Hello, I’m Ann Donkin. I have been a Community Partnership Coordinator (CPC) since the role was created in 2016. Before that I worked in customer involvement for 10 years. In total I have 40 years’ service with Gentoo/Sunderland Housing Group/Sunderland Council, and have just received my long service award from Lucy Malarkey!
A typical day as a CPC involves a wide variety of activities from organising and attending meetings, such as the New Community Engagement forums, offering administrative support to our Tenant and Resident Associations, networking with other community focused organisations across the area and increasing opportunities to our customers.
The CPC team are currently involved with helping to organise the 10th Genfactor final, which is going to be held at Rainton Meadows Arena in April 2019. We have completed six rounds of open auditions which have been held at a range of venues including; Washington Arts Centre, Sunderland Glass Centre and schools and community halls across the City. We have seen a range of young talent from singers, dancers, musicians and even a unicyclist! The next stage will be round two of auditions as the talent has been so good this year.
I meet with local groups supporting them with advice and assistance, making posters to promote their events, giving advice on funding opportunities, and linking them to other groups in their locality.
I attend the VCS meeting (Voluntary and Community Sector) where I can share information about Gentoo and bring information back about what’s happening elsewhere in the area to share with local groups.
I work with lunch clubs and new groups to set up community activities and provide information and assistance on Gentoo’s Aspire community grants scheme. I also offer help with income advice, universal credit and housing queries. If I can’t answer their questions, I know my colleagues in the group can!
I keep in contact with Gentoo volunteers, ensuring that their DBS checks (Disclosure and Barring Service) are up to date, checking on how their volunteering is going and if they need any support. I also keep them up to date with any new volunteering opportunities that they may be interested in.
My day is so varied, I am also a keen volunteer for the group and often sing at community events.