Our Customer Scrutiny Panel

The customer scrutiny panel are a group of South Yorkshire Housing Association customers that all have different life experiences, and bring a range of perspectives, skills and ideas. The current group has been running for over two years, and some members have over 10 years of experience of scrutiny in various forms at SYHA.

In 2022, the scrutiny panel conducted their first Annual Health Check, and this highlighted that service charges were an important topic to review.

A montage of individual photos of our customer scrutiny panel.

“SYHA need to be more transparent and clearer on what service charges are being used for. We felt that tenants didn’t get a transparent breakdown of what was included in their service charge, and that some people did not really understand what they were paying for.”

from the Customer Scrutiny Panel’s Annual Health Check

The panel also noted that the rising cost of living means it is even more important that our customers know what their payments are being spent on.

They spent time with Simon Young, our Head of Landlord Services, and surveyed customers to get their opinions. Based on the panels’ findings, 10 recommendations were made, including:

  • Ensure people are told when their service charges change, why this has happened, and what the additional payments are for.
  • Understand people’s preferences for how service charge information is communicated, and consider how we can use different communications methods to reduce costs and our impact on the environment.
  • Ensure people know how to get in touch if they have any questions, feedback or complaints about service charges.

The panel are looking forward to starting their next scrutiny topic, which is looking at the standard of empty homes before they are made available to rent. We are currently recruiting new panel members – please contact Joanne Szurko on j.szurko@syha.co.uk or call 0114 2900 200 if you’d like to get involved.

“Thank you for making us happy”

Our extra-care customers and local children have created fun and friendships in their weekly intergenerational sessions. The Meadows and White Willows have welcomed students from Watercliffe Meadow Primary School and Mossbrook School, and Whitfield House has collaborated with Be Well Glossop to get together with little visitors from Southview Day Nursery.

Everyone has enjoyed activities including crafts, gardening, board games, stories and sports days. A big thanks to our customers and children for taking part, and to all involved in supporting these special events.

Two older women and three young children sat around a table decorating gingerbread men.

“I love the afternoons with the lovely children, they are all polite and friendly and it is a pleasure to be with them. I hope the afternoons continue – thank you for making us happy.”

Feedback from our customer

“If you are sad before you go it calms you down, and you have a kind heart after.”

Feedback from a Watercliffe Meadow student

More moments of joy at the Lister Project and Beaufort Project

Maya Productions are a diverse-led theatre company who work across the UK, and have recently run two 12-week creative participation projects at our Lister and Beaufort Project services. They have partnered with us to deliver the first year of a three-year Baring Foundation funded project, and have worked with our customers to explore different art forms – including visual arts, poetry and video, making a short film, pieces of art, and zines.

The Baring Foundation research study Creatively Minded highlighted that “few diverse-led organisations were specifically devoted to arts and health work and that ethnically diverse people were not well represented, either as service users or within the workforce of the arts and health organisations”. A key aspect of this project is to develop the skills and career progression of racially and ethnically diverse arts practitioners to work with people with mental health conditions.

At the end of the project a piece of performance will be created with our customers, and a highlights film from this first stage of the project will be available in October.


A hand in front of a photo frame filled with some images. The central image contains text that says 'this is my happy place'.