Reflecting on my First Week at Tai Pawb

Written by Open Doors Project Officer, Natalie
It’s the start of my second week in my new role as Open Doors Project Officer so I thought it would be a good idea to set aside some time to share and reflect upon my first few days. 
Last Monday I arrived at the Tai Pawb office; I was super excited but, I have to admit, also a little nervous. Luckily, my nerves quickly vanished as everyone at Tai Pawb was immediately friendly, kind and so welcoming.
In the morning Nazia, the Open Doors Project Manager, went through a general induction with me. After lunch, we spent time going over lots of interesting Open Doors information and Nazia also booked me on to a whole host of forthcoming housing related events!
On Tuesday I was invited to attend a full day of training, which was being delivered by Tai Pawb to staff at Hafod Housing Association in Cardiff. Entitled ‘Connect with Respect’, the training supports housing staff to recognise factors relating to equality and diversity in their daily practice. 
The training was really thought provoking. It generated meaningful conversation and highlighted many examples of current good practice. By the end, it was clear all those attending were fully aware of the potential impact of their own values, beliefs or assumptions and felt confident to apply this knowledge and understanding in their day to day contact with others.
Midweek I represented Tai Pawb and Open Doors at the Women Connect First event in Butetown Community Centre, which marked International Women’s Day and acknowledged local unsung heroines. I had such an enjoyable and inspiring time, there was so much opportunity to learn about each other’s culture, country, religion, fashion and food and the value of inclusive and diverse communities was truly celebrated throughout the day.  
I had another action packed and knowledge filled day on Thursday, when my colleagues and I attended Cymorth Cymru’s excellent conference ‘Challenge the System, Shape the Future’. I helped set up Tai Pawb’s exhibition stand and was also lucky enough to attend most of the presentations and two of the workshops.
The general consensus from those taking part in the conference was the need for everyone involved in shaping and delivering homelessness services to be brave and to challenge the system and its associated barriers, despite the obviously difficult and uncertain environment in which we all currently live and work. 
The presentation by Tom and Leon (Experts by Experience) and the Crisis workshop (Homelessness and the Private Rented Sector) both highlighted the importance of continuing to build stronger and more effective relationships in the private rented sector, with Crisis making specific reference to the Open Doors project and its ability to successfully support this aim. 
On Friday I spent the day in the office, catching up on emails and taking time to absorb all the new information which came my way during my first few days at Tai Pawb. 
All in all, I couldn’t have asked for a more interesting, varied and enjoyable first week and I am so excited about the weeks to come. I know I am very fortunate to have the opportunity to work alongside Nazia on such a necessary and impactful project and I am committed to working hard to address, reduce and prevent issues of inequality, disadvantage, and discrimination in the private rented sector. 

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