Customer Challenge Group

Who we are

The Challenge Group has been set up by customers, working for improvements in the way SYHA delivers its services. We have a strong focus on the customer experience and we aim to be a driving force to improve the services offered by SYHA.

There are currently four members of the Challenge Group and we are all volunteers. For the last year we have received intensive training to equip us with the knowledge and skills to enable us to carry out our role effectively. We now have a good understanding of the services on offer from SYHA.

We have been supported by Kevin Farrell an independent mentor from TPAS (The Tenant Participation Advisory Service) to help us with action planning, delivery and reporting as well as providing training and support.

“As Chair, I really appreciate the time and commitment our Challenge Group members give us. Their recent examination of our work on welfare benefits helped confirm we were on the right track and also brought some practical ideas for improvements. The group brings a new level of scrutiny and challenge and helps makes sure the Board gets to hear the customer voice.”  Barbara Walsh – Chair of SYHA’s Board

What does the Challenge Group do?

  • We choose the services to review on the basis of information supplied by SYHA such as business plans, as well as feedback from staff and customers
  • We carry out two service reviews per year, acting as a ‘critical friend’ to  SYHA primarily focusing on customer-facing services.
  • Residents can also suggest what services we review. We call this a ‘call for action’
  • To review the service we meet with SYHA staff, speak to customers and shadow staff going about their work
  • Once we have reviewed a service we produce a report, including our recommendations, which will be available to customers and staff alike
  • SYHA then reviews the report and work out how best to act on it.

Scrutiny reports and action plans

Our first review was completed in May 2014 and we looked at customer satisfaction with SYHA’s response to the government’s welfare reforms. During the review we looked at a wide range of issues, from how tenants had been supported during the introduction of the ‘bedroom tax’, to the ways in which SYHA can help to communicate with government departments online. We spoke with customers and we carried out a satisfaction survey by text messaging. You can read our report and SYHA’s response, below.

Download Latest Report

Interested in joining the Challenge Group?

The Challenge has an influential role in monitoring the performance, service delivery, plans and priorities for SYHA.

This is an important, high profile role, which will require commitment from you. We are keen to encourage a wide range of people to join us and would welcome interest from anyone who is not already involved.

Who can join?

As a customer you will already have invaluable experience of SYHA’s services. Some knowledge of the services provided would be good but not essential. Additional qualities that would be useful are:

  • Ability to identify both positive and negative aspects of service delivery
  • A willingness to talk about solutions and contribute ideas
  • Work with others in a team to achieve goals and respect other team members
  • Ability to be objective, honest and open

What will I get in return?

  • A training package is in place to ensure you have the skills you need.
  • It will increase skills and confidence that can help you in your personal and professional life.
  • Work as part of a team of tenants and make new friends
  • The satisfaction that you can really make a difference to the services that tenants receive.
  • Your own iPad so you can connect up with the group
  • Broadband costs covered and if you don’t currently have broadband SYHA will help with the costs to get you connected
  • Cover any out of pocket expenses you might have
  • £50 reward for every completed challenge
  • Great opportunity to learn new skills and add something new to your CV
  • Find out how SYHA works

To find out more information please contact James Smith on 0114 2908 356 or email