From Australia to Northwich : meet Alison - our new community involvement connector | Latest news

From Australia to Northwich : meet Alison - our new community involvement connector

Alison Haigh loves a challenge.

During her 23 years as a mental health nurse in Australia, it was her job to work and engage with some of the most difficult and hard-to-reach groups, including Aboriginal Australians in remote communities.

“Mental health statistics showed that Aboriginal people are much more likely to suffer from depression and homelessness than other Australians.” Alison said.

“These communities have their own culture and beliefs, and they have a lot of barriers in terms of accessing a lot of services, including those linked to health and housing. It was challenging, but I loved meeting new people and it can be quite rewarding when you start to build relationships with people.

Alison is now putting the skills she learned back home to good use here at Weaver Vale.

Alison added: “I moved to Northwich a couple of years ago with my family. My husband has strong family links here and wanted to move to be closer to his parents. Our family has really settled in, our kids go to local schools and we really like the area. The weather is a bit colder, but the people are warm and friendly!”

The mum-of-two is now back doing what she loves – meeting people, finding out their interests and providing them with support and development opportunities as our new Customer Involvement Connector.

“I’ve always enjoyed going out and meeting new people so this is a great fit for me,” Alison said.

“I like the idea of connecting people and giving our customers a voice, it’s about being an advocate for people. I’m enjoying my role so far and I’m keen to get more people involved in the work of the Trust.

“I’ve been out and about introducing myself and finding out what they know about Weaver Vale, as well as telling them about how they can get involved. The reaction so far has been really positive and there have been a couple of early successes. I was talking to a 16-year-old girl at a local library and she’s now agreed to take part in our e-Voice survey.”

Weaver Vale offers a number of ways in which our customers can get involved. The Trust has a dedicated team that supports customer volunteers, providing you with the proper training and resources.

Current opportunities range from Green Inspectors, who check our open spaces to make sure our contractors are maintaining high standards, to joining our dedicated Customer Involvement Groups that cover areas such property services and welfare reform. The Trust also has a dedicated resource room, including IT facilities, at our head office at Gadbrook Park, Northwich.

Alison added: “It’s also about finding out what interests our customers. We have lots of really good volunteer opportunities here at the Trust and I know our customers have a lot of skills and knowledge that we can tap into.  It’s about having a chat with them and finding out how they would like to get involved.

Alison “We are also really flexible as well when it comes to volunteering.  You can give as little or as much time as you like and you can fit things around what you have going on in your life.  We also pay travel expenses and are happy to cover things such as childcare costs. We will also support you along the way, we have great facilities and there’s loads of training. If you fancy a chat and a brew, come and say g’day!”

If you would like to find out more about volunteer opportunities at Weaver Vale, drop Alison a line on 01606 813351 or email alison.haigh@wvht.co.uk. You can also find out more about our volunteer opportunities here.

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