Two residents sitting on a sofa having a discussion

Engagement panel

Residents have been involved from day one in everything we do. Our engagement panel is key to decision-making. Here you can read notes from our meetings, get dates for next meetings and send a message to the panel via email.

Next meetings

Any Brighter Places resident is welcome to observe an engagement panel meeting. Our next meetings are Tuesday 4th of June, Wednesday 3rd of July and Thursday 1st of August.

Get in touch

Meet the engagement panel

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    Pete Kennedy-Watson

    chair

    Pete Kennedy-Watson

    chair

    Hello, I am Pete.  I live in Welsh Back (Queen Square, Bristol) with my husband.

    My interests include resident engagement, anti-social behaviour, communities, truly affordable homes, and the environment.

    During my career I have worked mainly in the not-for-profit sector and since August 2013, I have worked for the NHS mainly as a researcher (self-harm and suicide, working on the Bristol Self-Harm Surveillance Register). Since March 2021, I have worked as a research data manager (Paediatric Haematology, Oncology and BMT). I have hon. status at The University of Bristol (Bristol Medical School).

    I joined the panel because I have lived experience as a resident, but I wanted to build on this, working with the panel of residents and colleagues. I felt the merger was a good time for us all to engage and have our voices heard.

    I am also pleased to have joined the steering group looking at equality, diversity and inclusion, so important given the pandemic, working with the  board and engagement panel on the Bridge meetings and of course chairing the engagement panel with Angela.

    As someone who lived in social housing until I was twenty when I left home for university in Plymouth, I know that secure housing had a large part to play in making my life safer, happier, and allowed me to move forward in life.

    I would encourage other residents to take any opportunity they can to engage – it is so rewarding!  I am happy to discuss my experience with anyone who is interested.  If you would like to contact me, please email panel.chair@brighterplaces.co.uk

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    Angela Russell

    panel member

    Angela Russell

    panel member

    Hello, I’m Angela. I was born in Essex but have lived in Totterdown, Bristol since 1970.

    I’m now retired but I was an intensive care nurse until an injury stopped me working as a nurse.  I then worked for several years in the estates department.

    I’ve always been loved being in the community, and I used to run the local playgroup. I’m very proud to say that the Totterdown children’s workshop was started in the early 1980’s by myself and a group of other keen parents. This is still running today.

    I volunteer at a local charity shop and spend one day away providing activities at a dementia specialist nursing home.

    I joined the panel because I am passionate about community inclusion. Totterdown is an area with many different nationalities and faiths living together in harmony.

    I have a special interest in the maintenance of both accommodation and community spaces. My local community managed to secure an area as a village green thus preventing it being built on.

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    Mike Sheppard

    panel member

    Mike Sheppard

    panel member

    Hello, I’m Mike and I live in Southville, Bristol.

    I’ve been a (Solon) now Brighter Places resident for over 30 years, living in Southville for 30 years.

    I have done a lot of personal growth over the years, graduating university to having worked in factories and on building sites.

    I have worked in various areas of operation including computer programming, gaining lots of experience and qualifications. In my later years, I have suffered with ill health which has meant I have had to slow down.

    I joined the panel because I felt it was a good opportunity to be involved to improve things that have not worked well over the years, but also to ensure that things that have worked well are held onto.

    I am impressed by the intention of Brighter Places, to make it as user-friendly as possible by letting resident get involved and be at the heart of all it does. I believe Brighter Places does want to give the best service it can to its residents.

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    Jon Kent

    panel member

    Jon Kent

    panel member

    Hello, I’m Jon and I live in Totterdown, Bristol.

    I worked in local journalism as a photographer for many years but now I work as a visitor assistant at Bristol Museum and Art Gallery.

    I’m involved in art and music, and I am currently working on a photography project about Totterdown.

    I joined the panel because I believe we should all have a voice, and we should all be involved in the changes we’d like to see.

    I think there are several areas of our housing association that need looking at that and that could be done better.  In particular, maintenance/repairs and general communication.

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    Sophia Smith

    panel member

    Sophia Smith

    panel member

    Hello, I’m Sophia and I live in south Bristol

    I am a mother of four children who keep me busy! But when I do get some time to myself, I enjoy walking and helping others where I can.

    I joined the panel because having been a Solon resident (now Brighter Places) since 2004, I have been lucky to experience when things worked well, but also when things didn’t work so well. I have seen and felt the changes over the years, and hope that the joining together of housing associations bring positive, and productive change.  I believe some of the old systems worked well and should never have changed. Perhaps these need revisiting.

    I currently work in the emergency services so can offer knowledge around topics, concerns that others may not have an insight into. Working with the other panel members and the skills they bring, we hope to be a voice for those of you who feel unheard, to assist with decisions that impact on us all.

    As fellow residents, your input is important to help shape Brighter Places to be a housing association you trust to get things right first time, and one where you feel safe.

    Please get in touch and let us be the impartial help you may have been missing.

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    Martyn Lewis

    panel member

    Martyn Lewis

    panel member

    Hello, I’m Martyn.  I was born in Bristol, although I have worked in parts of Europe and in the Far East.

    I retired from being a freelance Architect/Electrical Engineer in 2019 and now have plenty of time on my hands after spending over fifty years designing numerous types of buildings for a variety of clients. It is very nice to see most of the buildings are still standing and in daily use.

    During my forties I had a change of direction for about five years and became a professional fashion and glamour photographer.  Although I returned to my first love of designing beautiful buildings some of the people I met in the fashion industry are still some of my best friends and I’ve kept my connection with photography.  I’m a member of the Professional Photographers Association and take photographs of things that interest me.

    One of my greatest pleasures is my painting in oils and watercolour and I give my artwork to my many friends as Christmas gifts or birthday presents.

    My main reason for joining the engagement panel is because of my interest in buildings and social housing projects and how some occupants mistreat their house or flats as they are not their property taking the attitude that the landlord will rectify all defects and damage purely because they pay the rent for their housing. I will help Brighter Places educate some tenants on looking after their house or flat, how to get more  satisfaction from living in a Brighter Place property, and how to make their building more efficient during the increasing costs of energy.

    Using my career experience I can also help with reviewing sub contactors tender returns for prospective work with Brighter Places, advise on running contracts  and final inspections upon project completion  to ensure all works have been carried out as requested by Brighter Places.

    I am prepared to speak with other residents in my immediate vicinity with any problems they may have either with Brighter Places or their neighbours.

     

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    Roselyn Ramgeet

    panel member

    Roselyn Ramgeet

    panel member

    Hello, I’m Roselyn and I live in St Paul’s/Montpellier, Bristol.

    My passion is helping young people and community engagement.  All my previous jobs have been around helping young people in some form, from working in schools, to youth work and family support.  I’ve also invested lots of time over the years helping others and organising events in my community.

    My last job was based in the East/Central community.  I was a community empowerment officer, which I thoroughly enjoyed.  I worked with adults over 50, helping them utilise their skills and making sure they were not lonely or isolated.

    Away from work, I really enjoy playing sport.  Netball and basketball are my favourites. I’ve always had a passion for arts and crafts, and I’ve just recently started making hand-made wooden ludo boards again.

    I joined the panel for a few reasons. After my last job in the community, which was working for a different house of association, I realised that we had lots of stressed people unhappy with their living conditions. I am a very good listener and negotiator; I love talking to people in my community and I think I have skills to offer.

    I also like to make a difference.  There are numerous things that need changing within the housing association. I like to voice my opinion, so I was delighted to come on board.

    Rather than moaning to people who can’t help, I’m being proactive, a shout out was made for panel members, so here I am, hoping to make a difference with the rest of the team.

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