ETF Housing Blog

A Student’s View of ETF

When I first learned I would be on placement at Edinburgh Tenants Federation (ETF) I wasn’t sure what to expect. My background for the last four years has been in youth work, so to do a placement which focussed on community development was daunting but exciting at the same time. I had absolutely no idea what the placement was going to involve.

I’m currently studying Community Education at Edinburgh University and I thought I would expand my horizons a bit and take a placement in an area of community development that I have no experience in.  Most of my time here has been spent working with groups and individuals in Edinburgh, assisting them in setting up tenants and residents associations to ensure that their basic human rights were being upheld and helping them to set about improving their quality of life from the bottom up. The main focus of my work was alongside a group based in a sheltered housing complex in Duddingston.  I was able to support them to set up their Registered Tenant Organisation and oversee their transformation from steering group to establishing Willowbrae and Duddingston Residents Association in the space of a few weeks. The group made it effortless by way of sheer determination and drive and working with them has been a real joy.  I’ve also been helping Sharon Robertson survey people in Gorgie about the possibility of a new tenants’ group. Watch this space for news on that front.  In fact, my entire placement at ETF has been a breeze due to the passion of everyone involved. Every single person I’ve had the pleasure of working alongside has shown nothing but determination and commitment to changing not only their own circumstances, but the circumstances of everyone in their community.

Looking back, I realise that I haven’t fully explored most of the work I’ve undergone at ETF. However as I was only on placement for a few short weeks I wanted to take the opportunity to recognise the work being done by both the residents and the dedicated staff at ETF, because they’ll still be here putting the work in long after I leave them. The commitment from everyone I’ve met has been inspirational. I’m delighted to have been given the opportunity to work with you all and wish everyone all the best for the future.


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