Our staff really believe in Middlesbrough and are proud to deliver a wide range of services to residents and businesses across the town. On this page we’re shining a spotlight on some of the amazing staff who help to make Middlesbrough such a great place to live.
Just some of the ways we support the town include:
- registering an average of 5,500 births every year
- taking an average of 10,000 calls from residents every month
- issuing over 10,300 library books during the past year
- serving 10,000 meals to school staff and pupils each day
- delivering inclusive music lessons to over 600 children each year
On this page we'll be shining a spotlight on some of our amazing staff, or you can check out the full list of videos on YouTube.
Dee works within our Future for Families Hub, where she analyses key data to support young people overcome any hurdles they may be experiencing such as regularly attending school. Dee finds her role very rewarding and loves to see the young people progress in life.
This video was filmed in October 2022.
Hi, I'm Dee, I'm a Performance Analyst and I work within the Thorntree Hub as part of Children's Services.
Thorntree Hub is a residential home that looks after young people within Middlesbrough. We currently have six bedrooms that we are able to use to support kids that are either returning to that area or staying in the area, building relationships with their own families or make not have contact with their families at all.
Part of my role is to look at the support we give to those young people, take the information that's logged from their Support Workers and try and help them to make sense of what's going on with each individual, trying not to take a blanket approach, that one form of access and support will suit every young person that we've got, and tailor that support to what that individual young person needs, and what can help them to progress and move on through their lives.
Routinely with the information that I look at, I'm trying to identify trends, so if for instance that a young person is going missing regularly, is there something that happens before that missing episode to try and help that staff to help that young person. Is there something that happens in that young person's life for instance contact with a family member or a friend, difficult time during education, if they are going to school and trying to alleviate and identify some of those triggers, so that they reduce the amount of time the young person goes missing or reduce the number of incidents that young person has and just try to help them progress.
Corporately as well I look at information on a higher level for the Service Manager for across the board for all the young people that we've looked after, I actually look and try and work out a cost avoidance for those young people, so if we didn't support them what path would they have gone down? Would they have gone to an external residential home, would they have gone to an internal foster placement, would they have remained at home if we hadn't supported them? And try put a financial amount on that to say person one without our support would have gone to an external foster placement perhaps because we have now intervened and supported that young person, they have remained at home, so that's a cost that we've actually avoided as a council and put a bit of a financial figure on that to say because of our support this is something we no longer have to pay for, which helps senior management target those potential funds at other young people or resources.
So I personally find the job extremely rewarding, it's helping in the way that I can to support the young people of Middlesbrough to either go home or stay in the area, although it's not direct work with the young people, it's so rewarding because you can see the progress that they are making and although that it's not going from not attending school to suddenly graduating university. It's the small bits that actually make the difference and if it's going from not attending school at all to attending one day, that's a massive achievement for our kids, and it makes me so proud to see them do that and move forward and make those small steps, because eventually they will become big steps, so all these little steps mount up to a journey that they are now starting on after the support we've given them.
As part of his role in the Future for Families Hub, Terry helps young people who are in crisis with any day-to-day activities from attending school to visiting their GP to meeting up with friends.
This video was filmed in October 2022.
Hello my name is Terry McNeill and I'm a Residential and Edge of Care Worker with the Future For Families team within Middlesbrough Council.
I've been with them for three year now, starting back during Covid, we started working from home basically as we did our training and we moved into our Hub on September two year ago and from there we worked with the children moving them into the Hub, helping them settle, and then helping them with their everyday things that they need to do. Attending school, visiting families, visiting GPs, appointments, and things like that and just attending to their everyday needs. Some children moved back into the Middlesbrough area from other parts of the country so we did additional work with them as a help settle back into Middlesbrough.
So a typical day for me would be we would start shift on 10am, we would move into shift and and we're going first we're going to a daily handover. And then from there we would come out, we'd check if we've got any children in the Hub, because some of the children will have already gone off to school. Then we would complete any daily tasks that are needed in and around the building, any cleaning duties, any other duties such as arranging a GP appointment, arranging visits with social workers, preparing activities for the children on an evening or a weekend at a future date, any like say any other further appointments they may have.
