Name: Jackie Holly
Job Title: Community Regeneration Officer
What’s your Newydd journey been so far?
I started in 2003 as a Customer Solutions Officer based in the Valleys office and I was the first point of contact for queries. Then I moved to a Housing Assistant role to provide help with housing and estate management, rent arrears, ASB, and assisting the Housing Officers. Then a Community Regeneration Administrator role became available and I was involved in organising the tenant participation stuff and then became more involved in the youth work and setting up projects including the Duke of Edinburgh scheme. Finally, a Community Regeneration Officer post was created following a restructure and initially I was unsure what I would be doing but then I became responsible for education, employment, training, health and well-being.
What does a typical day look like?
I haven’t got a typical day and that’s what I like about my job, it’s so diverse. I could be delivering a cooking session in the morning and then in the afternoon running an employment workshop. Nothing is the same.
My new training schedule now based in RCT links to Communities First and The Job Centre Plus, we find that we are working with more people from the wider community whilst also still getting more tenants coming through. It helps that’s it’s in Rhydyfelin where the need is high and we usually end up with a 40% tenants / 60% wider community split of participants.
We try to be inclusive with the work we do; we do a lot of construction but this is usually male orientated, but we have now opened up to the care sector and a new ‘Welsh in the workplace’ group and participants get an accreditation out of that. We also do accredited training for things like safeguarding, food hygiene, customer service and we also give support with Christmas vacancies, stewarding to get into security, Foodwise, weight management, get cooking, food and nutrition Level 1. This is all about being healthy. We have a lot going on and there is no typical day.
What have your highlights been at Newydd?
I have previously worked for 21 years in a bank and my time at Newydd has already overtaken that role in terms of experience and knowledge. Newydd has supported me through two University courses including a housing qualification and a PGCE in Community Regeneration and this has all allowed me to progress to where I am now.
How do you feel in the morning when you are coming to work?
I don’t get that dreaded feeling on a Sunday evening! The projects I work on are nice work to get involved in and I have a real mix of activities on the go which means I am always out and about
What has happened when you have had a good day?
When you can plot someone’s journey; from a referral through JCP, to meeting them initially, identify barriers and interests, helping with a CV, identifying training needs, arranging work experience right through to getting them job ready or securing a job. It’s nice to be able to say ‘I helped her/him’.
My favourite case is Dafydd Price; I worked with him from his time at youth projects and I was able to connect with him, he got lots of training and qualifications including; asbestos, COSSH, manual handling, health and safety, CSCS card, etc. I worked hard with him and I was so proud of him; he’s gone to college now doing a construction course and he is job ready now. This makes me so proud
How does your job compare with previous jobs?
You can’t compare it. In previous roles I didn’t always enjoy the work because the customers were not always at the heart of it. I have had so much from Newydd and this is by far the best job I’ve had.
How would you describe Newydd as a company?
Supportive, encouraging, family friendly, lots of benefits and with the flexi you can balance your time better
How would you describe yourself as a person then and now?
I am far more confident. I don’t think twice about going somewhere and talking or delivering something. Maybe this comes with experience and the fact that we get trained well. I have the knowledge to back me up and that comes from all the training Newydd has given me
How do you see the people here at Newydd?
I see them as friends. There is no one in the organisation that I don’t get on with. We all have the same ethos and there is no stepping on toes and everyone wants to do well. Everybody wants the same thing and they are happy for you when you’ve done a good job
How do you see Newydd as an organisation?
Supportive. If you want to do something different then you are supported by your manager to do it
How do you feel after a full day?
My job is very rewarding; especially for the health and wellbeing courses at the end of a 6 week course if someone has lost weight and they are using less salt in their cooking that is a great result.
Or if we are encouraging someone to make a friend to reduce isolation; the small things to some people are huge, even just being there for someone. There is nothing more rewarding that getting someone job ready or into a job
Do you tell others if there is a job vacancy?
Yes, if I see something then I will share it and get the message out. For me social media is instant and it’s great to get immediate results
How do you see your future at Newydd?
Doing what I’m doing. If I wanted to progress, I would have applied for other jobs but I like what I do and I get huge job satisfaction. I love meeting people and making partnership links. I am currently working with other housing associations to map stock and then we can identify needs and deliver our training schedule to the whole of RCT and I am also in the process of securing funding for a link to community benefits to get money for more training schemes
How do you feel about the future with Newydd?
Positive, I feel that this is the job I will have till I retire. I enjoy what I do and the variety is great; I love that I am out and about all the time. Progression is key here; if you want it it’s there. In some ways my job is very ordinary but it’s what you make of it. I enjoy it and I love my team. Everyone supports you if you need help, it’s great. They make positive lifestyle choices for the tenants and the wider community including education, employment, training, health and well-being.