To celebrate National Careers Week from 1st – 6th March, we’re sharing more about the diverse roles and opportunities we have at South Yorkshire Housing Association.
We’ve talked to some of our people about what they do – the roles include Counsellor, Wellbeing Facilitator, Work and Enterprise Coach, Programme Delivery Manager and Housing Officer – and discovered what they love about their job, how and why they started working for us, and their goals for the future.
Our Housing First services in Chesterfield and Rotherham start by offering people a home – and this acts as a foundation where they can settle, recover, and build on their strengths and aspirations.
In the video below, Rachel explains more about her role and the creative ways she works with our customers.
He tells us about his role, and how we loves working with people to make “positive steps at their own pace.” ❤️
Nine One One is our supported housing for people experiencing homelessness. Our customers are supported to manage and improve their wellbeing, increase their independence and confidence, and to develop new skills.
This video was filmed before the Coronavirus outbreak.
We spoke to Ruby about how the team have continued offer fantastic support to our customers throughout the Coronavirus outbreak.
Here, Ruby reflects on the last year…
Working around government guidelines, I delivered creative art packs to our customers to keep busy when isolating in their homes. The packs contained a Nine One One mini magazine which is full of things to read, and has a different positive quote each week. Every Monday I cook up a meal for the customers, because before lockdown the customers could take part in breakfast club that ran every weekday morning. Alongside the meals, I created a leaflet on how to cook the meal. This was our ‘recipe of the week’, and it gives a step-by-step on how to create the meal with little cost.
I always offer to go on socially distanced walks with the customers so I can check on their wellbeing. It gives the customer a chance to speak about anything that might be concerning them, and is an opportunity to leave the house for a bit of exercise. We were able to do a couple of socially distanced dog walks again with Jennie and Pickle the dog – this made a huge difference to our customers’ wellbeing!
My next plan of action is to make sure each customer has their own plant in their homes. Having plants can reduce your stress levels and boost your mood which makes it perfect for lockdown. The customers will be given air dry clay and will create their own plant pot. I look forward to being able to run group activities in the future as it was great to see customers creating memories with one another.
Our Enterprise team start, find, and grow sustainable activities that are aligned with our purpose – they support organisations and ideas that have a positive and sustainable impact in their community. Find out more about the team, and what they’re working on.
Sam is part of the team, and tells us more about what he does…
I like how varied my role is – every day is always different, always challenging which means I’m constantly learning about different sectors and developing.
I’ve worked on all sorts of things – from writing bids to build a mountain bike track, taking part in community engagement walks through to developing a business accelerator and writing investment cases! One recent standout project was the North Star event, where we worked with Professor Brian Cox to deliver a virtual science school to thousands of students across the country to engage them with STEM subjects.
I studied Business Management at university, and completed a Master’s in international Business Strategy. After graduating, I worked in the finance sector but I really wanted to work for a company that does some good in the world. South Yorkshire Housing Association, and the Enterprise team, was the perfect fit. I could use my skills to help a socially minded company whilst continuing to work in an area that I enjoy.
Looking to the future, I would like to start my own social enterprise which benefits the world somehow.
For anyone wanting to join us – I would say, do it! South Yorkshire Housing Association is a great place to work. You get to work with kind, supportive colleagues, develop your skillset whilst working for a company with a clear social mission.
Chantelle is the General Manager at Crucible Sales and Lettings. Here, Chantelle tells us more about her career path, and how she discovered a love for a role she didn’t know she had…
I started my career when I was 19 as a trainee sales negotiator. I realised the academic path just wasn’t right for me, and just dropped on to this role and thought I would give it a go!
Within the first eight months I completely fell in love with the role – it was hectic, crazy and stressful – there were phones ringing off the hook and this incredible buzz, and I found it fascinating.
I worked my way up to become an Office Manager, and then moved to work in commercial property.
I moved up roles again to a Sales Operations Manager, and then to General Manager – and I love it!
My days vary depending on what we have on, but our mornings are spent catching up with each other and then I catch up on my emails and projects. In the afternoon, I like to spend time looking at the business – strategies and reflecting at where we are in the year. At the moment, our day ends with a social chat – no work, just a chance for us all to see each other!
For anyone thinking of taking this career path, I’d say the number one thing is that you need to be honest and true to yourself.
Communication is also key – if you can crack how to communicate with different types of people, the job is 1000 times easier.
When we asked Nicola about how she works with customers, she said: “I let them borrow my belief in them, until they’ve got it for themselves.” Our amazing team of coaches support people to build on their strengths, and to find and settle in a role where they can use their skills and talents.
Our Bank Staff help us to cover absences and vacant positions, as well as bringing their expertise to specific short-term projects.
