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The Chartered Institute of Housing is the independent voice for housing and the home of professional standards

On a really good day, you save someone's life - Laura's story


Laura Dillon has worked in housing for 12 years. She started out on a three-week contract as a customer service officer. Now she's a housing manager at Waverley Borough Council, with a team of eight housing officers. As Laura explains in her blog for National Careers Week, working in housing can be - literally - life-saving.

I’ve always had an interest in housing and as a housing association tenant I see both sides of the tenant/landlord relationship.

I love to work with people and places to transform lives and neighbourhoods. In all my roles there has been a huge variety of work from dealing with serious organised crime to creating community gardens.

Although we work with some vulnerable people, the majority of tenants are decent people who want to build safe and secure lives for themselves and their families. Many just can't afford to buy or rent privately.

I make a difference every day and am recognised for saving a resident's life. I was working with a women who had extreme mental health issues, suffered family bereavements and had no job. On her darkest day I made a routine visit and noticed how ill she was and felt there was a risk she would take her own life. I called the emergency services and stayed with her until she was safe in hospital with appropriate support. She has since gone on to manage her condition, get a job, get married and have a child.

I am really proud of the differences I have made every day in my career.


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