A northern housing provider has created a new committee that will give customers a bigger say in how the landlord delivers services across the North East and Yorkshire.

The committee will report to the board of housing association, Thirteen to make sure services are influenced by customers, and that they meet customers’ expectations.

As part of their role, the committee will look at Thirteen’s recent feedback and performance information to give their perspective on the services and business decisions that have an impact on customers.

The group will also review reports from involved customers to give assurance to the board that Thirteen is compliant with the standards that housing associations need to meet.

The customers that have recently joined the committee bring a range of different skills and experience and have spoken about the insight and ideas they hope to bring to Thirteen.

Thornaby resident Dawn Keogh is a mother of four daughters who is passionate about making a positive difference for the future generation.

Dawn first got involved with Thirteen when she joined the Social Housing Tenants’ Climate Jury, a customer group looking at ways to tackle climate change in homes and neighbourhoods.

Her role in the jury is what motivated Dawn to join the customer committee, which she describes as an exciting next step in helping to improve services and opportunities for other customers of Thirteen.

Dawn said: “Climate change is still a big interest of mine and I hope to promote the benefits of making homes more sustainable.

“I’m a big believer in equal opportunities for everyone, and as a customer committee member at Thirteen, I hope to make sure that people know where to turn to for support when they need it.”

Yaadam Sarr, a customer committee member from Stockton, has been a Thirteen customer for two years after moving to the UK from Canada in 2017.

She has a degree in business administration, which she describes as one of her biggest achievements, and her professional background includes experience in customer service, accounting and finance.

Yaadam said: “As a mother of three young children, I was interested in joining the customer committee as an opportunity to give back to my community in a way that fits around my busy lifestyle.

“I’m passionate about engaging in activities that improve the welfare of people and communities, and I hope that my insight will have a positive impact on the lives of other Thirteen customers.”

The customer committee will meet at least four times a year and will also have the opportunity to give their feedback in areas such as home repairs, customer communication, tenant satisfaction measures, complaints handling and sustaining positive engagement with other customers.

Matt Forrest, Thirteen’s chief executive, said: “Customers are at the heart of our decision making at Thirteen, which is why the set up of our new committee is such an important step forward in enhancing the customer voice and making sure the views of people in our communities are represented.

“We’re delighted to have five of our customers join the committee and we’re looking forward to working with them to help deliver a great experience for customers now and in the future.”