The diary of a Housing Buddy: Shirley Watson

One of our Housing Buddies, Shirley, writes about her involvement in the programme since September 2019.

Since taking up my role as a Housing Buddy with Housing Options Scotland back in August 2019, I have been involved in various activities.  These are listed below in date order:-

September 2019:  I attended a Triage Meeting in Glasgow which involved all Housing Options staff.  The purpose of the meeting was to review current applications for support and allocate each case to a particular Broker.  This was a very interesting session and gave me a real insight into Housing Options’ role.

October 2019: 

  • I was asked to assist in providing housing information which would help a particular case in the West of Scotland.  I was able to contact an ex work colleague who was able to provide the necessary information to help the broker in her dealings with the client.
  • I participated in my first case when I accompanied one of the Brokers on a house visit to a new client in Dundee.  It was very interesting to meet the client, hear of her particular problems and discuss how Housing Options may be able to help.  I have since had telephone contact with this client to assess whether or not further support is needed.

November 2019: 

  • I, and my partner, attended the Celebration & Launch event in Edinburgh on 22nd November.  The event highlighted the work done by Housing Options and was a particular opportunity to highlight the role of Housing Buddies.
  • Also in  November, I was asked to accompany the CEO to a client meeting where the client is seeking appropriate accommodation for her son who has been on delayed discharge from a local hospital for many years.  Following the meeting, I made contact with the local Scottish Government office to ascertain current housing developments that included special needs housing.  This was followed up with a meeting in January with Perth & Kinross Council to ascertain progress with a possible housing solution.  This case is on-going.

January 2020:  I was approached by one of the Brokers to provide some local information on South Lanarkshire where I used to live.  I was able to advise on housing associations in the area and the person to contact within the local authority regarding their new build housing programme.

All in all, I have had quite a lot of activity over the last few months and I am enjoying it very much.  It is varied, maintains my interest in housing, and keeps my brain active.  I look forward to continuing my role as a Housing Buddy in 2020.

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