Meet Ashley: "I’ve enjoyed working at Wandle. Everyone has played a part in my journey." | #50faces

Meet Ashley: "I’ve enjoyed working at Wandle. Everyone has played a part in my journey."

I was born in Newport, south Wales and was delivered by my Grandmother in the Royal Gwent Hospital. My grandparents had come from Jamaica and settled in Newport where my mother’s side of the family had all grown up. Although I was born in Wales, I have lived in south London all of my life with my mum. It’s safe to say I’m a proud south Londoner.

I remember my first home in London; it was a one bedroom flat in Gipsy Hill - where my mum and I shared a room. As my mum had to work, I remember spending most of my time with the childminder, who lived down stairs. 

Home to me is more than just a building; it’s much wider than that. It was home because of the emotions and feelings attached to the location. I also think that a home can be an organisation or team that you are a part of, something you place a value on.

Growing up I had seen very little of my father but always knew his side of the family and our relationship has become much stronger as I’ve gotten older, and I’m able to see that many of my personality traits actually stem from him.

I was always the class clown at school and enjoyed making other people laugh as they do say that laughing is good for the soul. I’m a people person and due to my character, I’m able to bring groups of people together and create memories. These are all characteristics, which I can see in my father too with him being somewhat of a comedian around family and friends.

With his appearances only being scattered over my younger years, the strong women of my family on both sides oversaw a lot of my upbringing.  The only real father figure I had was my Grandfather, on my mother’s side, but I only got to spend time with him during the school holidays. Having been brought up by several woman, not just my mum, I hope they look at me and see that they all took part in raising a fine young man who has plenty of potential to do great things.

In 2016 I graduated from Cardiff Metropolitan University studying Accounting and Finance which is a big deal as both sides of my family only have a few people altogether who actually went to uni let alone graduate.

Once I graduated, I found a job at Wandle as a Customer Service Advisor (CSA). I was fresh out of university and wanted a temporary job until I found something more related to my field of studies. During the first few months I had heard a lot regarding Wandle’s 2020 Vision and also how the Contact Centre was relatively new, which brought a great deal of motivation in my role as a CSA because I felt part of a movement.  My manager’s, Denise and Michael, had obviously seen this potential in me. Due to me being motivated and feeling part of the positive change for Wandle I had decided to stay on as a permanent member of the Contact Centre and felt a sense of value.

10 months into being a CSA I was offered the opportunity to help the Scheduling team on a part time basis which was good as it enabled me to develop my skill set and reach our customers/tenants needs in a different way.

After a year, I decided to take up the opportunity of joining the Income team on a six-month secondment. I have now become a permanent member of the Income team thanks to guidance from my team leaders Ola and Natalie.

I’ve enjoyed working at Wandle; although it can be stressful at times, I’ve seen changes. Many faces have come and gone but everyone has played a part in my journey - whether their impact was large or small.



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