From educator to changemaker. Vicki's first year in social value.

Hannah Oldfield

From educator to changemaker – Vicki’s first year working in social value

Our Business Administrator Vicki Robinson joined us in April 2023. Not only is she brilliant at keeping everything and everyone in order at CHY Towers (naming no names!), she’s passionate about making a difference in people’s lives and connected with the CHY ethos from day one.

Before Vicki joined us, she was totally new to social value – now she’s well and truly caught the bug! Vicki talks to us about her first year with CHY and what she’s learned and loved so far.

What did you do before you started at CHY?

“I was a teaching assistant for ten years. It was really important to me that the job I moved into was still helping people. Working as a business administrator for CHY means I’m helping the team, but also the team as a whole is making peoples’ lives better. That’s what I really like about it. 

“I didn’t know anything about social value to start with. When I first started reading about it, I could see there was a lot to learn. But I also felt like, if I could be a part of that, then I’ll be making a real difference in people’s lives.

What does a normal day look like for you?

“My normal working day involves invoicing clients, paying invoices and wages, organising travel and meetings, making sure the accounts are up to date. The day to day running of the business really. And trying to keep Rob organised!

“And I’m starting to get involved with the social value side of things too. I’m working with Holly on CHY’s alignment tool – where the client sends over everything they’re doing in the business and where they think they’re claiming social value. Holly and I go through all the information and line it up to the relevant metric. Then we advise the client on how to get the most from what they’re already doing and what else they could look at. Often clients don’t realise how much they’re already doing.

“I’m hoping to start getting involved with needs analysis too, which I’m really looking forward to. It’s so interesting to find out what areas CHY looks at and what the requirements are. And I’ve been going along to more social value events. I’m learning all the time.

Did you expect to be as interested in the social value side as you are?

“It was a surprise to be honest! I didn’t expect to find social value as interesting as I do, and I really want to progress in it now. If CHY had turned around and said “we just want you to stick to what we’ve hired you for” I would have been fine with it because I love doing what I do. But from the first day they’ve just involved me in everything and made me feel so welcome. I feel like I’m surrounded by a really knowledgeable team, and it makes me want to do more and learn more.

What else would you like to do in the social value space?

“I always think it would be great, if you’ve advised a client, to then be able to go and see how their work has had an impact in the community. To see where the money has been spent, or talk to someone who has been given a job and hear how it changed their life. 

“And I want to do more volunteering – I’m already a child welfare officer and game day manager for my son’s rugby team. Volunteers make things happen!

Finally, how has your working life changed since you joined CHY?

“It’s very different, but in a good way. It’s been seven months now, and I felt like I slotted in from day one. I feel so appreciated, and like I’m able to do my job properly. The best thing I ever did!”

Thanks for everything you do Vicki!  It’s brilliant having you as part of the team and we can’t wait to see what you do next with CHY – and in the world of social value! 

Connect with Vicki on LinkedIn