In the beginning…

“Hello, my name is Elliw. Today, I’m starting in my new role as a trainee on The Managers of Tomorrow Scheme. ”

“Welcome to the Council. Have you settled? What do you know about Ffordd Gwynedd? ”

“Ffordd Gwynedd ensures that we always place the people of Gwynedd central to everything we do.”

From the first day, the motto is ingrained in my head. The question is fired and I answer like a parrot.

I know the correct answer. I’m saying the correct answer, but … But what about the uneven roads, the grass growing freely creating a jungle in our villages, the litter overflowing from uncollected bins, not to mention charging for collecting our garden waste? Do we honestly, always, ensure that we place the people of Gwynedd central to everything we do?

I’m here to make a difference, with no idea where to start changing the world.

Two weeks later, I’ve seen many examples of local people working hard to offer the best possible service to their community. Gwynedd Council is a deeper, busier and a more complex organization than our little superficial problems.

During my short period of time spent in the Council, I have met the Chief Executive, the Leader of the Council, a number of Managers who are responsible for the different departments of the Council, and have received my first placement location, and will be moving on September 11th! I’ve also been allocated a personal mentor, as well as a mentor to assist me with my college work. Unfortunately, in two weeks, I have not succeeded in resolving all the complaints and problems of Gwynedd residents, but meeting the right people is a good start.

Then I got an eye opening. Imagine that you are one person placed in the middle of around six thousand employees, one of the rank sitting in a comfortable warm building. Imagine now that you are the only person the public can see, with the remaining six thousand locked safely behind a large heavy door. This is the experience of working at Siop Gwynedd in Caernarfon, Pwllheli or Dolgellau. You are the face that deals with every complaint and public enquiry. You are the face that is supposed to know all the answers. You are the face representing the Council.

I felt a similar experience sitting in the Galw Gwynedd call center as the demands flew in their hundreds, with enquiries, complaints, and payment requests, and the workers jumping seamlessly from one problem to the other all day, everyday . The employees are determined to resolve any queries, and work tirelessly to make sure they put the people of Gwynedd first.

I have also been excited to start on my first official project, creating a communication and marketing plan for the Managers of Tomorrow Scheme. If you are able to read this, it is proof that our project has been a success. Everything you see on these pages when reading the blogs is the fruit of our imagination as Trainees.

After having a busy fortnight meeting new faces, reading policies and learning about the Council’s vision, I’m a step closer to becoming a future manager. But the most important question that I have to answer along the journey is whether: “Ffordd Gwynedd ensures that we always place the people of Gwynedd central to everything we do.” We’ll see about that!

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