Making a Difference
to people's lives

Diane Talbot, Able Living Advisor

Diane Talbot - Able Living Advisor, joined Wrekin after working at the council for 17 years.

For Wrekin's 25 year anniversary in March, we caught up with staff who've been with us since the very beginning, asking about their Wrekin journey and highlights over the years.

“At the time I was Tenant Participation Officer based within Communications and Marketing. We were pretty hands on when it came to getting involved with the housing stock transfer."

"We worked closely with the tenants and local councillors and attending meetings across Telford and Wrekin. I was going door knocking and getting the opportunity to speak to lots of people."

“I started with what was then the council in 1982 on a youth training scheme – earning £25 a week."

She recalls there being "mixed feelings" about the creation of the Trust in 1999.

"I know some members of staff were worried about becoming a housing association but I was pretty relaxed about it.

“There were mixed feelings at the time. Many people supported the transfer but those opposed to it were very vocal and passionate. A lot of our older residents were frightened about the change but others were very keen to know about the potential to have new kitchens, bathrooms etc."

A lot has changed in 25 years, both as an organisation and in Diane's own career: “The biggest change is seeing how much we’ve grown. We’ve expanded outside of Telford and Wrekin."

“My role these days is predominately focused on adaptations – it could be someone calling in wanting a handrail, responding to a report from one of the council’s occupational health therapists or ensuring one of our void properties meets the need of a tenants. I work with various teams across Wrekin."

“My biggest achievement has probably been the Three Avenues partnership in St George’s. That was a huge piece of work that involved moving people from pre-fabs to new housing. I built up some real friendships with the customers – I would spend time having a chat with them and trying to put their fears at ease."

“No two days are the same and I love speaking and meeting people. Sometimes I have to make some difficult decisions but it is a hugely rewarding job, especially when you see how much of a difference an adaptation has made to someone’s life."