10 August 2023
How long have you worked for YMCA Brunel Group?
I’ve worked here for almost five years now.
What attracted you to the role/how did you become involved with the YMCA?
I’d had a lot of interaction with Maggie King and my predecessor here through my previous role working with young people for a large housing association. Through this I learned about the Nightstop role with the YMCA and it felt like the right fit for me. I have absolutely loved working here in the housing team. There is so much scope for doing some really great work made even better by working with a really great team.
What does a normal day at work look like for you?
Hahaha! What is a normal day 😊 It could be anything from phone calls from a young person or a social worker regarding the fact they are homeless, carrying out risk assessment interviews, getting a Nightstop referral for a young person needing emergency accommodation and then interviewing them and trying to find accommodation for them. Dealing with various issues from some of the residents we have living in supported accommodation; this could be a support session, help with applying for benefits, budgeting advice or housing advice. Then of course you get all the phone calls from various social services teams asking for help and advice with their clients and when there is a spare moment, I am probably on a teams meeting with various housing groups or the Depaul Nightstop network… One of the great things here in the housing team is that we do make time every day to sit and talk about whatever is going on and how we are all dealing with our workload. This is a great opportunity to get and give support and advice to each other when needed. Just a short chat every day goes a long way to making each day a little easier.
Work can be hard – what do you do to unwind?
This sort of work can definitely be hard and also emotionally pretty stressful at times, I find walking one of the best ways to unwind but I can also be found dancing around the kitchen with tunes from the 80’s and 90’s blasting out! I love my weekly Pilates classes and can always get lost in a good book. I’m also a Mum so my own, young adult, children keep me pretty grounded.
Why do you do what you do?
I love it! I have worked with young people for over ten years now and find this age group both extremely challenging but also extremely rewarding when everything falls into place for them. Watching a young person pack their bags to move into their own accommodation or come to tell you that they have just been offered their dream job or a place at university is a pretty fantastic feeling.
What is the most important piece of advice you’ve ever received?
It may seem obvious, but in one of my first jobs my mentor said to me ‘always treat people with respect, whether they work with you, for you, above you or are simply people you know. Treat them the way you wish to be treated yourself and everything else will fall into place’. Pretty basic but it’s true!