This week’s #Futures50 blog comes from Linc Cymru’s Service Manager (Extra Care), Hazel Davies. Hazel shares her journey from teenage dreams of becoming an estate agent to joining the housing sector in 2012 and finding her true passion.
From the age of 14, I dreamt of being an estate agent — driving around in a customised car, showing people around beautiful houses and making their dreams come true.
I started my career in a private letting agents as a lettings co-ordinator and a move to Wales saw a move into health where I supported adults with learning difficulties and mental health.
I’d worked in the ‘private world’ and something didn’t quite sit right. That 14 year old’s dream wasn’t what I wanted — I wanted to make a difference and not charge the earth for it.
I joined Newydd Housing in 2012 as an independent living officer at a sheltered scheme in Aberdare. This was the opportunity I needed to feel like I made a difference but I quickly realised that to have the biggest impact, I needed to get myself out there and meet like minded people working in the area who I could call on to help me create the best life for my tenants.
Everyone talks about working in partnership and how they do it, but what does that actually mean?
It was knowing every family member, every friend, every social worker, every CPN, every local service, every carer, every staff member, every contractor, every everything!
It was about embedding myself in the lives of my tenants and knowing who I needed to work with to ensure they continued to live a happy, healthy and independent life. It was about listening to what my tenants wanted and doing my utmost to try and make it happen.
This is not something you can achieve on your own. Everything I’ve achieved, I’ve done it with other people — people who want to make a difference just like I do.
Rhondda Cynnon Taf have invested £50million into developing Extra Care and I’m lucky enough to be working with Linc Cymru to deliver its first scheme in Aberdare as the Service Manager.
It’s not a role you can do on your own — if you do, you’re surely set to fail. I’m working with people I got to know at Newydd plus a whole host more and even after three years in a different role, those relationships are still there. I know what’s expected of me and all these brilliant people I work with know what I expect from them. Nothing but the best for my tenants!
My real message here is that you can say you work in partnership, but you have to live and breathe it for it to be real. You can’t pretend to do it and you can’t truly make a difference without embedding it into everything you do.
Enjoy the ride — I know I am!
Hazel Davies, Linc Cymru