Meet Our Team

 

 

In a nutshell, what do you do?


As I am the Live In Accommodation Worker at our five-bedroom house in Welwyn. I have been involved in setting up the project and am looking forward to welcoming our first housemates in early January. I will be supporting them on their journey to independent living and employment. I will also be responsible for the day-to-day running of the house. I think my role could be described as a mix of caretaker, cook, gardener, teacher, mediator and listener. But not necessarily in that order!
 

What appealed to you most about joining hyh?

 

I volunteered in a winter night shelter for some years and was excited to see hyh offer a role supporting rough sleepers. I wanted my job to have meaning and purpose.
 

What is the most challenging part of what you do?
 

Working directly with young people often presents challenges and I’m sure the young people moving into the Future Roots project will set me some challenges but working through difficulties and towards positive outcomes together is always worth it!
 

What is the most rewarding thing?
 

The most rewarding thing so far has been witnessing a young person’s evident excitement when viewing the property. He is so excited. I look forward to seeing him grow and mature during his time here.
 

Your hopes and dreams…if you could wave a magic wand - what would you hope to achieve whilst working at hyh?
 

With my hopes and dreams and magic wand I would witness young people grow in confidence and self-worth. Knowing they can make a positive impact on society and their own lives. That they would know that others care about them and believe in their potential. My dream is that I would see the growth and maturity start at Future Roots


 

 

In a nutshell, what do you do?


As Chief Executive it’s my responsibility to lead and manage the organisation, ensuring we have a professional, motivated and happy team who deliver amazing things for young people in Hertfordshire and to develop and agree our strategy and annual budget with the board of trustees.

 

Are you from Hertfordshire?

 

I have lived in Hertfordshire for nine years, currently in Hatfield, and while originally a South Londoner, along the way I have lived in Surrey, Manchester and Ghana!

 

When did you join hyh?

 

4th January 2022

 

What appealed to you most about joining hyh?

 

The opportunity to make a real difference to thousands of young people’s lives, by working in an organisation that punches above its weight.

 

What impact would you like to have?

 

Well, we should never forget that hyh has a huge impact already but, for me, I would like us to be able to transform the lives of even more young people, to engage more Hertfordshire residents and businesses in the amazing work we do, and for our partners to say we are the best organisation they work with.

 

What do you imagine will be the hardest part of your job?

 

Learning all the acronyms! Seriously though, I imagine it will be the constant knowledge that there are young people out there that we aren’t helping because we don’t have the resources to be able to work with all of them.

 

What were you doing before hyh?

 

I was operations director at Girlguiding where I was responsible for supporting tens of thousands of volunteers to do amazing things with hundreds of thousands of girls and young women every week.

 

What do you do to relax in your spare time?

 

With the Hertfordshire countryside at my doorstep, I love going for a long run at the weekend. I try and watch AFC Wimbledon whenever I can, although ‘relax’ isn’t quite the right word for watching them this season. Ultimately though, there’s nothing else quite like watching my two youngest children grow, learn, play and be happy and then hearing from my oldest daughter how she is loving learning to be a teacher.



 

 

In a nutshell, what do you do?


I work in the Outreach Team, supporting 18- to 24-year-old care leavers with their housing related needs.
 

What appealed to you most about joining hyh?
 

hyh are a small but well-known charity and I was drawn to working with them because of the holistic approach they take when working with young people. They are also renowned for their amazing team spirit, which I found to be true!
 

What is the most challenging part of what you do?
 

I feel that the most challenging part of my job is getting our clients the support they need from external agencies, particularly mental health support. The funding does not match the desperate need for our vulnerable young clients.
 

What is the most rewarding thing?
 

The most rewarding part of my job is seeing my clients grow in confidence and feeling empowered by learning that with some support they can achieve what they want and need to. I am grateful for making even the smallest positive change to a young person's life.
 

Your hopes and dreams…if you could wave a magic wand - what would you hope to achieve whilst working at hyh?
 

If I could wave a magic wand and make a wish, it would be that mental health services were completely reformed, and adequate care could be given to all clients. Poor mental health is at the root of most of our client's issues and for them to be able to access the help that they need would be life-changing for them. But I am aware that would take a magic wand.




 
James

 

In a nutshell, what do you do?


I work with 16 and 17 year olds who are at risk of homelessness and their families. I try to support them with whatever their needs may be, to improve the relationships at home and prevent the family breakdown.


What appealed to you most about joining hyh?


I have always wanted to use my own experiences and knowledge to help young people that are going through difficult times, as sometimes just a small amount of support can make a huge difference at a tough time in your life. This time of life can often determine what path we take for the rest of our lives and I want to prevent young people making the wrong choices wherever possible.

 

What is the most challenging part of what you do?


I find it hard when it appears that the solutions are apparent, but the young people or their families are not ready to take the steps required. It can be frustrating, but we have to understand that people need to be in the right place sometimes and that at this moment there may be nothing we can do to help.

 

What is the most rewarding thing?


The most rewarding thing for me is being able to work with a young person over the long-term and see them grow, learn new skills and have new experiences. To be able to see the family dynamic change as they do and them being able to look forward to a future as a family unit again.

