What we need to do right, now
On the 17 October 2007 there was a huge movement which started in the UK and completed some five years later on 24 October 2012. The campaign was supported by hand-delivered flyers, posters on lampposts, billboards, in shop windows, by radio and TV advertising – just about everywhere. What I’m talking about is the digital TV switchover.
In contrast, the Government’s new welfare reform bill saw the biggest change to the welfare system for over 60 years. A wide range of reforms were introduced to make the benefits and tax credits systems fairer and simpler. It's also aimed at getting more people into work and reduce the welfare bill.
Have you seen the swarm of marketing campaigns littering the streets and bursting through your letterbox? Nope, me neither.
At Bromford around 70,000 customers live in our 28,000 homes, so we know that the introduction of Welfare Reform is going to hit a large number of our customers pretty hard. But what are we going to do about it?
We’ve taken a pro-active approach. We know we need to get the key messages out there, and fast. Yes, these are likely to change, and change again, and then again some more, but those closest to its delivery need this communicating. Having been to an information roadshow organised to help colleagues understand the changes last week, it was encouraging to hear what was being said.
Yes, it’s hard-hitting, worrying and depressing at times, but it’s great to hear about the hard work that's going on behind the scenes to put the support in place for our customers. There are lots of changes afoot, but I’m confident that with the bundles of energy, enthusiasm and financial investment we are putting into this, we will do our upmost to give our customers the best opportunity to come out of this in a better place.
By the way, I work in the learning and development (L&D) at Bromford – not in our customer service centre, housing or support – but I’m as passionate as anyone else is here about the role our organisation plays within our communities. So, alongside our fantastic L&D team, we are working together to package and deliver learning material which can support and coach colleagues and customers alike.
The message may not be loud and clear out there on the streets, but Bromford is shouting from its foundations, across social and all the way down to the houses of parliament. I hope you and yours are doing the same too.
To find out more about Welfare Reform and how it could affect you take a look here.