Five minutes with Nichola | News

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Five minutes with Nichola

Nichola, our new Head of Health and Safety

1) What does your role involve?

These past few months have been unprecedented, health and safety has never been more important. My role involves ensuring we have consistent standards across the business that keep our colleagues and residents safe and healthy.  The safety of our residents, staff and contractors is our number one priority. As a result of the Coronavirus pandemic, I am responsible for co-ordinating and advising on changing how we operate as an organisation to make sure that our new ways of working take into consideration the impact on our residents, staff and partners.  My role is diverse; overall I am delivering our health and safety strategy but day to day the job is very varied.


2) What skills are required for the job?

I’m a Chartered member of the Institute of Occupational Safety and Health which is one of the highest levels you can attain in the industry.  This has provided me with the technical knowledge required for my profession. Alongside this, I frequently take part in continued professional development activities to enhance my skills.

Additionally, the role heavily involves speaking to and advising colleagues of varying levels of seniority. Therefore, strong verbal and communication skills are required. Combined with this, problem solving skills and attention to details are needed – especially when investigating issues or analysing complex information. You will also have to stay up to date with health and safety legislation, laws and regulations.


3) What’s your favourite thing about working for the Shepherds Bush Housing Group?

Despite joining the organisation during lockdown, all my colleagues have been so welcoming and friendly. This has helped me settle quickly settle into the role. As an organisation, I am happy with the way we have adapted to the pandemic and have planned for future developments. Furthermore, I enjoy how varied my role is and working collaboratively with different departments to make sure residents feel safe at home and staff feel safe at work.


4) Do you have any advice for aspiring Head of Health and Safety?

The best advice would be to refine your problem-solving and communication skills to ensure you are adept at providing advice and guidance. Combined with this, always have the safety of residents and in your mind. Finally, continue enhancing your skills as you progress in your career and make sure you stay up to date with health and safety law.


5) What is your favourite meal/food and why?

The Indian cuisine is my favourite!  I am very grateful to my friend’s mum who taught me how to make a traditional Dhansak which in my opinion is the best curry every.


6) If you could visit any place in the world where would it be and why?

I love travelling and am lucky enough to have visited lots of places.  Next on my list is Azerbaijan and Armenia. 


7) If you can instantly become an expert in something, what would it be?

Painting and drawing.  I’d love to be able to create beautiful pictures.


8) What book are you currently reading?

A friend lent me a biography of Patrick Leigh Fermor which I am loving.  Fermor is a little known British writer whose books are based on his own life.  At the age of 18 in December 1933, he left London to walk across Europe and travel to Istanbul. He had many fantastic adventures on the way.  Not only is his life really interesting but I can connect to that wandering spirit – I would love to do something similar but I’m too busy keeping people safe and health at SBHG!

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