This week, 1st-6th March, is National Careers Week and it aims to inform and inspire the next generation as they enter the world of work. We asked Together Housing staff to share the twist and turns in their career journey to show how everyone must start somewhere.
Lindsey Merrifield started her career in housing 21 years ago when she worked on promoting a large stock transfer to Pennine Housing. Eventually Pennine Housing became Together Housing and Lindsey has taken all opportunities available to try new things. Lindsey started as a Neighbourhood Officer and is now a Communications Designer. Here, Lindsey shares her journey.
I started out as a word processor operator for Calderdale Council in 1993 and volunteered to help with the promotion of stock transfer of 12,700 homes to Pennine Housing in 2000. I loved being out in the community, meeting and helping people, so I applied for a Neighbourhood Officer role where I covered most of Calderdale during my time.
I was asked if I fancied working in Sheffield as a Project Officer, again to promote stock transfer over to Pennine Housing for Sheffield City Council tenants. This was a big move for a village lass! Not only that, but I also had to learn how to drive a big Ford truck and tow a 30ft porta-cabin to showcase our services. I would entice people onboard to explain why they should vote to switch to Pennine. The transfer was a success, and I had a fantastic 2 years working in Sheffield.
Returning to Brighouse I started to help the Marketing Manager. I found I loved expressing my creative side. I helped with the production of communication material and ran the customer magazine ‘easy read’ group where tenants would suggest content and comment on design. Here, I met a lady who told me she would cry sometimes when she opened her mail and couldn’t understand what it was saying. I remember this whenever I am designing any communication material.
The involved residents I have met are truly inspirational to me. Some are no longer with us, but I will never forget the time they all dedicated their time to helping improve services just because they cared. I love it when we name a scheme or a street after them so that their memory lives on.
Together Housing Group was formed in 2011 and the Communications & Marketing Team has grown somewhat. I now form part of a fantastic and enthusiastic team. We all have our own niche and work together to deliver a great service – having lots of fun and learning new things from each other along the way.
I had never even heard of a career in housing, but I am glad it found me. I wouldn’t change a thing about the last 21 years.
You can find out more about National Careers Week here: https://nationalcareersweek.com/