Time to say goodbye

So, this will be the last Digest from me as I’m moving on to pastures new. My job with Community Housing Cymru was my first in this sector and during my time here I have learnt a huge amount about issues far beyond just housing legislature.

The housing sector encompasses so much and I have been lucky to work with a dedicated, intelligent and driven team on issues such as Universal Credit and Brexit, as well as supporting work around the Housing Review. It’s been said so many times before, but the sector is so much more than just bricks and mortar, it’s about more than building homes or managing homes for tenants. Housing is the foundation for ensuring that people in Wales have a place to live, a community where they can develop relationships and a home where they can grow up or grow old, safely, healthily and affordably. Housing is a benchmark for equality and without everyone having a place to call home; I don’t see how it can be possible for Wales to be a country where everyone has the same opportunities.

Just as a house is more than a place to live, the sector itself is enormously broad, as you’ll probably know since you’re reading this – housing professionals aren’t all builders or housing officers! I am moving from public affairs to advice, and there are a million and one jobs outside of these. There are jobs you may not have even realised existed in housing, for example mental health support work, design and marketing or maintenance. The sector opens up a huge range of opportunities, some in areas you may not have considered before. Community Housing Cymru and Charity Job Finder recently launched Housing Jobs Wales, the first social housing job site in Wales so it’s a good time to start looking at everything the sector has to offer.

I may be leaving CHC, but I am staying within the housing sector, it’s definitely got me gripped.

And so, thanks for reading my little take on the world of housing, politics and current affairs over the last year or so. I’m looking forward to seeing how things progress from here, particularly with the outcome of the affordable housing review which is due to present its findings any day now.

A few years ago, our HR Director, Phillipa Knowles started a tradition of embarrassing outgoing employees by reading a bespoke poem she’d written to commemorate their departure, perhaps it works as a deterrent from leaving! I haven’t yet heard mine, but thought I’d join in the tradition by writing a poem here (forgive the rhyming – or lack of!):

Community Housing Cymru
were kind enough to employ me
to keep an eye on the news
(even when it caused me the blues)
but with Brexit I still have no clues

The CHC office sits on Ocean Way,
far too near a branch of Subway.
The team are the best
Wise, friendly and full of interest.
Although there’s only twenty
you’ll agree, they really do plenty:
Campaigns and events,
Training and conference.

I’m sad to be going
but I hope this poem’s showing
my memories of CHC will always be glowing!