Ashley Bainbridge

Cohort 6 – Tenancy Support Officer

Name: Ashley Bainbridge 

Current job title: Tenancy Support Officer

Internship/Placement role: Fraud Intelligence Intern

Degree: Criminology

Where are you based: Rotherham


I completed my Criminology degree in 2012 and went on to work for a large bank in their Fraud Prevention Team. Although I really enjoyed this area of work I quickly realised the banking sector didn’t share my values. I have always had exposure to housing as my sister has worked in the sector for many years and after discussions with her decided to see what was out there. I came across The GEM Programme as a graduate opportunity and the internship involving fraud prevention was perfect for my skills and experience.

The application process placed a lot of emphasis on how my values would contribute to the sector. I liked the fact that I was not expected to be the finished article but show the passion and commitment to becoming a influential housing professional.

The GEM Programme

During my internship one of the stand out learning activity weekends was the visit to Westminster and Whitehall. We were able to experience a guided tour followed by a question and answer session with influential names in the sector. To organise an event like this shows that The GEM Programme has really strong connections in the sector and can provide exceptional opportunities such as this.

More recently following the completion of my internship I have taken the opportunity to complete the Experienced Professional Route in hope to become a chartered member of the Chartered Institute of Housing. This was made available to me as a graduate from The GEM Programme and shows that even years after my initial internship, opportunities have still been offered to me to help progress as a professional and help my career development.

What do you enjoy about your current role? 

The main aims of my current role are to ensure tenants are sustaining their tenancies and ensure maximisation of rental income collection. The most satisfying part of the job is preventing sometimes vulnerable people from loosing their home. I also get a sense of achievement when I am able to close a support case knowing I have had a positive impact on someone’s life, providing them the knowledge and skills to manage their tenancy in the future.

I come across all sorts of different people in my current role; this includes a diverse customer base but also working with a range of other professionals and agencies to ensure that the customers I work with are getting the support they need.

Working with customers is not always easy; there are sometimes challenges that I need to overcome and demanding situations that need quick responses. This is all part of working in such a fast paced and changing sector and is why I continue to develop my knowledge and motivated to do my best every day.

What advice do you have for anyone looking to apply?  

As I have already mentioned one of the key aims of the recruitment process is to identify if you share the common values that all those working in the sector have. This is making communities in which we work great places to live and striving to improve people’s lives.  I would also recommend researching the organisation you are looking to apply for and make sure the placement topic on offer is right for you.

If you are lucky enough to be selected for the programme I cannot stress enough to take all the opportunities offered to you. There were extra pieces of research and projects offered to us while partaking in the programme that I look back at now and regret not being involved with.

If you share the above-mentioned values, you want the opportunity to develop yourself as a professional and are not afraid to step outside your comfort zone then The GEM Programme is a perfect opportunity for you.

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