And then from there it would move into around about tea time as the children come home from school, and then we would arrange tea and then move into any evening activities that they may have and any visits they may have - some go see friends, some go and see their family - and just help them settle in for the evening really. And then from there we move into the evening where we settle down for the night and move into preparing the guys ready for school the next morning.
Within the day-to-day running of the Hub, as well as support from myself and my colleagues, the children and young persons also have on-site access to a psychologist who can help them with any additional problems they may have. And then as a Futures For Families team, we also have the additional advantages, we have police analysts who can help us with any data that we need, and we also have a data analyst as well who can support us. We have on-site business admin support who help us throughout our day-to-day with any additional requirements, so for example they can help us help us register the children with GPs and with dentists and opticians etc. So that's the additional that they they bring to the service.
Did you know that Middlesbrough Council’s 50 Futures programme supports individuals back into the workplace? Doug co-ordinates the whole programme and finds suitable placements for individuals. Find out more about the 50 Futures programme.
This video was filmed in September 2022.
Hi, my name is Doug Hewitson, I work for Middlesbrough Council's 50 Futures programme.
I came into this role actually as a 50 Futures candidate that was approximately two and a half years ago. I'd been unemployed for a period of time, I had to close my business down when my mum became ill and I was taking time out to look after her. When it got to the point where I was ready to go back into the workplace, I was having difficulty finding employment with applications being rejected, not getting any feedback, and I felt myself having employed people previously that the reason for that was there was a gap in my CV.
I coincidentally was in the Jobcentre and saw a flyer of 50 Futures I decided to look into it and apply, within a week I was on a placement and I was helping people within the local Community Hubs search for employment using the IT equipment, helping them update their CVs, providing advice with the interview process. And I found a real passion for it, I found that I really enjoyed it.
I had been looking for a career change, I knew I didn't want to be self-employed any more but wasn't quite sure what I wanted to do. After seeing the services that had been delivered to my mum while she was ill, all the support she received from organisations within the council such as the Staying Put Agency, that helped to renovate at home to make it more practical for her to live there longer, and also just all the support that we got from local services, I had a feeling that I wanted to move into something that was helping and supporting people. I didn't know what that would look like, so getting the opportunity on 50 Futures helped direct which direction I was going towards.
Fortunately for me while on the placement feedback was being sent back to the manager when a job became available I was asked to interview for that and I was successful in getting that job. I stayed with Routes to Work for two years until that project came to an end and fortunately for me an opportunity with 50 Futures became available. And as I'd seen it on both sides of the desk, I knew what it was like to be getting these rejections, I knew what was like to seem like it wasn't making any progress, I felt that I'd be an excellent opportunity for me.
So when someone comes to 50 Futures and they see me for the first time, the first meeting is very much an information, advice, and guidance session almost. Everyone who comes through the door isn't going to be suitable for a placement as soon as they meet me, so what I like to do is direct them towards suitable training or qualifications that might help them on the career path that they've chosen to go down. So for example if someone comes to me wanting to get into construction there's certain steps you have to take first so that they have the CSCS card. If someone wanted to go into security, I'd help them get the SIA card and then I'd find them a suitable placement.
The placements range from one to eight weeks, it covers everything from, as I mentioned, security and construction to administration to marketing to more recently arts production, so there's a wide diverse range of roles available for people.
Typical day now as a Middlesbrough Council employee varies greatly. One day I can be working on the website, the next year I'll be engaging with employers trying to asking them to provide placements to people, making sure that it's going to be a quality placement, because the last thing we want to do is send someone on to a placement where they're not getting value from it. But it needs to be reciprocal, it needs to be the employer gets something advantageous out of it, and also the candidate gets something advantageous out of it, because our aim is that participants are going to be inspired by the placement, they're going to choose that as a career, they're going to gain valuable skills that will help them move towards that job role, and they'll be more determined to make an impact in that field. And potentially when vacancies become available within the council, they can apply for those vacancies and the manager is going to remember them.
