A former legal eagle who turned her back on the law is now flying high in the world of social housing.
Aimee Tomalin, 30, the Group Company Secretary of the Cartrefi Conwy Housing Association has been crowned Woman of the Future at the prestigious Women in Housing Awards in Manchester.
There’s nobody prouder than her mother, Nicola Corbett, who works as an Independent Living Co-ordinator, with Cartrefi.
When Aimee was born the family lived in a council flat in Llandudno and they moved to Llandudno Junction when her mum got a job as a warden with Conwy County Borough Council.
Cartrefi came into being in 2008 when they took on the responsibility of managing nearly 4,000 former council homes after tenants in the county voted for a stock transfer.
Coincidentally, Aimee attended the Ysgol Maelgwn primary school in Llandudno Junction which has since closed and been transformed as part of a landmark £5.3 million redevelopment by Cartrefi into much needed social housing.
While at Ysgol John Bright in Llandudno she did work experience at Cartrefi but still the penny didn’t drop about where her future lay.
So, unlike her mum, a career in social housing wasn’t on the cards for Aimee when she studied law at Bangor University.
After gaining a 2:1 degree, she went to work as legal secretary for a firm of solicitors but after a few years she realised that she needed a new challenge.
She successfully applied for a job as a Governance Trainee at Cartrefi and hasn’t looked back since.
Aimee rapidly rose up through the ranks and has now been promoted to the key position of Company Secretary and is part of the management team.
She said: “Although I didn’t have quite the right experience, Cartrefi saw potential and they have supported me in gaining qualifications.
“I have found my perfect job and it now feels as if I was destined to work in social housing.
“I know it sounds like a cliché but everyone at Cartrefi feels like family. I’ve had a really awful few months because my dad passed away in January and we lost my grandma in May but everyone here has been so supportive.
“Everybody picks each other up and you don’t ever dread coming into work. You know that you fit in. You come to work with a smile and you go home with a smile too.
“Of course, work can be tough at times but you never feel as if you’re alone and if you’re under pressure or you’re struggling, somebody will always notice.
“There’s a huge focus on mental health and wellbeing here and colleagues are always looking out for each other which is important.
There’s been a massive difference between how I felt being employed in the private sector and how I feel here.
“I feel we are doing something really important for our tenants and for our communities across Conwy.
“I think my background has given me a special insight into the needs and the perspective of our tenants.
“I’m proud to work alongside people who are so skilled and so talented in their own right and work alongside them to make good decisions for our tenants.
“I was incredibly proud to win this award and the fact that I was nominated by my colleagues was the nicest thing. To be recognised like this is really rewarding and my mum is also very proud.
“Cartrefi Conwy have invested in me and it’s helped me to be where I am today. I feel really lucky.”
News of the award delighted Cartrefi Conwy managing director Katie Clubb.
She said: “Aimee is making a brilliant success of her career and she is a hugely valuable member of the team.
“The award is richly deserved because she approaches every day at work with verve and enthusiasm, along with great ability, and is making a very real difference to the lives of our tenants.
“She is also a fantastic role model and pathfinder for women, not just at Cartrefi Conwy but also throughout the social housing sector and beyond.”