Job title Maintenance
Time at the Almshouses: Since 2005
1. What does your job entail?
I do a bit of everything and that includes all the routine maintenance – water temperatures, broken fixtures and fittings, PAT testing and breakdowns of all sorts. If I can fix it myself I do and if I can’t, I get a contractor in. The staff write messages in the maintenance book for me so if there’s a problem in the flats or on site, I can try to fix it.
The chapel has had a lot of work done on it recently – putting in a new entrance so people can get to it from inside the building via a wheel chair ramp and automatic door. Before this work was done, people had to go outside the building to get into the chapel.
2. What were you doing before you came to the Almshouses?
I installed and serviced air conditioning systems and refrigeration systems for a national company where I acquired a lot of technical expertise in plumbing, electrics, electronics, computers and it really set me up for what I’m doing now.
3. What was your first day like?
I had a big headache by the end of the first day – there was so much to absorb! At the Almshouses there’s new property and very old property and several different types of accommodation catering for different care needs – so it’s a lot to take in on your first day.
4. What do you most enjoy about your work at the Almshouses?
I enjoy helping if there’s a problem and it’s rewarding to be in an environment that’s so friendly, where people come up to you and tell you about their lives – they all have stories to tell, so it means things sometimes take a bit longer than you anticipate but that’s all part of the job. Every day is different and my work is varied and very interesting.
The other thing I enjoy is feeling trusted and appreciated – people say ‘thank you’ a lot here.
5. What impact do you think your work is having?
Some days I feel really good because I’ve made a difference to someone, if I’m able to give practical help and reassurance I think that has a real impact on the quality of life for people who live here.
Some times services on site break down – like the pumps on the heating system broke down this year and it was ‘full on’ getting the contractors out to get them fixed in double quick time because we must keep this place really warm for the people who live here. When I’m running from one thing to another I really love my job – I love sorting out problems under a bit of pressure!
6. What sort of training have you had?
I started with City and Guilds in air conditioning and refrigeration and after than I had a fair bit of training as a result of my work in air conditioning and refrigeration industry. Since I’ve been at the Almshouses I’ve added on health and safety, first aid, asbestos, ladder training and some training specifically around vulnerable adults.
7. What changes have you seen during your time at the Almshouses?
There are a lot more people living in the Almshouses than when I first started. The Very Sheltered Flats had only just opened when I started work here. Some of the staff are still here and some have moved on but the biggest difference is in the amount of paperwork I have to do!
8. What about the future? Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
It’s nice to think I’ll still be here and part of the future of the Almshouses
9. What is the nicest thing anyone has said to you about your work at the Almshouses?
“Thank you” – I get a lot of thank yous and often it’s the small things that matter most to people.