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Rhys’ Story

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Case Study: Rhys, Facilities Coordinator

The last four and a half years at Certitude have been a very important journey. My life wasn’t in the best place before I started here.

I lost my mother to cancer when I was 21, and not long before I joined, my closest aunt was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease. She passed away a year later in 2020. I lived with them, and both losses happened quite suddenly, so affected me terribly in the years following. Being in this role, with the support and encouragement I’ve received, has helped me a lot, in and outside of work.

“I’ve learned a lot about myself, as well as about the responsibilities and skills for my job, and I’ve always been supported to progress and develop.”

I started as a part time receptionist in October 2019. I was getting back into work after I had spent a few years in retail jobs, and then travelled in Australia. I came back to London to be with the family when my aunt was diagnosed.

I was encouraged by my manager to apply for her job, Reception and Volunteer Coordinator, during her maternity leave. I didn’t think I had much chance, but I gave it a go and was successful! On her return, my role kept its reception coordination element, but a decision was made to make the role Facilities focused. The Covid pandemic changed a lot of things. Having a volunteer coordinator was less of a priority and when the changed role was readvertised, I threw in my hat, and I got the job.

“My manager is a great mentor. As well as teaching me, he pushes me out of my comfort zone, and assigns me challenging tasks, allowing me to grow.”

Like when he got me to deal with a set of prospective contractors alone, after I had observed him do it earlier in the day. That was challenging but I pulled it off, knowing I had his support, and because I’d watched and listened to how he had done it before.

I’ve also learned from him even when he’s not specifically showing me, by observing what he does, or the way he handles things that come up. He is always there to listen and be supportive in a practical way if I’ve needed some flexibility around my work, or if something unexpected or challenging comes up. If I feel low, I have someone to chat to, who says “tell me what’s been going on and we’ll see what we can do”.

I’ve been encouraged to study for my Level 3 Health & Safety in the Workplace Training and IOSH Managing Safely. These have all been important for my day-to-day work.

It’s crucial to take everything seriously, and I’m proud that I can explain to people why an issue needs fixing rather than just going up to somebody and saying “no, you can’t do that”. It’s important to be able to articulate why you need to have something done.

Through the ILM Level 5 Leadership and Management qualification, I’ve also learned more about things like managing change, team morale and equality and diversity.

“I’ve realised that I have my own style and personality when it comes to managing, which I hadn’t considered before.”

Through managing the office buildings and facilitating important training for support workers – such as moving and positioning or medication – my team and I have a direct effect on colleagues being able to provide support properly and effectively, which means we’re having a positive impact on people we support.

We’re also the first port of call for people – colleagues, people we support and their family members. My team and I empathise, listen and take people seriously when they might be feeling worried or frustrated. We can help them feel more comfortable while we respond to their enquiry.

“Where I am at the moment, and what I’ve achieved, is very much down to Certitude.”

Every time there’s been opportunity to improve my circumstances, it’s required some active participation on my part, taking a leap of faith, showing interest and working hard. Nothing is just handed to you! As a result, I’ve become more confident and comfortable in myself, and more empowered, knowing that there’s a supportive environment. I feel like I can showcase what I’m capable of – what I bring to the table.

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