What is your current role?

I am an Administrator for the Asset Management & Capital Development team.

When did you join Transform and what was it like?

I joined in February 2020.

I was initially focused on co-ordinating the administration of the repairs function for Transform and I was later asked to help out with a bit of everything. I said ‘that’s not a problem as long as I can take notes. So we started off with a few simple things including the team’s procedures. I handwrote the notes to start with and then typed up a newer version for myself. It’s like a dummies’ guide.

A new person joined the team and there was a discussion about training guides, and someone asked if anyone had any notes on the processes. I showed them what I’d done, and they said, ‘these are brilliant – can we use them?’! Who would have thought my actual notes would ever go into a training manual, but they have.

I feel really quite proud of how I’ve developed compared to when I started. I think people see me differently because of how much more confident I am. I was working with a colleague who came back as a temp to cover the period when I was learning the repairs. She was learning the servicing at the same time and then she was going to teach me how to do it. It was during Covid so everything was done virtually. I never met her but we talked for ages on the phone. She said, ‘We are a super team, we’ve got everything all sorted, you’re handling yourself well.’

She wrote me this lovely letter telling me how she felt I’d come such a long way. I never realised because I have self-esteem issues so it was really nice to have that outside input. It’s changed how I see myself while I’m working now.

What does your typical day at work involve?

Day-to-day I manage the servicing and repairs inbox and deal with contractors.

My colleague and I also administer the compliance work which is all the legal servicing that we have to maintain. There’s a lot of preparation that goes with that. Every month I have a spreadsheet with a list of all of the legal requirements we have to comply with. These include gas, electric, Fire Risk Assessment works, PAT (portable appliance testing) and Legionella. There is also a miscellaneous category which can involve anything from raking leaves off the roof to lightning protectors or CCTVs. The system really works because nothing gets missed. I do that a month in advance – I get everything set up, email the contractors, get them booked in and arrange the appointments with the local office. There are a lot of emails and phone calls back and forth.. We then get the reports and I upload them onto our system.

Between January to April, in particular, things can be quite hectic.

What do you enjoy most about working for Transform?

Hearing the clients say thank you.

They can call you on their worst day, they’re panicked, anxious, they don’t quite know how to handle themselves sometimes and, depending on their mental health status, the issue they’re calling about can exacerbate things for them. It can be tricky sometimes but you just have to adjust the way you speak to people and try to calm them down.

Then when they ring back and say ‘thank you’ It’s really nice to know they’re happy and safe.

What has been your most satisfying experience?

I think it was being asked to train a colleague. In the beginning it was just me and one other person. When other colleagues joined us, I had to demonstrate to them how the system works. It was really good to realise that I’d come a long way and they trusted me enough to train others.

I think also, each time I deal with clients I find it satisfying because I know at the end of the day they don’t call us unless they need us so to be able to help them is very rewarding.

What do you think of Transform as an organisation to work for?

It’s brilliant – I genuinely love this job.

I’m partially sighted, and this is the first place I’ve worked where they’ve actually been genuinely understanding of what it means for me. They’ve worked with Access to Work before so they knew exactly what questions to ask. It’s just amazing and I’ve been overwhelmed with how much support they’ve given me.

It’s brilliant to know that I have caring managers who look after my wellbeing – it's not just about me doing my work but about me personally. I know that if my situation changes, they’ll reassess me and give me the equipment that I need.

Tell me about the health and wellbeing group

I love this group; it’s not about supporting individual colleagues’ wellbeing – it’s about all Transform colleagues.

We had a meeting yesterday and carried out a review of how far we’ve come and how much we’ve accomplished in the two years since the group was set up.
Highlights included the ‘Time to talk ’sessions that we run to support mental wellbeing, all the webinars we’ve arranged and the awareness weeks that we’ve promoted.

At the 50th anniversary staff celebration everyone joined in singing during a quiz, for example, so we thought – why don’t we do something like that again. Now the group has arranged a festive sing-along at Christmas. We received a grant for health and wellbeing from the Community Foundation for Surrey which enabled us invest in our colleagues health and wellbeing. Thanks to the funding we have also arranged health and wellbeing training including Mental Health First Aider training and mental resilience via Tough Cookie. The group also arranged the Grass roots – Suicide awareness webinar which was very well received.

My current task is to speak to the men in my team to find out if there is anything they would like to get involved in for Men’s health awareness week.

How do you feel you’ve made an impact at Transform?

Well I won an award at the 50th anniversary celebration event!

Colleagues were asked to nominate each other for awards in different categories and I won the Shooting Star award! My job involves me talking to a lot of colleagues right across the organisation but I didn’t think I’d made that much of an impact so I was proud that people voted for me.

There was a quote read out about me which said: ‘It doesn’t matter who she speaks to, the professionalism she shows whether it’s clients, contractors or staff, is just amazing She is a real asset and Transform is lucky to have her.’ I thought: ‘Oh my gosh!

My colleagues were pleased for me and it made me really feel like part of the team and Transform. Up until that moment I felt like I was just a member of staff that people have to talk because it’s my job, but it proved to me that people talk to me because they think I’m friendly and doing a good job.