Voluntary Support Worker (Current Employee) – Durham – 14 May 2018
As a volunteer, I was expecting a welcome, however, the welcome I received was far greater than my expectations, in the short time I have volunteered with The Alzheimers Society I have always been treated with the greatest respect and have been made to feel appreciated. Volunteering in itself is a reward, however, I cannot thank the Alzheimer's Society enough for being such an amazing Society to volunteer with.
Lovely friendly staff and team great people and charity to work for. Plenty of activities and projects to do. Myself being unemployed find it hard when having to travel far distances and making it to fundraising meetings.
Locality Administrator (Current Employee) – England – 29 January 2018
A company that has gradually been losing its focus mainly due to poor leadership and weak management. No obvious job progression and an unwillingness to invest in their staff. A culture where the 'top' has virtually no understanding/interest in what the 'bottom' does! The future looks bleak for this organisation.
Locality Administrator (Former Employee) – Belfast – 10 January 2018
The people are passionate, the managers are keen for people to develop, learn and grow, the training is second to none and the colleagues are all so friendly and supportive of one another. Great cause, great environment.
Carer Assistant (Former Employee) – Bedford – 26 November 2017
Traveling between clients, in and around Bedford, I learnt patience, and gained some good friends who supported each other. I didn’t consider it had a hard part of the job, each client to visit was different in their needs, and the most enjoyable part was actually being with them, making them laugh, and leaving them in a good mood.
Snr Project Manager/ Lead Business Analyst (Current Employee) – London Tower Bridge – 12 September 2017
I work with complete autonomy and plan a portfolio of projects whilst ensuring the business analysis and requirements are also effective. The company has a very important agenda and thus the culture is one of ensuring that our contribution adds value to meet the objectives. What i like most is the work life balance of working remotely whilst still maintaining effective communication and the autonomy to make decisions on projects, whilst supporting the stakeholders. In addition I am usually busy. The most difficult part is sometimes having to rely on the actions of others to progress some parts of the projects but that is project life and it just means I have to handle challenges, which is not an issue for me.
Long journey and long day when you have to travel to the office
Dementia Support Manager (Former Employee) – Lancashire – 23 August 2017
excellent training, peer support encouraged, good communicattion and regular meetings. not very much flexibility in working hours and most positions are fixed term contracts which does not provide security.
Support Services Volunteer (Current Employee) – Stokesley – 3 August 2017
I enjoy working for this organisation, have a great team and manager. For my personal preferences, the job isn't fast paced enough but I'm sure it would suit some people fine. The job is extremely varied but usually easy going. Some times there is a lack of communication between head office and the local offices. My biggest issue is the lack of progression. Hourly rate is good but work is generally part-time with few opportunities for promotion.
Three months induction with lots to learn i.e. many modules on dementia; data protection; safeguarding; CRS (database); etc. and ongoing learning with various courses to attend. Staff are encouraged to attend a Welcome Day in London which is very informative and allows a view of all the departments that form part of the organisation as well as a chance of meeting other members of staff from all over the country.
Troubled culture, poor strategic leadership, services for people with dementia are being outsourced or closed.
Manager (Former Employee) – London, Greater London – 10 July 2017
The Society is currently going through a large change programme and as a result a number of people are embarking on a redundancy programme. The second phase of the change programme commences in the Autumn. The moral dilemma is that job vacancies are still being advertised knowing that in the Autumn a number of positions will be affected by the change programme. So my advice is to check whether the position you are applying for will be affected. In considering whether voluntary income is well spent on supporting people with dementia you need to look at senior manager salaries for the answer.
"If your face fits approach", unsafe practices endorsed by senior managers, specialisim leads are inexperienced
I attended three memory cafes a month to help set out and improve engagement of the service users and their carers. It was a nice, laid-back environment so I felt comfortable talking to people and helping them engage with the activities. The other members of the team were lovely and welcoming.
Society worker (Former Employee) – London – 12 May 2017
Poor salaries, weak management, unresponsive personnel team, and constant mistakes with pay. The Society relies enormously on workers paying for their own travel to clients' homes, reimbursing expenses on a monthly basis when staff submit claim forms with receipts. I suspect the Society would not survive as a charity if it weren't for the staff's generosity and forgiveness. Some leave because the unreliability of the organisation causes them great financial inconvenience. The expenses and pay mistakes leave people, already on low wages and short-term contracts (with pay increases per year of only 1% if they are kept on beyond the end of the financial year, which is RARE) thoroughly broke - some clocking up around £150 in expenses per month. You would assume they could, like most employers, offer an interest free season ticket loan, or an imprest, but no. Volunteers are much relied upon and there are some good volunteer officers in the company. But the downside is there is little leadership for those officers, few 'thank you' events for volunteers, and most volunteers are not actively encouraged to claim their travel expenses. As for management - it is hard to know what is happening. A new strategy was put forward this year and staff on all levels were to offer their thoughts, but in reality it was a fait accompli - everything was decided before staff could comment, even the colourful pop styling for the corporate identity, intended to attract the youth of today: designs which were a simplistic answer that showed little insight or imagination. An embarrassing aspect of the newmore... strategy was political bias. The strategy was named the New Deal on Dementia, revealing the Leadership team's allegiance to the Conservative party, borrowing the name of the party's historic back to work scheme for young people. As an inclusive Society for all, political language such as this should have been put to one side and especially in light of the Conservative government's swingeing cuts to disability benefits and the introduction of the Bedroom Tax. This bias will not attract London donors who might more readily support Alzheimer's Research UK. Communication is also a huge problem across the Society. Every month staff receive a teleconference announcement from the Leadership team which they listen in to by way of a dial-in system. But they listen. They do not participate. It is more of an old fashioned radio speech than a forum. Staff are not encouraged to offer their views and everything is very top-down. Overall, staff are generally dedicated and hard working. But as salaries are low and job security negligible, unfortunately the quality of candidates applying for roles seems to be rather below average for the graduate workforce, which is not good in terms of efficiency. Some posts require several attempts at recruitment as candidates are unsuitable. Even so, there is a 'make do' attitude and the best of the weak candidates get recruited anyway. Often I wonder if the Society could operate with a smaller workforce of more talented staff, with more staff rewards. I have regularly witnessed colleagues whose mother tongue is English struggle with basic English, which has been awkward at times and does not give a professional impression to service users. Clumsy language in letter correspondence is the last thing a recently diagnosed person can contend with - it comes across as insensitive, thoughtless and disrespectful. Had my family received such letters, I would have posted any such letter back with an acerbic complaint to show I was no mug, dementia or not. My impression is that staff on the whole have the best of intentions and are good-hearted, but the main issues are weak leadership, few staff rights and benefits, and a weak grasp of quality control as the organisation has grown at a fast rate. No one knows who is who. After several years at the Society by the time I left I did not know who the different heads of departments are as staff are not encouraged to talk to each other beyond their immediate teams or loacalities.less
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Disorganised and politically biased, with little quality control.