting involved in 1984 back when it was William Sutton Trust. My kids were at school and I had some time on my hands.
“There was a residents’ association in our neighbourhood and I was persuaded to become a committee member. It was a non-office bearer’s role, so it didn’t take up too much time. That didn’t last too long, I was secretary soon after.”
Pauline has not stopped since, holding a succession of posts: “there were so many involvement opportunities offered to us over the years.”
Pauline has turned her hand to everything – funding applications, property inspections, policy documents and community gardening. And to support her involvement she has taken part in training courses from computers to sign language, motivated by a desire “to build new skills as well as helping the community”.
Being involved gives such a sense of satisfaction. I get to help so many people locally, but hopefully make a difference to all Clarion residents.
As a keen advocate for getting involved, Pauline is enthusiastic about the mutual benefits being an active member of the community brings.
“Resident involvement has been a really positive thing for me and for where I live. I would definitely recommend getting involved with Clarion. It will make a difference.
“I’ve worked with so many people, from the top to the bottom. And Clarion are listening: I’ve heard the negative, but I’ve seen the positive. It’s given me such a good understanding of the social housing sector.
“Most importantly, I’ve made friends and have played my part in making the area a community.”
Currently, Pauline is a member of the regional property engagement group. Local involvement includes being a green inspector, monthly estate inspections and being part of the neighbourhood task team, which holds regular meetings with the council and local police.
In addition, Pauline is still part of the residents group, running activities alongside TimeBank, who manage the community centre.
During the pandemic, she has also been helping neighbours, growing vegetables in the community garden and tending the memorial garden.
She is also still able to participate in the policy and communication review group, as this is managed online – reviewing policies and documents – but is looking forward to participating more fully in community life and resident involvement activities when Covid-19 restrictions allow.
“Making a community takes work. I’d like to see younger residents get more involved – there’s something for everyone, and every little bit does help.”