Staff Stories – Catherine

How long have you worked for the organisation?

Originally I worked for Turning Tides for 3 years, I left the organisation for a short period of time and have been back working for Turning Tides for a month.

What is your current role and briefly what does your job entail?

Deputy Head of Operations. In my role I support the strategic and operational development of services across Worthing, Horsham, Mid Sussex and Arun. Throughout my work I have specific focus on:

  • long term financial viability of our services and projects
  • rigorous risk management processes audited and adhered to
  • wellbeing of clients and staff in services is paramount
  • services develop in a coproduced and psychologically informed way.

I directly oversee Turning Tides’ move on accommodation, residential services in the North of the County and Outreach services in Horsham and Mid Sussex. Alongside this I support the Head of Operations and the operational managers across all services, leading operationally on Health and Safety and reporting across the charity.

What made you apply for a job with us?

Originally when I first applied to work for Turning Tides (previously WCHP), it was because I was looking for a new challenge in the homelessness sector. I had been working for another local homeless charity and although I loved this work, I felt that I need to develop within my career and seek new opportunities.

Over the 3 years that I worked for Turning Tides, I was fortunate to have many opportunities to develop and to lead on new service design and development of existing provision. I have been able to grow as a leader and continually learn as I have worked across all the services our organisation has developed.

My decision to return to the charity was a simple one – I missed the whole Turning Tides team and the values that are central to the work that we do.

Turning Tides have a really strong reputation as a homelessness provider, in my time working for the charity I had many opportunities to truly make a difference to the lives of those that are most vulnerable in our community – which I missed greatly when I worked for a different sector. To be part of a charity that is innovative, growing sustainably and truly puts the clients at the heart of all that we do is a privilege and I look forward to continuing to be a part of the development of the charity.

What do you feel are the main benefits of working with us?

For me the largest benefit of working at Turning Tides has been the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of the clients that we support. In terms of my own development, Turning Tides has given me opportunities to develop within my career, learning new skills and increasing my confidence and knowledge. Additionally I have gained several promotions over the last few years.

Flexibility and trust are also massive benefits in working for the charity. I can work from home when needed. I have a disability and the charity have always been incredibly supportive of any adjustments needed to be made for me to be comfortable in my role.

What do you love about your job?

Variety! I truly love how varied my role is. I am in a very fortunate position in that I have been able to develop and drive forward new services and reimagine service design focusing on quality and sustainability. I love building relationships with partnership agencies & funders in the statutory and voluntary sector. These relationships have led to some amazing opportunities both for the charity and the clients that we support.

I love that I am able to travel across the county and am able to manage services in all of the districts we support.Β  My role is creative – our imagination is our only limit. If we are able to imagine something and work hard to develop this idea, then we can make it happen.

What would you say for anyone thinking of applying to work with us?

Go for it! Life is short and having a job where you feel valued, are part of something really important and can truly make a difference to the lives of others is worth more than anything.

Every day I go into work feeling that I have a purpose. Yes there are hard days and the work can be upsetting, but to see how our clients can truly change their lives means everything.