Pavel

Housing & Support Officer
 

What does a general day at work for you involve?

I work in a hostel environment, which means daily contact with young people as well as work in other properties in the Woking area. It involves meeting residents and doing administrative tasks linked to the supported housing role. I give clients support with budgeting, finances in general, employment or voluntary work (setting up some structure), establishing contact with family or external services, boosting self-confidence, monitoring mental and physical health, dealing with accommodation issues, improving residents' domestic and living skills, preparing for move-on to independent accommodation or more supported housing, assessments and monitoring risk. The list could go on and on but this is the basic framework.

What do you enjoy most?

Working with people with various needs, as I studied social work, and working in the best team of my life. I should not forget the excellent training provided by Transform to keep me up to date with all necessary skills.

What is your most satisfying experience?

I cleared the debts of one resident, over the course of one year with the support of a local MP. The most satisfying thing was the happiness of the client concerned.

I praise Transform for superb management, excellent team where I work, and an incomparable well-designed training programme for staff.

On a personal level what do you think you have gained?

I gained quite a broad perspective on social life in England in these last few years, in comparison with my experiences from Central Europe in Czech and Slovak society.

PavelWhat do you think Transform as an organisation to work for?

If I compare Transform with the various institutions and organisations I contact in the course of my daily work, I can only praise Transform for superb management (with limited resources), excellent team where I work, and an incomparable well-designed training programme for staff.

What experience did you have of working in this sector?

I worked with vulnerable people for 13 years with the UNHCR organisation (UN agency responsible for asylum seekers and refugees) in the Slovak Republic. It involved working with people from every corner of the globe, from separated children to elderly men, helping with legal issues, unemployment, health, education and dealing with authorities in the Central European region.

Did you come on board as a trainee?

Yes, I started as a trainee for six months. I was given extensive training at Central Office in areas such as drugs and law, keyworking skills, welfare benefits, mental health, violence and aggression, housing benefit problems, working with troubled teenagers, risk assessments, etc. I received training as well on my day-to-day job, by shadowing my colleagues. It helped me to smoothly transform from one system to another, understanding the nuances in culture, social rules and legal system.

What did you do before Transform?

Before working for UNHCR (which required language skills), my other roles had included technical supervisor in research and development, study in the USA on scholarship, construction of houses, carpentry, farming, army service and social work.

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