“Being at Innovate is heart-warming. I am part of something good.”
At Innovate Services, there are lots of people working behind the scenes to keep our projects running smoothly. We catch up with one of those super people, Operations Coordinator, Hannah McArdle.
What’s your background, Hannah?
“I like to think that social work found me. One of those perfectly coincidental moments. I always wanted to work with children and young people when I was younger, but I just didn’t know in what capacity.
“Growing up, I was not familiar with children’s social services and so social work never really presented itself as an option. Instead, I entered the world of admin. My background is working in accounts departments within the property industry. All very fast-paced and deadline-driven, but nothing to do with social care!”
So, how did you arrive at Innovate Services?
“Hearing about the job advertised for Innovate Services was like a light-bulb moment. Of course, the admin side of the role was what first drew my attention. However, when I discovered that it would be to support children’s social services, I knew it would be the perfect fit.
“I loved the idea of supporting a team of social workers dedicated to helping children and families.”
What is your role as Operations Coordinator?
“My role is varied. I tend to toggle between business support, operations coordination, and administration, depending on the needs of the team. Whatever we’re called, we’re never ‘just admin’.
“At the start of the week, the team of seven social workers I support, send me their trackers containing information on the children they have visited and when. I then update my main tracker with dates and check it against the system to make sure everything has been recorded as expected. Towards the end of the week, I update information on the system such as new parent or carer contact information. I also arrange agreed emergency funds for families (e.g. child travel costs). In between all this, I will minute-take at meetings, which tends to average three per week.
“It doesn’t sound like a busy week, but trust me, the days fly by.”
What do you enjoy the most about your role?
“I thrive in a busy environment and so I enjoy expecting the unexpected. Given the nature of the work, a day can change very quickly, especially when emergency meetings are required.
“I also love working with different people across the country to help make a positive impact on the lives of children and young people.
“I gain a lot more job satisfaction than in a standard administration role. In some meetings, the parents join, and I get to hear how happy and pleased they are with our social workers. It’s so heart-warming and makes me recognise that I am part of something good and giving back.”
If someone were thinking of joining Innovate, what would you say?
“Do it. Innovate Services is a fantastic company, not only for providing families with the support that they need, but for looking after their staff (I haven’t been paid to say that!).
“Working here has made me see the reality of life and appreciate the circumstances behind other people’s lives. There’s nothing more grounding than that.”
How do you switch off at the end of the day?
“I make time for me. I enjoy walking my dog with my boyfriend and going to Zumba. I am also looking forward to the trips and adventures we have planned for post-Covid.”
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