BETRA Tenant Management Organisation (TMO) was formed in April 2004, part of a government scheme to help give back some power to residents on estates.
We are run by a small, voluntary board consisting of local residents, supported by the estate manager, Lindsey Taylor, and a small staff team.
We strive to make our community a friendly, welcoming and comfortable place to live. We work to ensure that our estate is maintained and our residents supported to the highest levels possible. And we encourage residents to play an active part in the running of our organisation, the building of our community.
Set in Harold Hill, part of the London Borough of Havering in East London, our estate is made up of 13 Houses, all of which are three stories high:
The last Wednesday of each month, in the boardroom,
Meet friends and neighbours for an easy-going chat over a few games of bingo, followed by an end of game buffet on the house. All
Next BETRA Board meeting
The latest BETRA News
Our newsletter is published quarterly. If you would like to contribute an article, perhaps on the ways we can improve our community, or if you have any other suggestions for the things we could include, please get in touch with Lindsey. All ideas welcome.
See back copies of BETRA News.
Other publications from BETRA
BETRA News isn't the only new publication to tell you about. We also have brand new editions of both our. Also available to read on this website is our Out-of-hours Emergency Procedures booklet and our Residents Handbook.
Need help with computers?
Residents sometimes ask us for help with using computers. In fact, there is help available in our local neighbourhood.
ICT Skills Training
At The Betty Strathern Centre, ICT Skills Training provide free basic computer courses to local adult communities in the areas of East London and Essex.
Training ranges from the basics, such as how to turn on a computer, searching the Internet, creating and using emails, to more advanced accredited courses using the Microsoft Office programmes. For the accredited courses, there would be a small charge towards the cost of your second qualification certification.
Tuesdays 10:15 – 12:15 at Betty Strathern Centre, 41 Myrtle Road, Harold Hill, Romford, Essex, RM3 8XS Website: ictskillstraining.org.uk
Harold Hill Library
Then there's always Harold Hill Library. Our local is located on Hilldene Avenue. It’s a very popular facility, fully accessible, and with lots of events and activities, including a Citizens Advice Service every Monday and Thursday 10am-2pm.
You can phone Harold Hill Library on 01708 434973 for more information. Here ere are some of the facilities it has to offer:
• 11 computers providing internet access • Homework station
• Four car parking spaces
• Six cycle posts
• Limited Exhibition space
• Adult reading group
• Young at Heart group that meets the last Tuesday of every month
• "Reading Buddies" to help your children develop their reading skills
• Regular baby rhyme time sessions for under threes and story times for under fives
• Black and white photocopier
• E-books and audio books.
Winter drawers on!
In the work we do here at BETRA, we try to represent and respond to the needs and wishes of our residents. To do this, we need to know what your views are, and that is why we organise an annual survey of residents’ views.
This survey usually goes out to all households on the estate around March or April. Whatever your concerns are, we want to hear about them. And if your views are shared by others, they will help shape BETRA’s priorities in the year ahead.
Deciding our priorities
Estate manager Lloyd offers these examples. “This year, we have given greater attention to the problems of fly-tipping and the removal of graffiti because residents expressed their concerns about these issues in last year’s survey.
It is important to us that all residents take part in the survey. That way we can get a complete picture of what the community thinks, rather than just hearing from the same few voices year after year.
So, when the survey pops though your letterbox in a month or two’s time, please make a point of filing it in. It won’t take you more than 10 minutes and it will mean your voice is heard.
Lloyd Edwards writes:
I’ve been in post for six months now, and it seems like a good time to reflect a little on what I’ve learnt, and what I hope we can achieve in the months and years ahead.
For a start, I’ve learned that there is more to this job than meets the eye. The financial side of managing aTMO was always bound to be a challenge: our annual grant is fixed, and limited, so responsible budgeting is a must.
There is also the challenge of managing a team, making sure that every member - both staff and volunteers - are able to contribute to their full potential.
Last but least, there are the on-going challenges of being the first point of contact for residents seeking help and advice, and engaging residents in our work, encouraging everyone who lives here to take pride in the neighbourhood.
Perhaps there is nothing more important than this last point. Building a sense of community is in everyone’s interest, and is everyone’s business. BETRA has a special responsibility to champion this idea, creating opportunities for residents to play their part. Young achievers
Finally, one thing we would like to do is celebrate the achievements of younger residents, perhaps with a picture and caption in the newsletter. So if you know of any local youngsters who have - or are about to - achieve something special (eg, the Duke of Edinburgh award scheme, a fundraising or volunteering venture, or a sporting achievement) we would love to hear about it.
Fancy joining our Board?
With some of our present Board likely to step down in the not too distant future, BETRA will soon be looking for new recruits to our executive board. This is an opportunity for residents to become involved in the running of our organisation and this estate. Anyone living on the Barnstaple Estate is eligible to stand, and our new estate manager, Lloyd Edwards would be delighted to talk through the possibility with any interested residents.
You can’t miss us!
Residents have complained that visitors and cab drivers sometimes struggle to find them. Not any more. New signs are going up around the estate. Slightly less elegant than the originals, they are undoubtedly more prominent and therefore easier to see. Drivers who don’t see them probably shouldn't be driving!