So it's a way for them to get the foot in the door and also one of the biggest barriers I found when I was unemployed was not having a current reference available, because I'd been self-employed, because I've taken time out, and it was a get them in my CV I had no one I could go to for a reference, by coming to the 50 Futures programme, putting your best effort forward to complete a placement it means that you've got someone to go to when you do need a reference and it helps overcome that barrier.
In her role, Emma makes Middlesbrough a better place, as she looks at ways to improve living standards for older people, particularly for individuals living with dementia. Find out more about ageing well in Middlesbrough.
This video was filmed in August 2022.
Hi, I'm Emma McInnes, I work in Public Health South Tees, which is a team in Middlesbrough Council. I'm the ageing well and dementia lead, and some of my key areas include creating dementia-friendly communities and age-friendly communities.
With the dementia-friendly communities, we became a dementia-friendly town in 2016, which was a huge success for the council and that was demonstrating our work to be becoming a dementia-friendly town. We've been commissioning a provider for a number of years to work with us to create dementia-friendly businesses across the town, and we've managed to register 167 businesses in total. And some of those businesses include barbers, banks, supermarkets, some of the big businesses include Cineworld, which showing a dementia-friendly screening, and that means that those businesses have made a commitment to becoming dementia-friendly, which means that they are better aware and have a better understanding of meeting the needs with people with dementia and carers that come into those businesses.
And the staff within those businesses have become Dementia Friends, so that's another thing that we're involved in. We create as many Dementia Friends across Middlesbrough as we can.
Dementia Friendly Champions are all collectively doing that including myself. We've recently become Dementia-Friendly Ambassadors and we deliver a one-hour interactive session, and that gives people a better understanding, awareness of how to meet the needs of people with dementia. Age-friendly communities is a World Health Organisation initiative looking at lots of different areas from housing to transport to open spaces, within that we've got a number of different initiatives.
We've got a small team that's working with me in Public Health and Age-Friendly, and we just recently submitted an application to the World Health Organisation that's been accepted, that's demonstrating what we're doing to make Middlesbrough an age-friendly town. Looking at those key areas I mentioned from housing, transport, open spaces, it includes things like civic participation and employment, respect, and social inclusion, and ultimately it's about making Middlesbrough a better place for people to grow old in and to live healthy and active lives.
In Jolande’s role, she helps to make Middlesbrough a better place by helping newly arrive migrant families to settle into life in the town. Find out more about the support available from Stronger Communities Middlesbrough.
This video was filmed in June 2022.
Hi, my name is Jolande, I'm the Strategic Cohesion and Migration Manager for Middlesbrough Council, so I lead a really big team of people who are about as diverse as the population of Middlesbrough itself, and we work on building strong, cohesive, resilient communities.
I have an officer who works on supporting newly-granted refugees into employment, I have a team of officers who support newly-arrived Afghan refugees into life in Middlesbrough, and I'm recruiting for someone who supports Ukrainian refugees into Middlesbrough, I have an apprentice, one officer who really addresses anything that comes up in the communities and tries to bring everybody together. So both newly-arrived communities and settled communities and to ensure they all call Middlesbrough their home and take pride in where they're from and where they live, work, study.
We are a responsive service, and we place our customers, our clients, our people, at the heart of what we do. So they will tell us what difficulties they are experiencing, or what things they might like some help with, and to improve their quality of life and the overall contributions they can make, and then we find solutions to that. A lot of that is through signposting, some of it is through hand-holding, and it really all depends on what somebody needs, so no two days are ever the same.
And you know some interesting surprises get thrown at us every once in a while. Yeah so we are easy to contact, our email address is SCM so that's Stronger Communities Middlesbrough at middlesbrough.gov.uk (firstname.lastname@example.org) and feel free to ask us any questions and we'll either answer them for you, or help you find a person who can answer them for you.
Making Middlesbrough a better place, Paula’s role is supporting residents who visit our Grove Hill and Easterside Community Hubs by providing them with key information. Find your nearest Community Hub.
This video was filmed in July 2022.
Hiya, I'm Paula I work at mainly the Grove Hill Community Hub as a Community Hub Assistant, stroke Library Assistant.
