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Mari is wishing she had discovered housing sooner

After starting her working life as a trainee copywriter in a career that took in 14 years as Communication Manager at BBC Wales, freelance work with the Western Mail and even time as the owner and editor of her own local newspapers, Mari has taken her first role in housing as Grwp Cynefin’s Communications and Marketing Manager.

“Taking my first steps into housing has been a real eye-opener for me, I applied for the role because I knew Grwp Cynefin had a great reputation locally, now I am here I am amazed at the breadth of the work going on here.

“I’m also starting this role at a time like no other, with many of the staff working from home and our offices closed. So getting to know the staff members, the different departments and the work of the organisation is a challenge in itself, but I’m looking forward to tackling the internal and external communications of the housing association.

“Learning how many staff members have been with the company for so many years was a revelation too. It speaks volumes about the organisation itself. The staff is the backbone of the organisation and the dedication and experience of the team is invaluable. Together they have skills and expertise in so many different fields and there are also some natural communicators too, which is a big positive for me as I get used to a new environment.

“Having worked in comms and journalism for so many years it will be nice to put my skills to work in a different field. I have used my natural curiosity and just been soaking it all up, learning as much as I can.

“Only days after starting the job, I learned that the core message of the association ‘More than Housing’ is absolutely true. I didn’t realise the range and breadth of services of Grŵp Cynefin’s work – supporting tenant welfare, domestic violence, vulnerable families, homelessness – the organisation deals with complex and challenging issues and I’m looking forward to learning more, working with the association’s partners, staff and Board members and building on the good work of Grŵp Cynefin into the future,

“One of the biggest pluses for me is that already I am seeing how supportive and welcoming the sector is, having attended a couple of meetings with other communications people across housing. It certainly seems like there is a sense that we are all in this together and working to the same goals and I really like that.

“In many ways I wish I had known more about social housing and the opportunities within the sector before, because I can see myself really enjoying my time here and hopefully making a difference.”

Mari Williams is Grwp Cynefin’s Communications and Marketing Manager