Anastasia has been leading the communications and signposting service at Healthwatch Greenwich for about a year. With new career aspirations ahead of her, Anastasia looks back at her time at Healthwatch Greenwich and at what this role has taught her.
Can you describe your role at Healthwatch Greenwich?
I lead the communications and marketing side of our business and to help raise our profile in the local community. In addition, I respond to calls and emails that come to us from residents. The enquiries are really varied - I give advice on how to find local health and care services, help them to overcome barriers or problems in accessing services, and sometimes how to best to raise concerns or complaints with services.
In your opinion, what is the most important skill for a Communications and Signposting Officer to have?
Signposting and communications are quite different things. Being able to stay organised and find the balance between the two sides of this role is very important.
I may be focusing on planning a marketing or comms project, and then get a call from a member of the public that has a complicated issue with the health service. I must be able to listen to the person calling us and make sure I understand what advice to give them and what needs to happen next. I use my communications skills to do that, but it is a more hands-on, customer facing role than what I’m used to form my corporate career!
What is your daily routine at Healthwatch Greenwich?
For now, we are all working from home most of the time. So, my daily routine is to get up and prepare for the day. I like to do a bit of yoga in the morning and make sure that I have a cup of tea before I turn on the computer.
In the past you’d go into the office and speak to your team, and you'd have a cup of tea, so I guess that's almost my alternative now. We should be back in the office soon.
What has been your greatest achievement while working here?
In the last year, I have taken the initiative to set up a lot of processes internally that are helping us increase our brand awareness in Greenwich and deliver better outcomes for the service users.
Recruiting and working with our Digital Communications Volunteers has been a great achievement. I have had the opportunity to learn to supervise someone, which was new for me. The students have joined us with their own sets of skills, and I’ve been able to transfer some of my own expertise. Not only have they learned something new, but I have continued to increase our capacity and develop these new systems and projects that I started!
What do you enjoy most about your role?
Because we’re a small team, I can take a lot of initiative with our communications in ways that I don’t think are possible in a bigger team. I work directly with our CEO and our Board to strengthen our brand and increase our reach. I have learned so much from working this way.
If you like to work for an organisation with a social purpose, Healthwatch Greenwich is the place to be! The most rewarding part of my day is knowing that I have helped someone who was struggling to get their voice heard.
What are your plans for the future?
I have had both of my COVID-19 vaccinations and now I'm just waiting for the right time to be able to travel and to take a plane to go and see my family. I have been fortunate to stay in touch with them through video and phone calls so it's not like I haven't spoken to them for a couple of years, but COVID has stood in the way of me being able to see them. I'm really hoping I can see them this Christmas, that will be a great way to end the year!
We are recruiting!
We are looking for an enthusiastic self-starter to join our team as our new Communications and Signposting Officer. You will be responsible for raising our profile through campaigns across a wide variety of platforms and for providing our signposting and information service.