Posted 25/08/2022

People of Swan – 5 questions with Halima Amin

This month we spoke to Halima Amin, Swan customer and Apprentice Business Administrator, as part of our new series ‘5 Questions With’. In the series, we will be talking to various people across Swan Housing Association, to hear their insight into the amazing work they do.

Q: Can you introduce yourself and tell us what your role is at Swan?

Hi, my name is Halima Amin, Admin Apprentice at Axis, as well as a Swan customer! I’ve been at Axis since September as a Customer Care Advisor.

Axis is Swan’s repairs partner and are contracted to support customer service. We work with the Swan team to ensure that all our customers are happy, working proactively to make them feel comfortable in their homes. Part of our role is to assess and address concerns, finding solutions to any issues our residents might have.  

A key aspect of my role is communicating with our customers, listening to their perspective and discussing any issues with them. Throughout the process, I keep in regular contact with residents to arrange appointments, check in on them and see how they’re doing.

Q: How did you secure your apprenticeship with Swan?

I secured my apprenticeship through Swan Employment and Training manager, Abdullah Hossain, who runs an amazing programme advertising jobs and apprenticeships to people who live in Swan homes.

As customers, we have monthly meetings, which is where I met Abdullah. After speaking about apprenticeship opportunities with Swan, he encouraged me to apply and even went as far to guide me through the application and job interview process.

Swan is incredibly proactive in their employment programme, they supported all the way through, so I instantly knew it was a company where I would fit in.

Q: How does being a resident influence your role and the work you do at Swan?

Communication and addressing individual’s needs and issues underpin so much of my role, so being a customer and living in a Swan home is hugely beneficial.  

I already know how it feels to be in their shoes, so I’m able to empathise with their position, as occasionally the issue is something I might have even experienced myself. Understandably, customers can feel frustrated when their home needs a repair. I know myself it can be stressful. It’s so useful that I can relate to our customers and treat everyone with patience, it helps us arrive at resolutions.   

Q: What are you most proud of working at Swan?

I’m most proud of the relationships I’ve built at Axis, as well as Swan. Creating and maintaining strong relationships is so important to our work because people are at the heart of what we do. We regularly work with Swan and catch up in person, when we can. When we can’t have these meetings we have a group chat with Swan so we can work together closely.

Q: What have you learnt from your apprenticeship with Swan?

I’ve learnt loads in a short space of time. The experience has hugely grown my customer service and problem-solving skills. The role suits me, I just love helping people!

The most fulfilling moment I’ve had so far was a case where a customer had an issue with a leak in their property. The leak was coming from a separate property, so we had to co-ordinate with them too. Luckily, we acted quickly to resolve the issue and the customer called afterwards to personally thank me.

We do get compliments come through in our mailboxes from happy customers, which is a reminder that we’ve helped someone. People really are at the heart of what we do, and I’ve learnt that’s crucial to our organisation.