Senior Finance Business Partner
"I started working in Local Government 30 years ago. I started as a housing benefits officer, and started my professional accountancy exams in 1992. I qualified in 1996 and moved to LB Lewisham in 1998. My first job in Lewisham was as the Community Sector Accountant where I interacted with community groups in the borough. I have had various finance roles since then, including finance manager of a single regeneration budget (SRB) programme for a large housing estate, treasury and pensions accountant and my current position as a group finance manager, to mention a few. Each job came with a steep learning curve, but I can truly say I have enjoyed every one of my roles.
"When I joined Lewisham one of the things that struck me most was the level of diversity amongst staff, including those in the most senior jobs. I came from an authority where minority groups were almost all in the junior grades and I never knew of anyone like me at the top. Lewisham changed my perspective of local government, and I have always felt at home here. Lewisham has always been and continues to be a workplace that promotes and demonstrates equality, must be one of the reasons I continued working here for so long."
Michael J. Docherty
CIPFA Trainee (Treasury & Pensions)
"I joined Lewisham as a Graduate Trainee Accountant two years ago, and came through “finance the future” scheme after completing my studies at university in Glasgow. When coming through the scheme, Lewisham were my top choice. I had friends ask, “Why Lewisham?” and my answer was, and is still the same – to be part of an ambitious, forward thinking, public sector organisation in order to shape the community and lives of future generations.
"Over the past two years, I have worked in Community Services finance and Treasury & Pensions, along with getting involved in project work to expand my knowledge of local government finance. This has given me the opportunity to work closely with experienced and senior staff members, while discovering which areas of finance I enjoy most. Recently, as a result of a vacancy within my team, I have been able to take on additional responsibilities and lead closing of accounts for treasury, which shows the level of confidence senior management have in their staff.
"For a trainee working at a local authority, I would highly recommend Lewisham as you are given the time and opportunities to learn, both on the job and through a professional qualification, and staff are very supportive and keen to help us develop into finance leaders of the future. Mentoring and support is available to all, not just trainees, and I have found this beneficial in order to set goals for the future. Additionally, the fantastic support from the services combined with the finance department’s ethos of continuous improvement will allow all new joiners to become experts in their fields within no time.
"I enjoy working at Lewisham as it allows me the opportunity to make a difference, deliver key services and be part of something bigger, which in turn helps improve people’s lives. It can be challenging at times as the environment is dynamic and fast paced, but there is togetherness and a community feel to the place which I love. What I find most rewarding about working for Lewisham, is being involved in meaningful work which is making a positive impact on shaping our residents future."