We’re delighted that Ifhat is now a permanent member of the LiveWell at Home team – meet her and find out more…
I took part in Working Win, and my coach Sarah told me about South Yorkshire Housing Association’s Bank Staff roles. I started working on the LiveWell at Home team just before Christmas. Now, after successfully applying for the role of a Keyworker, I am a permanent member of the team!
I was amazed at the different services South Yorkshire Housing Association offer – I was completely unaware of what they did before starting my role. The amount of support offered is incredible. When I first met Sarah, my Working Win coach, and Steven, who manages the Bank Staff, I was really pleased with the information given and the help and support I received, even though we were going through a pandemic.
I have really been overwhelmed by the people around me. I have a great team, though I am still very new and learning every day, the support network around me is great. My colleagues do go above and beyond for the customers and they are all very passionate about their work.
NEAT make sure our neighbourhoods are kept welcoming, safe and tidy for our customers. Here’s Tom to tell you more about the team and his role…
I lead a team of NEAT operatives that carry out lots of different jobs on all of our schemes. My days are normally busy dealing with enquiries, deliveries, ordering stock, machinery, repairs and servicing, checking budget spends and of course… making a brew!
I like the flexibility I have, as well as having lots of autonomy in my role to make decisions – above everything, though, I like working with my colleagues and our customers.
I’ve enjoyed lots of projects we’ve worked on, but one that stands out is when we planted wildflower meadow at Fairfax Drive.
I have some qualifications in horticulture, and a background in graphic design, so I would like to train to be a landscape architect – not sure I could pay bills and go to university at the same time, though. I’ve always wanted to be an arborist or tree surgeon – so maybe that will be what I’ll do in the future!
Age Better in Sheffield (ABiS) was first formed in 2015 and is a National Lottery funded project delivered by us here at South Yorkshire Housing Association. Our ABiS team works in partnership with lots of other brilliant organisations across the city to help end loneliness and build Sheffield as an Age Friendly City.
After completing a master’s degree in library and science studies at Silesia University in Poland, Edyta (aged 27 at the time) followed her ambitions and moved to a new country where she couldn’t speak the language. For Career’s Week Edyta tells us more about her role now, and shares inspiration for achieving your dreams…
My journey in the UK started 15 years ago serving meals to older people whilst I studied English as a second language at college. Now I am the Programme Delivery Manager of a project that helps end loneliness for older people and is growing Sheffield as an Age Friendly City for all!
Before joining our team, Edyta worked at Sheffield Mind – one of the ABiS delivery partner organisations, and this is where Edyta first worked in a managerial position, helping to grow the Counselling and Therapy services they provide.
At South Yorkshire Housing Association it is our purpose to help people settle at home, and you can’t help people to live well without supporting their wellbeing too. A roof over your head is a big thing but you can feel lonely and isolated in a safe space, which is why it’s great that a housing association is leading the way with this type of work.
There definitely are some challenges in my role but it’s my belief that when something is difficult you sit down with it and learn. Overseeing a massive budget isn’t something I’ve ever done before but I said to myself, ‘Here you are, this is your challenge, crack on with it.’
For anyone with big aspirations, or the feeling that a mountain might be too big to climb, I – a girl from a small town in Poland – would say, you can do it! Just focus and seek out help if you need it, and then in 15 years’ time who knows where you’ll be. For me, my future aspiration is to do whatever I’m doing well, to keep making my daughter proud, and to ensure that I’m working with and for the right people.
Donna joined nine years ago as a Secretary for our Directors. She shares more about what her role involves and how she supports our customers…
I wanted to be a Housing Officer ever since I did some shadowing with our Neighbourhoods team few years ago. When the opportunity came up for a role, I jumped at the chance and I absolutely love it. I felt like I needed a new challenge – I enjoyed working with tenants and I like to help people, so it seemed like a natural fit.
There are lots of different strands to this role which you don’t realise until you do the job – one of these being safeguarding.
I’m currently working with a tenant who struggled to engage with support and felt they didn’t deserve help.
After gaining their trust during lots of phone calls, they have reached out and agreed to referrals to the relevant support agencies which is a really big step.
That is what this job is about –helping, being supportive and being there through the good, the bad and sometimes real difficult times for your tenants. The job is full on, hard work and can be incredibly intense but when you get a good result there is no feeling like it!
My favourite thing about the role is the variety, as well as my team. They have been great at providing advice, training, and most of all a shoulder to lean on if I have needed it. We all have a lot of respect for each other and I think that goes a long way.
If someone was applying for a job with us, I would say go for it. South Yorkshire Housing Association are a brilliant social landlord and they believe in what they deliver and practice what they preach. I’ve been here nine years in April and wouldn’t want to work anywhere else. There is so much room to grow and progress in other areas within the organisation – I started as a Secretary to our Directors but wanted to do something totally different and now look at me!