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#mondaystories… this is a special one!

#mondaystories… this is a special one!.


Lost in translation…

This is a great story #inspired

Lost in translation….


How working in a place I like has changed me…


How working in a place I like has changed me…

Ive now been working at Bromford Support for almost 5 months now and its been such a great experience I count everyday as an opportunity to do something good.

At my other jobs before I use to just think of the money and complain about everything else like the way staff speak each other and get treated, also how the company treats its customers and attitude towards helping employees.

 The fact that I know my colleagues are more than willing to help with a task and also encouraging me giving free friendly advice or a simple forward of an email is just great!! go to work with such confidence and a mind state where I’m always trying to use my initiative because of the way i feel when I’m at work.

I genuinely want to go that bit further to help my colleagues and company to succeed in every which way possible! and what a great phrase Bromford have here which I thrive off! “be the best you can be” ask yourself whether you are being the best you can be?… maybe its because you don’t feel like you have to… but coming from experience when you do! it can work wonders for you and your company and anyone around you…

This is the first time I have ever worked in an office environment so when I see the reactions on peoples faces when they see me on the way home from work or when I say my job title they’re quite shocked and inspired in ways because they always ask “how did I get that job” I explained that I actually was unsuccessful in my first attempt but I learnt from it got feedback and when the opportunity came up again I grabbed it with both hands and held on tight!

I say to them and anyone else that you can do it too and why not apply for a job you actually want to do or a place you’d like to work in just believe in yourselves…

I could go on forever but this is just a quick blog of how i feel at the moment about my job and as you can all see I Love it!


2013 O4E Case Studies – Chai Podins #mondaystories

2013 O4E Case Studies – Chai Podins #mondaystories.

Thoughts on Christmas this year…

Merry-Christmas-from-BloggertoneMerry Christmas to one and all,

Since I have been working for Bromford my mentality has changed from thinking about myself all the time to really wanting to help and make a difference to others lifes! It feels great to know I’m involved in the projects that enable these great things to happen!

This year is a really exciting xmas for me because of the great things that has happened…
Im so happy to be working for Bromford and glad to know theres lots of exciting things to do while working for Bromford in the New Year!

So this year I’m counting my blessings and very thankful for what I already have…

Thinking of others that arent so fortunate at this time of year…

A Very Merry Christmas!!!!


My Experience at the Customer Influence Group meeting (CIG)

It was good constructive day at the friar’s gate office in Solihull we discussed the main points of what the customers of Bromford Group think about what were doing to help them live a better life. By having customers there and allowing for them to give their input on what they think we should be doing and whether what were doing already is benefitting the business and their lives while living in a Bromford home. This can help us have more knowledge of the customer’s needs and solutions to the reoccurring problems or issues we come across on a daily basis.

I learned that it’s not just common problems like ASB in the area and also repairs that we Bromford group have to deal with its things like what help can we do for our elderly customers?
So this is what the Customer Influence group is all about…

We caught up on all the points that were raised in the last meeting checked over what progress has been made and gathered feedback on the process.

Then we talked about what ideas customers of Bromford think would be good and any improvements to the service’s we already provide for them.
By having a colleague as customer in on the meeting (like myself) is a good idea because I can see the customers can relate to the similar experiences we go through as a customer at Bromford.
At the end of the day we went over a summary of what we discussed about the main themes we are working with.
• Welfare Reform
• Repairs & Maintenance
• Bromford Deal
• Digital Services
• Community Tools
• Older Persons Services

The Customer Influence Group (CIG) is a great way to bring customers of Bromford in and to influence the way we do things by giving there views, opinions and experiences of living in a Bromford Group home. I can see that it benefits everyone because customers can be heard and give there views to someone that will make sure their voices are being heard and responded to. Also Bromford can get right to the point of any issues that are raised and help to improve services more specifically to customers needs. This is a growing network that’s only going to expand more when more customers and colleagues get involved.

My Experience at the Transforming Business Excellence and Engagement through Digital Communication and Social Media conference

My Experience at the Transforming Business Excellence and Engagement through Digital Communication and Social Media conference

It was a really interesting day at the Social Media conference with Paul Taylor, I met some really great people and found out a whole lot more about social media than I thought I knew. I listened in on the thoughts and ideas about social media of different representatives from housing associations all over the UK. The workgroups were a great idea for everyone to get more of an understanding about all the aspects of social media…

Out of the three workgroups which involved:
1. Practical tools of twitter, Jules Birch, freelance writer,
Learn how to use blogging and twitter regularly to engage business to business/stakeholders and develop your skills in using this social media platform as an effective business tool.