I work also at Easterside Hub which is our team transfers from one to the other.
In regards to what we do obviously we've got the library which you can see around me and we have the the various groups that come in specifically, in regards that so we have school groups come in, we have children coming in, we have our reading group, we have our like craft groups that come in and we try to encourage as much as we can the literacy from an early age.
Get that child interested in a book even if it's just a picture book, their imagination can run wild that might not say a story from actually reading the words, what they can make their own story up then it is encourages them to actually want to pick up another book and read it.
We have our various set jobs that we do within the library, so we do our issuing of the books, we do receipting and we bring it by new books and we have tidying and stuff like that, but that is just a portion of the job that you do as part of a Community Hub Assistant.
In the community hubs, which is 10 of them Middlesbrough we're pretty much I'd say in the heart of the community and a lot of people don't actually realise that we are here to help, those that do they'll come in possibly on the off chance of getting some help from Citizens Advice and then they realise what else that we offer.
So we have Citizens Advice, we have job clubs, we have craft clubs, we have computer courses, we have health and wellbeing.
We have like in Easterside we have a cafe, we have nurseries, we have enforcement team, we have an environment team and we all sort of group together to give like the best services possible for the community.
You can get you will not get the same question each day that you come in.
Yeah as I said one week one last week I got a probate question and then the next day I got someone just asking for directions how to to get somewhere down the town, it's very, very eclectic on what we can get and because a lot of people don't necessarily this is Middlesbrough Council and they say obviously everyone's like struggling at the moment.
So they say there's money getting taken off them or the services getting taken off or they have to pay for things and the you see also the the politicians or the higher-ups within Middlesbrough Council and these are people that the the normal people in the community will not get to see on a day-to-day basis.
Where with someone like us you walk into our building and the first people you see is us and the come up and we try to be welcoming, we try to be friendly and we give them the best service that we can because obviously we go in line with the Middlesbrough Council values and we try and respect that with everyone that we're working with.
So they can come in and we're quite a friendly late team, so we go from like here to Easterside and once they come in and they get the service from you it's word of mouth we've had a lot of people come and go oh such and such down the road said you'll be able to help me. It might not be something that we've heard of but you can guarantee that someone within our team is going to know the answer to that and we try and give them like the best services as possible really.
Because I said every day can be totally different and within my branch I said we've got the nursery that it's in, we have our environment which is absolutely amazing because they do the fly tipping and everything, amazing bunch of lads.
We've got our enforcement team which they do the untaxed vehicles and stray dogs and everything which brings a lot of revenue into the building.
We have Citizens Advice come in, we have Age UK, we have craft class, we have bowling at the moment, we've got Citizens Advice in and obviously they help with any type of benefit query, so benefit checks or form-filling and then we have the debt advice.
But unfortunately that at the moment is still as far as I know over telephone rather than face to face, because from what we do get from our customers is that they actually like that personal face-to-face service and if they're anything like me, I prefer as you can see I gesture so I prefer talking to someone face to face because I think sometimes if you're worrying about something or you're trying to get your point across seeing it over the phone or trying to do it over email it just doesn't come across the same way so they do get that very personal face-to-face service when they come into a hub and a lot of people don't actually realise that at all.
Sam is proud to work for Middlesbrough Council’s Environmental Services, where she helps to raise awareness of how to recycle right across Middlesbrough. Find out more about recycling.
This video was filmed in March 2022.
Hello everybody my name is Sam Garside and I am the Environmental Education Officer for Middlesbrough Council.
Part of my job is to encourage people to recycle and how I do that is by visiting schools, carrying out assemblies, visiting residents, carrying out roadshows, and making sure that we get the message out of how important it is to recycle but also to do it properly as well.
You may see me up and about in my electric vehicle, I try to get out as much as I possibly can visiting as many different people as I can and as many different groups.
Of course I'm involved in meetings as well but my day is pretty varied every day to be honest, but I really do enjoy what I do and helping people and getting that message across that it's so important to recycle.
