Voids Operative

This is an exciting opportunity to join a values-driven, ambitious and dynamic social enterprise, delivering a range of services to promote access to work.

Our services include information and guidance to those excluded from work and commercial contracts which create and sustain entry-level employment opportunities, with all our profits reinvested in supporting our corporate objectives and those of our parent company, Bolton at Home.

If you would like to discuss the role please contact us at hello@startswithyou.org.uk for more information or an application form.

(form at the bottom of the page)

Job Title: Voids Operative

Salary: Real Living Wage / £9.50 per hour

Hours of Work: 40 per week

Reports To: Environmental Team Manager

Contract Type: Permanent (with 6 month probation period)

Closing Date: Sunday 3rd October

Interview Date: TBC

Start Date: As soon as possible


Role Responsibilities and Purpose: 

We are looking for a motivated, self-disciplined and trustworthy individual to join our Voids Operative Team to undertake clearing, garden maintenance and ‘sparkle cleaning’ of void properties to an identified high standard, fit for letting to the next tenants within set timescales to meet customer expectations and needs.

We are looking for an individual who is enthusiastic and self-motivated, with excellent attention to detail. This can be challenging work, but very rewarding as empty properties are brought back to being liveable and welcoming homes for our customers throughout Bolton.

Key Duties & Tasks

Removal and appropriate disposal of waste and household goods from void properties

  • Undertake needle sweeps and safe removal and disposal of sharps
  • Undertake garden clearance and removal
  • Strim garden areas using petrol-driven strimmers
  • Undertake hedge cutting to garden areas using petrol driven hedge cutters
  • Undertake deep clean to environmentally dirty properties
  • Ability to lift cleaning equipment, garden equipment, furniture, and waste
  • Ability to operate tail lift, tipper bed, cleaning, and garden equipment
  • Ensure that void properties are cleaned to a high standard for the next tenant
  • Respectfully entering locations to carry out cleaning
  • Undertake deep cleaning to cleared environmentally dirty properties to a high standard. Tasks include but are not limited to cleaning toilets, bathrooms, bedrooms, kitchen and living areas including all surfaces, windowsills, bannister rails and skirting boards, radiators, doors and walls, cleaning of carpets and flooring. Ensuring that any other cleaning requirements are identified and addressed as needed.
  • Ability to lift and operate cleaning equipment such as floor cleaners, vacuums, and mops
  • Able to move furniture
  • Understanding of risk assessments and safety requirements for the work required
  • Understand and adhere to COSHH requirements
  • Ability to complete any paperwork necessary to maintain adequate documentation
  • Ability to work as part of a team
  • Ability to understand and adhere to company policy and procedures at all times
  • To be fully responsible for keys entrusted


Additional Role Information

  • Starts with you are an Equal Opportunities Employer
  • Any job offer will be subject to a satisfactory DBS check and references

You will be working in a 2-person team clearing void properties and gardens in all types of weather. Due to the nature of the work, you will need to be willing to deal with heavy-duty waste and bodily fluids whilst working in some difficult conditions.

  • Full clean driving licence essential
  • Cleaning or Health and safety qualifications desirable
  • Good time management and organisation
  • Ability to use your initiative
  • Experience in a similar role is desirable. Though training will be given to ensure all duties are undertaken in a safe and competent manner
  • You will need to be flexible, hardworking and prepared to learn (i.e., COSHH, risk assessments). Though training will be given to ensure all duties are undertaken in a safe and competent manner


Selection Criteria:

Attributes Relevant Criteria Identification Method Rank
1 Skills & Abilities ·      Understanding of environmental waste removal

·      Ability to work in physically challenging and dirty environments

·      Ability to undertake heavy cleaning

·      Use of steam cleaners and carpet cleaners

·      Use of petrol driven power tools such as strimmers and hedge cutters

·      Ability to work under pressure and to a given timescales

·      Ability to follow instruction and processes

·      Ability to use handheld devices for documentation and communication purposes

