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 on matters 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.


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 Housing Worker and another member of staff.

Interviews and assessments last from half an hour to an hour depending on the needs of the young person. Housing 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 in line 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 next 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.


Hold My Hand

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

Babies are SO cute! My sister recently had a baby girl and – as biased as I may be – she is just adorable! She was also my inspiration for this blog. As I sat in my sisters’ house holding her as she slept, she overwhelmed me with the simplest of acts – she held my finger.

Now, whilst bursting into tears isn’t an unusual occurrence for me, the whole ordeal got me analysing why it had had such an affect on me, and more so, what it means to hold hands.

Holding hands is typically associated with romance, love and affection. However, holding hands is something that we do throughout our lives with different people and it symbolises many things such as protection, encouragement, comfort and support.

Unfortunately some young people do not have someone to hold their hand as they go through life, and instead have to struggle on their own.

That is why at YMCA Doncaster we offer a space to feel secure, respected, heard and valued.

We try our best to do this for everybody that we come into contact with, but especially for the vulnerable young people we work with – this is our way of “holding hands” with the most disadvantaged of Doncaster’s young people.

At YMCA Doncaster we are a small, friendly, team working in a variety of roles to help those who are less fortunate, with our biggest current project being our Supported Accommodation.

Our Supported Accommodation is designed to be somewhere that our young people can call home, whilst receiving the support they need to tackle the difficulties they face in the community as young people.

We welcome a variety of young people, all with different difficult backgrounds, and we offer a helping hand to get them back on their feet and become more independent.

Do you have what it takes to work either directly with young people, or provide the essential background services to enable YMCA Doncaster to hold young people’s hands through their difficult times and help them build themselves a better life?

If you think so, check out our website for our current job listings.

Whilst we welcome residents into a Supported Accommodation we also welcome our staff members into a supportive team.

If you are ready to join a team in which you will be valued, respected and supported and no two days will be the same, then YMCA Doncaster could be for you.


It’s Flipping Great.

Here at YMCA Doncaster we have been celebrating Pancake Day with our young residents.

We have clouds of flour and batter mix everywhere, sugar is glistening on every surface, and chocolate spread covers every plate.

How many of you remember Pancake Day at home, messing up the kitchen, but more importantly, spending time together?

Many of us remember eating far too much sugar with our siblings, cousins, or friends and it’s a day that children and adults of all ages, have fun.

Today, with thanks to our wonderful supporters, our young residents have been able to come together as one big family, they have spent the past few hours laughing together and enjoying every moment.

Everyone has had an amazing time, but I’m not sure how long it will take to remove the remnants from the ceiling!

Traditionally Pancake Day (Shrove Tuesday) is the last feast before Lent, the 40 day fast on the lead up to Easter.  It’s a time to clear the cupboard of eggs and fats before fasting; if they aren’t in the larder they’re not there to tempt you.

Pancake recipes can be found in cook books dating as far back as 1439, and stories of flipping them date as far back as 1619. 

If you’re not sure how to make them just follow our recipe. 


 Our pancake recipe (makes 8 pancakes)

8oz plain flour

2 large eggs

1 pint of milk (50/50 milk and water makes a lighter batter)

Pinch of salt

Oil to cook.

Toppings of your choice.

Whisk all the ingredients together well and leave it to stand for 30 minutes.

Put a little oil in a frying pan and once it is hot add enough batter to cover the base of the pan. ______________________________________________________________________________

Let it cook until the base of the pancake is golden brown the give the pan a shake to loosen the pancake.


This is the point where we hold our breath and cross our fingers!


To toss the pancake, gently tilt the pan (Give a little shake if necessary) and as the pancake touches the far side, use your wrist only to quickly flick the pancake upwards.

When the other side is golden slide it onto a plate.

Now top it with whatever takes your fancy.

If you think you have what it takes to work with our young residents, follow this link and find out what jobs we have to offer ymcadoncaster.org.uk/job-vacancies-in-doncaster/


I Believe I Can Fly

Zoe writes about the difference our work makes to young people in Doncaster. This post is part of a series of thought-pieces loosely inspired by the music of our youth.

“I belieeeve I can flllly, I belieeeeve I can touch the skkky!…” we’ve all been here before – whether in the shower, in the car, cooking our dinner or simply just walking down the street – we’ve all found ourselves singing our hearts out to I Believe I Can Fly.

I recently found myself testing out my lungs and singing the lyric “If I can see it, then I can do it, if I just believe it, there’s nothing to it”.

Now, Buzz Lightyear has taught us that this doesn’t necessarily mean that if we believe we can physically fly that we will. But it occurred to me how amazing it would be to be able to say that you really believe in yourself, and to believe that you are capable of achieving whatever you put your mind to.

Unfortunately, for a number of different reasons and in a number of different ways, many people do not feel as though they are good enough.

There is a pressure within society to be, act and look a certain way and this pressure can overwhelm people’s ability to believe in themselves. Many people are affected by such pressures, but particularly young people who are trying to find themselves and become young adults in a world in which they don’t feel they fit in with.

A lot of young people do not have anybody in their lives to believe in them – making it near impossible for them to believe in themselves.

That is why at YMCA Doncaster we are here to speak out for young people and help them find strength in their own voice. We provide the support that young people need to succeed, and we always strive to inspire everybody that we meet to realise their full potential.

We do this through our Supported Accommodation, which ultimately helps young people to re-build their lives – starting with a safe place that they can call home. Our support team also gives our residents someone to turn to when life is difficult – it gives them somebody who can believe in them, to help them to believe in themselves.

YMCA Doncaster is an independent charity and we have to find the funds to be able to provide our services to the young people of Doncaster. We wouldn’t have been able to do as much as we have so far without the support of the public and your generous donations -so thank you.

We need your help to continue our work with the vulnerable young people of our town and to be able to further our work within the community to help even more young people.

Can you help us make this happen? Can you help a young person believe they can fly?

If you would like to support our work then please donate today. There are many ways you can get involved – check out our support page for details on all of the ways you can help.

You can also read our clients’ stories to see just how much of a difference your donation can make.


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