As part of the ‘A Day in the Life’ work shadowing scheme, Halifax Opportunities Trust have hosted government employee Robert Cooper who works in the Integration and Communities Directorate of the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.

A Day in the Life is a work-shadowing initiative that provides a unique opportunity for staff from government and voluntary sector organisations to step into each other’s shoes for a day, and learn about how the other sector operates. As well as improving cross-sector understanding, the programme helps participants find out about the roles and responsibilities of staff within another organisation, and the operational environments and wider contexts in which they work.

Robert was paired with Family Mentor, Haleema Mahmood, from our Employment Services team. During his visit he was given the opportunity to take part in some of the day to day activities of our Employment Team including observing on the intervention panel and seeing how the team build trust and rapport with individuals through one to one appointments.

The day also included visits to other HOT projects such as The Workshop and The Outback Community Garden that offer volunteering opportunities to people seeking to improve their skills and work-readiness. Robert also visited the Trust’s business centre, Elsie Whiteley Innovation Centre, to see the social enterprise arm of the Trust in operation and had lunch with HOT CEO, Alison Haskins. In the afternoon Haleema took Robert to meet Abrar Hussain, Operations Lead for the Trust and Jo Denny from Employment, to gain a better understanding of the wider Trust and how teams collaborate to provide fully rounded services to families and individuals.

Reflecting on his day, Robert said: “The NCVO ‘A Day in the Life’ work shadowing scheme provided me with a fantastic insight into the great work that HOT does in the community. I came away enthused and inspired from my visit. It’s incredibly important that we see first-hand how organisations such as HOT are helping to build stronger, more integrated communities, and I was really pleased that Haleema had the opportunity to talk to my team – who are spread around the country – about her work and its impact when she shadowed me at the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government”.

Haleema travelled to Sheffield the following week to be hosted by Robert at the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government. “I really enjoyed hosting/shadowing Rob throughout the couple of days. It was interesting getting an insight into the different ways people work, in order to bring about positive change. It was also great having the opportunity to showcase all the fantastic stuff we do at HOT to help the community around us and interesting to see that although the styles of work are different, the end goals are essentially the same. Overall, this experience has been really enjoyable and I would recommend it.”