Michelle Collins

What do you do at Carefree? 

I am the Housing Development Coordinator, this is a new role so I will be developing it as I go along and doing my best to ensure that young people are supported with their accommodation choices.  I will be setting up a steering group which will involve young people and exploring the development of housing specifically for Care Leavers.  I will also be challenging the Local Offer for Care Leavers in respect of housing and raise awareness of the needs of Care Leavers to housing associations and private landlords. 

What do you like about working at Carefree? 

I only started here a couple of days ago but before that I knew the Organisation and really like the  ethos and now I have started I am getting to know everyone who has been very kind, welcoming and friendly.   I can see that I will like it here. 

Can you say a bit about your past experience and qualifications?

I previously worked for housing associations for 27 years, I specialised in supported housing with young women but did manage services for sheltered schemes too.  I loved my work at Truro Young Women’s Centre (where I first met Mari) and that was where my heart lay for many years.  I also worked at Brook Cornwall for 25 years, again there at the inception of the service and was a huge supporter of ensuring young people were informed about all things sexual health/relationships and consent.

The last two years I have been working for Cornwall Council as a Commissioning Officer in Childrens Services.  I worked closely with Carefree over that time and found out much more about the work that you do.  I am glad to now be a part of this team. 

My qualifications are in Housing, CIPD (Personnel), Training and Assessing, and now Commissioning.

What do you enjoy doing when you are not working? 

I have a dog who I adore, I also love my boys (18 and 21 years old) and my family whom I am very close to. Family is everything to me and I will do anything to support them.  My Mum, 84, has dementia so between me and my two sisters we take care of her daily so she can live at home and maintain her independence.

I love crossfit and do this three times per week, walking my dog every day and also love the challenge of climbing mountains or the Cornish coastpath (quite similar in lots of ways) !

I have an active social life and love nothing more than going out and meeting friends who are also an important part of my life, some of whom I have been friends with since I was 6 years old and moved to Cornwall.

I listen to music, read and enjoy new challenges and meeting new people.