Pilot Night Shelter Support Worker
(Limited Term Contract)
The Support Worker will form part of a team of four (two men, two women) providing overnight supervision for Graih’s pilot night shelter.
The Support Worker’s role will be to generously welcome those who are homeless and ensure people are sheltered and safe throughout their stay with Graih.
Equal Opportunities Statement
Graih is committed to equal opportunities. We are seeking a mixed team of two men and two women due to operational safeguarding, allowing us to more safely welcome and supervise guests of both sexes.
- To work waking nights on a rota basis (three nights one week, four nights one week on a rolling basis, including weekends and public holidays).
- To ensure that guests (vulnerable adults over the age of 18) are generously welcomed and given food and shelter.
- To assess guests needing to stay overnight, ensuring they feel supported.
- To work with Graih’s existing volunteers at our drop-in, including help with food provision and tidying up.
- To set up (at night) and take down (in the morning) temporary beds in the shelter, ensuring that the room for the shelter is left clean and tidy for alternative uses during the day.
- To supervise overnight guests, ensuring everyone remains safe and at ease.
- To ensure the safety of guests and the security of the premises overnight.
- To welcome guests who may be intoxicated and/or on medication, ensuring that no substance use occurs on the premises and that medication is safely locked away (accessible for those to whom it is prescribed when and as they need it).
- To respond to guests needing attention during the night (eg, suicide watch) and respond appropriately.
- Ensure a smooth transition from overnights to the morning, reporting any incidents or situations in a timely manner.
- To be responsible for Graih’s drop-in telephone while on duty, taking referrals from other agencies such as Police, Social Services Out-of-Hours Social Worker etc.
- To maintain clear written records of the shift and all situations arising.
- To work closely with Graih’s Co-ordinator and Drop-in Facilitator, maintaining good communication and support.
- To assist Graih in recording any necessary data.
- To be a peaceful presence for guests who may be anxious, frightened or aggressive. You will model good conflict resolution with firm but supportive boundaries.
- This is a pilot role and as such could develop into additional duties.
Hours: A shift is from 21.00 to 07.30. Hours will therefore be 31.5 one week, 42 the next. The place of work is The Alpha Centre, Broadway, Douglas IM2 4EN.
Pay: £20,000 per annum or pro rata (see note below under length of contract).
Holidays: 178.5 hours per year or pro rata (see note below under length of contract).
- You will have an understanding of the people that Graih serve (homeless; mental ill health; complex and chronic physical and mental conditions; social isolation etc) and be able to demonstrate compassion and commitment to the often-unlovable. Your relationships with the guests will be essential to this role. This understanding could be the result of personal experience with some of these problems, or it could be the result of prolonged engagement with people suffering from these problems.
- If you are in recovery from problems with substances it would be preferable to be at least a full year into stable recovery.
- You will be a person of peace and maturity, able to respond calmly to provoking situations and communicate clearly and effectively with guests, volunteers and other professionals. Your interpersonal skills will be superb and this area is one of the most challenging aspects of Graih’s work.
- While being able to respond flexibly to a chaotic group of people is key you will also be able to maintain strong boundaries when necessary.
- You will have good administrative skills and be competent at communicating via telephone and Graih’s logbook.
- You will be expected to be sympathetic to Graih’s Christian values and demonstrate a propensity to act compassionately. Maturity and sensitivity in handling areas of faith and spirituality at the drop-in will be required.
- This role will be a demanding one. You will have high personal resilience and will be able to work well with Graih’s staff team and other partners, exhibiting honest and clear communication. You’ll be able to both give and receive challenge and encouragement.
- As a member of Graih’s staff you will be expected to be a good ambassador for Graih, modelling integrity and compassion in your approach. As a small charity we are known primarily through our people.
- Most of the above are traits not often picked up through formal education or qualifications! While this is not a role where such qualifications are essential we will certainly take any relevant qualifications and experience into account.
While overnight provision has been at the heart of Graih’s work for over a decade the context on the island has changed considerably over that time. In 2015 we provided a mere 3 bed spaces through the course of the year. Since then the numbers needing shelter have been increasing and we are aware through our partners in the wider community that there is a growing need for basic shelter for men and women.
Graih’s current overnight provision is limited and we would like to be able to offer a consistent service 7 days a week. We would also like to be able to accommodate women as well as men and to accept referrals throughout the night.
In such a small charity people are key. Graih will be committed to your work and development and will seek to encourage and support you.
Length of contract
Graih is committed to improving our overnight provision. The funding for this pilot shelter has come from grant applications. The pilot will run for a year and will allow us to assess properly the levels of need for an emergency shelter on the island. We want to offer guaranteed overnight shelter to any man or woman on the Isle of Man with nowhere to stay, and to offer such provision seven nights a week.
The maximum length of contract is therefore 12 months. If we are not successful in securing all the funding we want the length of contract may be shorter. It is guaranteed to last at least 7 months. We will be happy to discuss this at interview.
There is a possibility, should the pilot prove that there is a need for a shelter on an ongoing basis, that the job could be extended past the pilot funding. If a shelter is needed on a permanent basis Graih would be committed to trying to make sure that such provision is properly resourced. There is potential that existing staff could form part of an ongoing team serving the homeless on the island.
Further information about Graih can be found on our website, www.graih.org.im.
Further information and application process
Further information about Graih can be found on our website, www.graih.org.im. You are welcome to telephone Michael Manning, Co-ordinator, on 324767 or Erica Irwin, Drop-in Facilitator, on 224807 for an informal chat prior to application.
Apply in writing with a covering letter stating why you think you would fit this position and enclosing a CV and references (non-family who have known you for at least two years). Please also include any information, such as disabilities, that you feel is relevant.
Please send your application to Michael Manning, Graih, The Alpha Centre, Broadway, Douglas, Isle of Man IM2 4EN. Alternatively you can email it to [email protected]
We will take up references on appointment. We will also take up a police check on appointment but a criminal record is not necessarily a bar to working with us. The position will be offered subject to these references. If appointed, there will be a three-month probationary period.
If you are not a Manx Worker the position will only be offered subject to a Work Permit being granted.
Applications must be received by 5pm Friday 14th December 2018.
All applications will receive a response.
All applications will be kept in strict confidence. Graih will not disclose who has applied, or been interviewed.
You will be interviewed by Graih’s Chairperson, Co-ordinator and Drop-in Facilitator. This will be an in-depth interview and an opportunity to ask us questions as well.
We will cover questions in the following areas:
- Your understanding of the people that Graih serves and how you will approach your relationships with them. In particular we’ll be looking at how you generously welcome the demanding and vulnerable people that we see.
- Your capacity to work waking nights on a rota basis.
- Your interpersonal skills, especially in areas of conflict, boundaries and personal resilience.
- Your communication skills.
- Your understanding of the unique aspects of working for a tiny charity, interfacing with both other charities, faith communities and statutory agencies.