Meet Joanne - Auckland House

Meet Joanne - Auckland House

April 2024

3 Min Read

Auckland House is a six-bedroom supported accommodation project for women facing homelessness, providing support to develop independent living skills, personal resilience, financial capability and confidence to move forward with their lives.

We spoke to Joanne, one of our support workers at Auckland House, about her time working within the project including the highlights and the challenges of the role...

How does working with a small number of women more closely at one time affect the support that you are able to provide?

Working within a small project has its pros and cons - it feels more personal when it’s a small environment, and we can give more time to residents daily.

This can cause conflict especially if there has been an incident because the residents tend to try and get involved, so this all has its' pros and cons, due to residents wanting to be left alone but other residents are trying to give the emotional support.


How did you come to work for Auckland House/Changing Lives?

I started as a sessional at The Fells, which has giving me the opportunity to grow within the service. Being at The Fells gave me the foundations I needed to be successful in a job interview for a full-time position, which I applied for, and this led to a full-time position at Auckland House.

While being at Auckland house I have had the opportunity to grow and be more hands on helping to run day to day tasks that are needed to be done within the project to keep this a safe and homely environment for the residents at Auckland House and staff.


What's the best part about your role?

I love the opportunities we get to work with the residents and see the growth within them, from when they first arrive, to them leaving service to move on to the next chapter of their lives.

Being able to support the residents and having an empathetic approach to the residents helps with breaking down the barriers the residents have built up over the years of abuse, neglect and mental health issues that may be a cause of the past trauma residents have been through.


What are the challenges of your role/the sector?

Due to the challenges of the behaviour we sometimes encounter, this can cause an atmosphere in the project which can result in the residents disputing anything that is causing them distress.

If a resident is presenting with challenging behaviours, this can cause a huge strain on workers with limited resources at times to enable them to both handle the challenges, and address other residents’ queries.

When a resident is not able to engage at certain points, this can be challenging for staff to help the resident to become the best they can and able to build their skills up that are needed to keep a property and manage this when they leave Auckland house.

You deliver personalised packages of support for women at Auckland House - what does this look like?

All residents have a personal support plan, and this can be tasks like assisting to put washer on or cook a meal, and staff will help residents and show them to help build their living skills, such as budgeting their income.

Staff carry out a personalised risk assessment for the appropriate risk that has been identified for all residents to understand what's happening for them and deliver the right support.

We also support referrals into other support services such as GAP/MAP, Recovery services and services delivered by other organisations.

Staff also support residents for the future with searching and bidding for properties with the residents who are ready to move on from supported accommodation.

Support can also look like managing behaviours and unhealthy coping strategies, through issuing warnings and working alongside the resident to understand where the behaviour stems from and how we can move forward.

We also hold regular 1-2-1 sessions with residents where any issues or support needs are discussed.

Learn more about our Auckland House accommodation.