To mark one year of lockdown, we speak to Louise, one of the team’s support workers, to tell us more about how the team works.
We start from the bottom and work our way up – think Maslow’s Hierarchy.
We listen to the people we work with and during our initial conversation we identify first ‘does this person have their immediate needs met?’ Food and shelter? If not, what can we do to help? This gives us an opportunity to speak to people about finances and budgeting, and identify what support needs to be provided around this too.
Next we step to the ‘safety stage’. Do you have access to housing? At this point we work with other agencies to support people to secure housing, filling in housing application forms and bidding for properties.
Does the person have access to a GP to assist with any physical or mental health needs? If so, are they accessing this service and receiving support – if not, we support people to fill in the forms to register with a GP near where they are living or staying at that time. Giving people access to medication which may be needed for physical ailments or to support mental wellbeing.
We support people to access support needed from other services; drug and alcohol, counselling, probation, social services, education and housing to name a few.
We can help people through the provision of food support, sourcing clothing, bedding or other things we all take for granted at home. Sometimes we can access financial support through grants to help people really make their new property a home. Somewhere that is warm, safe and a place that they belong.
BELONGING AND BELIEVING
One of my favourite parts in this role, is when a person we support gets their own tenancy and we can give them a lovely ‘new home’ card. Another thing we all take for granted – the feeling of belonging, of being cared for when we receive small gestures such as a simple card.
I really feel that unlike Maslow’s hierarchy, we don’t step up to love and belonging, self-esteem, recognition, sense of connection and freedom. We do this alongside those first steps. We help people to see the positive steps they are taking, and their importance in this world.
So that brings me back to, what do we do?
We care. We listen. We support. We believe in the people that we work with.