We duly signed up to something we feel very strongly about, so a day before the Homes for Wales event following our community voice meetings and a farewell do for a member of the team of staff who look after us Claire Douglas, we went to make a video sharing our concerns and fears and hopes for not just us but future generations.
The day came the next morning actually. Our taxi from nexus house came to collect us and another resident John Hill of our challenge panel known by us as scrutiny, we could only surmise at that moment what would happen in Cardiff. We wondered who would be there dare I say in the trenches with us.
We arrived at Newport city homes HQ and all was duly explained over coffee and bacon rolls oh they were moreish – Hawkeye, you look like you’ve swallowed a tennis shoe, you’re drooling.) A military style briefing was given by our Jon Conway whose official title is Resident Engagement Officer. Like the rest of us, he and the team feel what we feel, it’s like a big happy family we look out for each other.
Jon gave an uplifting speech to rally the troops. I felt like asking what beach we are going in on – Gold, Juno, Sword, Omaha – we felt ready to take on the world we were all having a giggle about one thing and another this set the tone for the rest of the day for us all.
At 11am we were boarding the coach for the Senedd - the Welsh Parliament Building – armed with our caps banners and rosettes, it felt right. We arrived 30 minutes later. Leaving the coach about 500 or so yards from the steps to the Senedd, we walked the rest of the way, in passing what I now know to be the pier head building near by a lovely Victorian building.
We all assembled at the assembly building where we heard people’s voices. People were sharing their experiences and hopes for the future. Many of the organisations in attendance had mascots of all shapes and sizes – someone dressed like a tower of London Beef Eater was on stilts, who was accompanied by a Maid Marian – people were appropriately dressed as houses we kid you not.
Check back with us in a few days to see the next part of our journey.