While my mam had worked as a Housing Support Worker for as long as I could remember, I had never considered that a career in housing might be right for me. I knew that it was equal parts challenging and rewarding, and full of people like my mother who really care about the people they help, but having just finished my degree in Communications, I didn’t see what I would be able to bring to the sector.
While graduating and starting the job search in the middle of a pandemic was daunting, the job description for a Digital Communications Assistant at Valleys to Coast was ideal, and I loved the idea of working for an organisation focused on making a difference in people’s lives.
I was soon introduced (albeit, virtually!) to a whole team of people, all with different skills, all working towards the same goal of providing people with safe and happy homes. Having grown up only an hour away from Bridgend, I was pleased to learn just how much Valleys to Coast, and the housing sector more generally, is embedded in its communities, doing so much more than handing over a set of keys to tenants and letting them get on with it.
Working in the Communications Team has the great perk of an automatic invite whenever anything exciting is happening in the business, and I get to spend a good chunk of my time sharing the amazing work our colleagues have been doing. As part of a small team, I’ve been able to work on all kinds of projects, and I don’t think another sector could have offered me the same opportunities to learn, develop and take on new responsibilities as I have here.
Housing comms has its own unique challenges (who wants to follow their landlord on Twitter?) but it has been an exciting journey to try and overcome these and to discover the incredibly supportive network of housing professionals along the way.
In November, I celebrated a year with Valleys to Coast, and I am now a Communications and Marketing Officer. No two days have been the same, except that it has been consistently challenging, rewarding, and I am still learning something new every day.
Now, working with This is Housing on the February 2022 takeover, I want to see this campaign reach those people who, like me, never considered their skills would be valuable in the housing sector, and who would be pleasantly surprised to discover what opportunities it has to offer.
Chloe McCarthy, Communications and Marketing Officer, Valleys to Coast