News articles - 2021
Date: 15 April 2021
Meet Ellen, our Tenancy Sustainment Adviser, who joined Saxon Weald the day the country went into lockdown last March. We asked Ellen to share her experience of starting a new role at the beginning of lockdown.
“I started my role at Saxon Weald on 23March, the day that the country went into lockdown! I was quite worried that I would turn up at 9am to be told that there was no longer a job for me but luckily that didn’t happen. It was very strange to start a new role without meeting most of my colleagues, stranger still to be starting in a brand new role for Saxon Weald, so there was no ongoing work for me to pick up or anyone whose brain I could pick!
Not getting to meet my new colleagues was certainly one of the biggest challenges. Saxon Weald is quite a large organisation with lots of different teams, so it’s hard to get a good idea of who does what and how it all fits together when you’re working remotely. Luckily, my team couldn’t have been more helpful and welcoming, and I was able to keep busy by contacting our most vulnerable customers to ensure they had enough support during such a difficult time. My team has been great generally from day one, and although meeting with someone over the phone or video call is not quite the same as meeting them in person, it has meant that I’ve still been able to get to know my colleagues and feel like part of the team.
A large part of my role is to link in with local community services, but of course, none of these were operating in the usual way when I joined. This presented a challenge, as did not being able to get out and visit customers to discuss their concerns and offer support to them in person. Luckily, thanks to technology, I have been able to build relationships with various community services to support our customers. I have been able to make links with organisations such as Age UK, local mental health services and Adult Social Care over the phone and by email, and have got lots of work shadowing and visits lined up for when that becomes possible again.
I’ve also made contact with lots of customers by phone and once the first lockdown eased, I was able to put my mask on and start getting out and visiting people which was great. I look forward to getting out more in the coming months to support more of our customers.”