"I’ve stayed at Southdown because I work with a great bunch of people"

Contract Manager, West Sussex

I’m always really proud to say I work for Southdown. I think we’re very professional and caring and always striving to develop, do things differently, do things better.

“I’ve been at Southdown for 20 years! I’ve worked in many different roles, areas and contracts and have always found lots of opportunities for career progression and new challenges.

I currently manage the new West Sussex Homelessness Prevention Partnership (WSHPP) contract which started in January 2017. It has a strong emphasis on partnership working and involves lots of engagement with West Sussex County Council, Districts, and Boroughs around meeting their respective needs. This is the third service I’ve set up in West Sussex. It’s exciting. A new challenge is important.

We want to tailor the support that we offer local authority partners, making a strong contribution to reducing homelessness and sustaining independence. One of the unique features of the service is some of our staff being co-located staff to housing options teams to provide a clear referral process and quick response. We also have staff co-located into acute mental health wards who pick up housing issues early and work with patients to address their housing needs and reduce hospital discharge delays.

It’s important to change and go with the priorities in the homeless sector. We’ve always been very good in West Sussex, anticipating what the priorities may be according to changes in government policy and local authority partners.

I’m always really proud to say I work for Southdown. I think we’re very professional and caring and always striving to develop, do things differently, do things better. Clients are always at the centre of what we do. We listen to our clients and our staff. We’re really good at what we do – from the managers to front line staff who are very skilled and knowledgeable and do a fantastic job.

Commissioners see us as an organisation that provides a quality service. What commissioners also want is value for money. We know they’re having to find savings so sometimes we need to do things more efficiently without compromising the quality.

Our Open Days are a good opportunity to show people our work, because the best people to talk about what we do are our clients. Their testimonies of how our support has transformed their lives are the best evidence of the holistic work we do and say far more than statistics can.

I’ve stayed at Southdown because I work with a great bunch of people – my immediate team and Southdown as a whole. I’ve been able to progress through the organisation – as career development opportunities emerged. It’s always been very exciting. My experience has been valued – we’ve had much change which I’ve been responsive to.

I am proud that we are the biggest support provider in West Sussex and respected for the work we do. We are innovative and always looking for new opportunities. Over the years, the local authority has asked us to run a number of pilots in response to emerging needs. Some of the work we’ve done through these pilots is now being incorporated into contracts and shows that things which start from small beginnings can feed into ongoing work if successful.”

 

The West Sussex Homelessness Prevention Partnership (WSHPP) is an integrated service that offers a dynamic way of working, greatly benefiting multi-disciplinary teams and their clients, by providing a combination of pre-tenancy support, supported accommodation and floating support as well as some new and innovative targeted services for people at risk of homelessness.