2. Just do it! Facebook for community engagement, Tom Gaskin, Orbit Group East and South
The Orbit Group will show delegates how they run an organisational Facebook page effectively and how their residents engage with them through it.

3. The vision of the sector, wider digital tools, Rob Newell, Creative Digital Director & Marketing Manager, Creative Bridge
This session looks at what’s new, from niche social networks to wider digital tools, and the opportunities for use of these technologies in the sector.

I chose to go into the Practical tools of Twitter session run by Jules Birch freelance writer.
After sitting in on this workgroup I understood about how to do blogging and use twitter, there are so many different things you can write about it’s really up to you depending on your interest or field of work involved in blogging and twitter. I learned that we can communicate with customers as a business and also find partnerships through social media by engaging through internet web tools like twitter.
Then we had lunch and interactive digital zone where there was expert advice on hand to answer all of your digital and social questions.

After lunch I had the opportunity to sit in on another workgroup session so this time I chose to go into;

The vision of the sector, wider digital tools run by Creative Digital Director Rob Newell, and Creative Bridge
I learned about something called Aurasma and blippa which are leading advertising based solutions. It’s like the digital world meeting physical world where we can actually interact physically with a screen in the shop window for instance to buy items right there right now. Aurasma is a buy product of recognition, and also anybody can be an Aurasma developer all you have to do is get in contact with them. There are more and more ways for web-based solutions today and technology is here to help.

Did you know? We send an average of 144.8 Billion emails everyday now

In the 1st quarter of the year there were more IPhones sold than babies were born…
IPhones = 378k
Babies = 371k

This just shows how fast our world is moving and I feel like I have to constantly keep up with the times an move forward with the technology that surrounds us. Coming to the end of the of the day after the workgroup session we all discussed each others views and opinions and also ideas about:

Transforming Business Excellence and Engagement through Digital Communication and Social Media, Abi Davies Assistant Director of Policy & Practice, CIH showed us about how we may engage with MPs in the future through various digital platforms and how can we lobby government effectively through digital media campaigns to find out this information was really useful for me because it shows us that our voices can be heard through digital media and we can make a difference.

The top 5 tips we can take away from this are:
• It’s ok to fail
• The Power of Social Media
• “Whoever said it first is the truth”
• Be honest and engaging
• Think through the audience

What a great day! It went really well and I learned a lot I could take away from this opportunity I’m really thankful and appreciate being apart of this Transforming Business Excellence and Engagement through Digital Communication and Social Media conference!

My 4th week at Bromford

I’m currently into my 4th week at Bromford Group and I can honestly say im still enjoying every single moment here! Everyday I learn something new and its a really great feeling. Definately feel like im changing and developing in such a good and positive way I really can’t stop talking about how much I love my job when I’m out of work… And that’s a first for me considering some of the jobs I’ve had all I do was use to complain to my mom when i get home! LOL! 🙂

My Experiences on the Work Club

My experience of the Work club in Perton with our skills coaches was very interesting and challenging. We set up the Work club in the Library with help and guidance from our skills manager then he left us to run it while he attended an appointment at the office. We set up the work club and I learned everything from how to setup the layout to helping all sorts of people with different support issues and needs.

The work club is for people of all ages and also for anyone who might need support for looking for work, interview techniques, CV building, internet and email compatibility and many more of the skills you need to enable you to find a job.

There were all different types of people coming in to use the work club for there own specific personal needs, I found it very satisfying to know we could help these people with there issues in looking for work as I was once in the same position. Issues such as, gaining skills for the job and also confidence because I learnt that its not just people that are struggling to find a job it’s also people who may not have the confidence to even look for work and go to interviews at the present time in their life.

Whilst I was at the work club I met a volunteer there and I found out that he was on the same group interview with me last year when I was applying for a position within Bromford Group but unfortunately we were both unsuccessful at that time so here I am now as a Bromford Group colleague after the 2nd time I was successful. I explained to him how I was given feedback that really helped me with my confidence and reapplied and got the job. He really showed interest in what I said and he was happy with volunteering with helping out the work club but he also would like a job or even a position within Bromford Group.

