Siwan Hammond is a part-time work planner at WHG. She talks to us throughout her week chasing clients to gain access to their properties for gas inspections, managing work on engineers’ devices, and handling an emergency.
A week in the life of… Siwan Hammond, part-time work planner at WHG #UKhousing
It’s back to work after a weekend well spent with my four-year-old daughter and my family.
I first check if we have any follow-up work from out of hours calls over the weekend.
Having worked in housing for several years now, specifically on the services team at WHG, my working day is so varied. It’s very busy, which makes time go by so quickly.
Today I am focusing on properties that are currently in the legal gas inspection stage. We need to actively call these clients and get a better idea of why they are not allowing access. I work closely with management and rental departments to try to get to these homes before they are overdue.
I call a client and she puts the phone on me. I’m still trying. At first, the client is defensive and says we are bothering her. I calmly explain the process and ask if the refusal of access is due to a debt on the meter.
She then reveals that she does not currently live at the address. We agree on a date and time for us to shut off the gas meter to make it safe and she then begins the process of giving her notice. This client is returning to her mother’s address and the property will now become available for a client who desperately needs it.
I ironed out a lot of details this morning by responding to email inquiries and completing tasks. It’s so important to keep up to date.
I’ve had a few email responses since yesterday. Having had multiple answering machines and “number no longer used” responses, I decide to take a different approach and send an email.
I’m so glad I did, as the resident of one of our homes who is getting late in the next few days responds and can grant access today. She didn’t have a phone but had access to a computer.
My main task for the day is to manage the work on the devices of the engineers. One of the engineers called in sick. He had booked a full day’s work, including one for an older client with no heat or hot water because he needed a room in his heating system.
I decide to look at another engineer’s journal to see if he can adapt to the job. Luckily he can, and I’m even able to give him an early date. I call the client and she is so grateful.
Wednesday – already halfway through the week?!
We have a new planner from another team. It’s actually very interesting to tell someone what I do day to day. When I write the role and the processes, the legal aspects and the workload, I quickly realize that my work is so important and gives me a huge sense of accomplishment.
I also realize how my team works daily with other people across the business – whether it’s customer services dealing with a vulnerable customer who has no heating or rental services for information on access issues.
Today, I’m rounding up some wanted possession notices that are due today.
Due to my workday ending at 2:30pm to accommodate the school rush, I make sure to liaise with my colleague as realistically I will only be able to complete a few . It works well because my colleague works late and can finish the others.
Friday – wow, how fast has this week gone by?!
A few minutes after the start of the work, an emergency occurs. The client does not feel well and thinks he smells gas. I immediately invoke our emergency gas procedure. They are advised to leave the address if possible and arrange to be checked at the local hospital.
I get the scheduled work quickly and we manage to attend within an hour. The engineer answers me and tells me that he has isolated the gas supply and that he needs to carry out further investigations and that he needs time to get to the stores.
In three hours, the problem is solved. Also, thankfully, the client gets the green light and now has full heating and hot water.
Like that, it’s the weekend again!