What it means to have the support of our Housing Buddies

Our Volunteer and Engagement manager, Ben, spoke to the HOS Broker Team about the support they have received from our Volunteer ‘Housing Buddies’. Here’s what they had to say:

Moira Bayne, CEO

I have benefited greatly from the support of the Housing Buddies at client meetings.

In each case the meetings were covering sensitive and complex areas with clients feeling understandably anxious. I met with each buddy in advance of the meeting for a briefing session. This was very helpful in giving me a chance to explore what might happen and think through appropriate strategies. The buddies questions and observations were very helpful in expanding my thinking. Each of the buddies did some specific research on behalf of the client and were able to contribute positively to the outcomes.

It’s so helpful not to be “alone” in a meeting. It takes the pressure off to not be solely responsible. The debriefs afterwards have been very worthwhile and insightful.

Olivia Lindsay, Head of Casework Services

I have found the support of the Housing Buddies to be invaluable. Recently I have been working with Shirley to support an older client in Broughty Ferry. We hadn’t had much engagement from the client, so I thought that a home visit would be useful. Shirley attended the visit with me, and came prepared with some useful information. As Shirley is from the area, she was able to find out about local services that might have been able to assist our client. Since our visit, Shirley has kept in touch over the phone with the client, to see how she is getting on, and find out if there is anything else that HOS can do for her.

Karen Campbell, Military Matters Broker

When a client contacted me to look at housing options in Glasgow, I asked our volunteers for some help.  The client was interested in social housing but didn’t know where to start.  With over 40 Housing Associations in Glasgow I asked our volunteers to help by researching the housing stock of different Housing Associations in my client’s preferred area. The results were fantastic.  Two of our volunteers, Shirley and Anne, took the research on.  They gave me a detailed update on which Housing Associations were best to approach.

More recently, I spoke to a new client who wanted to put his housing options on hold due to the pandemic but was struggling emotionally with the challenges of the government restrictions.  I asked if one of our volunteers could contact him by phone to make sure he had the opportunity for a regular chat with someone.  One of our volunteers, Shirley, has been in touch and is going to keep in contact during the lockdown.  Once he is ready to look at his housing options again we can resume his case support. 

Susan Mendelovitch, Housing Options Broker

I was supported by Fiona, one of our Housing Buddies, with one of my clients who lives in Bridge of Allan.  Fiona accompanied me to a home visit where we were able to discuss the housing options my client had.  It was great having her with me during this visit because Fiona not only has a wealth of experience in the housing sector, she has excellent local knowledge of the local area of Stirling and Bridge of Allan. She was able to suggest areas that might be of interest to my client and identify the street names where the council had housing stock and if these areas would be suitable for someone who struggles with mobility.  After the visit she also continued to support me in the case work by suggesting other suitable housing options for my client. 

Jil Dyson, Housing Options Broker

When one of my clients approached me to ask for some local information about Edinburgh as they were planning on moving there, I asked Ben if a volunteer who knew the area would be able to help. Ben put me in touch with Tessa.

Tessa was able to help to offer my client some helpful local knowledge on the area in Edinburgh she was considering. Tessa offered advice on bus routes, local clubs she could attend, shops, and nearby doctor’s offices. She also offered my client to get in touch at any time if she had any other questions about the local area. For my client, who would be moving from England, this offered a wealth of local knowledge that could make my client feel more at home if the time comes that she does move to Edinburgh. Tessa gave helpful information that I would not have known (with me not being local to the area), and assisted me greatly in my role as a broker.

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