If you're unsure how to recycle or if you just want to come and visit me, this Friday is Global Recycling Day and I will be at Middlesbrough Bus Station from 10:30am till 1pm, this Friday the 18th of March, and if you need any information on what to do or if you want to collect some clear sacks or maybe get a little freebie, then please do come to the bus station this Friday. Thanks for listening.
Tom is proud to work for Middlesbrough Council’s economic growth team, as he supports town centre businesses to flourish and works on a number of projects to improve the town centre. Find out about support for town centre businesses.
This video was filmed in May 2022.
Hi my name's Tom and I'm the Town Centre Coordinator in the Economic Growth team.
My role is focused on the delivery of a range of projects and initiatives which are aimed at supporting the town centre, so these are the long-term goals of increasing footfall and also creating an environment where people want to come and spend more and more of the time.
At the moment I'm involved in a number of projects involved in a number of property improvement schemes, so I'm working with like landlords, tenants in order to renovate the external aspect of properties, perhaps in a little bit of a state of disrepair in need a little bit of an uplift so I'm working with them to sort of bring bring them back into a good state, so works like that. Not only will have an impact on those properties but will also impact on the sort of wider environment an area that located in.
I've also recently led on the installation of this new seat outdoor scene area on Bedford Street and the aim of this is to support the cluster of hospitality businesses that we have operated in this area, to just give them a little bit more space to operate from. Like you say we've only installed last week and we've already had a lot of positive feedback on it and so we hope this will become a really popular town centre destination obviously over the coming summer months and hopefully months and years to come.
I'm also currently involved in a number of decorative and art installations across the town centre, again just with the aim of providing a little bit of an uplift, bringing a bit of colour in life and animating some key town centre locations. So we've got a number of plans for that kind of thing in the over the coming months so look out for them.
And it's these kind of investments as well that support some of the major capital projects that we have ongoing in the town centre such as the Centre Square office development, Boho X, the Heritage Action Zone which is the area around this train station has been being redeveloped. Obviously there's a lot of residential developments which are ongoing at the moment and obviously we have the redevelopment of Captain Cook Square which is going to be a predominantly leisure and hospitality destination so we hope they'll all become major assets and make the town centre a really attractive destination in years to come.
Another part of my role is act as a point of contact for the town centre business community, all the time stakeholders such as shopping centre managers and property owners and so yeah I act as a point of contact if they have any concerns or issues or just anything that they want to raise, they can contact myself and I'll try my best to sort of deal with those as soon as our concerns. If I can't do that then I'll signpost to whoever is in a position to help them out and support and advise them at that time.
Yes overall there's a lot of stuff happening in the town centre, stuff has already happened obviously the redevelopment a bit methods you can see here there's a lot of plans ongoing and a lot of plans for the future and having said that individually and as a team we're under absolute no illusion in terms of the challenges that Middlesbrough town centre like many time centres across many town centres and city centres across the country currently faces.
We need more people coming into town, we need more people working in town, we need more people living here and we need more people doing business in the town centre. We also need to tackle issues such as anti-social behaviour and crime, which I'm more than aware that our Community Safety team are working tirelessly to deal with, so there's a number there's a lot of hard work still to do in order to create a really the right environment for the future Middlesbrough town centre.
And it's essential we work hard together as a council and also with our external partners to create the right environment, overall we need to create a range of experiences for people to come and enjoy here, across a range of sectors. So retail, retailers struggled which has been well publicised over recent years but that still has a huge part of the town centre, but we also need to have the right leisure offer, we have the right hospitality offer, we need to have a range of events that happen in these town centres to draw people in.
We also need to create the right environment for all of that to happen really so overall there's a lot of good stuff, a lot of challenges ahead no doubt, but I feel there's a lot of room for optimism, hopefully a lot of exciting times ahead for Middlesbrough town centre.
Sarah leads on the ill-health prevention programme, looking at ways to encourage people in Middlesbrough to lead healthier lifestyles, making Middlesbrough better one step at a time. She told us all about her role in Public Health.
This video was filmed in March 2022.
