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Sheila’s #GreenWarrior story


[8 December 2023] Sheila shares her experiences supporting tenants through retrofit works as a resident liaison officer for Wates Group.


    Please note: this news article is from an archive, and may now include information, references or terminology that is out of date. Please refer to the main sections of this website for latest information.

    For the past 20 years, Sheila Gibson has been working with residents who are undergoing works in their homes.  As a resident liaison officer, she provides support to people throughout the retrofit programme to ensure that energy efficiency measures can be installed with minimal disruption to their daily lives.

    A resident liaison officer is a key role within a retrofit programme.  They act as the first point of contact for residents, keeping them informed and up to date on the project and being on hand to answer questions and respond to concerns.

    Resident engagement is a crucial part of delivering a retrofit programme and required within PAS 2035.  By involving a resident liaison officer in a project team, organisations can improve residents’ experiences of the project and secure greater resident buy-in.  This is important for fostering good long-term maintenance of upgrades and creating a good foundation for potential future projects.

    Talking about the important role she plays in supporting residents, Sheila said: “I’m like a shoulder to cry on for some people, we sort of come together a bit in sharing experiences, advice and a chat”.

    Recently, Sheila has been working with Wates as they help deliver Nottinghamshire County Council and Bassetlaw and Mansfield District Councils’ SHDF Demonstrator programme.  She has helped residents through the process as they receive measures including external wall insulation, triple glazing and smart air bricks.

    “I just like having that friendly relationship”

    For her, the job of a resident liaison officer is all about developing a rapport with residents.  “I just like having that friendly relationship”, she said, “I'm there to listen to the moans and the groans, but that’s part of the job!”.  Sheila describes how residents will often thank her for her support at the end of projects and even give her gifts: “But you know you don’t expect that, I'm doing a job, I don’t expect any thanks for it, but it’s nice. When they appreciate you.”

    Over her career, she has grown in confidence when it comes to meeting and communicating with new people as a resident liaison officer.   While working with people, especially when coming into their homes, it's important that they both feel comfortable and safe.  When it comes to making a positive impact in the role, Sheila says “just be yourself with tenants, it is about building relationships.”

    Wave 2.2 of the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund is open and housing providers can now bid for up to £80 million. Full guidance from the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero can be found here.

    Complete the simple SHRA's Self Assessment to find out what support we can offer you.

    Take a look at the following resources for more information on resident engagement.

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