Teamwork’s members are among the most amazing and happiest people in the world which is why I feel so privileged to be working for the charity

Hannah Ward was 18 when she started at Teamwork as a volunteer – nine years on and many roles later she has worked her way up to become centre manager at the Kettering centre.

She says it is the charity’s focus on providing progression and learning opportunities to its staff that has helped her get to where she is today, and that knowing she is making a difference to the ‘most amazing and happiest people in the world’ is what her new manager role is all about.

“I had just resigned from my job at a local homeware store and was unsure of what to do next,” said Hannah, talking about how she first heard of Teamwork. “My grandad worked for a company that outsources work to Teamwork, Technical Foam Services. He knew I was good with people and suggested I volunteered at the charity’s Corby centre in the hope that a job might become available – he was right.”

Within a week Hannah had fallen in love with Teamwork and staff and members loved her back – working with adults with adults with mental health needs, learning and physical disabilities, she realised, was so rewarding.

“I felt like I had a role in the community and was adding real value to the members’ days,” said Hannah. “I was only a volunteer for three months before I became the charity’s first ever apprentice – a scheme they still run today. I completed my NVQ in Health and Social Care in 18 months and went onto to become a full-time support worker, which involved working intensely with members. After that I became a senior support worker which was even more responsibility, leading on various activities and planning, and covering for the centre manager during absence.”

Teamwork also supported Hannah through her Level 3 Leadership & Management qualification and in October 2018 she felt ready for her next step.

“Applying for the centre manager role was the natural progression for me,” said Hannah. “But I didn’t imagine I would get it. The previous centre manager was well-loved, so I had big shoes to fill, but when I was offered the position I was over the moon.”

Having been so involved with the members day-to-day before, Hannah found that being a bit more withdrawn from them in her new role was a challenge initially.

“Not working as closely with our service-users on a daily basis was hard to begin with, but I am still making a massive difference to their lives and experiences at Teamwork through my planning and management, and that feels amazing.

“It took a few months to settle into the different atmosphere and feel at Kettering too – compared to Corby it is much calmer, but I think it’s great that our centres are so different. My new role is absolutely perfect for me with so much variety and reward. I manage the budgets, organise and plan events and activities, and make sure there are opportunities for our members to participate in all we do.

“Now I am more settled I can really focus on how we continue to offer the best services possible for our Kettering members, and I have lots of ideas which I am bringing into play.

“Teamwork’s members are among the most amazing and happiest people in the world which is why I feel so privileged to be working for the charity. I can’t imagine working in any other field. Becoming a senior manager would be a dream one day, but for now I am entirely focused on being a caring and supportive centre manager.”