Abri – See Something, Say Something

07 May 2024

Abri is a housing provider with more than 50,000 homes and various community assets for rent or sale, including affordable, social and market rent, and shared ownership.

At Abri, we have a duty of care to our customers and their families. Like other housing providers in our sector, we complete building surveys every five years to assess the condition of the homes we’re responsible for. The surveys are really important as they provide us with a greater understanding of what we need to repair or replace to keep our customers’ homes warm, safe and sustainable. To create more opportunities for speaking up when something’s not right, we’ve introduced an extra measure, an internal campaign and reporting tool known as ‘See Something, Say Something’, to encourage colleagues to raise concerns before they get worse.

Launched in August 2021, See Something, Say Something is a campaign that encourages colleagues to raise concerns about things that may need attention in our neighbourhoods or in customers’ homes. Colleagues can simply report an issue they’ve come across by clicking a button on our internal systems to fill out a short questionnaire. Once submitted, the report is shared with our Quality Assurance team who work with all business areas across Abri to address concerns.

E-learning around how See Something, Say Something works is offered to colleagues, supporting them to identify situations where a customer may be vulnerable due to their personal welfare or living conditions. The lessons from the online course empowers colleagues to take a ‘360 view’ when visiting a customer’s home, giving them the confidence to trust their instinct and use the reporting tool when something doesn’t feel right.

This means that if one of our housing partners visits a customer at home, for example, in relation to an anti-social behaviour concern, they should feel confident reporting a disrepair, like damp and mould. Our Damp and Mould Disrepair team will be made aware and will work quickly to schedule a survey and repair job to make our customer’s home safer and more secure.

Damp and mould is an important example. The housing sector was rocked by the tragic case of Awaab Ishak, a toddler who died from a respiratory condition caused by exposure to mould in his home. Sadly, this case was a critical reminder that if left untreated, damp and mould can cause serious health issues or lead to fatality if its present within a home over a period of time.

At Abri, the reports of damp and mould in customer’ homes often increase in the colder months but if a home is poorly ventilated, it can be found in homes during the warmer months too.

We’ve invested £3m into damp, mould and disrepair to help tackle these conditions as soon as we see the signs, which can help reduce the adverse impact it can have on customers’ lives. See Something, Say Something provides us with an opportunity for early intervention which can make a big difference.

Supporting See Something, Say Something

To ensure the success of See Something, Say Something, we’ve also:

  • Overhauled our approach, processes and policies regarding damp and mould, including having a robust Damp and Mould Disrepair team as one of the first points of contact.
  • Carried out training and empowered colleagues to recognise and address the signs of damp and mould in customers’ homes.
  • Revised our Customer Relations team structure to better assess complaints and to carry out effective complaint handling, including introducing temporary support to accelerate the speed of complaint response times.
  • Introduced ‘local resolutions’ to empower more customer-facing teams to resolve customer enquiries at first point of contact.

Who is involved

Getting See Something, Say Something off the ground involved colleague collaboration across the organisation. We started by getting the reporting tool up and running with the help of our IT department. They made sure it was accessible to all colleagues and set up the backend functions for data processing to be streamlined to the necessary teams, who seamlessly action the repairs needed. The consistent support from the executive and communications teams at Abri have been instrumental to getting the message out to colleagues across the organisation, and highlighting the importance of keeping our homes to a high standard.

Spreading the campaign far and wide has been a joint effort by colleagues from many areas of our organisation including:

  • Repairs and Maintenance, Housing, and Damp and Mould Disrepair teams – who work to provide modern living standards and a repairs service for customers, putting their needs and satisfaction at the heart of everything.
  • People and Organisational Development – as part of our HR function they’ve played a key role in creating an e-learning module to support with the development of the skills and knowledge for our workforce, especially when visiting our customers in their homes or communities.
  • Executive team – who have been great advocates in encouraging colleagues to look out for potential vulnerability and report concerns so that we can make things right before they go wrong.
  • Governance team – who has helped shape the policies and practices around this significant campaign.
  • Communications team – who raised awareness for the campaign in weekly colleague newsletters and the corporate magazine, highlighting the importance of the work we’re doing.
  • Customer-facing teams – who are often the first point of contact for concerns raised if it’s not through See Something, Say Something.
  • IT department – who supported us with collecting, filtering and using data submitted to provide a resolution to customers.


One of the challenges we faced after launching the campaign was navigating the rush of data submitted. We wanted to make sure that the information submitted was processed in the right way, so we worked closely with our IT department to ensure that all data was tracked, traced and actioned, even providing the colleague who reported concerns with an update.

By managing and processing the information received efficiently, we were able to plan and schedule our works programme more effectively, helping us to prepare the right resources for when we experience higher demand than usual in our services.

What’s next

Abri is always finding new ways to adapt and grow See Something, Say Something to ensure that it’s at the forefront of all that we do, and to ensure our homes and services meet the diverse needs of our customers. We’ve been trialling an additional approach in our south-west operational region with our gas engineers to enable us to intervene before concerns are even reported. Each year, Abri’s gas engineers access approximately 95% of all properties, so we’ve been working with them through See Something, Say Something to capture potential signs of anything from damp and mould to hoarding. This way, we can provide customers with the right support and work with our Business Insight Analysts to monitor and address the conditions found in homes. We plan to roll out the same approach to our south and southeast regions before the end of this year.

We’ve received really positive feedback from the roll out of See Something, Say Something. Colleagues have said it’s quick and easy to report concerns they encounter and that they feel confident using the system. As the confidence and experience of using See Something, Say Something grows for colleagues, they should feel empowered to report multiple concerns in one home, reassuring customers that their safety and security is our top priority.


A key lesson from the logistics of See Something, Say Something is to ensure that the whole organisation is onboard from conception, and that colleagues understand:

  • What we’re doing
  • Why we’re doing it
  • How we’re going to do it

This way, we’re able to keep the momentum going, making sure everyone in the organisation recognises the importance of meeting the needs of our customers all year round.

Another factor is identifying and preparing for when or where we may need additional support, this will make the campaign more efficient in the long term.

Other case studies

See other examples of how housing associations are working to improve the quality of their residents' homes and to meet residents’ individual needs.

Who to speak to

Annie Owens, Policy Leader