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Hello! I’m Yvonne and I’m a Service Manager for Hillcrest Futures. I’m based at Tollcross View supported accommodation in Edinburgh, and joined Hillcrest in October 2003.
My role involves overseeing the support of 14 men who are experiencing homelessness, and are based at the Tollcross temporary accommodation unit. I work with my team to support these individuals, providing a safe environment where they are able to develop life skills, address any substance use issues, and reach their outcome goals. We also provide transition guidance and support to them if they are moving on to main stream housing tenancies or other supported housing.
My specialism in working with homeless people started in 2003, after seeing the amazing Hillcrest service in Leith whilst I was employed as a community worker. I strongly felt that this was a field that I could really thrive in and was keen to support individuals to get back on their feet and change their lives. Twenty years on and I am still here and it’s been heart-warming to witness so many positive outcomes for the people I support. Some of them have even gone on to develop support worker careers of their own, using their life experience of homelessness to advise and guide others.
I’ve really enjoyed working with Hillcrest Futures, and have grown professionally since starting as a Night Worker in 2003. After undertaking training and qualifications, I became a Support Assistant in 2005 and then a Support Worker in 2007. After further career support from Hillcrest, I eventually progressed into management and became the Service Manager in 2019.
I’ve found that Hillcrest Futures offers so much in the way of stability for staff and frequent opportunities with training and development. We are also given flexible rotas and generous annual leave entitlements, so the work-life balance is great. The team ethos is also incredibly positive and staff are always given the opportunity to share their ideas and feedback on how to improve our service delivery.
My tips for anyone considering a career or apprenticeship in the care sector would be to have an open and non-judgemental mind. You need to be compassionate and caring, particularly if you are dealing with people who have been through significant trauma. It’s also important to have a robust mind-set and to be able to work under sometimes very challenging circumstances.
Working in care can be incredibly rewarding, especially when you see the people you’ve supported overcome their personal challenges and be enabled to live a more positive life.