My name is Jackie Holly. I’m a community regeneration officer at Newydd and I hope this post will give you a little glimpse into my role here. I spent 21 years working in a bank. But my time with 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 PGC in community regeneration. This has allowed me to reach where I am today and what gives me such great job satisfaction.
I started in 2003 as a customer services advisor based in the Valleys office and I was the first point of contact for queries. Then I moved to a housing assistant role to help with housing and estate management, rent arrears, anti-social behaviour, and helping the housing officers. A community regeneration administrator role became available and I became involved in organising tenant participation and youth work projects. One such project was the Duke of Edinburgh scheme. Finally, a community regeneration officer post was created and at first, I was unsure what I would be doing. My role has evolved and now I oversee education, employment, and training.
I haven’t got a ‘typical day’, and that’s what I love about my job. I could be at interview sessions in local schools in the morning, then in the afternoon be running an employment workshop. No two days are the same.
My employment training schedules are based in Rhondda Cynon Taf and the Vale of Glamorgan. These link in with different partners such as Vale Homes, Communities for Work, Inspire to Work, Careers Wales and Job Centre Plus. While we don’t duplicate training, we do try to fill any gaps because we want to complement the existing services in the community.
We have found that by working with the wider community, we get more tenants through the door. I’m not sure why, but it may be down to a learner’s lack of confidence. I know I’ll always rope a friend in if I want to try anything new. It’s more for moral support than anything I think!
We try to be inclusive with the work we do; historically we used to do mostly construction qualifications (CSCS Cards) through our development and community clauses. But we have diversified and now run different introduction/taster and courses such as safeguarding, first aid, food hygiene, customer service and stewarding. You can view our Facebook events page for upcoming courses, or visit Newydd’s website for more information.
These qualifications help move learners closer to the job market. We’ve managed to get tenants (and the wider community) into full and part-time employment, apprenticeships and work experience. Now I’m organising bricklaying apprenticeships, working in partnership with Coleg y Cymoedd, Yprentis, and Jehu. There’s a lot going on, so there’s no typical day or week and this is what I love about my job: it’s never ever boring!
— Jackie Holly (@Jackie_Newydd) August 2, 2018