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A week in the life of... a Neighbourhood Officer 

For Thrive Neighbourhood Officer Siobhan, the week started with being on duty. This means being around for the customer service team if they need advice. The rest of her week varied between catching up with the team on cases and visiting tenants. Siobhan talks us through a week in her work life with Customer Relations. 

Monday 

The start of the week is usually a busy one for me. I spend the morning catching up on any emails that came through over the weekend and any out of hours calls that came in.  

This Monday is my Duty Day so I am working from home! Being on duty means that I am around for the customer service team to call if they need some advice or if they have a tenant who needs to speak to someone, and their usual neighbourhood officer is out of the office. 

Being on duty is a great chance to catch up with any work from the previous week, which includes agreeing for a family to have a pet (my favourite part of the job!) 

Tuesday 

Tuesday is the designated office day for the customer relations team. I usually start the day off by catching up with my colleagues about any cases we have that cross over or that we jointly work on. I then use the rest of the morning to print any letters, send ASB diary notes out to the tenants who are struggling with ASB in their local area and catch up with colleagues in other departments. 

After lunch, I head out to Mill End and Maple Cross. I try and visit these areas when I am in the office, as when I work from home, I am over 25 miles away and want to save both time and mileage. I have had multiple calls about a dog being left in the communal areas of a block in Mill End so visited the area this morning to hand out ASB surveys to those within the block. Luckily, whilst I was there, the dog was roaming around on the communal balcony, so I was able to get down its details and speak to the owner and remind them that this isn’t allowed.  

Wednesday 

Back over in the Three Rivers area today. My first appointment is a joint one with an ASB officer from Thrive and a tenant who has a challenging relationship with their neighbour. After spending an hour with the tenant and discussing what they would like, we agree to refer both neighbours to mediation. Mediation is the method of resolving issues between people with a neutral third party. 

I then walk to my next appointment which is just across the road. My third visit is to a property that both myself and the income team suspect as being abandoned. After looking through the windows and post box, I can see that there is no furniture or belongings in the property, and everything is exactly how it was during my other two visits. I take the opportunity to check whether neighbours have seen anybody coming or going, which they hadn’t. This is all noted down on my abandonment check list. 

My last visit of the day is with a social worker for a tenant who is struggling with maintaining their property and is displaying some hoarding tendencies. I have been working on this case for some time as the electrical safety check was well overdue and put the referral into social care as well as the fire department who attended and ensured there was no immediate fire risks. It turned out to be a very successful visit as social care agreed to support the tenant in the clearance of the property! 

Thursday 

I start my Thursday mornings off with the usual check of the emails and find there’s an update on a decant case that I worked on in November 2022 when Thrive took over 500 properties from another housing provider which are all predominantly situated in High Wycombe. I check in with the tenant who has been struggling with their mental health and settling into their new property. Having worked in the Buckinghamshire area my whole career, I am very familiar with the support services in the area and offer the tenant a few referrals into a tenancy sustainment service as well as a mental health support service which they accept.  

I then spend the rest of the morning making notes for my meeting in the afternoon. I have a quick catch up with my manager to go through some cases that I have been working on. 

Once a month on a Thursday afternoon, I attend a virtual partnership meeting which we refer to as an ASBAG. This meeting is the one for High Wycombe, but I also attend the monthly ones for Aylesbury and the Three Rivers area too. This meeting is such a useful tool for me and the ASB team as it gives us the opportunity to closely liaise with the police, the ASB team at the council and other local housing providers to tackle ASB. In today’s ASBAG, we went through the addresses of properties and blocks that are being affected by ASB and I organised for a joint visit to an area with the police where we are struggling with drug users in the bin shed.  

Friday 

Today I spent the morning working from home and catching up on my emails, calls and anything on my to do list (which is normally very long!). I called eight customers and these conversations ranged from a query about fencing to a call about a property being abandoned. After lunch, I head to High Wycombe to attend the joint visit I set up with the police on yesterday's meeting. Although there is nobody in the bin shed here today, there is evidence of people having been in there recently. The police and I have agreed for more patrols in the area, and I will re-visit the area with a surveyor to see what Thrive can do to make it more secure and safe for our tenants.  

I finished off my week visiting other flat blocks in High Wycombe to check everything is going well before heading home and finishing off my notes for the week.