Amy Stimpson, Payments Officer

Spitfire: climbing higher and faster

My role is as a Payments Officer as part of Civica OnDemand. In a nutshell, OnDemand is a pool of experienced people who help our clients deliver front-line services, such as council tax, business rates and housing benefit.

We’re known within Civica as the ‘Spitfire’ team, which is a reference to our East Kent roots. The Spitfire moniker is a fitting translation to Civica as a business as well.

The famous WW2 fighter planes were notoriously more agile than their counterparts and agility encapsulates the Civica OnDemand business: we’re a flexible service that helps our customers’ maintain the delivery of essential front-line services.

I’ve been with Civica for three years, having previously worked for Canterbury City Council as part of the East Kent Services public sector partnership. Civica took over that contract in 2018 and although our roles didn’t change, it meant we were part of a private sector organisation for the first time.

That experience has been brilliant! Civica put together a series of induction days, with colleagues from Hull coming down to support our transition. The Hull team had been through the same process a year earlier, so it was really helpful in understanding what to expect.

That word ‘agility’ springs to mind again… we all work remotely, meaning we can move between different council teams with ease. Personally, this has meant I’ve been able to pick up a lot more experience in a very short period of time.

In three years, I’ve worked across four different council teams and also diversified my experience, having started as a Recovery Officer before moving into my current position in Payments.

That’s where Civica stands out as an employer: there’s an emphasis on developing you and making sure you’re getting the required training to take the steps you want to take. The scale of our business means there’s always a new challenge and another opportunity around the corner.

What makes a good Payments Officer?

The role requires empathy and definitely makes you more understanding of other people’s needs. You’ve got to be positive and able to put yourself in the customers’ position.

Claims have increased as a result of COVID-19. People have often been made redundant or their businesses have collapsed. Over Christmas, I made sure that every single claim was paid so there wouldn’t be anyone worrying about their rent or bills over Christmas.