Meet our People – In their own words

For a personal view of what makes FirstPort and Appello such great places to work, check out what members of our team have to say.

Read the first impressions of some of our recent joiners or the experiences of people who have taken advantage of the many career development opportunities that we have to offer.

Click on each name to view profiles

EILEEN NIGHTINGALE - Development Manager, Lyme Regis

Eileen Nightingale - photo

From day one I have had the support of FirstPort, a caring, professional company that still brings me total fulfillment four years into the job. It's good to know that support and backup is always available from my Area Manager should I need it.

SUZANNE GLAZEBROOK - Estate Manager Trainer, Retirement

I started my career as a nurse in the Army and once I decided to settle I moved into various roles within the training arena. After a short break to raise my family, I joined FirstPort as an Estate Manager to open a brand new Pegasus development in Harrow. The development was very busy and I mastered the skill of working alongside the developer as well as learning about the role for FirstPort.

My day to day role is varied and no two days are ever the same. I need to ensure our customers are safe and secure and I try to resolve as many of their queries and problems as I can; I'm the facilitator "I can't, but I'll try to find a man (or woman) who can". Our customers have varying backgrounds - some I rarely see; some take an active interest in the way the development is run and others who are simply happy to leave it all to me. It's my job to enhance everyone's quality of life by meeting all of those expectations.

Whilst I was enjoying my job, I really wanted to get back into a training role so when the opportunity came up to become the Pegasus Trainer in the London area, I jumped at it. By delivering their Induction training and being their buddy for the first six months, I get to meet lots of people and help them get off to the right start in their career with the company.

When the FirstPort NVQ in House Management, level 3, became available I couldn't wait to sign up and once I had completed it, I went on to qualify as a NVQ Assessor. I am now currently going through the process of becoming a Verifier. I love to guide our Development Managers through the course, particularly as it's so satisfying to see how thrilled they are to develop a deeper understanding of their role and how, once it's finished, they feel a true sense of achievement.

I have now been with FirstPort coming up to nine years and I truly believe FirstPort is a wonderful company to work for. My Area Managers have all been very professional and so easy to get along with. I find FirstPort to be a caring company, always striving to be one step ahead in order to be the best.

CATHERINE JONES - Property Transfer Assistant

I have worked as a Property Transfer Assistant within the Property Transfer Department at FirstPort for over seven years and joined with a background as a legal secretary.

My role is very busy and involves answering lots of calls and letters from solicitors. The department manages the administration of the sales and purchases of apartments on developments that FirstPort manage. This will include checking ages of potential purchasers, providing management information in response to solicitor's enquiries etc. The department also administers the approvals process when residents wish to make changes to their properties and deals with lease extensions when required.

I enjoy my job, although it is demanding due to the volume of queries we receive. This is part of the challenge and I work amongst a great team of people all striving to provide a good service to our customers. The job satisfaction comes from dealing with people and making sure that the conveyancing process goes as smoothly as possible for purchasers and they get the property they want and are happy living there.

KIM TURNNIDGE - Payroll Administrator

I joined FirstPort in 2007 as a temporary worker in the Sales Ledger Department. After a year in this position I applied for the permanent role of Payroll Administrator within the Payroll Department. As I had no previous experience in this area FirstPort gave me the opportunity of become a trainee and sponsored me to study the first year of the payroll foundation degree. Upon achieving this qualification I have been promoted to the role of Payroll Administrator.

When payroll and HR integrated their systems I was given a further opportunity to develop my skills by becoming a super user for the system in particular iexpenses. This role involves testing and developing iexpenses and payroll functions. It also involves investigating and solving system errors people may encounter.

I think that FirstPort is a great place to work as they offer many opportunities to individuals and encourage you to develop your skills and career within the company. I have worked in the payroll department for two and half years and really enjoy the job and the team is great too. I hope to develop my career further and look forward to my future with FirstPort.

TINA PURKISS - Senior Sales Negotiator

Tina Purkiss - photo

I am a senior sales negotiator for Retirement Homesearch and have nine people in my team. My working day starts around 8.30. I come in early to open up my emails and deal with any outstanding work from the day before.

A typical day consists mainly of phone calls from people of all ages looking to purchase or sell retirement properties either for themselves or a family member. I work closely with the Development Managers at the developments that FirstPort manage and am constantly on the phone or computer. The day is very busy and the ability to multi-task is essential.

The aspect of the job that I enjoy the most is negotiating sales, and the element I enjoy least is advising vendors that their sales have fallen through.

In my role I need to be able to deal with challenging clients, step in and make sure all my team are okay and take on any work they are struggling with.

This is a very rewarding job, especially when you meet your monthly target and get a 'thank you' from a client. When we are selling for vendors we need to remember that it may be under very difficult circumstances, particularly if a relative has gone into a nursing home or passed away. We need to be very empathetic in these circumstances and a 'thank you' from these clients means that we have done our job well.

CALVIN BRADLEY - Field Service Engineer

I joined Appello in 2006 as a temporary worker. After a few months I was offered a full time position as a Service Administrator and continued my career by transferring to an administration post in the Small Works department.

I always aspired to be an engineer and was given the opportunity to undergo training as a Warden Call engineer in the South. I was able to pursue a range of courses and Appello sponsored me to gain an Electro Technical Certification which qualifies me as an Electrician.

I respond to emergency call outs, dealing with a variety of faults on Warden Call and Door entry systems. I have found working in this industry that no two jobs are the same and enjoy interaction with our customers namely residents and Development Managers. I gain great job satisfaction putting our customers at ease when resolving faults.

Appello has helped me to achieve my career aspirations and continue to support me with relevant training and sponsorships to professional qualifications.