Thoughts on the journey so far!

Jon took up his current role as Senior Developement worker 10 January 2022. Here, Jon reflects on the first few weeks in post and shares his aspirations for the future as 2022 continues

Jon Miles

It’s been a strange but good time to start a new job!

My excitement and anticipation at starting this role with TCT was mixed with the challenges common to many – positive COVID tests, juggling work with inevitable home schooling, and the uncertainty about what a socially-distanced start to work would be like! But January is a time for new starts, for looking ahead, so it was great to start the year with a fresh opportunity.

I’ve been connected with the work of TCT in different ways for a long time, and knew that the vision for seeing thriving communities and individuals was something I share, and which has been a passion throughout my work. So it has been great to join the team as the new Senior Development Worker and reconnect with friends and colleagues, but it’s also been wonderful to get to see the organisation in a new way. Starting in a new role means you get to find out more, to be introduced to people and work with a fresh pair of eyes. Over my first few weeks I’ve been warmly welcomed not only by the TCT team, but also by local partner organisations and groups, as well as some of the wider networks of which we are a part. I’ve also been introduced to some amazing work – it is inspiring and energising to hear about the growing number of Places of Welcome, the powerful training and support around important issues such as modern slavery or mental health, and to begin to connect with some vital work around issues like housing and homelessness. My initial reflection on my first few weeks has been to say thank you to everyone who has welcomed me, shared their wisdom and knowledge, and been patient with the inevitable misunderstandings or daft questions!

Much of my work over the past 15 years or so has been in support of communities and charities working in often very challenging circumstances. As with the looming anxiety around cost of living that I know concerns many at the moment, the combination of challenges around money worries, health and wellbeing, employment and community divisions can often feel overwhelming. I also know however that people and communities can be hugely resilient and creative in spite of (or perhaps because of) the pressures they face. One reminder of the power of simple ideas added to passion and commitment has been the recent campaign on food pricing by the writer and broadcaster Jack Monroe – sharing ideas like that, telling stories of positive change is something we can do through our networks which is vital to building a sense of hope.

Alongside councils and state services, our communities, faith groups, charities and voluntary groups are doing great things to respond to both challenges and opportunities. As part of the TCT team, I'm looking forward to connecting and working with you over the coming months, supporting where we can and celebrating the hope and change that comes from working well together.