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Beating the Boredom

It goes without saying that Covid-19 has had a huge impact on all of our lives. Adjusting to lockdown, with some having to self isolate and shield, not to mention washing our hands vigorously whilst singing happy birthday, not once but twice!

For young people living in YMCA Doncaster’s supported accommodation it has been very strange and one of the worries for them, as for many other people living in lockdown, is the possibility of boredom setting in. Luckily our amazing staff have been on hand to continue support sessions with our young people, as well as providing resources to #BeatTheBoredom and keep our residents minds active.

Some of our young people have begun learning sign language online, others have taken up journaling and writing about their lockdown experience, as well as joining in with online exercising classes.

Weekly quizzes are a regular occurrence at our supported accommodation, along with baking challenges and crafting activities, from origami to chalk drawing. Easter Bunny even dropped by at Easter and left treats for all our young people (and staff too!).

If you’d like to contribute to the work we do in supporting young people who would otherwise be homeless, please see here.

All support sessions and activities are carried out with socially distancing measures firmly in place.

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Day in the Life of a Housing Worker

The Supported Accommodation at YMCA Doncaster is a 24 hour service and therefore, the role of Housing Worker has variable hours, which involves daytime and night time shifts.

Here is a little insight into a typical day for a Housing Worker. One thing is for sure, no two shifts are the same in this role. 

The Handover

The day starts with a handover. The Housing Worker receives an update from the person on the previous shift on all areas of the Supported Accommodation, such as health and safety, security, housekeeping and administration, along with any other information they need to be aware of.

Once the handover is complete, the Housing Worker checks the radio, telephone and CCTV system to ensure they are all in working order.

Patrols

The next thing to do is a patrol. 

Throughout the day, the Housing Worker ensures regular patrols of the building, both internal and external, are carried out. Patrols are essential to the smooth running of the accommodation. The Housing Worker looks for any problems such as damage to fixtures and fittings, health and safety issues and security issues, dealing with them as appropriate.

Whilst carrying out patrols the Housing Worker may carry out essential checks on hygiene, fire and other safety provisions, completing and maintaining the records as needed.

Administration, Security and Housekeeping

Once the initial patrol is completed, the Housing Worker will arrive back at the office to deal with administration such as updating the communication book for duty staff, rent payments from residents and assisting with benefit applications.

The Housing Worker is the first point of contact in the Supported Accommodation, and therefore deals with security and ensuring that residents and their visitors are adhering to the House Rules, including checking visitors ID documents for proof of age.

The Housing Worker is also on hand for residents who have forgotten their keys and require access to their rooms, need access to the communal laundry and for answering and dealing with telephone calls.

Accommodation Interviews and Assessments

Young people wishing to live in the Supported Accommodation must attend an interview and assessment. These are usually arranged for the early afternoon and are carried out by a Hostel Worker and another member of the Supported Accommodation staff.

Interviews and assessments last from half an hour to an hour depending on the needs of the young person. Hostel Workers assist with assessments which help to understand the needs of the young person in regards to support, their background and any personal issues they may have. 

Fire Drills and Room Checks

Around mid afternoon, on the prearranged day, weekly fire drills and weekly room checks are carried out.

When working in the Duty Office the Housing Worker is the appointed Fire Warden and therefore has responsibility for carrying out the weekly fire drill, ensuring that all staff and residents follow the safety procedures correctly.

Another weekly responsibility of the Housing Worker is room checks, which they conduct with another member of the Supported Accommodation staff. Room checks are carried out to ensure hygiene standards are maintained and that there are no health and safety issues or breaches of House Rules.

Young People Moving in and Out

Moving people in and, ultimately, moving people out is also a part of the Housing Worker’s duties, along with the associated paperwork.

Making young people feel at home, providing a welcoming atmosphere and showing them the amenities, such as laundry and explaining the visitors procedure is a critical part of the Housing Workers role. 

There may be a number of young people moving in or out in one day, which means the Housing Worker needs to ensure that they prioritise and arrange their working day accordingly.

Maintenance and Cleaning

As the Housing Worker has the responsibility of carrying out the patrols of the building, and understands it well, it’s quite often that they are the person who recognises a maintenance issue first. 

The Housing Worker will report maintenance issues inline with procedure and, following the completion of the above duties, may be required to carry out small repairs within the accommodation along with cleaning duties.

End of the Day – Handover

At the end of their shift the Housing Worker ensures that the office is neat and tidy ready for the next person on Duty and updates the communication book.

