A number of jLiving staff have recently completed a range of high-profile qualifications and technical accreditations in external leadership training, in a bid to extend their existing skills and abilities and bring extra value to their roles at the housing association.

Between April and October 2021, Lori Gardner, Senior Housing Manager at jLiving, remotely attended a leadership course in conjunction with WISH (Women in Social Housing). This course involved attending two 2-hour sessions per month covering all aspects of leadership and confidence building in relation to social housing. One of Lori’s jLiving colleagues, Tracey Brennan, was also on the course together 13 other women from different housing related organisations. The monthly sessions included lectures as well as practical problem-solving work-related challenges.

Lori found the course hugely beneficial and says: “Attending this course empowered me to feel more confident about my abilities and also made me feel invested in by jLiving. During this time, I also completed a Level 2 Mental Health First Aid in the workplace qualification, which will also be an invaluable extra skill to have”.

jLiving Repairs Manager, Claire Deverell, completed her Part P Certificate and 18th Edition wiring regulations Certificate in 2021. Both certificates are related to electrical installations/building regs and competency, which give her a better understanding of the work being carried out by others for tenants at jLiving. She also completed a residential course with the Fire Safety College in Fire Safety/Fire Risk Assessment, which enables her to perform Fire Risk Assessments and to spot potential problems before they arise, as well as being more conversant with the language and regs used during the FRA process.

Claire has been keeping herself extremely busy since, in addition, she has just finished a Level 6 NVQ in Construction – Contracting Operations Management, which is hugely useful and relevant to her role in both the day-to-day repairs service and void management at Living.

Not only that but currently, she is studying for a Level 6 Diploma in Applied Health and Safety and hopes to finish this shortly. She says: “Health and Safety is obviously important in all walks of life, but I feel that it is of particular relevance in the world of repairs and maintenance, particularly for tenants at jLiving. I have also just been accepted to study an MSc in Building Surveying at Northumbria University (online!) which will take two years if all goes to plan.”

Donna-Marie Durham, Director of Property has just completed and passed her application for chartered status with the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) and can now officially use the letters MCIOB after her name!

She is also privately funding her Masters via distance learning (MSc Management in Sustainability). Donna-Marie says: “jLiving have kindly agreed to my flexible working request to facilitate the 12-15 hours of study per week required to complete the course. The course is something I am very interested in, both in terms of professional development and personal interest to develop skills further in Sustainability and Strategic Management.”

Electrician Mitchell Taylor-Brooks was offered the opportunity by jLiving to do his part P electrical qualification, as he can use this on certain aspects of his job such as installing or fixing electric showers or changing sockets. It gives him a greater understanding of electrics to ensure that he can work on them safely and to a very high standard.

Jane Goodman, CEO of jLiving said: “At jLiving, we strongly believe in giving staff as much time and support if they are keen to expand their skillset. It is not only beneficial to them by helping to build their confidence and abilities, but it adds value to their role at jLiving and ultimately our tenants, who are at the heart of everything we do, will benefit too. Our commitment to staff development and training drives up standards of professionalism in the sector. I am very proud that we have some very highly skilled staff with various academic achievements under their belts. Congratulations to Lori, Tracey, Claire, Mitch and Donna-Marie!”