Support Worker

Job title:  Support Worker

Working Hours:  25 hours a week, Monday to Friday – 2pm-7pm preferred.  The ability to be flexible with working hours will be an advantage, especially in the early weeks as we transition to a new way of working; additional hours may be available.

Some evenings ‘on call’ may be required. Flexibility is required around public holidays and annual leave restrictions may be considered over Christmas and the New Year period.

Salary:  £14,950 p.a. (hourly rate £11.50) rising to £15,600 (hourly rate £12.00) from 1st April 2023

Duration:  This is initially a fixed term post until 31st March 2025 with the possibility of a permanent post thereafter

Expected start date:  Late November 2022

Deadline for applications:  13th November 2022

Applicants will be interviewed as applications are received. You are very welcome to arrange an informal visit by contacting Gravesham Sanctuary at sam.griffiths@graveshamsanctuary.uk or carol.webster@graveshamsanctuary.uk .

Website:  www.graveshamsanctuary.uk

Applications are welcomed from individuals with lived experience of homelessness.

Role:

Are you passionate about empowering people to make life-transforming decisions and choices? We are looking for the right person to become part of our developing service, a compassionate and dedicated individual who can support people on their journey out of homelessness towards hope and a place to call home.

About Gravesham Sanctuary

Gravesham Sanctuary was established in 2015 as a local Christian response to adults in Gravesham who are facing homelessness. We believe that all people are valued and loved by God and that he has a particular concern for the poor and oppressed. As an expression of that love, Gravesham Sanctuary met people’s immediate needs as a winter night shelter, providing community and a hot meal until covid19 changed things in 2020. Believing that there is always hope for people to change their lives, we have supported individuals to overcome difficulties and barriers and to move on into longer term accommodation. Since 2020, we have developed our Day Centre and used various premises for winter accommodation. We are now ready to move into the next exciting phase of our transformed service. Early next year, we will open a 6-bedroom house close to Gravesend town centre to provide emergency accommodation all year round.

The role

This is a new position to staff our new house. You will be based there once it is open (mid-February 2023) and will work as part of a team responsible for the day-to-day management of the premises providing, on your shift, a high quality, positive and safe place to live. You will also provide person-centred support to our accommodated guests to build confidence, hope and readiness to move out of homelessness and turn their lives around. We partner effectively with various agencies and the house will operate alongside our Day Centre. You will report to the General Manager and will liaise with our Guest Manager, who is based at our Day Centre.

Until our own house opens, you will be based at our Day Centre in Gravesend and the ability to be flexible with working hours would be an advantage. During this time, guests will be placed in privately rented rooms in a local HMO and your role will include visiting them at their accommodation, carrying out welfare checks and working with them on their personal development. You will also work more widely with others who attend our Day Centre.

Our Christian ethos

The successful applicant will be recruited based on job requirements and their ability to fulfil the necessary person specification. However, as a Christian organisation, our work is motivated by and dependent on the faith of our key

staff. In order to uphold and work out our Christian ethos, this role has a Genuine Occupational Requirement that the person appointed has a personal commitment to the Christian faith and desire to express that in their work.

Proof of the right to work within the UK.

We are required by law to request proof that you have the right to work within the UK.

GDPR and personal data

Where you provide personal data and sensitive personal data when applying for a job, such as the information on your application, we will process, store and disclose this personal data to support the recruitment process in accordance with our GDPR policy. Application details will be stored for a maximum period of 1 year for audit purposes before being deleted, unless the individual becomes an employee.

DBS

We take our safeguarding responsibilities very seriously. This role will be subject to a DBS check.

Main responsibilities:

Management of the accommodation

· Responsibility for safety in the building during your shift, including conducting room searches, monitoring movement in and out of the building.

· Assist the General Manager in ensuring the accommodation is kept in a clean, tidy and safe condition, inside and out and record any maintenance issues.

· Make sure all Health and Safety policies and procedures are followed.

· Read notes from previous shifts and keep adequate records of shifts, including Incident Reports.

· Maintain security of the property by keeping the front door locked and only admitting resident guests.

Working with guests

· Liaise with the Guest Manager over guest referrals and Personal Development Plans.

· Carry out inductions with new guests, making sure they understand the room agreement and licence, fire safety procedures, routines and responsibilities.

· Ensure tenants are fully aware of the rules, boundaries and consequences of their actions.

