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Getting to know Inclusion and Insight Officer: Becki Winkless

You’ve probably seen Becki around with her vibrant hair as she delivers food parcels, gathers feedback from the community or checks on the wellbeing of you or your neighbours.

She’s The Pioneer Group’s Inclusion & Insight Officer and has been working for the housing group since April 2012; here’s where we find out what makes her tick!


What does a typical day at work look like for you and your team?

There is no typical day in the world of inclusion – every day is different. The only constant thing is my start time, I’m very much an early bird so like to start work around 7.30 – 8am!

I work very much on my own in the community and my team consists of resident volunteers – these can be Digital Champions, Resident Inspectors, Block Champions, and our Scrutiny Panel.

I also work closely with the team at Compass Support to ensure our residents’ voices are heard and they have the skills necessary to be successful in whatever they want to do in life. Prior to COVID-19, I opened the Digital Hub four mornings a week, so that residents have access to the internet to learn new skills, job search, claim benefits and more. I also attended resident meetings, contractor, and Scrutiny Panel meetings, I supported volunteers to run a café once a week in Phoenix Court and also organised community events across the estate.

How does your team help the communities that we work in?

Inclusion is embedded in our community to ensure our residents’ voices are heard; this is from the CVCH Board right down to our residents that engage with us on a regular basis.  I ensure that residents’ comments are fed back so that we can act on them and fully understand our residents’ needs and what services they want.

What are some personal values that are important to you?

Honesty, openness and respect – these are the values I believe I have and like to think the majority of the people I work with have these also, both residents and staff. I always believe in treating people how I would like to be treated.

What motivates you to be your best self?

Seeing my residents grow in confidence and learn new skills. The main aspect of my role is to encourage residents to get involved, so I love seeing a resident coming out of their shell, growing into a confident person that is willing to share their experiences to improve and enhance their community.

When you were young, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I always wanted to be a chef, I even went to catering college and qualified…but the hours took me away from my family and I decided it wasn’t for me.  I did work behind a bar for a while whilst training which led me to run a small village pub in Whittington, which I loved but I still craved the 9-5 life so I could socialise too!

What is your favourite memory of being involved in your community?

I loved being involved in one of the Active Arts festivals back in 2014. We had a massive big top circus tent and it was a two day festival that took months of planning and preparation. We had some amazing local bands attend but I was put ‘backstage’ to monitor the crowds as we had a boyband called Stateside as the headline act – this was an act signed by Simon Cowell, one of the members was Regan Gascoigne, Paul Gascoigne’s son…I got to meet him and his sister Bianca! I also spoke to the 100s of fans that had travelled from across the UK to Castle Vale just to see them.

What approach do you take to look after your mental wellbeing?

I always ensure I take time out. I make sure I have my lunch break 99% of the time and often go for a walk on my lunch break. I pop my AirPods in and enjoy the fresh air. I also have a rule as soon as I pull up on the drive at home, I don’t talk about work… I make sure I switch off!

What is one item on your bucket list?

I would love to drive Route 66 in an American car or a motorbike; I’ve already been to Nashville and Memphis and fell in love with America. I need to go back!

Who is an inspirational individual you look up to?

My Mom, she is amazing, has a big heart, always looking after everyone else and never putting herself first.

How do you relax outside of work?

I love going to the gym, I missed the environment when in lockdown and since going back in June, I have a new found love for boxing; definitely helps me de-stress. I also enjoy spending time with friends and family and catching up over food and drink… and of course spending time with my dogs!

What do you enjoy about being part of The Pioneer Group?

I enjoy being part of an amazing community and being surrounded by residents who are so passionate about where they live. I have been amazed at the way we have all pulled together during COVID-19 to ensure our community is safe, looked after and residents have what they need.