In total, I have worked for Marches for 16 years. I started as Receptionist/Cashier in 1994 but left in 1998 to work for a contractor. I returned in 2001 to help out on a temporary basis, and never left.
I am Head of Corporate Resources responsible for a support team that provides a customer-focused, value for money service to the Association's employees which includes administrative and IT support, office and facilities management, servicing of the Board of Management and Committees, and advisory health & safety and human resources management.
Prior to starting with Marches in 1994, I worked for Britannia Building Society as a Customer Service Advisor. This job included cashiering, selling products such as foreign currency, and processing mortgage applications.
In terms of work experience, I've had 13 roles during my employment with Marches in both operational and support teams, on permanent and temporary contracts. I've been able to experience roles by applying for secondments and volunteering for project teams; there are many opportunities for personal development if you look for them.
Our office at Benedict Court is great; it's a refurbished building with an open plan design and whilst there are about 70 desks, it's not a noisy environment. It has loads of natural light, air conditioning and high ceilings. We have a lounge and patio area where staff can have eat lunch and occasionally enjoy the sunshine.
That's a tough question to answer, as there are many reasons why I like working for Marches. No two days are ever the same, and I enjoy the challenges that the job brings. The Association has strong values and an ethos that inspires me, and we have great people working for Marches, which makes coming to work an enjoyable experience.
5 years (since 2007)
I am a Repairs Inspector responsible for day to day responsive repairs and managing voids.
Before I joined Marches, I was an estate agent. I have also been a personal assistant and worked for an events company where I organised stag & hen parties!
Lots! I initially started as a temp for Marches, helping out when they moved to their current premises. That was 5 years ago! During that time, I have worked in Repairs, Lettings, Asset Management and now in Responsive Repairs as a Repairs Inspector. I was encouraged by my line manager to do a distance learning course with the University of the West of England which enabled me to apply for my current position - this was partially funded by MHA. I am continuing with the Chartered Institute of Housing studying for a Diploma in Housing Maintenance Management which should be completed next summer.
The open plan office at Benedict Court is lovely working environment. It encourages interaction of the different departments which is good for communication. We have a fantastic lounge with settees and stocked with cakes most weeks as it's nearly always someone’s birthday!
The flexi time, the well being days, the health care scheme, the training and courses that are offered are all fantastic but it’s the staff at Marches which make it such a great place to work!
4 Years in July (since 2008)
I am the Trainee Housing Officer responsible for the management of tenancies of over 450 properties in Leominster and a few surrounding villages.
I joined Marches straight after leaving school on an Apprenticeship scheme with Herefordshire Group Training Association. I had a one year contract as Corporate Services Assistant Trainee during which I gained an NVQ Level 2 in Business and Administration. Upon completion of this apprenticeship, I was able to stay on working as a Customer Services Advisor Trainee for a further 18 months as an apprentice working towards an NVQ Level 3 in Customer Services. I then applied for the vacant Trainee position and was successful – yippee!
Since my first job role as Corporate Services Assistant, I have gained two NVQ’s and have gained lots of confidence and workplace experience. I have also worked on both Reception and Lettings giving me good knowledge of different parts of the Association and how everything ties together. All of this helped me get my current position. Part of the Trainee Housing Officer job role is the opportunity to study for a recognised housing qualification, which I am eager to start in order to broaden my knowledge.
Working as a Lone worker can be quite scary at times, however, I have a fantastic team to support me who are always happy to offer help and advice when asked.
The Association has provided plenty of opportunities to me for do further learning and complete encouragement to achieve the qualifications during my working time here.
Not very long at all. About 6 months.
I am Asset Administration Team Leader responsible for the Asset Administration and Repairs Administration teams.
I started in housing with Herefordshire Housing in 2007. I was a Housing Assistant first, assisting the Housing Officers and managing the garage stock. After 12 months I became a Housing Officer and then undertook my Level 3 Certificate in Housing Studies through the CIH. It was then that I applied for the position at Marches and was successful.
There appears to be a lot of opportunity for personal and professional development within Marches. I have several of my team members undertaking qualifications at present and it is also something I am looking to carry on here at Marches.
The atmosphere is very good, lots of very knowledgeable and friendly colleagues and as someone new here I have had lots of support offered from everyone.