·      Ability to work as part of a team


2 General & Specialist Knowledge •    Understanding of requirements and importance of risk assessments

•    Understanding the importance of COSHH register and its application in work practices


3 Education & Training ·      Health& safety training – manual handling etc

·      Health & safety qualification – IOSH

·      First aid training

·      Sharps removal


4 Relevant Experience ·      Experience of household and industrial cleaning

·      Experience of waste handling including contaminated waste

5 Special Requirements ·      Full driving licence A/I E


Key Identification Method A Application Form
I Interview
T Test
C Copy of Certificates
P Presentation
G Group Assessment
Rank E Essential
D Desirable


Re-defining Success

Re-defining Success through “small acts”.

I was really surprised and a little nervous when the Do-Well band latched on to the concept of “Re-defining Success” at a recent FikaFink Café and asked if I would host a session on the subject. But it’s an important question so I took a deep breath and said…

“OK, when shall we do it”?

I am so glad that I did! You could even say it was a little “success” for me and one which I hope will do more good, than harm.

But what is success anyway?

We use “success” (whatever that is) as a barometer for our lives, we even tell children how important it is “to be successful”. It drives us. It shapes what we chose to do, value, prioritise, invest in and how we see and treat others. But do we really know what we mean by “success”?

Have we REALLY thought about it and what happens if we get it wrong? If we define success badly, selfishly, unfairly, what impact does it have on us, our young people, our businesses, the planet, the economy and society?

We have all seen the results of poorly defined success driven by our obsession with “growth”, size and financial reward. What better example than the recent sporting story –  The European Super League – placing financial gain above all else. And for once it got the response it deserved (imho)!

Imagine if we called out exploitative definitions of success more often and sent a message there is another way. Can we do that please?  

In conversation:

The session was planned for a Friday and attracted a good crowd, despite competing with lunch and the blazing sunshine! So, the scene was set for the discussion…

I needn’t have worried, we talked easily on the subject for well over an hour. We talked as parents, friends, employers, leaders and just plain humans, about how concepts of success impact the way we behave, influence, value and treat others, even the way we feel and our own mental health.

Everyone related to the issue, drawing important links to the importance of “purpose”, the impact constructs of success have on young people, what can be done to let them to make better choices, how it feels when we are not successful or when we chase hollow successes. We discussed vanity projects and ego and how defining success differently might change behaviours; and that maybe we can influence people to see a new, more inclusive definition of success.

We talked about how flawed measures of “success” are structural, built into our culture, systems and processes, and how easily we can be distracted from what matters by the pressure to hit the target, whilst likely missing the point! That to change things will take courage, to challenge the norm and really think about our “why” in everything we do.

We wondered why, as a society, we support the CEO of a betting company being paid millions, while others on the frontline of COVID struggle to make ends meet; and the role our definition of success plays? When we get it wrong does it lead us to act, value, judge, invest and reward in ways that can be harmful? We thought it does and that re-thinking and re-defining “success” is important in our attempts to build back fairer. That, without a change, we risk continuing to drive harmful and unfair behaviours and outcomes which fail to address inequality. That a society is not “successful” if we only considered economic measures.

We agreed that we wanted to do something and recognised the enormity of the challenge!

As the old saying goes…

“Necessity is the mother of invention”! And if there is a positive to come out of COVID-19 and the events of the past fifteen months, it is an opportunity to make real change. A rare window for dialogue, challenge and new thinking, as we re-set, re-emerge and try with all our might to build back fairer. The kind of opportunity which, sadly, only really comes from catastrophic events.

We want to grasp the opportunity despite the enormity of the challenge and agreed we can achieve great change through small acts! Each making a commitment to our own small act; enabling our children to be free and supported to make better choices, really reviewing procurement practice, challenging the status quo, keeping the conversation alive or even writing a blog!

We agreed this IS an opportunity; to re-define success around what really matters and drive a kinder, fairer, healthier, greener, happier society for everyone.

Now if that’s a “success” you like the sound of, what small act will you commit to?


Hayley Hulme: Managing Director – Starts with you Ltd.