In 1987, I started my first job in housing: a temporary role as a Relief Rent Collector at Arfon Borough Council. I had recently graduated from The Normal College, Bangor with a degree in Environmental Studies, and six months’ sickness cover was my first foray into the housing sector. I was soon hooked.
After a year of temporary contracts, I was appointed to my first permanent role. From there, I was supported to do a professional housing qualification, and moved across the sector in both Wales and England. When Cartrefi Conwy was first established in 2008, I was appointed as Director of Operations, and I’ve now been Managing Director for nearly three years.
Cartrefi Conwy was an excellent opportunity for me to make a difference on a large scale and create communities to be proud of. My biggest passion is seeing communities that have experienced stigma being turned around.
Environmental regeneration is the best part of my job, and getting the whole community involved with projects. Just four years ago, our Parc Peulwys housing development was awarded a green flag status, the first of its kind in Wales, and this year a second community was awarded a green flag at Tre Cwm in Llandudno.
Now, we just need to help other people see how fantastic housing associations are to work for.
Gwynne Jones is Managing Director at Cartrefi Conwy