Meet Sarah (Ranger)
For International Women’s Day, we’re shining the spotlight on one of our female colleagues who you might recognise from being out and about! Sarah, one of our Rangers, told us a bit more about her day-to-day job.
Hi Sarah, can you tell us about your time working for Midland Heart and your typical day?
I joined Midland Heart in 2016 – I’d previously worked for Handy Person Services, and then joined Midland Heart as a Ranger.
No day is ever the same! We do monthly fire safety checks within the blocks, making sure they are all safe and secure and removing any fire risks, like obstacles blocking fire exits. We make sure fire alarms and emergency lighting is in good working order and keep an eye out for any repairs that might need reporting.
We also oversee our contractors and make sure their services are up to standard, like grounds maintenance, cleaners, window cleaners etc.
We can also get emergency call outs or urgent jobs, from clearing fly tipping and helping with access issues to the removal of sharp objects. You never know when these calls are going to come so they can really change up your day!
What do you enjoy most about the role? What can be challenging?
I really enjoy that every day is a totally different day and brings different challenges.
We’re the eyes and ears on the ground and are often the first point of call for customers when they see us out and about, so we can be involved with anything from anti-social behaviour to tenant welfare. It can be challenging if customers are upset or frustrated by a problem and direct that towards you.
But it’s really rewarding when we help customers reach a solution and we feel like we’ve made a positive impact to their lives and in the wider community. Generally, customers are very grateful that we’re around and visible.
Are customers or other colleagues surprised when they hear that you’re a female Ranger?
Yes, all the time!! Customers and other people are often surprised when they see me get out of the van - they’ll say, “Oh you’re a woman…I was expecting a man!”
You just have to have a sense of humour, that’s the trick. But I think most of the tenants are used to seeing me now and it’s great that so many of them are very positive towards me.
I’ve definitely been treated differently in the past though, when some people think I can’t do the job or think it’s something a man should be doing, not a woman. Surprisingly, it’s often from other women – probably because they wouldn’t do what I do!
I never had to worry about the other rangers though – they’ve always treated me as one of them! We also have women in other maintenance roles now which is great, I’m really glad they’ve joined us.
Is there any advice you’d give to other women who are interested in doing typically “male” jobs?
My advice would just be to have a go! You’re more than capable of doing it – our team would definitely welcome more women.
If you like a challenge and have a strong will to be different, then go for it! Ignore the typical stereotype of anything being a “male role” – it’s for everyone.
And remember, if they say that you can’t do something…do it twice and take a picture!
Our rangers do everything they can to make sure your building is safe. You can find out what else we do, some examples of things you can do and how to report any building safety concerns here.