Spires was established as a response to homelessness that had become a growing concern in Streatham in the late 1980s. Initially providing a hot meal, clothing and advice to those who came for help, Spires has developed into an organization that provides a range of services which include the Housing and Homeless Team and Woman’s Team.
Our core missions are to support homeless people into housing and to support those who have been homeless to maintain their accommodation, reduce the risks they face and increase their choices. We assess need, create bespoke support plans, provide ongoing key work and empower people to improve their circumstances.
Our Women’s Service specifically works with vulnerable women. With the help of a dedicated volunteer team, we provide a range of services including late night and early morning outreach for woman who are sex working.
Part 1: Job profile
Most clients supported by the post holder will be woman. However, Spires is a small organisation and staff will support other teams and clients when required.
1.1 Purpose of job:
- To work as part of a team to facilitate the smooth running of outreach and centre support
- To support vulnerable women and other individuals, including, but not exclusively, those who sell sex.
- To lead and coordinate support for allocated clients. This includes support planning and conducting key working sessions.
- To engage, assess and respond to the immediate needs of new and existing clients.
- To participate in the outreach rota and engage with women during late evening and early morning sessions.
1.2 Position in organisation:
his role is part of the Women’s Service support service team and reports directly to the Women’s Service Co-ordinator. This role will also involve working and supervising volunteers in centre and outreach sessions.
1.3 Working contacts:
- Internal - Close working with all staff and volunteers across the organisation, in particular the Head of Client Services, Women’s Service Co-Ordinator, Housing and Homelessness Co-ordinator and other support workers for running outreach and centre sessions, client assessment, allocations and support work.
- External - Regular face-to-face contact with vulnerable women and other individuals who sell sex in a range of environments. Manage relationships with a range of partner agencies and feed into a multi-agency approach.
Part 2: Key duties and responsibilities
2.1 Centre sessions:
- Provide cover for other day centre sessions when necessary to ensure continuity of service
- Work collaboratively with staff, and volunteers to ensure centre sessions run smoothly and safely
- Work collaboratively with staff and volunteers to provide a psychologically informed environment for all clients
- Welcome and engage new clients at centre sessions, conducting initial assessments and signposting internally and/or externally to support services as appropriate
- Challenge disruptive or challenging behaviour in a sympathetic but assertive way, balancing the needs of the individual with responsibilities for the safety of the service.
- Provide supervision and guidance to volunteers and/or trainees to ensure centre sessions meet their objectives
2.2 Outreach (on a rota basis) and support work:
Make direct contact, via outreach sessions, with women and other individuals who sell sex in a range of environments in Streatham, the London Borough of Lambeth and neighbouring areas. Outreach is conducted in a car.
- Engage women and other individuals who sell sex in centre activities by identifying services they might benefit from and actively promoting the opportunities available at the centre
- Work collaboratively with staff and volunteers to ensure outreach sessions run smoothly and safely, and supervise volunteers on outreach
- Perform initial and regular follow-up needs assessments with clients
- Provide crisis intervention where necessary as appropriate to the needs and safety of the individual
- Undertake regular strengths based support planning with clients
- Provide practical assistance to support clients to achieve the targets on their support plans
- Undertake risk assessments and risk management for individual clients and any activities with them
- Accompany clients to appointments when required
- Identify, lead and coordinate any multi-agency support, maintaining good working relationships to ensure clients have access to relevant services including both statutory and non-statutory support and community resources
- Carry out joint client support work with other members of the team as needed
2.3 Information management:
- Share information, safeguarding and other concerns with your line manager and/or other appropriate staff as needed
- Maintain accurate, up-to-date and GDPR compliant records of all case work and centre session activity
- Keep Spires client management system up-to-date with all relevant information including incidents, risk assessments and support plans
- Provide verbal and written reports as required, ensuring written work both for internal and external use is of a high standard
- Maintain up-to-date knowledge of relevant sector developments, regulations and best practice
Part 3: Person specification
- Adhere to Spires’ policies and procedures at all times
- To support activities that contribute to the growth and sustainability of the charity
- Be proactive in reviewing and evaluating own performance and identifying and acting upon areas for improvement and development
- Undertaking other duties compatible with the level and nature of the post and/or reasonably required by more senior members of staff, including session cover
- Attend and participate in staff and team meetings and other meetings as required
3.1 Essential experience:
- Working with with people who are experiencing, or are at risk of, homelessness.
- Working with vulnerable adults with underlying support needs.
- Managing a caseload within a related environment
- Experience of challenging appropriately and maintaining clear and appropriate boundaries
- Networking and effectively liaising with specialist service providers or agencies in order to establish and/or improve access to services for clients
3.1.2 Desirable experience:
- Working with volunteers
- Working with people who are sex working
3.2 Essential knowledge:
- Sound understanding of the issues faced by women and other individuals involved in sex work and the difficulties they experience in accessing services that are fully responsive to their needs
- Understanding of the effects of trauma on people, particularly women
- Good understanding of safeguarding practices in outreach work, social care and/or day centre environment
- Good understanding of confidentiality and working with sensitive information
- Working knowledge of health and social care services
3.2.1 Desirable knowledge:
- A relevant NVQ2/3 or equivalent qualification
- Understanding of health promotion, particularly sexual health
3.3 Essential skills and personal qualities:
- Full UK driving licence
- Willingness to work unsocial hours
- Excellent written and spoken communication skills
- Ability to effectively manage time, work under pressure and balance competing priorities to meet deadlines
- IT skills, including Microsoft Word, Excel, Outlook and databases
- Honest and reliable, with ability to maintain enthusiasm for a high level of contact with clients on a day-to-day basis
- Ability to work autonomously to research, assimilate and apply new information, such as changes in law, benefits etc.
- A commitment to providing a safe and inclusive service to all regardless of race, religion, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability or age
Spires is committed to equality and diversity and welcomes applications from all sections of the community. This post however, is restricted to women due to the nature of the role. The Occupational Requirement under schedule 9 (part 1) of the Equality Act 2010 applies.
Part 4: Summary of terms and conditions of service
Location: The post holder will be an employee of The Spires Centre. This post is based at The Spires Centre, 8 Tooting Bec Gardens, Streatham, London, SW16 1RB.
Probation: This post is subject to a 6-month probationary period.
Notice: This post is subject to one week’s notice during the probationary period and a four-week notice period thereafter.
Annual leave: The annual leave entitlement is 35 days per year pro rata, made up of 8 bank and public holidays and 27 days annual leave. The 27 days annual leave is normally split between 24 ‘bookable’ days and three closure days that fall between Christmas and the New Year. Although the centre is closed between Christmas and the New Year, we open on Christmas Day for clients. Staff are encouraged to work on Christmas Day if available. Double time off in lieu is offered in return.
Pension: The Spires Centre operates an Opt-out group pension arrangement and currently contributes 5% of annual salary for those who qualify. Personal contributions are currently 3%.
Other benefits: The Spires Centre will provide life and income protection insurance for those who qualify for our group plans.
Expenses: The role may require travel within the UK for meetings and training. Out-of-pocket expenses will be paid when incurred in accordance with our expenses policy.
Safeguarding: The postholder will adhere to The Spires Centre’s safeguarding policy for vulnerable adults. This post is also subject to a Disclosure and Barring Service check.