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Supporting learning and development across the social housing sector

At Sovereign, we’re passionate about developing our future leaders and supporting those in the sector to do the same.

It’s why we’ve signed up to the Housing Diversity Network’s (HDN) mentoring scheme. It works by matching people from several housing associations who are at different stages in their career.

Our colleague Sandra, who supports the development of strategy and change management, was matched with Ola - who is a learning and organisational development coordinator at Network Homes.

Here she explains the impact the scheme has had on her career so far.

Ola joined Network Homes last year. After finishing university, she took part in a mentoring scheme with the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. This made her realise that a career in learning and development was what she wanted.

With the support of her line manager who she describes as “fantastic”, Ola put herself forward to join HDN’s mentoring scheme, which is where she met Sandra.

She tells us that she’s so glad she did.

HDN’s mentoring scheme offers mentees the opportunity to meet face-to-face with their mentor, hear motivational speeches and attend networking sessions. During her meetings with Sandra, Ola also received information about development resources available to her, information on how she could record progress, and insights about the housing sector.

Asked if she would recommend the scheme, Ola said she would because “Sandra literally changed my life”.

By helping Ola to focus on her time management skills and improve her self-confidence, she says she has grown considerably in her role and now has a much clearer set of career aspirations. Thanks to the personal coaching from Sandra, Ola put herself forward for a large public speaking opportunity. Not only was this a great success, but it gave Ola a further confidence boost.

Now she’s focusing on her continuous professional development with a clear ambition to become either a learning and development trainer, or adviser.

As a housing association with approximately 2,000 colleagues, we believe in our people. We want to leave a legacy in the communities we serve and drive positive change right across the social housing sector.

Looking ahead towards our proposed merger with Network Homes, we plan to bring together the very best of both organisations. And while these plans to merge may be recent, our commitment to work together and bring out the best in both organisations is anything but new.

We’re ambitious about our future, the opportunities that lay ahead and we’ll continue to support every one of our colleagues to progress in their career. Find out more about the developmental opportunities we offer and where a career with us could take you.