A day in the life of an office manager… Lisa
Hello, my name is Lisa and I am the Office Manager for Children and Young People’s Services (CYP). I am the back bone for the team and also support the counselling team from behind the scenes. I have been working at Manchester Mind for 15 years.
I wake up at 6am as I like to take my dog for a walk before the day starts. I love walking my dog so this always sets me up for the day and helps my mental health and wellbeing.
9am I arrive at the Zion Centre, say hello to Donovan who is usually on the reception in the mornings. I work from F15 and sit with Dan and Anna. Myself and Anna had a quick catch up as I haven’t seen her since before Christmas, due to me feeling too unwell to come into work, I am a lot better now so raring to go.
Once I am logged on, I always check the CYP inbox, this is always my first job of the day, especially on a Monday as the inbox hasn’t been looked at over the weekend, it is very important that this is done first thing as there could be a young person who is, in need of some help and could do with a phone call. Once I have checked the inbox and made sure there is nothing of a safeguarding nature, I will answer all the queries in there and check how many referrals we have had come in over the weekend.
I will then check my own inbox, to see if there are any urgent tasks that need to be completed or any emails that need an urgent response. I then check my, and the other CYP manager’s calendars just so I know what to expect throughout the day, and who is available when, in case I need to speak to them.
I will then check the Counselling inbox. I always leave this one to last, as I know this is also checked by Kathryn and other members of the counselling team, so anything urgent would have already been picked up. I will check through all the emails, and forward any tasks that need to be done to my own inbox, as the counselling inbox is used by a lot of people, it is very important to keep it clear. These tasks will include, closing cases for trainee counsellors, sending out exit questionnaires, saving signed Counselling Agreements, keeping the allocations spreadsheet up to date, replying to queries regarding counselling placements, saving any paperwork/references that come in from our new volunteer counsellors.
I will now try and get into the counselling rooms (if they are not being used) to check whether the counselling paperwork needs topping up, this includes safely plans, Counselling Agreements etc.
I think its coffee time!
I then log onto Civi and go through all the new referrals (this Monday we had 13 new referrals). I have to triage all referrals and check the eligibility of the referral (if they live in the Manchester City Council Borough, I also have to check that they are aged between 15 – 25. Today we had 6 referrals that were out of area, these will need to be checked to ensure there is no risk, I will then send them a detailed email with the relevant signposting information. We also had 2 referrals for people over the age of 25, in this case, I will contact the person, and ask if they would like me to refer them to our adult counselling service. If they would like this, I would then make the relevant referral.
Once I have triaged all the referrals, the referrals that have been accepted will need to be notified, this is done via Civi by SMS, in my message I explain that we have received and accepted the referral, I then give an estimate of when they will expect to hear from us, our contact details in case they need to speak to us in the meantime.
I am feeling peckish now it must be lunch-time.
Some days I work from home and some in the office. If I am working from home I will take my dog out for a quick 20 minute walk around the park, this enables me to clear my head for the afternoon. If I am in the office, I will have a walk around Hulme Park. I always take time out where possible, half way through the working day, to me this is a very important part of day, taking a little time out and gaining some fresh air
Today we have a CYP Manager’s meeting. This gives us all the opportunity to update each other on what we have been working on, what needs to be done and any issues we may have. The meeting usually lasts approximately 1 hour.
I am now working through my actions from the meeting, these are general administration tasks. One of my actions was to update our new referral message, Sharon, CYP Manager, would now like us to let all young people who have put referrals in know that they can join our peer support group whilst on the waiting list if they wish.
I now help Kathryn with the weekly new allocations for the trainee counsellors. This week we had to allocate 9 new clients to our trainees. This entails me opening them up on Civi, and adding the Counsellor as a new “role” to the Civi record. I will then email around the trainees to let them know they have been allocated new clients, the counsellor will then contact the young person to arrange their first session. I will then update the allocations spreadsheet, just so we have a record of our allocations. This is done at least once a week.
I will now re-check all the inboxes to see if any new queries have come in, and action them all accordingly. The last job for today is updating all the counselling rooms and ensuring these are all booked on the office booking system.
My days can be very random, not everyday is the same.
Now for the drive home and obviously once I am home to take my dog out again, she is a very spoilt, well walked dog.