July 13, 2023|
At Foundation we like to celebrate all our colleagues and the amazing work they have done and continue to do each and every day.
At Foundation there are colleagues who have been with us for many years, supporting us in our mission and helping us to be the organisation that we are proud to be.
We recently caught up with Gerry, Team Leader at Selby who has been with Foundation for over 30 years!
When did you first join Foundation and how has your role changed since then?
My start date was 21/01/1991 as a Support Worker, which is when I started working in the voluntary sector. I was TUPE’d over to Foundation from another charity. I used to volunteer prior to this in a direct access hostel, where I got a job as a night hostel worker which was challenging and interesting for two years. I then moved to being a Housing Support Worker.
My role has changed a few times over the years. I was initially working as a Support Worker on a scheme called Offenders at Risk. We supported anyone who had offended and needed support. I then got the opportunity to do housing advice and support for the Probation Service as a secondment in York, based at the Probation Office, this was an amazing experience. Foundation was looking at introducing Team Leaders and wanted to pilot it. They wanted volunteers in all areas, and I expressed an interest in my area. This was a different challenge but made slightly easier as I not only had the support of my then Project Manager but also the whole team I was working with.
What is your number one highlight over your whole career at Foundation?
It is difficult to think of a number one highlight as there are so many. I would say being involved in the changing of management structure at Foundation was a highlight and being involved in the piloting of permanent Team Leaders. The amazing people I work with and have worked with, their amazing support and commitment has made having this post the highlight.
What is it about Foundation that has meant you have worked here for so long?
Good question I always wonder myself. For me it has always been the people I have worked with and the interesting challenges with different client groups I have supported throughout the years.
Is there anything else you would like to say about your time with Foundation?
There have been many changes over the years which have at times been difficult, but it has meant we are still here doing what Foundation does best, working with vulnerable client groups within society.
I work with young people in Selby. Most of the young people initially come to the hostel, we usually have them come for a visit so they can see what is on offer and a chance for them to ask questions. All the young people in the hostel are allocated a Support Worker who will support them around areas that they need support with, this can be how to use a washing machine, basic cooking skills, budgeting, claiming benefits, employment, training courses, working towards independent living or how to manage a tenancy.
We do the moving forward programme which has various modules for them to complete which covers all aspects of what is expected when having your own tenancy. In most cases the young people are working with other organisations so there is a lot of joint working.
We will arrange for days out for the young people from different hostels, giving them an opportunity to meet others from another area. We also have barbeques with the young people and staff. Residents will cook a meal together, budget the cost, decide on the menu, and purchase items.
The end goal is for them to be successful and move on to complete independence.
Gerry currently works at Foundation Selby on the Young Peoples Pathway for 16-25-year-olds. It has an 8-bed hostel and 7 move on flats in the community, along with 3 floating support clients. The hostel is staffed 24 hours a day, having a staff member on at night means clients can come and have a chat if they need anything.
To learn more about Foundation Selby: https://www.foundationuk.org/team/foundation-selby/
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