Support Worker

Emmaus South Wales
South Wales
Good Rates of Pay
10 Jul 2017
28 Jul 2017
Contract Type
Full Time

About Emmaus

Our vision: A world in which everyone has a home and a sense of belonging

Emmaus is a homelessness charity with a difference. We don't just give people a bed for the night; we offer a home, meaningful work and a sense of belonging.

For many people who have experienced homelessness, losing their self-esteem can be the most damaging part of their experience. Being on your own, with no support around you can be soul destroying, leaving you feeling worthless.

Finding your way out of that situation isn't easy, particularly when the only options available are temporary fixes, offering a bed for the night but little to occupy your days.

Emmaus is different because it provides a home for as long as someone needs it, in an Emmaus community. This gives people the opportunity to take stock of their lives, deal with any issues they might have, and often re-establish relationships with loved ones.

“Companion” is the name given to those who live in an Emmaus community and work in the social enterprise, where they support themselves and one another. There are currently 750 companions living at 29 Emmaus communities across the UK.

Rather than relying on benefits, Emmaus uses social enterprise to generate revenue that pays for Companions' home, food and upkeep, as well as providing a small weekly allowance. This is key to restoring feelings of self-worth, showing companions that their actions make a real difference, both to their own life, and the lives of others. 

How it works

Unlike a lot of provision for homeless people, Emmaus communities offer a home for as long as someone needs it. This includes a room of their own, food, clothing and a small weekly allowance.

In return, we ask:

  • That Companions work for 40 hours per week, or give as much time as they are able, in the community's social enterprise;
  • That they behave in a respectful way towards one another;
  • That no alcohol or illegal drugs are used on the premises;
  • That they sign off all benefits, with the exception of housing benefit.

Our impact

Emmaus doesn't only have a significant impact on the lives of people who have experienced homelessness and social exclusion, it also brings wider social and economic benefits.

Research carried out in 2012 found that for every £1 invested in an established Emmaus community, £11 is generated in social, environmental and economic returns.

The benefits included:

  • Keeping people out of hospital, and helping them to be safe and well, saved the Department of Heath £1,478,506 for NHS and emergency service costs;
  • Emmaus saved local government £2,447,612 which would have been spent on hostel accommodation, drug and alcohol services and landfill;
  • Keeping people in work and out of prison saved the Ministry of Justice £778,435.

The report found that Emmaus communities successfully provide a place for people in vulnerable housing situations to rebuild their lives by offering them meaningful work and support. Significant benefits were linked to substantial improvements in companions' physical and mental health, including reductions in substance misuse.

The Emmaus Federation strategic plan

The Emmaus federation has recently developed its 2015-2020 Strategic Plan, providing clear direction for where the federation should be by 2020. The plan's focus is on improving service provision to companions, becoming financially robust and better known in the UK, and increasing the number of companion places to meet the ever increasing demand.

By 2020 we will have:

  • 1000 companion places
  • 100 opportunities for non-residential companions
  • Stronger social enterprises
  • Structured support and training plans for all companions
  • Companions on all of our boards and committees
  • More companions moving into employment
  • Started campaigning for change
  • Better recognition for the fantastic work we do

As part of this federation, Emmaus South Wales is steadily filling up its community home at Nant Lais, Bridgend with new Companions and is playing its part in delivering these UK wide objectives.

Support Worker

Job Description

Job title: Support Worker/Administrator (Maternity Cover) 12 months

Reports to: Community Manager

Location: Emmaus South Wales

Overall Purpose of the Job                       

Provide support to companions who need help both emotionally and practically, so they can live and work in the community, develop life skills and realise their full potential to move on when they are ready.

Support the Community Manager in a range of administrative tasks, which include data input on spreadsheets, facilitating and documenting support sessions, updating health and safety checks and ensuring administrative tasks related to the management of referrals and rent accounts are regularly updated and accurate.

Principal Responsibilities and Duties

  • To conduct intake interviews, complete needs and risk assessments and induct new Companions into the Community
  • To conduct Support Plan meetings with Companions, monitoring progress and stimulating action
  • To manage/facilitate in-house/external training and development for Companions, supporting their training and skills development as they take on enhanced responsibilities
  • To develop sound relationships with partner agencies in relation to Companion health, benefits and support, to benefit the Community, Companions and potential Companions.  This includes assisting Companions in making and attending appointments (e.g. health, legal, housing, training, benefit-related)
  • To create and react to opportunities to support Companions in an engaging, informal manner, encouraging them to support each other and demonstrating the Emmaus Ethos to help the less fortunate
  • To calmly and effectively deal with Companion problems and issues, using effective problem solving techniques which empower the Companions
  • To maintain appropriate systems for measuring and reporting necessary aspects of Companion care, training, development and achievements within agreed formats and timescales
  • To work with the business teams of the social enterprise, supporting colleagues and attending team meetings, recording and sharing information appropriately and confidentially
  • To ensure activities meet with Emmaus South Wales' requirements for general duty of care; quality management; legal, health and safety compliance, policies and professional boundaries
  • Any other duties as required by the Community Manager, including holiday/sickness cover requiring occasional extra on-call

Support Worker Person Specification

  • At least one years' experience supporting people with complex needs to achieve their goals, using person centered approach.

Complex needs could be:

- Drug, alcohol or other addiction

- Mental health issues

- Complex trauma

  • Desirable, but not essential to have training in counselling, support work, social work, care
  • Able to deliver effective support sessions and deal with challenging behavior
  • Evidence of Continued Professional Development, such as drug and alcohol awareness, safeguarding, health and safety, first aid, managing challenging behavior
  • Experience of maintaining professional boundaries
  • GCSE English and Math's or equivalent
  • Experience of building strong interagency relationships
  • Experience of working as part of a team
  • IT skills, including Microsoft word, basic excel, internet, websites and email
  • Can demonstrate ability to identify and manage own priorities and conflicting schedule demands

Personal Characteristics

  • Recognizes, responds and adapts appropriately to change easily
  • Flexible and adaptable to meet the needs of the community and business
  • Has an understanding of, and belief in, equality
  • Effective communication skills - including written, verbal, listening skills
  • Enthusiastic with a ‘can do' attitude
  • Has the ability to interpret complex situations/problems and identify solutions which meet individuals' and organisational needs
  • Able to answer people's concerns ‘on their feet'
  • Has an understanding of and empathy for the work of Emmaus, and an ability to uphold Emmaus's values
  • Strong emotional resilience and able to identify when external support is needed for self and others

Terms and Conditions of Employment

  • Salary of £19,000 per annum
  • Working Hours - full time hours are 40 hours per week, Monday to Friday with possibility of on call duties
  • Flexible Starting - Options available, subject to the requirements of individual role 
  • Annual Leave - 21 days per annum, plus 6 bank holidays STET
  • Training & Development - Individually tailored induction, training and development  
  • Employee Assistance - a 24/7 employee assistance scheme is available

To Apply

Please complete the online application form, and send CV, covering letter and a one page explanation of how you meet the person specification by clicking apply by 27th July 2017

Those shortlisted will be invited to an assessment/interview day held on 8th August 2017.