Staff Stories – Linda of East Dunbartonshire Reach Out

29th January 2020

We want to bring you the stories from our staff as well as those we support. Our East Dunbartonshire Reach Out team operates in partnership with East Dunbartonshire Council to provide housing support to people who have been homeless or are faced with the threat of homelessness.

Today we have been speaking with Linda Thornton, housing support worker, as she talks us through a day in the life of the service.

I’ve been with Ypeople since 1999 and started in East Dunbartonshire Reach Out in 2012. I work alongside my colleagues Mairi Watt and Victoria Mackie.  It’s a small team but we have responsibility for covering a large area which takes in a range of places such as Milngavie, Bishopbriggs, Bearsden, Twechar and Kirkintilloch.

We provide a housing support service – we help people by visiting them in their tenancy, building a relationship with them and tackling any issues they might have. Something I really enjoy about the job is that it can cover a whole range of things such as giving guidance on council tax, offering assistance on fuel accounts, providing food packs or helping with form filling.

I love my job – I really enjoy interacting with tenants, listening to their stories and working out what we can do to help them. The starting point with a tenant is usually an interview with them at their tenancy – that takes as long as the client needs and it’s an opportunity to listen to them and talk about their experiences.

“Everyone’s needs vary. The key is we’re not there to tell them what to do but to help them however we can.”

One challenge we face that some people may not expect is that some of the areas we cover are quite affluent, and that means that the amount of services available are fewer than in some areas with greater need but homelessness is still a major issue across East Dunbartonshire. Homelessness can effect anyone.

Homelessness can impact on a whole range of people – I’ve recently been working with a 16 year old who had been put out of the house due to family issues and, at the  other end of the scale, I’ve been helping an older gentleman of 87 whose wife had previously done everything for him. At one point, he became homeless and was living in his car, but we’ve now managed to get him established in his own home.

“It can be a very challenging job because you’re working with people who are often experiencing real difficulties but it’s also very rewarding.”

Thank you Linda for sharing an insight into the important work that you and the team do at East Dumbartonshire Reach Out. If you would like to learn more about how you can get involved in the work we do across Ypeople the visit – Join Our Team

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