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

We welcome observers. Use the link below to let us know if you would like to attend. Our next meetings are: Tuesday 15 March, Wednesday 13 April and Thursday 12 May.

Get in touch

Meet the engagement panel

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    Pete Kennedy-Watson

    co-chair

    Pete Kennedy-Watson

    co-chair

    Hello, I’m Pete.  I live in Welsh Back, Queen Square, Bristol.

    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.

    As someone who lived in social housing until I was 20 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, and I be contacted via the engagement team at Brighter Places.

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    Angela Russell

    co-chair

    Angela Russell

    co-chair

    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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    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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    Vixie Male

    panel member

    Vixie Male

    panel member

    Hello, I’m Vixie and I live in Clifton.

    I moved to Bristol four years ago after spending 10 years in East London and growing up in Somerset.

    I work as a hospital doctor in and around Bristol. If I have any spare time, you can find me outdoors; walking, running or paddleboarding or eating at one of Bristol’s great restaurants.

    I joined the panel to gain experience in management. I have experience as a trainee rep for my colleagues and feel I can represent other people’s views fairly.

    Having lived in ex-social housing in East London and currently shared ownership in Bristol I hope that I can empathise with most people’s situation and have an awareness of the problems they may have.

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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.