"The service is constantly evolving"

Home Works Worker

I’m proud to have been with Home Works since it started. Many lives have been changed. People have been supported to secure housing, access services they wouldn’t have known about, secured welfare benefits they didn’t know they were entitled to and been supported to live independently.

I joined Home Works when it first started in 2009 as a Floating Support Assistant and after three months obtained a Floating Support Officer position. It was fantastic to have the opportunity to progress so quickly.

The company has also been really accommodating when it came to adapting my work hours, due to health issues with both my family and myself. They allowed me to move from full time to part time but still keep my job, which has helped immensely. 

I work as part of the Eastbourne team and am based in Polegate, although I’ve been based in many different offices as the service has grown and developed. 

Over the past 10 years, the role has changed beyond recognition.

We used to do travel training, supporting clients to take a bus or a train. In addition, we’d go shopping with clients, helping them to budget and eat healthily. Most of the clients referred to the service had mental health challenges.

Back then, getting housing was realistic too. It was never straightforward but you’d always know you’d be able to get a property for your client, whether it was social or private accommodation. 

Over the years though, this has changed. 

The lack of housing is the biggest issue. I’ve learnt to be upfront with clients. I don’t want to give false hope.  I’ll talk through all the options we can try but there are no guarantees I can get housing.

It’s really hard, especially when you see people who desperately need help.

This does have an impact on morale. You feel you struggle to do your job properly.  Clients come to you thinking they’re going to get a property but often this is something we can’t do.

Today, we’re getting more referrals of clients with significant physical health issues. It is really rewarding when you can support people to improve their quality of life and get the support they need.  We’re also receiving more referrals of asylum seekers

When I first started, I remember shadowing a colleague and thinking how on earth did she know everything she did. It was incredible!  Over the years though, I’ve amassed that knowledge.  What we do in our role is vast.

One of the main things I’ve learnt in the job over the years is the need to switch off. 

When I first started, I wanted to save everyone.  I’d lay awake at night worrying about clients, their situations and what I could do to help. Now, at the end of the day, I switch off. It’s something I stress as really important to new staff joining the service otherwise you’ll burn out. 

I’m proud to have been with Home Works since it started. Many lives have been changed. People have been supported to secure housing, access services they wouldn’t have known about, secured welfare benefits they didn’t know they were entitled to and been supported to live independently.

Why has Home Works lasted so long?  The service is constantly evolving.  As things change, it changes too. It’s a fantastic service, which I love being a part of.

 

Home Works is our housing support service in East Sussex. It provides focused support to people aged 16 to 59 years. Clients may be single people, couples or families who are at risk of losing their home, have no permanent home or need help to live independently.