It’s good to talk…

Imagine the scene. I’m new to Bolton at Home. It’s a veritable sea of different projects, working groups and people I don’t yet know. I’m not always sure how everything links together, who does what, and what’s due to happen next. However, I’m learning people’s names, and I know where Shirley hides the chocolate.  Continue reading

Ready, Steady, Bake!

It was like moving house putting all my equipment in the back of the car.  Boxes full of cutters, embossers, tools, food colourings, sparkles – you name it I’ve got it.

Sarah Lodge is a place I’ve only heard about, so it was a great surprise when Chris Massey from Tonge UCAN centre asked if I would deliver a ‘masterclass’ for the residents.  “Me”, I said!  I only bake as a hobby but as a result of my involvement in the company ‘bake-off’ colleagues knew I could bake and I’d proven myself (to my amazement actually). I didn’t think I was that competitive, but it’s amazing what a bit of employee rivalry stirs up.

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A day in the life of a Business Intelligence Analyst

a photo of a man sitting with a computer behind him

A day in the life of a Business Intelligence Analyst

The great thing about being a Business Intelligence Analyst (BIA) is the variety of work.  We regularly get to work with staff across the business and link up with customers through our Customer Inspector service.

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Building better futures: experience counts for Kurtis

On his return from Romania, Kurtis Atkinson, 18, told us that he would “happily do it again”.  He explains why.

“I wanted to take part in the programme because I’d never done anything like this before and it seemed really interesting.

Whilst I was there, we laid foundations and skimmed the inside of people’s houses.  We also demolished the inside of a building that the FAST Charity  will turn into a learning centre.

One of  the people I met was a man called Yon.  He works for FAST and is very interesting with a bubbly personality.  It was fun to work with him.  He pronounced my name “Kurtish”, which I found funny until everyone else started calling me that.

In Romania, I learned that some people don’t have a lot but they seem happy with what they have. 

I enjoyed being there.  It was hard work but fun. 

I was able to meet new people and work for those who needed my help. 

Everyone involved made it a good experience and I’d happily do it again.”

Building better futures: realisations after Romania

John Robinson, 19, is a trainee plumber from Egerton.  Here he looks back on his time in Romania and explains how valuable it has been to him. 

“When I first heard about the Romania part of the programme, I thought it would be an amazing experience to be involved with.  I looked forward to meeting people from different walks of life and seeing how they live.

When I learned that we were going to help a community build a better future, I wanted to get involved even more.

During our time there, we helped multiple families with different projects.  These included laying foundations to help a family start building their home, rendering another family’s home and building a local shop.

The most rewarding part was helping a family underpin their house to prevent it from collapsing after they’d spent three years building it.  It was a real team effort to get the job completed within the time scale we had and the family even chipped in where they could, with their eldest son driving the horse and cart to get the sand for us to mix concrete.  The gratitude the family showed us for saving their house from ruin made the all hard work worthwhile.

We met so many interesting people over the two weeks.  John, who was an original Roma gypsy, had managed to secure a job at the charity where we were based.  He was a real character who kept us laughing on a daily basis, with his impressions of an English accent and his dry sense of humour. It was interesting to hear his story of his background and how he’d managed to improve his life for his wife and children.

It was also amazing to get to know the Roma community and how welcoming they were after they’d got to know us.  It was interesting to learn about their culture and the way they did things differently to us.

Whilst I was in Romania, it made me realise how we take things for granted such as having a roof over our heads, clean water and food.  After seeing how happy the Roma community was despite having so little, it made me realise that we should be much more appreciative of what we have.

I also realised how much more difficult simple tasks are without the use of power tools and how important it is to work together as a team.

The main thing I enjoyed about the programme was seeing how much the Roma community warmed to us.  At first they were apprehensive but towards the end they were inviting us into their homes for cups of coffee.

It was also great to be able get to know people who you normally wouldn’t get the chance to see or meet, even though we work for the same organisation. 

Overall this trip has been an amazing opportunity and has taught me to value things.  I’m very grateful to have been offered this experience and I hope that the programme continues to enable other people to benefit as I have done.”