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On a quiet evening I was in my living room with my wife and glued to my iPad when suddenly I noticed an advertisement for a job. It was from Dean and Cauvin Young People’s trust, looking for a residential night shift worker. I had a job as a night shift worker with another organisation and honestly, I was not looking for a job.  I cannot explain how Dean and Cauvin appeared on that faithful day.  I had never heard or known anyone that work or has worked with the Trust.  I showed the advert to my wife, and she said, “apply for it”.  It was the last night before the deadline and it was about midnight, but I applied!  Surprisingly, I was called for an interview.

On the day of the interview, I was faced with three or four people, I came for the interview not feeling nervous but looking at the faces before me on that day, I had to be serious. I also met young people and workers, one of them turned out to be my first supervisor. Finally, it was the end of the interview.

As I walked towards my car, I asked myself what I have gotten myself into. Again, I was in for a surprise, that same day I was offered provisional employment.  Can a company or an organisation be so swift and efficient? I planned to hold on with my other job for six months until the probation period was over.  This was more than two years ago!

I was invited to the induction and found the atmosphere was very friendly and the people around me were nice to each other as if we had known ourselves long before that day.  All the managers came in to introduce themselves, one by one and had something or a topic or a subject to teach or offer. I had never experienced managers do this before.   Everyone was nice and efficient, there was no stress and things were well timed.

In Portland Street we are a family and members of staff forms a body with different talents. We have the young, old, and quite experienced in life in childcaring in other words we are rich and spiced, a coat of many colours. Our young people are privileged. They might not know it but it is true because, I have never worked in an organisation as rich as this where a staff on a sleepover has made it a routine to tell a night staff you know where to find me when you need help, where every staff will want to know how you are doing and be patient to listen to you.

Finally, my able manager. I call her the mother of the house. Without mentioning her my story will not be complete and Portland Street will not stand because, she is the pillar of the house. I have never seen her angry but always smiling. She sees things differently in a positive way and always show appreciation when things or tasks are completed. When you do not hear from her, be patient something is being done. She has good leadership qualities that are real. I appreciate being part of the Portland Street family.

Christopher Ogunbor

Residential Night Worker

Portland Street