On Housing Diversity Day, Riverside employees who are taking part in the Housing Diversity Network mentoring programme talk about how the scheme has helped them.
Ali Clintworth, Business Development Officer, mentee
Around the time of applying to the mentoring programme, I had been asked a couple of times ‘what’s your plan for the next five years?’. I felt overwhelmed at the thought of it and really struggled to answer this question.
Over the previous few years I had moved between different roles, a bit unsure on where I was aiming for. A friend had been on the mentoring programme the previous year and said it supported her to better understand what she wanted and how to get there. I thought this sounds good.
So I applied for the programme to help me think about my future direction, what I need to get there and to overcome my barriers.
The mentoring and workshops have been a brilliant way to spend time focusing on yourself and your development, which can be difficult at times, for example, a main one for me was developing confidence and presentation skills.
Having a mentor outside of my workplace has provided a different perspective on things, an alternative avenue to talk about development and barriers and solutions you may not have thought about before.
I have found the programme has helped me to overcome barriers I felt were stopping me and the key is to hold onto the new things you have learnt about yourself, so you can continue to hop over those pesky personal hurdles.
Maureen Pringle, Regional Operations Manager, mentor
I have arranged for my mentee to sit as an observer on an interview panel, recruiting for a service manager role. The mentee was able to sit through all the interviews and discuss with the managers the responses given by each candidate and the scores given by the recruitment panel. Hopefully this gave insight into what a recruitment panel is looking for when recruiting for a manager.
I have also arranged for my mentee to work with a Service Manager looking at innovative ways to reduce voids, to help the mentee work on an action plan that she needed to produce.
She has now lined up her fist interview for a Tenancy Enforcement Officer so we are waiting for the outcome of this.
Peter Yoh, Head of Social Housing, mentor
I’ve really struck an accord with my mentee, he’s very receptive to ideas and challenge, wants to learn and presents some interesting views and questions.
Gaynor Davis, Administrator, mentee
I was so excited to learn that I had been chosen for a place on the mentoring programme.
The initial meeting was really helpful and it was lovely to meet new people from other housing-related businesses. It was also reassuring to know that I was not the only person there that wanted to gain confidence and seek guidance and that we all had very similar work issues, roles and ideas – that it made it easier to get involved.
I met with my mentor just before Christmas not knowing who or what who to expect. His name is Steve and he has worked for the local council for some years. He is very knowledgeable, a good listener and is as enthusiastic as I am for our journey of mentoring.
Dimple Patel, Project Support Officer, mentee
The mentoring programme is progressing well. The initial workshop in November was informative, and created a brilliant networking opportunity among us mentees from various housing associations.
My mentor Nikki Chawda, is currently a Director of Housing and Neighbourhoods at EMH Homes. She has worked in housing for nearly 40 years, therefore is very knowledgeable in the housing field. It has been very interesting gaining an insight into her experiences, successes and hurdles over the years. Overall she has provided me with encouragement, support and sound advice.
Stephen Elliot, Regional Director, mentor
My mentee Rachel has already got a promotion with Lewisham Homes. She is a very bright lady who just needs that little voice telling her to go with her thoughts and not be shy or uncomfortable about getting ahead and using the eternal environment for interviews.