Southway Housing Trust received ERDF monies to install air source heat pumps, cavity wall and loft insulation on the Arrowfield estate in South Manchester. So far, so good. Even better, they wanted to ‘work with’ not ‘do to’ tenants and help raise their awareness of carbon reduction, so they commissioned us to carry out extensive community engagement before, during and after the works were completed.

Our engagement was carried out in three stages. Firstly, we raised tenants’ awareness of the work and informed them about what to expect through varied communications, organising a ‘Keep Warm, Keep Well’ event, and provided information to tenants via phone calls and door-knocking.

Secondly, we spoke to those who had an air source heat pump installed to understand their experiences and what was most helpful. This feedback helped improve the service for other tenants in real time.

Thirdly, we conducted 70 phone interviews six months after all air source heat pumps were fitted to explore tenant satisfaction, ease of use, impact on energy costs, health and wellbeing, and saving energy.

For Southway, our tailored engagement resulted in a regular ‘temperature check’ of how tenants were feeling so they could address and respond quickly to issues. Southway demonstrated that they care about tenants’ views and experiences. We shared the final learnings in an evaluation report with case studies and by facilitating a workshop with stakeholders which explored how this could inform future heating strategies and retrofit programmes.

“Forever provided clear communication and guidance throughout the project on communication and feedback from residents. Approaches are forward thinking and gave fresh ideas to tenant engagement.”

Matt Roberts, Strategic Director, Southway Housing