I lead on the Ill Health Prevention Programme, and on a day-to-day basis I work with a whole range of partners to look at ways that we can encourage people within our local area to live a healthier lifestyle, to try and prevent them from developing long-term conditions and becoming ill.
So, first of all people can look after their own health and wellbeing by being more active, eating healthily, if they smoke, by stopping smoking. Perhaps reducing their alcohol intake. Looking at their lifestyle in general, that can help people to not become ill in the first place.
But then we also run screening programmes, which help people to detect illness early, so that they can have more of an opportunity to maybe prevent that illness becoming too serious.
When we look at our statistics and our data, if there's anything that we can do to try and reduce the number of families that experience losing a loved-one early then that's always going to be a worthwhile reason for getting up and coming to work.
Even just preventing one person from dying early is, you know, a real achievement in itself.
Did you know that behind Middlesbrough’s biggest and most loved events, like Mela and Orange Pip, there’s a whole team of people working hard every day, like Adam Henry? Adam told us all about his role and what it takes to organise big outdoor events.
This video was filmed in May 2022.
My name's Adam Henry. I've been working as a Festival Events Officer for Middlesbrough Council since the start of April. I'm quite new to the role, so far it's been very exciting, very different from what I'm used to.
The world of council-owned events and third-party events is very varied so you never know what you're doing on a day-to-day basis. So at the moment we're currently working on the Jubilee and the Orange Pip Market coming up in a few weeks' time. We've also got the Middlesbrough Mela events coming up in the summer.
Orange Pip is one of the most popular events that we've got in Middlesbrough. The process for organising it from concept through to delivery can be as big or as small as you'd like it to be. With something the scale of Orange Pip Market there's obviously a lot of moving parts and a lot of elements so it's important that we deliver an event that's true to its core and building it from the concept and the idea behind the event and then what logistics do we have to put in place to be able to deliver it.
The planning process for things like Orange Pip can vary depending on the size and the scale. You typically operate with a lead-in time of a few months. Some events have to be a lot more reactive than that with more of a condensed timeframe. So to be able to deliver something of the scale that we would like we have to move things around and be adaptable at all times.
We're always developing our portfolio of artists. With something like Orange Pip Market it's very important to stay true to its core - keeping it for local artists, local businesses, local traders.
If you've ever popped into the Newport Community Hub for a chat, you've probably met Alma...Alma has been working for the council for 37 years, and she’s proud to work for Middlesbrough. She currently works as a Resource Worker, and she's the first face people see when they walk into the Newport Community Hub.
This video was filmed in April 2022.
I can't always give people the answers, but I can certainly point them in the right direction, which is really a lot of what we do.
The best bit about my role is the interaction I have with the general public. It's not everybody's cup of tea but I quite enjoy it; we get people from lots of different backgrounds, cultures, religions, and of all ages. As I say, we try to help them as best we can and give everybody a good Boro warm welcome.
We've got so many different people, with so many different life experiences coming into the Hub, and it's good to learn. We had a lady who used to come in quite often, and she was from Africa, and she spoke Xhosa, which is one of the 'click' languages.
This is just probably me being weird, but I like to try and learn how to pronounce people's names properly. I did manage once or twice to get the click into her name, but I couldn't do it again after that!
In his role, Chris visits local businesses to provide them with vital information around funding and networking opportunities. Find out about support for businesses.
This video was filmed in May 2022.
Hi there, my name's Chris Simpson, I'm a Business Recovery Officer with Middlesbrough Council.
I've been here since July last year and my role isn't just dealing with businesses regarding recovery, it's also dealing with any business in the Middlesbrough area, I provide support and guidance, come to the business and discuss options with the business owners and sometimes it's just nice having a critical friend there to actually come into the business.
I've got a lot of experience I have 23 years in the financial services sector, I have 10 years in business support, and for the last 10 years I've worked internationally with companies across the North East and across the world, so I can certainly come in and make a difference.
I'm passionate about what I do, I'm passionate about Middlesbrough, I've lived in Middlesbrough all my life and it's really great to be able to make a difference with the companies i'm engaging with. So have a look on the website, click on business and see what we can do for you.
Look forward to meeting you all, thanks!