 

What is one thing you would like to see in the future and what do you hope to achieve whilst at hyh?


I want to develop new skills, to be able to offer the best possible service that I can to the families that I work with. I would like to see a future that has more focus on preventing crisis situations, rather than only intervening when they occur, as for some families there can be no way back by the time the support is available. I believe that this is preventable and would like to see a shift in this focus of how agencies support people.

 
Judith

 

In a nutshell, what do you do?


I am a Floating Support Worker – this means I can help young people manage their independent living by learning how to look after their own accommodation, learning how to work with a budget and preventing being evicted. This can be in relation to a housing association accommodation or private renting.

How long have you been with hyh?

 

I have worked for hyh for 18 years and throughout it has been the ‘we can do this’ attitude of all the various staff who have worked, volunteered or been on student placements with us. We believe in young people and we believe with the right kind of support, we can be part of helping them decide what they are going to do with the hyh strapline of ‘It’s YOUR future.’

What is the most challenging part of what you do?

It’s very easy for workers to identify the needs of the young people, but some young people take a long time to realise their own needs themselves and to recognise when they are ready to get support and help. I love it when they finally realise why we are here and they actually want to engage; this can be life changing.

 

What is the most rewarding thing?

 

Seeing young people who have been through very tough situations, settle into their own accommodation, start to heal and take an active part in moving their lives forward.

 

If you had a magic wand what’s one thing you would wish for?


Preventing youth homelessness where possible, but where this is not possible, ensuring young people are safe, secure and know they are loved so that they can have a fulfilling future.

 
 
Jacob

 

In a nutshell, what do you do?

 

It’s my job to help teach young people and parents about the effects of mental health and how to build a healthy mind. I do this through weekly sessions where we talk and design a program to build a fit and healthy mind.

 

What appealed to you most about joining hyh?

 

It had a great reputation for being effective. I wanted in!

 

What is the most challenging part of what you do?

 

Getting past the stigma around mental health. Getting young people and their parents to open up.

 

What is the most rewarding thing?

 

When I can see someone really building in confidence.

 

Your hopes and dreams…if you could wave a magic wand - what would you hope to achieve whilst working at hyh?

 

Seeing people’s relationships heal and change for the better.

 
Paige

 

What do you do?

 

My role is a dual diagnosis outreach worker. I support individuals and families in Broxbourne and Hertsmere who are at risk of homelessness and either suffer from mental health issues or substance misuse!

 

What appealed to you most about joining hyh?

 

What HYH stand for and their want to support disadvantaged people is what appealed me the most. Having studied Criminology and Social Policy at university, I have always pursued a career where I can support vulnerable people and help better their circumstance, which is exactly what this role offers.

 

What is the most challenging part of what you do?

 

The current challenge I am facing is having to work remotely due to COVID-19. I’m looking forward to getting into the office and meeting all my colleagues in person for the first time, as well as visiting service users and getting to know more about them in person!

 

What is the most rewarding thing?

 

The most rewarding part of the role is knowing that I am supporting a service user, helping them access the help and services they need, and leading them to more positive outcomes.

 

What would you hope to achieve whilst working at hyh?

 

My hope is that I have a positive effect on service users and know that I did everything I could to support them. I also hope to learn the ins and outs of the service and further my understanding and knowledge of mental health and substance misuse.

 
Sarah

 

In a nutshell, what do you do?

 

I do prevention work in schools, colleges and youth clubs. We do workshops on homelessness, conflict resolution and independent living, to give young people the skills they’ll need to live on their own. We also provide them with information on where and how to get help and support.

 

Length of time at hyh:

 

Almost 3 years! I started right after university.

 
Aiesha

 

In a nutshell, what do you do?

 

I support 16 and 17 year olds in Hertfordshire who are either having difficulties at home or who currently don’t have a stable place to stay. This includes sofa surfing, staying with relatives or having nowhere to go at all. The Advice and Information Workers support young people and their families in a number of ways by engaging in mediation or looking into alternative accommodation. We also signpost to other services for additional support such as YC Herts, colleges and mental health support.

 

Length of time at hyh:

 

1 year and 4 months

 
Becca

 

In a nutshell, what do you do?

 

I support the 18+ services, working with the teams to make sure we are providing the best possible services to anyone that requires our help.

 

Length of time at hyh:

 

19 years

 
Kirsty

 

In a nutshell, what do you do?

 

I enjoy working at hyh and I am passionate about making sure the back office is cost efficient in all areas whilst still ensuring our important frontline services have all the resources they need to run smoothly. I provide support to the CEO and Board of trustees and oversee most of the back office functions such as IT, HR, Facilities and Health & Safety.

 

Length of time at hyh:

 

15 years

 
Elliot

 

In a nutshell, what do you do?

 

I support 16/17 year olds who are at risk of homelessness or are homeless to return to their family home or access safe and secure accommodation.

 

Length of time at hyh:

 

7 years

 
Laura

 

In a nutshell, what do you do?

 

I develop and deliver education sessions, support our educators and volunteers, market to and engage schools, source funding for the service and provide funder reports.

 

Length of time at hyh:

 

11 years

 

Read an interview with our Student Social Workers on their summer placement at hyh