What's it like to work in Supported Housing?
Today is Starts at Home Day, a day when housing associations across the country celebrate supported housing and the positive impact it has on thousands of lives across the UK.
At PCH we have 11 supported housing schemes providing 427 properties for older individuals and couples with a support need.
Housing with Support Officer Becky Dacre describes the positive impact she sees every day thanks to supported housing.
“We see people thriving, they have come to us and in some cases they have been struggling and isolated for years. There are people who may not have been able to use their properties properly, for example maybe they’ve got a bathroom but need a wet room or they just can’t access their community because they have lots of steps in their property.
“They come into supported housing and they have a whole new lease of life, we help them to access equipment they need working with their GPs and other partners, and suddenly they’re able to do things themselves which gives them back their independence - and that is brilliant to see,” she explains.
Becky, who works within a team of 10 for PCH enjoys the daily variety that the role brings and the problem solving approach to helping people live as independently as possible.
“Every single day presents new challenges when you work with people, we don’t provide the same support to each person because everybody is so different and has varied needs and aspirations – no two days are the same.
“We do support plans with people, which we review regularly. This helps to identify their needs and areas where we can help improve people’s wellbeing,” explains Becky.
“We also contact people regularly if they’d like us to, which is a case of us popping in or a phone call to make sure everything is ok. If help is needed we aim to provide or source the service that people ask for. This could be around people’s finances, making sure they’re claiming the correct benefits, enabling people to access social or health care they need, or helping them to get involved with any groups or interests they may have,” she explains.
“Sometimes we need to support people through a particular crisis, like a health emergency, returning from hospital or a sudden change in their ability to live independently. We can also make referrals for domiciliary care and additional support for things like housework and shopping.”
The Housing with Support team are a constant presence across the 11 PCH schemes but this comes as a pleasant surprise to many new residents.
“A lot of the time when people first move in they didn’t actually realise that we are often at the schemes and contactable on the phone whenever they need us. They may have lived without this kind of support for a long time and the move to supported housing can be life changing for them and their families.”
Find out more about Housing with Support.
Get involved in Starts at Home day on Twitter #StartsAtHome