The day is concluded with a handover from the Housing Worker to the next person on Duty. The Housing Worker will provide an update on all areas of the Supported Accommodation, such as health and safety, security, housekeeping and administration, along with any further information the other staff member needs to be aware of.

If you think you feel you have what it takes to join our Supported Accommodation team, please see our vacancies here.

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Perfect Moment

Zoe writes about booking a meeting room at YMCA Doncaster – and letting us take up some of the arrangements for you. This post is part of a series of thought-pieces loosely inspired by the music of our youth.

Life is a busy thing, isn’t it? There is always one thing or another that needs to be done and it’s difficult to find a perfect moment sometimes. Which is why I love my to-do list – it helps me to plan out my days and organise my life – if you don’t have one yet, you should try it (I think you’ll love it).

Do you have “hire a room” on your to-do list? Maybe now that I mention it you remembered that you needed to add that to your list? Maybe you hadn’t thought about booking a room yet? Or maybe you will try out my recommendation and start your list with “book a room”.

Any which way you find yourself reading this, now is the perfect moment to get that room booking sorted.

Many people know YMCA Doncaster for the 30 rooms available to young people in our hostel, but many are unaware of our room hire facilities in our Community Centre. We have 6 rooms to offer – they are all different shapes and sizes and able to accommodate a variety of different sized groups and events.

So, is it the perfect moment to:

  • Get that large staff meeting sorted?
  • Book that seminar?
  • Find a new space for your theatre/dance group?
  • Finally book that training space?
  • Get everyone together for your AGM?

YMCA Doncaster is located in the town centre and offers a competitive and affordable rate.

We believe in the positive benefit of participation with the community and are able to serve a range of room hire needs. We are also able to provide tea and coffee making facilities, and other catering can be arranged upon discussion.

All of the money we raise through your bookings goes back into our work with vulnerable young people.

If you would like to know more details on each of our rooms then take a look at our website here.

Or call us on 01302 342148 and our friendly staff will be happy to arrange an appointment for you to call in and view the spaces we have available.

If it is the perfect moment for you to seize this opportunity then contact us today.

As I mentioned earlier, life is a busy thing! So let us handle your room booking. We are a friendly team who are happy to help – let this room booking business be our problem, you sit back and grab a coffee, tick that room booking off of your to-do list and we’ll do the rest.

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Need You

Zoe writes about volunteering. This post is part of a series of thought-pieces loosely inspired by the music of our youth.

The word need can be defined as “requiring something because it is essential or very important rather than just desirable”. Whilst the word need is a word I use as part of my day-to-day vocabulary, I often use it wrongly.

I will often say “I need a bar of chocolate” or “I need a takeaway” after a busy day. But when I really sit and think about the word need, I remember that I am fortunate enough to be able to have a bar of chocolate or a takeaway without really needing it.

Sadly, there are many young people out there in Doncaster who do need much more than just a chocolate bar – they need a home.

YMCA Doncaster is an independent charity and we are trying to provide the essentials for these vulnerable young people who find themselves homeless. The biggest way we do this is through our Supported Accommodation – this provides a home for 30 young people.

Not only do our young people have a roof over their heads, we have a 24/7 team that provide one to one sessions with clients to help them with a wide range of struggles.

Ultimately, we help them to move into a safe home that they can call their own.

We are small team of around 20 people, all carrying out different roles to directly contribute to improving the lives of these young people. They need us, and we need you.

Here at YMCA Doncaster we are always looking for volunteers to help us continue to carry out the work that we do. Why not take a look at our website to see some of our volunteering opportunities and see how you can get involved?

Many of the people who volunteer with us do so through volunteering in our Charity Shop based on Wood Street.

Volunteers in our Charity Shop are able to give hands-on help to our shop supervisor, helping with displays, dealing with customers and sorting through weird and wonderful donations.

Every penny raised through the Charity Shop is used to fund our work with young people in Doncaster.

Here at YMCA Doncaster we value the time and effort that our volunteers put in to help us to continue are work, and welcome them into a supportive team. Volunteering with YMCA Doncaster gives you an opportunity to be a part of something and to learn new skills, whilst developing friendships with people you may never have met otherwise.

So, whether you are job hunting and are wanting to gain some more skills, looking for work experience or just have some time on your hands and want to try out something new, then why not contact us. We would love to hear from you!

You can call us on 01302 342148 if you have any questions, or call in to our Community Centre or Charity Shop, both based on Wood Street. Alternatively you can take a look at our website to find out how to apply to become a volunteer, and help us to give vulnerable young people the help that they need.

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