Staff Profile: Atma

September 27, 2016

 

160914-atma-amir-290x300We’ve got a new staff member! Meet Atma, our new Charityworks graduate trainee and Operations Assistant. Read on to find out more about Atma, his role at Dot Dot Dot and what he’s learned about the organisation since becoming a staff member.

When did you first hear about Dot Dot Dot?

I first heard of Dot Dot Dot when travelling around Latin America. Then, when we returned to London, me and a friend were talking about it and how we could move out of home and someone listening in mentioned it again. Initially I completely misunderstood the message of the company, thinking that Dot Dot Dot was a housing branch of the Guardian newspaper. I then dismissed the idea, not believing there was a viable housing option for £50 a week in London. Little did I know I’d be working at the organisation as a staff member 18 months later!

atma-blog-post-photo

Atma on his travels.

Tell us about your role at Dot Dot Dot.

I am an Operations Assistant at Dot Dot Dot. This role allows me to witness first-hand the positive effect that the organisation can have in an area. I think the service provided is a very innovative idea in the current housing climate. Not only am I assisting people with their housing, I can see the positive social impact made possible by people having to worry less about exorbitant rent costs.

What have you learned about Dot Dot Dot since becoming a staff member?

One of my first thoughts about the organisation was that people may struggle to fit 16 hours of volunteering per month into their lives. And while this is true for some, beginning my work has shown me that the vast majority of guardians do not struggle at all. Many go beyond the 16 hours and I really enjoy reading the positive feedback I see about their volunteering experiences. This is what has struck me the most in this job. Lots of guardians use their professional skills to help with causes whilst others further their own interests and passions through volunteering. Another thing that impressed me is the array of areas our guardians volunteer in, issues that I was not even aware of were having time dedicated to them.

What does the future hold for you at Dot Dot Dot?

Even though my time as a staff member Dot Dot Dot is just beginning, I am excited about my future at the company. As we grow and expand, housing more guardians, more issues have at least 16 hours a month dedicated to them and more people are affordably housed. I feel this is a win win situation and am glad to be part of it.

Dot Dot Dot Does Open House! Some Staff Picks

September 16, 2016

It’s London Open House this weekend, which makes our staff excited! At Dot Dot Dot we’re fortunate to work in interesting areas with lots of interesting buildings. This includes everything from iconic estates and brutalist masterpieces through to doctors surgeries and supported living units. We’re privileged to deal with an array of fascinating buildings that make great homes for our guardians.

Our staff are passionate about the built environment and enjoy the diversity of architecture in London. Therefore it makes sense that Dot Dot Dot staff are raring to go for London Open House weekend! For the uninitiated, Open House is an annual weekend where a great number of London’s more unique and interesting buildings open their doors to the public. Here’s some staff members with their recommendations:

Tom’s Open House Highlights160915-tom

I’m going on a friends birthday ‘Open House Crawl’ on Saturday. We’ll be going to sites across Hackney. One of the things I most enjoy about Open House is exploring buildings across a neighbourhood or borough. By doing this you really join the ‘dots’ and get a feel for the character of development in the area.

160916-hoxton-hallIn Hackney there’s a number of old entertainment halls that I’m looking forward to seeing, as well as some experimental housing. I would have been dead keen to see the sewage works in Tottenham but it’s booked out. Sewage is more interesting than we give it credit for!

 

 

Poppy’s Open House Selections160915-poppy

This year I’m focusing on Tower Hamlets to get away from the crowds.  However, I will be starting in Farringdon to have a look at the Crossrail site; it would be good to know if all the disruption to my life over the last year has been worth it!

 I’m excited about seeing new social housing projects in Tower Hamlets, like the revamp of the Aberfeldy Estate – an area Dot Dot Dot is familiar with. I’m also keen to 160916-robin-hood-gardenslook at some iconic social housing – Robin Hood Gardens.

In general I like the accessibility and variety of Open House and the fact it allows you to take a different approach to buildings you see every day. I’d encourage everybody and anybody to give it a go.

 

Hopefully this blog has provided you with some food for thought and some outings for this weekend. And you’ve got to know what some of our staff do in their spare time!

Feel inspired by this to live in one of our many interesting buildings? Apply now.

Staff Profile: Poppy

May 10, 2016

PopsName: Poppy
Role: Operations and Social Impact Assistant

What is your favourite thing about working for Dot Dot Dot? 
My favourite thing is definitely when you sign up a new guardian having placed them in a property they are really happy with, and they are excited and enthused about getting into volunteering and being a part of Dot Dot Dot.

What’s the strangest thing you’ve done as part of your job with Dot Dot Dot?
There are a number of surreal moments that arise when working with such a broad range of people in such a broad range of places. One that does spring to mind is when my colleague Tom and I first visited a property in Morden that we were just taking on. I opened a cupboard to find lying inside two super-realistic baby dolls… they were terrifyingly convincing, and even weighed the same as a real baby. Very creepy. Turns out they were from the property’s former use and I’m not sure whether the guardians have left them there – I hope they’re not lying in a bin somewhere!

What volunteering do you do?
I’ve recently starting volunteering as an Independent Custody Visitor. This a member of the public, appointed and trained by local police forces to make unannounced visits to police stations and custody suites. The purpose is to chat with as many of those in detention as want to talk, to ensure that their well-being is maintained, and to check procedures are being followed and the general condition of the custody suites is satisfactory.
I’ve found this so interesting and worthwhile so far. I’m also looking into becoming an Appropriate Adult, which would allow me to accompany juveniles in detention during their police questioning, where a family member or social worker may not be available or appropriate.

'Ruminations of a Setting Sun #1' - Poppy Thomas

A photo Poppy took from our office

What is your favourite part of London? 
I love the canals, the way they cut through an incredibly built up city and are so often such a calm oasis within it, and the way they link across the whole country with a mode of transport which seems so archaic and slightly quaint. I’m going kayaking on the Regent’s Canal soon and although I really like them I am still fairly concerned about falling in…

What interests you about housing generally? 
All sorts of things, from town planning to community to development, but particularly interesting for me is the concept of housing as an inalienable right. There is a developing body of law and practice internationally on the right to housing, which is undoubtedly under-recognised, and it is fascinating to watch innovations in this area.

Staff Profile: Clare

April 21, 2016

Name: ClareClare
Role: Office Coordinator

What is your favourite thing about working for Dot Dot Dot?

Everyone working at Dot Dot Dot is really kind and funny – which certainly helps us power through the week.

What’s the strangest thing you’ve done as part of your job with Dot Dot Dot?

The strangest thing I have done is to take delivery of our new office furniture, to our new office which has minimal vehicle access, on a Friday night.  It was a real DIY experience which I plan to never repeat!

What’s the best picture of the view that you’ve taken from our office?

I took a picture I really like of the Olympic pool from the side, looking up to the sky, in the sun.  It combined two things I love swimming and sun!  It really showed what a vast open space the Olympic park is which makes for such a different working area to central London.

What volunteering do you do?'Arty Olympic Pool and Bird' - Clare

I volunteer with Samaritans – this is something I have become involved with since working at Dot Dot Dot. Before I signed up I spoke with some of our guardians at one of our parties who are involved and it was great to get an insight from them on what it might be like and also some well placed encouragement! The training was great and it is something I am really happy to be involved with.

What interests you about housing generally?

Having a choice in where and how you live is a fundamental human need. The difficulty in not having this need met has such a range of effects on people and I find this really challenging and interesting.

What are you looking for today?

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