Coming from the third sector in Communities First I was never asked to write a blog or trusted to do so in fear of dropping the odd ‘Dad joke’ in. But now I work for Dads Can, all the jokes I’ve built up over the years finally come in handy! SO here’s a little taster: how do you get Pikachu on a bus? Poke him on!’
But in all seriousness my first month has been the most interesting, busy and breath of fresh air I could have asked for, from meeting the Dads and families to being made to feel welcome by each team within Monmouthshire Housing Association.
Three days in and I’m asked to drive a mini bus full of Dads and their families to appear on ITV news. My driving skills were truly tested by driving a 17 seater through the narrow lanes of Abergavenny to a farm where the TV crew are eagerly awaiting our arrival. Next thing I know I’m planting plants while trying to act casual as the camera zooms in on my glistening silver streaks along the back of my head. That evening it’s safe to say I received a few ‘silver fox, old man & badger’ texts off friends and families accompanied by my picture. So thanks for that ITV we now all know my grey is showing through.
Not only in my first week did I appear on TV I also got to work a weekend event! The tenant network event turned out to be a success with the Dads Can tent drawing in the families to enjoy archery and games for the children, and of course while the children are playing I signed up a few participants to Dads Can project. All in all an enjoyable event, made better by the free pizza vouchers.
In week 2 I was lucky enough to go along to London for the Housing Association Awards, which Dads Can was nominated. Although we didn’t win it was a fantastic experience for the project and the two participants we took along.
In week 1 I was on TV and in week 2 I’m sat next to the CEO having a 3 course meal with a glass red talking about Rugby and Triathlons, And which he responded something along these lines ‘Why on earth would you want to swim in the sea?’ I couldn’t really give him a good answer as I’m not sure why I would do it either. It’s safe to say we all had a brilliant night and are incredibly proud of all the works Dads Can are doing. The following morning we took the participants around London sight-seeing which is something they had only seen on the TV, by 3 o’clock we were all grateful the train was booked as last night was starting to take its toil and I needed a nap, To which Shane took full advantage of traveling.
The rest of my time I have been completing my online policies and procedures, meeting new and old clients, building up my own caseload and making links with outside agencies. This has taken me to prison, on hidden sentence training with the PACT team, meeting probation workers and linking in with food banks. All of this has made me realise how many agencies there are out there to support our families.
Within all this training there was one gadget I didn’t get a grasp of, MYSOS alarm, which I set off accidently one day sitting in car. I was sat having my lunch when I heard a voice asking ‘Where is your locations sir? Are you ok Sir?’ A little baffled, I checked the radio, looked around me but no one was speaking, to which I looked down and a kind lady was getting ready to send help. I have since learned how to use the MYSOS and at least I know it works.
I’ve taken a dip in the pool cars, safe to say the Toyota is my favourite. The Nissan on the other hand is like a Top Gear challenge on’ how far can I go on one battery charge and will I make it back to base or get someone to rescue me?’ The other little surprise I found with the Nissan is ‘How to find the handbrake’. Turns out after 10 minutes of looking in all the usual places, Mark came down to show me it’s in the foot well.
It has been a very unpredictable and varied month which has kept me on my toes and I have enjoyed every second. Now I have settled into the role, fingers crossed our funding will come through to keep the project going for the next phase and the success of the project will continue. I am looking forward to being a part of this journey.
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