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Going the extra mile to welcome our newest staff

Going the extra mile to welcome our newest staff

We want our new starters to have the best understanding about what we do and how their role contributes to our wider efforts to create homes and communities we can all be proud of.

One way we do this is by enrolling new employees on our ‘day on the road’ tour of projects, people and places. It’s a day of getting to know colleagues working in teams from across the business and, most importantly, learning more about how we serve customers in different ways and why.

Here’s a summary of a recent day on the road activity.

The first stop was viewing a recently abandoned property, left needing significant attention before it could be lived in again. The group heard from our Homefinder Team about the clearing, cleaning and repair work involved in restoring a home like this to the quality standards required. They’re then advertised through the Homes for Bolton choice-based lettings service operated by Bolton Council on behalf of the Bolton Community Partnership.

When a tenant moves out of a property, we check it, repair it as needed and let it out again in as short a time as possible. Working to make more empty homes available more quickly is an important way of doing what we can to address the shortage of affordable housing and it’s normal for us to receive hundreds of expressions of interest for a home with us.

Further locations on the day on the road tour included our Working Wardrobe in photo of working wardrobe the Market Place shopping centre. Run by members of our Employment and Enterprise Team, Working Wardrobe supports local unemployed people by giving them the best chance of making the right impression at job interviews by providing suitable clothing and interview advice, all for free.

The next stop was Jubilee House, one of our sheltered housing sites, in Bolton town centre. Day on the road colleagues spoke with residents who live there and learned about the support they receive and appreciate to help them live more independently and the activities and sessions they can enjoy on site.

Jodie, one of oufood bankr new starters who took part, said: “We had a good chat with a few residents who told us that they host a lot of events that are all paid for by themselves. Money contributed, then pays for the food, decorations, activities and drinks. We also discovered that even though its sheltered, they’re still independent and some of the residents still work too.”

A stop at our Withins UCAN Centre and Food Pantry helped the group understand at first-hand the valuable support and services we can provide in the community for some of our customers’ specific needs and what a lifeline pantries like this can be for those struggling to afford food essentials.  

The group then visited the Willow Hey Men In Sheds project in Farnworth. It offers hands on a practical construction, woodworking, food growing, health and social willow hey sessions. And people share skills, tools and resources for projects of their own choosing, at their own pace, and in a safe, friendly and inclusive venue. 

The last visit was to meet staff in our Preventing Homelessness Service. They support customers to remain in their current home if they’re at risk of eviction, or help them move on from temporary accommodation to a more permanent home. Jodie described here as “a safe space to stay and try and rebuild without fear”.

We asked Jodie what her overall view of the day was. “As a new starter I had no idea about the variety of projects Bolton at Home are involved in, I honestly thought it was just houses. Day on the road is like a crash course where you don’t just learn about them, you get to see them first-hand and speak to the people involved. Being new I just found all of it so valuable, it really brought me up to speed and getting to see it all in-person made it much more real. Everyone on the trip came out feeling humbled by seeing some harsh realities people are experiencing in Bolton and awe-struck at the amazing work being done in our community to help.”   

Ready to play your part?

Take a look at our available vacancies  here: