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An Overview of ACT - our history and our services

An overview of Anglia Care Trust in our own words.

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Jane Simpson, Director of Business Support

Listen to Jane outlining Anglia Care Trust, our history and what we do.

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Katie Fenton, Operational Coordinator

Kate describes her role within Anglia Care Trust, working in Children and Young People’s services
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Kate Burgess, Operational Manager

Kate explains her role at Anglia Care Trust

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Wayne Duff-Godfrey, Operational Manager

Wayne describes the work of his team in providing housing services to service users of ACT
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Stuart Blanchard, Money Adviser

Stuart explains his role as a money adviser at ACT. Helping people to manage their debts, maximise their income and providing people with support across their finances

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Lisa Miles, Volunteer Development Manager

Lisa explains her role in recruiting and managing our team of volunteers. She explains how valuable they are in helping us to provide our services to the community, and the training that they receive from us

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Lisa's Lockdown Story (13th May 2020)

Having recovered from a horrible bout of COVID-19 I feel like I came to 3 and a half weeks into lockdown, after some nasty symptoms that left me feeling as though I had been hit by a bus!

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Once I felt well enough, I was keen to get back to work – from home obviously – as I love my job and I really needed the meaning and purpose it gives me. I am really passionate about what we do and I am always inspired by our volunteers and the amazing team we have at ACT. By the time I returned, I had really missed everyone and there were people that I couldn’t wait to speak to on the phone.

To be honest, I am really grateful for working from home, because on returning to work, the option to stay in my pajamas in the first week with a lie in was a real blessing. I was still exhausted, but desperate to be back. The routine, structure, comfortability, and enjoyment that being back at work gave me was fundamental to improving my mental health which had taken a bit of a battering after 3 and a half weeks in bed having not spoken to or seen anyone, other than doctors, an ambulance crew, and my husband. Now I am back in the throes of things and feeling much better, this is what a typical week has been like:

I am usually up at 8.15 as I am lucky enough to have a husband that brings me a coffee in bed, then it’s a quick shower and at my laptop for 9 am in my home office – basically my dining room with our dining table which acts as a desk – perfect as I have lots of space – if you see my desk in the office then you will know I need lots of space. I have found that putting my make up on has actually helped me to feel more focused and separates my home and workspace a bit. It’s like, I am ready for the day ahead.

The day starts with checking my emails and I am always pleased to find an application form in the mix. This week has seen a real change in the way we deliver training. I have been able to catch up with all of our volunteers who were in the middle of their training when lockdown occurred. We have set up video training using Microsoft teams to deliver outstanding training modules in groups, online. This is an exciting new way of working that has actually proved to be really effective. We are able to train volunteers from all over Suffolk and Norfolk, together in one place, from the comfort of everyone’s home.

A catch-up call with Faye, our Appropriate Adult Coordinator, was a chance for a good chat as well as an update on the volunteers in her service. We discussed the possibility of Zoom interviews if lockdown continues so that we can keep on top of the applications that are coming in, whilst working to reduce any risk. Now we have a process for online virtual training we will be able to interview and commence training for volunteers using live video calling in a virtual set up.

It has been a real pleasure to catch up with volunteers this week who are also experiencing lockdown and are unable to leave home at present. This has been either due to age or health conditions. Everyone has different circumstances and a catch-up call has been a lovely way to stay in touch and connect. Speaking of connecting, it has been great to speak to different team members this week on the phone and catching up. It still seems really funny seeing all of us on the screen during our video call when we have our team meeting.

Earlier this week, I was delighted to hear that our Performance reviews were still going ahead and would be delivered via Zoom video call. Lockdown can leave you feeling disconnected and discombobulated and so a review of the year and what had gone well really helped to lift my spirits. Also being at home without as many of the interruptions as the office was a calm and reflective space to think about what I would like to improve and helped me to give more thought to this than I usually would, which helped me to be more searching and honest. That’s all written up now ready for my Video call on Monday – I have worked with Caroline, my line manager for 5 years now and she has always been a source of motivation and encouragement so 1:1 time via video is something to really look forward to.

This week has also included putting together a Suffolk hero nomination for one of our amazing volunteers. When I called her today to let her know we had nominated her she was over the moon. Calls like that are absolutely one of the reasons I love my job. The work our volunteers do is so inspiring but more than that it’s the spirit and warm-heartedness that it’s done with that gets me every time.

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Kirsty's Lockdown Story (19/05/20)

I’m Kirsty and I’m an Administrative Officer at Anglia Care Trust.

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Kirsty, Administrator, Business Support I offer admin support to our Money Advice and SEND Mediation Services – I’m part of the Business Support Team and I love what I do! It’s the helping aspect that really motivates me – in helping my colleagues to get their work done, I’m helping the wider community that they work with and I feel as though their successes are mine too.

Working for ACT is satisfying on so many levels, our people are good people – they care and they want to make things better for those most in need, the most vulnerable, the disconnected and the ones who have lost their way in life. To be a part of, and contributing to the work they do, makes me proud every day.

Everything about how I do my job has changed in the last month. I’ve gone from being fully office-based, to working from home four days a week and in the office for just one day. This is to achieve a balance between working safely and still being able to support our staff to deliver their services. One of my team being in the office each day means that our colleagues are able to work safely wherever possible. It means a lot to us as a team that we can support them in this way.

The amount of work involved in transitioning from being office-based to home-working has been significant and is ongoing, but the organisation, and my colleagues, have risen to the challenge and continue to step-up every day to find ways to make it work for us and our service users.

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