The majority of our housing stock is in the North West of England, and repairs here are carried out by John Southworth Builders (also called ‘JSB’ or ‘Southworths’) Care has had a close working relationship with Southworths for many years. Major work and refurbishment of new properties is carried out prior to occupation, and then once tenants move in the day to day repairs are handled by them too. Emergency repairs can be reported 24 hours a day, and any support staff or tenants who have called the free phone number will have most likely spoken to maintenance manager Chris. Chris looks after Care’s tenants by being their main point of contact on the phone, but he is also responsible for visiting houses and carrying out the majority of repairs too. He will be a familiar face to many of our tenants as a frequent visitor to their homes to complete repairs, so we had a chat with him so that people could learn a little more about the man with the tools.
How long have you been doing your job?
I have worked for John Southworth Builders for 16 years, but have been in the building industry since leaving school. I have managed Care’s repairs and maintenance service for the last 6 years.
Tell us about a typical day
I am usually up at 6am, starting work at 7am. I plan in advance which properties to visit for the day and go to pick up any materials needed for the jobs. I also answer the repairs phone line via my mobile phone, so often need to change plans during the day to attend to any higher priority jobs.
What do you like most about your job?
Meeting different people from various walks of life and making people happy when I have done their repairs. I get a lot of satisfaction by knowing the repairs have been completed to a good standard and the tenants and their support staff are happy with the end result. I enjoy getting to know the people living in Care’s houses and listening to their various tales. I love it when tenants chat to me when I visit, often they ask what I am doing and I will explain the work and show them what I do. Over the last few years I have got to know so many of the tenants through regular visits for repairs – I know a lot by name and they know me, and it’s always nice to see them.
Tell us an interesting fact about yourself.
I have an adult son who has learning disabilities and lives at home with us. I think this helps me to be able to communicate with tenants at different levels and understand their needs. I try to think how I would want people to treat my son if he lived in one of Care’s houses and so I try to speak to the tenants directly rather than their support workers if possible.
What do you like doing in your spare time?
I love to spend time in my garden and time with my grandchildren. I have 5 grandchildren and 6 children.   So next time you get a visit from Chris he would love you to say ‘hello’
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