· Support guests to sustain their accommodation and build positive relationships.

· Provide high quality practical and personal support to guests in a way that is approachable, encourages engagement, is flexible and caring and focuses on their strengths and goals.

· Develop supportive relationships with guests, getting to know their needs, skills and interests

· Work with guests to identify their personal aims and ambitions and to produce person centred Individual Development and Support Plans.

· Ensure that Personal Development Plans are implemented and review progress with the guests; maintain adequate case records.

· Liaise with other statutory and voluntary agencies, including the Rough Sleeper Partnership, to ensure each guest has access to relevant support and move-on opportunities; liaise with organisations to make sure that guests do not miss appointments.

· Support guests to access activities that develop skills, interests and confidence, including opportunities to engage with each other and with the local community.

· Support and encourage clients to undertake housekeeping and cleaning duties and other in-house activities that prepare them for sustaining a tenancy.

· Support guests to access existing provision that develops skills for independence, such as cv writing and Job Club

· Assist clients with claims for housing benefits, welfare benefits and/or in work benefits as appropriate.

· At the request of the General Manager, collect service charges and lead house meetings.

· Issue behaviour agreements, warnings, exclusions and eviction notices in line with Gravesham Sanctuary policies and under the direction of the General Manager.

General

· Have full awareness of Gravesham Sanctuary policies and procedures and implement them in all work activities.

· Generate among staff and volunteers a sense of their value and promote co-operation.

· Direct and support the volunteers on your team.

· Assist the General Manager to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of our accommodation provision and service.

· Foster a non-judgmental ethos that is relaxed, accepting and homely in which the occupants’

happiness, well-being, and progress are of primary importance.

· Respect confidentiality regarding your work.

Spiritual Responsibilities

· Positively share the Christian faith in line with the Housing Justice Charter for Christian Homeless Agencies

· Pray with staff and be open to praying with guests and volunteers

· Signpost to appropriate pastoral / spiritual help.

· Be willing to communicate your own story of your faith journey.

The Employer operates a policy of job flexibility and the Employer may, at its discretion, require you to perform additional or other duties, whether skilled or unskilled, not within the scope of your normal duties.

This job description covers the current range of duties and will be reviewed from time to time. It is Gravesham Sanctuary’s aim to reach agreement on changes, but if agreement is not possible, Gravesham Sanctuary reserves the right to change this job description.

Person specification

Essential knowledge and experience

· Experience of working with adults in a vulnerable position or relevant qualification.

· Experience of dealing with complex and difficult situations in relation to people.

· Knowledge and understanding of safeguarding issues.

Desirable

· Relevant experience working/ volunteering with homeless people and a good understanding of complex needs and the issues they face

· Experience of liaising with individuals and/or agencies

· Working knowledge of the Inform platform to access and update guest records

· Experience in helping people to identify personal goals and supporting them through a process of change

Essential skills and abilities:

· Ability to listen actively, empathise and act accordingly without judgement or prejudice.

· Flexible approach to working with a variety of individuals

· Proven interpersonal skills, including an ability to motivate and encourage people and to interact in a polite, appropriate and professional manner

· Ability to develop and evaluate working practises and personal style.

· Ability to maintain professional boundaries.

· The ability to challenge and resolve difficult situations

· Ability to sustain, develop and evaluate individually tailored support programmes.

· Excellent written and verbal communication skills with the ability to communicate effectively using telephone, face to face, written and electronic methods with a variety of different people.

· Proficient with Microsoft Office: Word, Outlook, Excel

· Ability to work within a Christian framework with guests, staff, volunteers

· Ability to comply with confidentiality, data consent and data protection

· Ability to work alone, when necessary, in accordance with our Lone Working Policy

· Ability to lead a small team

Essential personal qualities

· Has an active understanding of Christian compassion and a desire to see vulnerable people turn their lives around

· Able to maintain enthusiasm for a high level of contact with clients on a day-to-day basis and a non-judgemental approach to working with people with complex needs.

· Able to work closely with others and within a team

· Willingness and ability to learn

· Commitment to the vision and aims of Gravesham Sanctuary

· A professional attitude to work and punctual, reliable and flexible

· Proactive, self-motivated and resourceful

To apply, please download and fill out the application form below, and return to sam.griffiths@graveshamsanctuary.uk

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