A week with Teign Housing
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A week with Teign Housing

This week I have had the opportunity to spend a week at Teign Housing and see what this company does and I have learnt new things everyday. I am Andrei Constantin, a Teign School student, currently doing my GCSEs.

Monday, my first day, I was warmly welcomed and shown around the building by Cheryl, who organised my week and gave me a schedule, which looked quite full so I would never have a chance to get bored. I have seen what Olivia does, she is a PA (Personal Assistant) and has a variety of issues that she has to deal with whilst always keeping everything organised. I was taken to a Board Meeting concerning the Digi Bugs, I was quite out of context about what these Digi Bugs at first, but it was soon explained by the members of the meeting and I think that helping those who are not up to date with technology is a brilliant idea as the internet contains all you could ask for, yet some people do not know how to use it. Next I was taken to some more practical work with Simon, I have seen “voids”, houses that were left by tenants and some were not in brilliant condition. Simon, the surveyor I went out with, explained the process a house goes through before it is back on the market, it needs different types of repairs that are reported by surveyors and they check that they are up to the right standards.

Tuesday was a gardening competition for the tenants with different categories and along with Katie and Joe, I was a judge; this was very interesting and it proved hard to decide on a winner. I have seen 2 categories of gardens, communal, which were put together by the different communities, and individual ones, done by a single person. I was surprised to see the effort put into the process of organising this competition and how competitive people were; all of the participants were elderly people, but that didn’t stop them from creating some lovely gardens that were a pleasure to look upon. When I came back to the office I saw what Cheryl, who works in HR (Human resources) does and the process of hiring someone; she has also showed me a presentation about Risk Assessment within the workplace.

Wednesday I saw what James does, he works in Asset, which is assessing different aspects of the building, making sure they provide the best living conditions for the tenants and that they are safe. We have seen a great deal of houses and checked the houses to see if the works that were finished were at the right standards. It was interesting to meet the tenants, some were very nice and joyous, yet others were less so and it was sad to hear that the only visitors they had were surveyors and people from Teign Housing, their own families had not visited them for ages. After that I have seen some works that were in progress and James also explained about the different types of surveyors.

Thursday I have learnt more about the conditions in the houses of elderly people and the different alarms that are available for them to use to ensure that if they need help they will have it at a press of a button. There is a unit placed into the house that allows help to be called in case of an accident, for example, the pendants have a button which if you press, CareLineUK will answer and provide help. Then I left the office with Jane, who told me more about these alarms. We have checked the alarms in the houses of some people to see they are still working and we had a chat with the tenants who were all very nice, one man in particular who was a fan of Laurel and Hardy, the greatest comedians according to him, and he told us a few stories about them.

After this I was told about Customer Service by Sally and Rachel; then I listened to a few calls with the customers. One of them was something I definitely did not expect, a tenant had died in his house and his daughter had called to ask about the procedure of paying the rent in such circumstances. Rachel had dealt with the problem effectively and solved the problem, then she had quite a bit of paperwork to fill in, but it showed me that when dealing with people you have to be ready to deal with all sorts of things and you have to remain calm under all circumstances.

Friday I had the chance to do some paperwork with Lisa who showed me a list of the general wages of people in different areas and I had to fill this information into the list. I learnt that when dealing with numbers you always have to remain aware of any mistakes you can make because the smallest of them, especially in finance, can have a great effect on many people. Next, Katie showed me about marketing and the reputation of the company, this being the web page of Teign Housing and the creation of new posts on the site.

Overall, I had a great time at Teign Housing and I have definitely learnt much about how a housing company is run of which I had no idea about the week before. This week has given me some insight towards what job I would like to have, I have not decided on a particular job yet, but I now know about what working means and the different standards you have to keep up, things which I had no experience with. Everyone I have met was nice and they all have taught me important qualities for when I will be an employee and I definitely feel more confident about being able to find a job that I love to do.