Janene has worked at Futures since July 2019 and in June 2022, she made the change from working in Futures’ Money Advice team to starting a new role as our first Community Engagement Project Delivery Officer.

We caught up with Janene a few months into her role last year, to hear about a longer than usual day she had full of community and partner working.

“I’m still regularly asked by colleagues intrigued to find out what my new role is since I left the Money Advice team. While yesterday wasn’t a completely typical day, it was a perfect day to highlight the active side of community interaction in my role, and to give a flavour of what I’m doing.

"I started my day a little earlier than usual to clear some emails, as I knew I’d got a full day out and about away from my desk. After this, I headed out to a great first meeting with a fabulous community group facilitating amazing work on one of our estates in Belper. I then  caught up with some of the Neighbourhoods team at one of Futures’ touchdown points to talk about some ideas on the back of this.

"Later, I joined Derbyshire County Council and other agencies for a gentle walkabout around Langley Mill, in a ‘Netwalking’ event. This was part of building their ‘Thriving Communities’ programme, and the main aim of going there was to understand how the neighbourhood presents itself and to listen to local people’s views on where they live. It was a successful trip and one that was especially interesting to me as it was a town I grew up in, so it was interesting to see what had and hadn’t changed.

"What I also learnt was that when you get people together in person, who all have a similar passion for improving communities, then the right conversations start to take place and ideas get shared. Meaning changes can then actually happen!

"We may as different agencies be coming at supporting communities from different angles, and have business agendas with a slightly different focus. But (and it’s a big and positive but) we all have the same focus of how and what can we do to engage the community more, and drive their passion for getting involved in their community and impacting positive change. This common goal is what will ultimately drive the programme forwards, with a fair bit of hard work too of course!

"So while I’m also still working with lots of teams throughout Futures on a variety of projects and ideas, it’s nice to share a day dedicated to community groups and organisations.”