"By far the biggest thing that keeps me here is the people. I have a great work family and we support each other through thick and thin."David Mitchell, 30 years of service
Earlier this year, Income Officer David Mitchell accomplished a huge milestone as he celebrated 30 years of continuous service working with the same social housing stock in Chichester. David’s rare achievement has given him a wealth of experience and, as expected, he doesn’t require sat nav to get around Chichester.
Starting out as a rent collector in the late 80s, David has had seven different job roles with the same housing stock, including Housing Officer and Resident Services Officer. “My time working in Chichester housing started pre-Hyde,” explained David, “back then the houses were part of Chichester council. It was my job to actually go around and talk to residents and explain the benefits of joining a Housing Association.”
Throughout the past three decades, one day particularly stands out for David – the day he helped an elderly resident in dire need. The resident wasn’t able to care for herself properly and David discovered her living in squalid conditions. David was able to help get the resident into the sheltered accommodation she so desperately needed. “There are days you do make a real difference,” said David. “Hitting targets is great, but when you go above that, whether that’s helping a resident or a colleague, or finding a better way of working, then that’s when you get a real sense of why we do what we do.”
In 2007 the Chichester housing stock joined the Hyde Group from Martlet Homes. “Since we’ve been with Hyde I’ve been able to work with different offices and learn new and better ways of working,” commented David. “By far the biggest thing that keeps me here is the people. I have a great work family and we support each other through thick and thin.”
David’s advice to those looking to start a career in the housing sector is to look into apprenticeships and work experience placements. “I sit next to an apprentice and can really see the benefits of studying and working. It gives you lots of experience and the chance to see if it’s the job for you.”
So, will David last another 10 years and make it to 40? “I have plans to retire in 2026 so I won’t make it to 40 years, but I’ve still got a while left and much more to give!” said David.