Have your say locally

Customer groups


A local customer group is a group of people who live in a neighbourhood and decide that they want to get together to discuss any issues that affect their local community.

The group may also decide to organise events and activities to benefit their local area.

The group can include any Riverside customers.

Any issues that a customer group feels Riverside should be aware of can be fed back through area wide hubs which are groups including customers and Riverside staff.

Find your local community group

If you’re interested in joining a local community group, please drop us an email  [email protected] and we will do our best to link you up with the nearest customer group to you. Please include your address so we can identify the nearest geographical group.

Set up a community group

Thinking about setting a local group up in your area? Here’s a simple step by step guide on how to do it.

Find out if others are interested

If you are thinking about setting up a group in your area, the first thing you need to do is speak with other Riverside customers and find out if people are interested. Ideas for assessing interest include:

  • Talking to other customers
  • Posting the idea on social media or on a communal notice board asking people to respond if they are interested
  • Leaflet dropping and door knocking

Building support

You can then look to obtain additional support from other customers. Ideas on obtaining further support include:

  • Using posters and flyers
  • Door-knocking
  • Holding a meeting for interested customers
  • Setting up a group using social media
  • Talk to other customers about the benefits of starting a group, and how it can be a great way to work positively with Riverside and other organisations
  • Other customers may have views and suggestions; however some customers may not want to be involved at all.

Who will lead and support with the initial setting up?

If you find that there is support for a group, then it is good to elect a small number of customers who will be able to lead on setting up the group during the early stages. Some things to think about include:

  • Drafting a constitution. The Riverside Customer Involvement and Engagement Team can support you with, the main points to think about are:
    ~ The group name
    ~ The area the group will cover
    ~ Aims and objectives – what do you want to achieve
    ~ How often and where should the group meet
    ~ What positions within the group will you have and what is their role and purpose?
  • Setting a date and location for your initial meeting

The first meeting

When organising the first meeting you should consider the following:

  • Where will you hold the first meeting. Often local businesses and community centres have rooms available for hire. Try to hold the meeting close to the properties the group will cover, people are then more likely to show interest
  • Make sure any venue is fully wheelchair accessible (if the meeting is not held on the ground floor – make sure there is a lift)
  • Consider what time to hold your meeting. You want to make it easy for everyone to attend, so think about people that may have other commitments
  • How will people know about the meeting – ideas include using posters, leaflets, or door-knocking. It is also good to remind people a day or two before the meeting.
  • Put together an agenda. Ideas for your agenda include:
    ~ Welcome and introductions / Purpose of the Meeting including aims and objectives / Roles within the group e.g Chair, Treasurer, Secretary

Planning the first meeting

This is the ideal time for you to really promote the benefits of having a group, and a chance to secure more support. It is also a chance for you to agree your constitution and formally elect your committee. Here are some tips to make your meeting successful:

  • Who will lead the meeting
  • Arrive early to set up the venue
  • Have spare copies of any documents
  • Have refreshments available (tea, coffee, juice etc.)
  • Make sure the environment is friendly and welcoming
  • Give everyone a chance to interact socially
  • Keep a record of who has attended. This can be done by handing round an attendance sheet
  • Try and keep to the agenda and be aware of time. You do not want your meeting to run on longer than planned
  • Encourage customers to share their thoughts

Next steps

The Riverside Customer Engagement and Involvement Team can provide guidance setting up and running a Residents Association. Please email: [email protected]

We are always very happy to hear your views, opinions and ideas to help ensure we provide a first rate service for our customers.