A day in the life - Housing Support Officer
Brian Noble is one of our brilliant Housing Support Officers in Grimsby, North East Lincolnshire, where L&H Homes (part of Longhurst Group) owns and manages over 1,600 homes.
Brian oversees a team of passionate and dedicated Housing Support Workers, who provide support and guidance to vulnerable people both in supported accommodation and in the community.
We asked Brian to tell us about a typical day, to get an insight into varied role and understand the lengths he goes to help improve the lives of our customers.
As you’ll read, while by day he’s a Housing Support Officer, in his spare time, he’s got an altogether different role!
I usually get into our offices about 8.45am to check my emails and get myself prepared for the day ahead. As well as the usual general emails, there are often messages from members of my team.
As a Housing Support Officer, I supervise a team of 13 Housing Support Workers.
My team members often want an impromptu chat about the cases they are working on and these can often mean that my plan for the day can change at any moment – you never know what you’re going to get when you turn up in a morning, which keeps me on my toes!
I also actively support three customers myself, who each have quite complex issues, so it’s also about supporting them in any way that I can. These issues can range from drug and alcohol use, homelessness, mental health issues, isolation or vulnerability.
My plan for the day can change at any moment – you never know what you’re going to get when you turn up in the morning, which keeps me on my toes!
As the morning progresses, I check in with another Housing Support Officer called Jo, who also supervises another 13 Support Workers. Between us, we oversee and manage the support of between 450 to 500 customers who are referred to us by North East Lincolnshire Council.
The referrals come through to Jo and myself and we assess each individual case and allocate each referred customer an appropriate Support Worker. The support we provide links to everything from helping them to attain and maintain a tenancy to the prevention of homelessness.
Assessing can be a big part of the day, depending on how many we have to process at any one time. We work in partnership with various local housing providers as well as the Local Authority, Police, health and probation services, the YMCA, the Salvation Army, the DWP and a range of voluntary organisations.
We are in regular contact with the above organisations to ensure that the customer is properly supported.
After a busy morning, it’s time to break for lunch, so I grab a quick bite to eat and check up on the latest football news (more about that later) before getting ready to take on the next task.
As a Housing Support Officer, I am also responsible for managing the training and supervision needs of the Housing Support Workers and so this can take up a large chunk of my day.
To this end, I have recently taken on a Post Graduate Certificate of Education – PGCE for short! - along with one of our Housing Support Workers called Sam.
It’s after I completed my Bachelor of Science Degree, with Honours in Sport, Health and Exercise Science. The University of Hull, in collaboration with North Lindsey College, awarded the degree after I successfully completed three years of studying while working full-time.
I’m now doing the PGCE course in my own time and at my own expense. It’s helping me and Sam prepare and deliver in-house training to our own teams as well as other local support teams such as our Older People’s Floating Support and the Emergency Accommodation Support team.
Usually, this is where the Day in the Life diaries end, but not for me!
For the last ten years, I’ve also been a part-time coach for Grimsby Town Football Club’s Academy and I absolutely love it.
I spend a lot of my time preparing and planning training sessions as well as getting the team ready for matches.
This season, I’m coaching the club’s under-14s with sessions taking place on three evenings a week and games on a weekend – it keeps me busy!
As well as training and matches, to support their development as players, I also evaluate them on a computer system called the Performance Management Application (PMA), helping them to become the very best they can be.
After bringing training to a close, sending the players home with their parents and collecting the football and cones, my day comes to a close. It’s time to head home and enjoy the rest of my evening, ready to get back to the day job tomorrow morning!