Gerson Silva

Welfare Rights Apprentice

Direct Services Operations – Money and work


  • What is your hidden talent?

    I love Singing. I sing everywhere and anything, my kids think I’m a bit crazy. I’m thinking of joining a choir. 

    Sometimes people just say something and I make up a song from what they’ve said. 

    I sing when I’m stressed; that’s how I express my passion. 

    I play piano, sing and play at the same time. 

    Sometimes I get a famous song, take the lyrics out and put in lyrics I want in there.

  • What is your favourite part about working for Macmillan?

    Helping customers is what I really enjoy but what makes it really enjoyable is the team. When you’re doing something you feel is right and you’re doing what you think you can fight for, if the environment isn’t right you feel it. Here, everybody’s fantastic. I’m helping people but what makes it enjoyable is the team. 

  • What does a typical day look like for you in your role?

    We have the days that we’re doing academic stuff with another oganisation for a customer service role. Two days a week we’re learning about benefits and welfare rights; in the morning we usually have a session and then we’re given a task or study time relevant to the morning session. Sometimes we have another follow up session later that day about what we learnt. 

    The other two days we put into practice what we’ve studied. We’re with the energy advice team at the moment. We do a lot of call listening, more experienced advisers on the phone lines.

  • What makes you get out of bed every morning?

    My kids, definitely my kids. Getting them ready for school or whatever they do that day; packed lunches and after that I get myself ready for work. 

    My daughter has a vague idea that Daddy helps people with Cancer. My neighbour reached out the other day for help with her father.

  • What made you want to apply for a role at Macmillan?

    I reached a stage in my life where I needed to change what I was doing. My kids had reached an age where they didn’t need so much support day to day and I was looking for a full time role. I was really interested in third sector. 

    On a personal reason, my mum had cancer a few years ago. It was really impactful; I wasn’t here for her at the time as I moved to another Country. 

    She’s here, she’s well, she’s healthy but it didn’t sit well with me that I wasn’t here. 

    So when I saw the role, in a way I get to pay my dues for the guilt I felt at the time for not being able to help her by helping other people.

  • Why is Macmillan a great career choice?

    It’s such a vast organisation with many different opportunities available. Since our induction it’s clear there are many opportunities to develop and grow either within the role or in other positions. They’re interested in seeing what career choices you want. 

    It’s very inclusive, I know the report came out a few months ago but it’s being dealt with. I have experienced anything negative.