3.21 — weeknotes — Pride month and hearing how well our new colleagues have been settling in

A short week this week thanks to the bank holiday, which was lovely and sunny. Really nice to have a break over the bank holiday weekend and typically as we go into this weekend it’s raining, hopefully it will stop for the barbeque tomorrow!

I stepped in for Clive this week at a number of meetings because he was on leave. I attended CLT and Gold meetings on Tuesday. It was really good to hear about all the work going on across the borough as part of the Covid response including the popup mass vaccination centre at Twickenham on Bank Holiday Monday where 11,000 people were vaccinated, what an amazing achievement.

I’ve had a number of check-in conversations with the team this week, really nice to see people and see how the teams are doing and get updates on the amount of stuff going on! It has also been really good to see a number of new starters over the last couple of weeks and have met a few more this week and find out how they are settling in. We really have gone over and above to be sure that new colleagues joining us at this time of working remotely are able to get the support, the technology, the training, the access to others and access to me, that they need to successfully start into the organisation. I can’t imagine starting a new role at this time, so we are really trying hard to make sure our new colleagues are supported.

One of the things I think is worked really well is that every new starter, within their first few weeks, does an ‘in the spotlight’ at one at our all staff show and tells. In the meeting they introduce themselves, a bit about their role, who they are and a little bit about their history, their background and their likes and dislikes. These have worked really really well and looking forward to more over the next few weeks.

I attended some training on Thursday which was for my non executive director role as part of Socitm, was really in depth training and the first of two half days, really good to get an understanding of the role, the law and what’s expected of the of me.

It’s the Socitm President Week conference next week, so a fair chunk of the week is set aside for that and I’m really looking forward to attending because there’s such a fantastic range of keynote speakers, panel discussions and presentations. It’s really good to take some time out of the office too understand what others are doing. I am also looking forward being part of a panel discussion around what we are doing around slow on our world of work programme.

I actually went on a train for the first time since March last year this week to travel into London for a lemonade, was really good to get back to some normality. I am reminded of course how much fun travelling by train is and also the prices of a pint in an actual pub! Totally worth it though!

June is Pride month, Its history is to mark the anniversary of the stonewall riots in 1969 in New York and it’s aim is to promote equal rights and equality for LGBTQ+ people, still very much needed. We have a number of staff networks in Hounslow, LGBTQ being just one of them and they are starting to gather momentum in the organisation which is great to see. Even the sunset got into celebrating Pride with a rainbow when I went to Brighton one evening. Any excuse to celebrate with a few camp songs over June starting now…

Tune of the week: All Stars 2 Cast Performs ‘I Am What I Am’ for Harvey Fierstein — the original Gloria Gaynor — I Am What I Am.

Director of Digital & IT for the London Borough of Hounslow