Meet Billie, Housing and Care Manager

Billie joined Housing 21 in August 2018; this was after working for the Extra Care Charitable Trust (ECCT) for 17 years and moved over to Housing 21 as part of an acquisition.

Billie had different roles during her time at ECCT starting as a Resident Support Worker, progressing to Team Leader, Team Leader Coach, Activity Coordinator and was made Care Manager in 2007. In 2018 the scheme was transferred over to Housing 21 where she signed a new contract and changed positions to Housing and Care Manager, as this was the equivalent role.

Billie recalls not having heard of Housing 21 before and remembers her concerns about the move: “ECCT was always the place I thought I would work until I retired,” she said.

“Even when I knew we were transferring, I did not attend any meetings with ECCT as I couldn’t face saying goodbye to my colleagues and friends. I felt bereaved as I was not in control, I hadn’t asked to leave and was questioning why it had to happen.”

Even though at first she had doubts, Billie remembers the transition process as being really positive and shares that the ‘management team were very attentive’. The Head of Extra Care South, Ashleigh Jarvis and Head of Operational Development, Tracy Jones met with the team and informed them of Housing 21’s purpose and values, and how they were now going to work together to achieve this.

BIllie said: “Having this meeting gave colleagues instant relief that the company was going to look after us.”

As part of this process, she supported residents at the scheme who also had a meeting with the management team at Housing 21. BIllie recalls: “Residents were apprehensive to begin with and needed our support as with ECCT, they provided residents with perks that they felt wouldn’t be continued at Housing 21.”

“It was important for me to keep employees at the scheme focused and positive about the change.  Some employees were adamant that they wanted to remain with the ECCT contract, but within 12 months of the acquisition, the team realised that Housing 21 offers its employees more benefits, rewards and recognition for length of service.”

“I’m not trying to sugar coat it, because it was hard to transfer over the care plans and paperwork, and to understand different processes and systems in a new organisation, but once these were operating smoothly within the scheme, it was a much better place to work than before.”

Head of Extra Care Central, Jamie Lewis contacted her on her first day after the move to welcome the team to Housing 21, with Billie commenting: “It was nice seeing a familiar face as I had previously worked with him at the ECCT.”  

Other managers from the Southeast One Team (whose region the scheme is in), welcomed her to the team. Billie, commends her Housing 21 colleagues for being extremely welcoming “which made the transition easier”.

“There have been some great changes following the acquisition with Housing 21; they offer good rewards, training, new uniform, pay rises and the Employee Assistance Programme,” said Billie.

“Residents loved that the scheme had a full makeover and are now involved in planning and giving suggestions more than ever before. They also provide easy-to-read versions of documents for residents and follow and regularly update policies.”

As part of the makeover the scheme had a new intercom system fitted, which is linked to Appello, that gives residents extra reassurance in an emergency, and brand new fitted bathrooms and kitchens which residents were invited to help choose.

When asked about Housing 21’s Learning and Development offer, she said: “It is excellent and easy to use. They have a focus on enabling employees to develop and progress within the organisation.

“If I could describe working at Housing 21 in one word it would be rewarding, I wouldn’t turn the clock back now, I enjoy working here.”

Find out more about the benefits we offer our employees on our website: Housing 21 - Employee benefits at Housing 21  

Find out more about acquisitions on our website: Housing 21 - Housing 21 acquisitions

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