Wishing you and your loved ones a very Merry Christmas and a happy New Year.
As 2021 draws to a close, we can agree this year has been another filled with challenges for so many as a result of the uncertainty that Covid-19 brings. Who could have predicted, almost two years after it reared its head, that the pandemic would still have an impact on our way of life. Throughout the festive break, and as we move into a new and hopeful year, the TIS team and I wish you and your loved ones moments of joy amidst the uncertainty.
Despite the difficulties, the TIS team has achieved successes throughout the past 12-months – and not without the vital support of our membership community and key partners. I would like to celebrate and reflect on those pinnacle moments before we enter a new phase of fresh challenges, goals, and ambitions.
Throughout 2021, the team continued to adapt to home working and embraced alternative, creative approaches to support communities and housing organisations across the sector to work together and develop effective tenant participation and engagement solutions. Our focus was exploring a blended learning approach that provided equal learning opportunities and harnessed the delivery of housing and wider community services more effectively and with more choice. Click here to download the TIS Digital Strategy 2021-24 which highlights how we will continue to utilise technology long-term to complement our traditional strengths.
After thirty-two years of supporting communities and housing organisations, we were also thrilled to secure charity status from the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR). Whilst we have always been a not-for-profit organisation, the achievement of charitable status is a boost to our activities and we are excited to explore the opportunities this will bring in 2022 and beyond.
We were also equally successful in securing funding for a unique, two-and-a-half-year city-wide project, focused in Glasgow. The grant awarded by the Glasgow Communities Fund has concentrated on the establishment of the Engage Influence Change (EIC) project which aims to empower communities to become more involved in the social, economic, and cultural life of Glasgow.
As a result, we were delighted to partner Glasgow City Council and trail blaze a first of its kind, Tenant-Led Housing Commission for the Private Rented Sector. Inspiring residents from across the city were invited to apply for a voluntary position on the Commission Board and become instrumental in shaping Glasgow’s housing future.
Over 250 bookings were received from tenants and housing professionals to attend our first-ever virtual National Housing Conference which was staged online as a result of Covid-19. The new online format certainly did not disappoint with virtual attendees eager to make the most of more than 15 live broadcast sessions, that boasted an unrivalled line-up of sector leader speakers; engaging panel discussion; and interactive workshops across the 3 half-day agenda.
TIS membership continued to grow, and we are now proud to reach over 233,778 tenants from our housing organisation community alone. New members we welcomed this year included Clackmannanshire Council, Reidvale Housing Association, and Rural Stirling Housing Association. Over the past 12-months, we have been successful in expanding the benefits that we offer – including free tenant, resident, scrutiny, and community group packages. Get organised for the year ahead and spread to the word to the groups that you work with to join.
And we are not stopping there. The TIS team has been working to develop an innovative, new online community platform that enables our members to network directly with one another, bring content together, share knowledge and good practice examples, and gain peer support. There’s space for polls, posts, questions, and discussions that will bring people together in conversation. Members, look out for you invitation to join the new, online community platform early January.
Thank you to our members and key partners who continually support TIS and have helped our organisation to grow stronger. We are grateful for your encouragement. From all the team at TIS, we hope you have a happy and healthy Christmas and New Year. Please note, the TIS office will be closed from Monday 20th December 2021 and will reopen on Monday 10th January 2022.
With very best wishes – Ilene Campbell, Chief Executive.
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