Rea Mattocks is director of adult services at Hampshire Council.
How long in the job? Since August 2005.
I didn’t get where I am today by: Focusing on barriers and obstacles. The belief that everything is possible is amazingly powerful and has guided me through my more difficult career moments
The best move I’ve ever made was: To Hampshire Council. Walking down the high street in Winchester earlier this month, I noticed the first homeless young man I had seen in this area. Queuing up to hand over money and advice was a long line of Winchester citizens, many of them older people.
Most inspiring person I’ve met: Chris Iveson, my manager at Westminster Council in London. He taught me to believe that if you hold high expectations of people and are ambitious for them, they will achieve.
Most painful lesson I’ve learned at work is: Not everyone wants to continually improve or even improve at all. Your diplomatic skills need to be best tuned when you have to carry difficult messages about services that are not achieving and need changing!
Me and my career: When I started out as a social worker, my aspirations were to build healthy communities, where all citizens were encouraged to participate and given real chances. Community work was a powerful tool that went out of vogue far too early, as we all started concentrating on individuals rather than communities. I strongly believe that local authorities are best placed to lead on the social, economic and environmental well-being of their communities.
Current trends of bringing together cultural and leisure services with public health services are a good idea. When at the London boroughs of Lambeth, Southwark and Lewisham, I helped develop the first purpose built healthy living centre in the country. During my time in Surrey we brought together health and local authority services to focus specifically on the well-being of the local population.
Now, in Hampshire, it feels as if I have come full circle and returned to my roots. Hampshire is a place where we can succeed in bringing about real changes because the public sector across the board really cares about its community.
August 2005 – present director of adult services, Hampshire Council.
2000-05: director of social services, then director of housing and community services, London Borough of Merton.
1996 – 2000: assistant director, Surrey Council.
1994 – 1996: commissioning primary and community health services in London boroughs of Lambeth, Southwark and Lewisham.
1990 – 1994: Implementing community care legislation across health and local authorities in London boroughs of Kensington, Chelsea and Westminster.
Early career: Social worker and social work manager for London boroughs of Wandsworth, Hammersmith & Fulham and Westminster.