East Midlands

Mike's Story

Mike is a Green Doctor, an expert energy adviser that offers free support to vulnerable residents to get on top of energy or water debt, switch energy provider, access grants and other support and manage their energy use in the home. Mike’s career background comprises over 16 years in estate agency and domestic energy assessing and after helping people find their forever homes, he is now wanting to help people stay warm in their homes and save money and energy wherever possible. Outside of work Mike enjoys cycling, climbing, and walking with his family.

Favourite quote:

“if you’re offered a seat on a rocket ship, don’t ask which seat! Just get on!” – Sheryl Sandberg

  • What do you like about working for Groundwork Greater Nottingham?

Over the years I have worked for a number of estate agencies and companies and I have often felt like an instrument – something to be used – rather than a person. With Groundwork Greater Nottingham I certainly feel not only like a person, but a valued member of a team. My manager always ensures that not only do I have what I need to do my job but if there is anything extra they can do to help it go smoother. Everyone I have met that works for GGN has always made an effort to make me feel welcome – it’s honestly the best working environment I have experienced!

  • What did you do before your role at Groundwork Greater Nottingham?

Before working at GGN I worked as a valuer for an estate agency where I prided myself on giving honest expert advice (I know some may say that’s an oxymoron – an honest estate agent – but that’s what I was). I had numerous referrals from friends and family of previous customers because of how I had helped them through their house sale or purchase.

  • What do you enjoy about the work that you do?

I enjoy helping people, in whichever way I can, whether it is helping a customer save money on their energy bills or whether it’s helping a friend do some gardening. My role as a Green Doctor allows me to help the people that can really benefit from it, whether that is by saving energy/money or by understanding how their heating control systems work so that they can get the most out of them. I also like the fact that I can signpost people to further assistance in the form of other organisations or services that they might not know exist but that can help them or improve their lives. A Green Doctor is a very rewarding role!

  • What is your self-care routine?

I have often found that I benefit greatly from having fresh air and exercise, this became particularly apparent during the first national lock-down! I try to do this on a daily basis to keep me feeling happy and grounded – I certainly need to get out and about if I start to get grumpy or stressed – those endorphins are great! I also find that messaging or speaking to my friends can greatly lift my spirits if ever I am feeling down and never, ever underestimate the healing power of sweet things – cakes and biscuits in particular!

  • What advice would you give to people that would like to do your job?

The Advice that I would give to somebody that would like to job is …… nothing – it’s my job you can’t have it! On a serious note, I would suggest looking into the qualifications or courses that are available regarding energy efficiency and energy awareness – the NEA (National Energy Action) has a course on energy awareness as well as additional information about fuel poverty and what can be done to help. I would also recommend having strong communication skills, it is important to have these in order to help you get to the important matters for each customer and then allow you to ensure they are getting the best help they can. Whatever job you are looking to do or are currently doing, do it to the best of your ability – put your heart into it! I would also advise that you try to make sure you are in a team or group that appreciates you for who you are, the right team will make everyone a better person!

How can people contact you?

Calls or emails are always welcome, so get in touch:

07771 362 853

Michael.blackham@groundworknottingham.org.uk