Our Customer Liaison Officer, Kerrie Blackwood, is returning to the NHS in a volunteering capacity as part of the national effort to deal with coronavirus.
Kerrie joined us just over a year ago having spent 10 years in Radiology at the North Devon District Hospital in Barnstaple.
Kerrie’s usual job sees her carry out inspections on customers’ homes prior to them ending their tenancies along with surveying and preparing customers for a new kitchen or bathroom.
Her findings allow our maintenance teams to ensure properties are well prepared ahead of new customers moving in.
Yet lockdown prevented Kerrie from being able to perform her normal duties and she became involved in the remote testing of smoke alarms, keeping our customers safe along with the welfare calls we made to vulnerable customers.
While a return to Radiology was not possible, she has been offered a post in the Mental Health section of the hospital following a Skype interview.
Kerrie will create care plans for patients in one of the two wards at the hospital designed to help people with their mental health.
As we celebrate Volunteers Week – a national celebration of the contribution millions have made across the country through volunteering – Kerri said: “I am really looking forward to it and it is nice to be doing some good for the world in these strange times.
“Obviously the lockdown and this virus has had an impact on people’s mental health and this will be a great way of me giving a bit back.
“I feel the volunteering will help me when I return to my job at LiveWest because it will help me understand people more.
“I work with a wide range of people in my LiveWest role and this will undoubtedly benefit how I deal with people.
“Because of the fact that we are not doing void inspections at the moment, it meant I can’t do my normal job.
“My manager was really supportive of me going back to the NHS in the interim.
“I start today and have some e-learning to do before taking on my first case load.
“It will lovely to do something new as I have been at home since lockdown helping out with school learning for my three children.”
And while she is relishing her new role with the NHS, Kerrie is also looking forward to returning to her normal role at LiveWest.
Kerrie added: “I can’t wait to get back to LiveWest as I am missing that contact with the customers and speaking to the fitters.
“I love what I do because I get to see the customer’s journey right from the start to the end. From health and safety visits at the start of the journey, I do surveys on bathrooms and kitchens and tell the customer what we are doing in their home.
“At the end of it, I get to check and make sure that the customer is happy. It means I can build up some really positive relationships and help and support during the process.”
Our Regional Head of Operations, Paul Brown, who is Kerrie’s line manager, said: “Allowing people with the necessary transferable skills to support our customers and wider communities is so inspiring.
“With many of our teams continuing to support our own customers within LiveWest, Kerrie is now able to provide the necessary care and support to the wider community through supporting the NHS.”