Hillcrest Housing Association, Ltd. provides housing and support services to over 6000 tenants on the East Coast of Scotland. The aim of our work was to improve tenant participation and to redesign services provided.


Tenant Participation Group (TPG)

Tenant participation and engagement activities

Dundee Global GovJam


September 2017 – May 2018


Open Change ran a series of training sessions for Hillcrest Housing Association’s Tenant Participation Group in 2017. The aim was to introduce user-friendly methods to help tenants and staff create co-designed tenant participation activities. During the sessions, we helped participants explore methods such as journey mapping, open user interviews, and observation. From participants’ feedback, we found out that people “liked the friendly, helpful approach, the presentation, the setting and the discussion. Completing the personas was also enjoyable.”

In April and May 2018, 16 staff from across Hillcrest Housing Association took part in four days of training, learning service design methods to explore innovative ways of increasing tenant participation and better meet their needs. Staff were introduced to journey mapping, digital storytelling, interviewing methods, observational research and prototyping. Participants applied their learning to their own area of work. Outputs included vox pop interviews, observational research studies, reflections on using social media, ‘how to’ videos, information design analysis, observational videos and prototypes of an improved customer reception. Four projects were prototyped for further development and a roadmap defined.

“Hillcrest is a charity that provides low cost affordable housing and services that allow tenants to live in a more fulfilling way. At Hillcrest we have had 30 staff and tenants interact with Open Change. Learning with Mike and Hazel allowed staff and tenants to create new ways of gathering customer insights and work as a community to problem solve.  It’s a positive, productive and inspiring process. My key takeaway from working with Open Change is that by giving staff the right energy and methods the ideas that they generate and the work that they can produce is limitless.”

– Emily McCulley, Tenant Participation Officer

Some staff and tenants of Hillcrest took part in Dundee Global GovJam, which you can read about here.

Further information

Find our summary of TPG project ran with Hillcrest in 2017.

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