I enjoy working at Castles & Coasts, there is a real positive, can do, culture within the organisation. I will always remember when I first started, not only did I find my new colleagues extremely helpful and friendly, but everyone had positive things to say about working here.
In my role as a Property Surveyor with the planned maintenance team, I work on projects to benefit our residents such as carrying out component replacements and upgrades to our housing stock. I never get bored because there is a lot of variety in my job, ranging from on-site inspections and meetings, to the scheduling of works and contactor supervision. One of the most enjoyable aspects of my role is seeing the improvements we make to our properties and the difference that makes for our residents.
There are many benefits of working at CCHA, but for me the most significant is the time and support they have invested to help me complete my Building Surveying Degree through the apprenticeship scheme with Northumbria University.
The degree apprenticeship route has given me the opportunity to study alongside my work, gain the necessary skills required and link them to my learning on a daily basis. Working while I study also means that when I complete my studies, I will have the required experience to apply for professional chartership.
My aim is to be a fully Chartered Surveyor by the end of 2022, and I have every confidence that I can achieve that. Castles & Coasts will also benefit from the apprenticeship as I learn and grow, I take those skills and knowledge back to the organisation and put them into practice to achieve great outcomes for our residents and the communities we serve.
Maintaining a good work/life balance is always a challenge in modern life. I have my work as a Surveyor, my studies and I also have a young family. Castles & Coasts has always been supportive with benefits such as a generous holiday entitlement, a flexi-time scheme and providing the tools I need to make it easier to do my job.
If I was going to describe the culture at Castles & Coasts in one word, it would be compassionate, they care about their employees which creates an atmosphere where staff are happy to come to work and enjoy what they do.
I have worked at Castles & Coasts for nearly 3 years and can honestly say they have been the happiest 3 years of my career and I look forward to achieving more with this great team.
Olivia Day, Lettings & Neighbourhoods Officer
In December 2019 I was successful in my application for the Customer Experience Assistant role at Castles & Coasts Housing Association (CCHA). Over the next three years my knowledge and experience of social housing developed and in May 2022, I was lucky enough to progress my career with a promotion to the role of Lettings and Neighbourhoods Officer. I really enjoy the work I do, and I am proud to playing my part in supporting our current and future residents.
After completing my GCSEs, I knew I did not want to go down the university route. I wanted to work and learn at the same time, and I was lucky enough to be accepted for an apprenticeship in Social Housing. I wasn’t specifically looking for a job in the housing sector, but it has been rewarding, and I’ve now set my sights on a long-term career in the sector.
The process of applying to CCHA was simple and quick. Right from the start, I was kept informed of when I would hear if I’d been selected for interview and the date the interviews were scheduled, which meant I could plan accordingly.
Much like the recruiting process, my induction was well planned and informative, equipping me with everything I needed to make a success of my new role. During the induction, I had the opportunity to work alongside all the other departments in the organisation.
This was a great way to broaden my skillset and gave me a wider understanding of the business. I got to meet colleagues from across the company, who made me feel welcome. I met the Chief Executive, who told me about the organisation and its culture. From the first day I was made to feel at ease by everyone. I really felt part of the team and was excited about my prospects.
I have found my job extremely rewarding. I am not only supporting our residents, I am also involved in how the organisation works together. Part of my role is to collaborate with colleagues looking for continuous improvement, such as identifying best practice for our internal processes and creating surveys to gather customer or employee feedback.
The culture at CCHA is extremely flexible and compassionate, and always considerate of the wellbeing of staff. I’ve had some good training and development opportunities, which keeps my knowledge up to date and fresh. I am encouraged by my colleagues and always want to do my best to contribute to the business. I am excited about my future with CCHA.
Darren Lee, Development Officer
“I joined Castles & Coasts Housing Association (CCHA) in July 2019 a year after I left the Army, where I served for eight years with the Royal Corps of Signals specialising in communications. When I decided it was time to try a new direction, I wanted to find a job that offered me a challenge and a long-term future with good career prospects. I can honestly say I feel that I have found that here.
“I hadn’t previously considered a career in the housing sector, but the job advert stood out to me with its commitment to finding the right person and developing them for the role using their transferable skills. The more I read about the role and the organisation, I realised that I had gained most of the skills and experience they were looking for during my military service.
“During the interview process, it was accepted that I lacked technical industry-related experience, but credit to the interview panel who recognised I had a lot to offer. I was able to show that I’m self-motivated, I have good people and communications skills as well as having experience of problem-solving, innovation and planning, all vital for the role of Development Officer.
“I was delighted to be offered the job and a training program to learn the additional skills I’d need for this role. The training so far has been a good blend of inhouse on the job training as well as external courses. In my first 12 months I’ve already completed two Health and Safety courses on construction, trained on bespoke software systems for property development. I am already building the skills and experience to have a successful career with CCHA and the wider sector.
“After my first year with CCHA I am thoroughly enjoying my role as Development Officer and working as part of the wider team. My role is challenging, varied and rewarding in equal measure. It might sound like a cliché, but no two days are the same which keeps me motivated. Handing the keys of a new property to a customer is an extremely rewarding end to an often-challenging build process.
“I would describe the culture at CCHA as friendly and helpful. They are a genuinely compassionate employer who take care to reward their team for their contribution. There is an emphasis on striking a good work-life balance, with a generous holiday entitlement and a great flexible working scheme. I get regular feedback and support from my line manager. Colleagues and staff are friendly and senior management, all the way to the Chief Executive, are very approachable.
“If I had to sum up how I feel about working here I’d say, “I’m proud to work for an organisation that is making a real difference delivering new housing solutions in the communities we serve.”
Christine Undrill, Customer Services Officer
I began working at Castles & Coasts Housing Association (CCHA) in 2018 after a life-changing accident forced me to re-evaluate my working life. I wanted to find a career that made the best use of the skills I had developed during a successful career in retail. The advert for a Customer Services Assistant asked for a confident, caring, flexible people person. I knew I was the right person for the role, I applied and haven’t looked back.
I have learnt so much since joining CCHA. There have been many opportunities to learn and grow, and I look forward to more. The organisation has been conscious of my needs and my training was tailored specifically for me. I have regular conversations with my line manager, so they know how to support me at work.
Following several successful secondments, I was promoted to Customer Services Officer. The secondments were great opportunities to learn more and prepare me for this new opportunity. It feels good to be trusted, and I am enjoying developing my skills further.
My daily role offers me so much variety. On any given day, I could be dealing with emergency situations or administrative tasks such as logging repairs or liaising with other departments to deliver excellent service to our residents. You never know who will call or what they will ask, and no two days are the same. Making a difference in someone’s day makes my job worthwhile.
I am now a fire warden and regularly work with the Health and Safety team to help keep my colleagues safe. Also, my role on the staff forum allows me to put forward ideas and suggestions to the organisations management team.
Working from home during the recent pandemic was challenging at times, but the support from Castles & Coasts was fantastic. I felt supported the whole way through the lockdown. Colleagues really pulled together to help each other through. I feel as if CCHA genuinely cares about my welfare.
I would describe the culture at CCHA as compassionate, motivating, and supportive. The Chief Executive, Steph Murphy, regularly takes the time to speak to each person.
I can see the company growing with vacancies offered with added incentives such as hybrid working, flexible hours and a bonus scheme to name just a few. The working relationships I have built here have made me feel like a valued team member. I look forward to many more good years working with CCHA.
Staff survey results
I believe CCHA is run on strong values & principles
I am committed to the success of CCHA
I feel proud to work for this organisation
I would recommend CCHA as a good place to work
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