I think its good that we encourage volunteering because even though it isn’t paid I feel that it gives people a chance to see what they would like to do and also gain the necessary skills for that field of work, training or even confidence building.

My feedback on the work club is things like having more laptops and maybe advertising the work club in more public areas like the local supermarket and shops for instance. Also maybe more volunteers but also they can use the facilities to look for work themselves and gain skills in helping others. Also I think it could run more often like once a week instead of every 2 weeks or once a month, but I know putting the time and people to do this more often can be limited. I suggest maybe organising volunteers to run it one week and then Bromford support worker the next week to assist them.

My experience on a connect welcome visit

When I went out on a connect visit with Sarah Jane Mason whos one of our skills coaches and I learnt some very interesting things not only about Bromford but also about the tenants, like the way Bromford would help support there tenants by arranging welcome visits by a skills coach and housing officer to find out how they are coping with moving into a new property and also with any other support issues such as ASB, employment, or general help within the household and moving into a new home.

It was very interesting because I learned that Bromford provided a very wide range of support in so many different ways everyone can benefit from it. We had 4 welcome visit appointments and I learned something new about my colleagues and the tenants on every visit.

The first appointment was with a customer who has relocated with her son and she needed support with ways of finding work and anything essential that needs repairing for the home, she had also personal issues in the past which I think makes it harder to get settled in with the general obstacles we have to cope with in life. The housing officer and skills coach was very helpful by giving her options for finding work and also advice in any concerns she may have not just about the house but in life in general. I could see that it means a lot to the tenant that there is support for her and son there. What I thought was really good is that some people might not have the facilities or even be able to afford to set up essential things like a phone line and internet connection in there new home. Sorts of things like look for jobs online and find out important information like where or how to go about paying bills, these are one of the many things that needs to be done when moving into a new home. The skills coach and housing manager can use this high tech equipment like an Ipad which enables them to provide the tenant with that important quick on the spot information and facilities they are going to need to get settled and start living a life in there new home.

The second appointment was with another customer in similar circumstances as the previous tenant but she also different sorts of problems to cope with. She has recently moved from a different town into a Bromford home. This tenant wanted to move because of all the problems in her previous home. Her daughter was also experiencing some problems at school. The tenant told us that in her new home there are no ASB problems and she is very happy with the area and school her daughter is now attending, she’s already found a job and has a phone line and internet connection set up. The only concern she had was about the gas fire which is getting sorted by Bromford and a gas engineer is coming out to fix it in a few days. What was interesting is that the neighbour’s apparently knocked on her door and said how pleased they are to see her living there now.

The third appointment was with someone who suffers from a mental illness which I thought was really shocking and it really made me want to make an impact on her life to make it the best we can. In this circumstance I can see that the support my colleagues was helping her with was more for her well being while living in the house than for independency like working for herself because she has to depend on her partner and parents to get by even though she is not fully dependant its not suitable for her to find work at this time. But she has children and we advised her that the options like using connect to find work and build CV is also available for them too, I could see the tenant was happy to hear that. It was one of Bromfords own new built houses and she was so happy with the quality of her home she wanted to show us around the whole house and then she gave the housing officer a big hug to show how pleased and happy she was with the house and help that was provided for her and children also. Serena who is her housing officer has also offered to create a sort of memo board to put up in the house with all the relevant information she might need.

The fourth appointment was with a young couple which needed support in quite a few areas like looking for work, buying furniture for the house and the facilities to do this. And I also think some looking for work skills because the guy had been out of work for a few years and has been attending a training programme to find work. The housing manager and skills coach were both really helpful to them as they suggested going to a different training provider which might help them more to gain the skills and find work. The skills coach signed both of them on the connect programme so they look for job alerts and build a CV and I explained to them how hard I know it is myself to find work and it seemed they understood and could relate to that.

I think that a scheme of trying to provide a internet connection and maybe a landline telephone number for new tenants that maybe don’t have the money straight away or aren’t working and cant afford it yet. I really think this would work well and give more motivation and incentive for tenants who are able to work and do things for themselves.

It might be good to give the tenants a phone call after 3 weeks of seeing them on the welcome visit appointment will be a good idea to check on their progress but also to find out if everything is going ok for them.

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A few thoughts from me

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Paul Taylor

Social Innovation. Customer Experience. Service Design