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Discover what it’s like to sit at the heart of Hastoe

From taking minutes in executive team meetings to helping run our Community Grant Fund, Helen, our Executive Assistant at Hastoe helps to ensure everything runs smoothly.

A day in the life of an Executive Assistant

Helen is the Executive Assistant to our CEO, Andrew Potter, our Executive Team (ET) and the Hastoe Board. She started at Hastoe 13 years ago as the assistant to the former Operations Director, but moved into her current role in 2018. Here, we find out what a typical work day currently looks like for her.

9am: The first thing Helen does every morning is to check Andrew's diary and then her own. As an Executive Assistant, it's important for her to know exactly what's coming up, as she's responsible for setting up meetings for Hastoe's senior leadership team. As very few meetings have been able to take place in person due to Covid, Helen has become an expert on using Zoom to set up meetings and send out invitations. 

9:45am: With new Board members and a senior staff joining Hastoe, Helen has been busy organising their inductions to ensure they receive a warm welcome to Hastoe and help them to easily settle into their roles. She says:

To set up the inductions I look at all the Board, committee and ET meetings they need to attend, and make a spreadsheet of the people they need to meet with including reportees, regional staff and other ET members. I then have the task of creating a timetable that fits all of these in. It's a bit like a game of Tetris!"

11:00am: Helen helps to organise the Board away days, which happen twice a year. The next one is due to take place next month, so she begins researching and getting quotes for suitable venues. The away day enables all our Board members to get together to have various board and committee meetings, as well as talk about Hastoe's corporate strategy in detail. 

1:30pm: In the afternoon, Helen dedicates some time to managing Hastoe's Community Grant fund, which offers up to £250 to help deliver projects that will benefit our residents and their local communities. Helen reviews all the application forms and then liaises with Housing Officers to agree which ones we’ll be able to fund. She says: 

 

It's really lovely because just a little bit of money gives us such a positive outlook in the community. Some of the grants are just delightful. One of my favourites was for a resident who worked at a nursery. She had seen a clip on TV about old people being lonely, so she organised a session where residents from a local retirement home and the children from the nursery got together to make Christmas wreaths. The grant we awarded her paid for all the materials. It really was wonderful."

3:00pm: One of Helen's weekly task is compiling a list of any complaints and compliments we've received over the past seven days to share with our CEO, so that he can be aware and keep track of any issues. She says:

I used to only give him the complaints we received, but a few months ago I decided to give him all the compliments too. I think it's important for him to see colleagues being thanked and recognised for their hard work and commitment to supporting our tenants. And it's so lovely to be able to read all the wonderful praise everyone receives – some of them even make me tear up!"

4:00pm: For the rest of the day, Helen catches up on her admin duties including typing up the minutes of various meetings and helping her colleagues to print and send out documents and letters whilst most of them continue working from home. As you can see, Helen's role requires her to juggle a lot of different tasks throughout the day, but for Helen, that's what keeps her motivated. She says:

It's so nice to have the balance of supporting the corporate side of things, but also managing the Community Grants and compliments. It's very varied and interesting. Working so closely with the Executive team and the Board means I get to really understand how Hastoe works and see the impact of what we do on the lives of our residents."

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