YMCA Bedfordshire

Staff Spotlight

This month we ask Sophie our F4YP Activities Co-Ordinator the big questions.

Junayd Hanif — Midland House Luton

1 What does your job involve?

Housing Manager for Midland House, Luton. Overseeing the day to day operations of the 78 unit accommodation service in the heart of Luton Borough. Guiding staff to provide appropriate support to our service users & equipping them with the confidence and skills required to positively impact on our service users lives.

2 Why did you choose to work for YMCA Bedfordshire?

I chose to work for YMCA Bedfordshire because immediately from the application process I could see that the organisations values & standing is very much aligned with my own, which I feel is essential for any person to truly be content in the workplace long term. In addition to this, my passion has always been improving a persons situation, whether that be a small or large change – all contribute to a happier person & lifestyle. This organisation provides me with the perfect platform to have this impact on individuals who are perhaps in a tricky stage in their lives & the resources and expertise to get them back where they want to be.

3 What is your most memorable moment to date?

The most memorable moment to date would be the day we initially filled the service to its full capacity in September 2016. What astonished me & my team was the actual demand for accommodation in the borough. I had preconceptions that the building would take a long time to get to full capacity, but in truth it was only manpower that prevented the service being full in its first week! For me and the team, this was the true feeling of making a difference to the community on a mass scale, which I feel we have continued to do ever since this date.

4 What would your dream project be?

My dream project within YMCA Bedfordshire would involve a big trip with our service users to somewhere in Europe. Most of our service users have never experienced a holiday, so to be able to provide this would be a truly amazing experience for everybody involved and fulfil many dreams our service users have.

Sophie Stock — F4YP Youth Service Lead 

1- What does date job involve ?

Wow where do I start, F4YP offers after school and holiday activities to young people age 5-16years, along with additional pastoral support for the yp and their families. So some days I will spend in various meetings, and other days I am in a boat on the river, or if I’m really lucky, just in the river. But mainly my role is to keep the activities current, and make sure we are accessible to those that need us. I work closely with local schools and community groups to make sure we are getting the maximum reach for our service as well as working together to deliver the best support to the young people we work with.

2 -Why did you choose to work for YMCA Bedfordshire?

I love being a part of this project and YMCA Bedfordshire has given it a platform to grow and develop, my job is different everyday and I get to make a difference to young peoples lives.

3- What is your most memorable moment to date ?

There’s so many- being a finalist for the Youth Matters Awards, getting to take a group of YPs and be on Children in Need last year, but also it still hits home seeing the young peoples achievements each day, whether it is being part of a performance, soloing a canoe or paddleboard, or getting excited about reading an awesome book.

4- What would your dream project be?

If you know me you will know how much I like the sunshine and being outdoors, I would love to be able to provide F4YP users the opportunity to go abroad- many of our young people have never had a holiday so even the overnight camps for them is exciting but to give them the opportunity to explore the world would be amazing.

Rebecca — Business Operations Manager 

1 What does your job involve? 

I am responsible for F4YP and the back office admin provision at 43 Bromham Road. All of which seem to involve cake – Happy days!

2 Why did you choose to work for YMCA Bedfordshire? 

Well I felt I had done all I could in my previous role and was looking for a new challenge. I didn’t specifically aim for YMCA Bedfordshire, but when I saw the job role it just fit! I much prefer to work in the Charity sector as I like people to come before profit/

3 What is your most memorable moment to date ?

Oh there have been so many! I literally fell into a resident flat whilst being shown around a project. I have eaten vast amounts of cake already. I have attend the YMCA National Conference and listened to, amongst other notable speakers, Alastair Campbell who was extolling the virtues of teaching politics in schools.

4 What would be your dream project within YMCA Bedfordshire ? 

It would be fabulous if we could extend the reach of F4YP into the most deprived areas of our patch. There is also the small matter of the YMCA International conference in Thailand next year

Amy — Housing Officer

What does your job involve?

My job involves managing and maintaining healthy rent accounts, and working with the support staff, the local authority, benefit agencies, and our tenants to ensure that our tenants are 1) in the best financial position possible, and 2) help our tenants learn the financial management skills to live more independently in the future. I also work with our tenants on eviction prevention when rent arrears accrue.

Why did you chose to work for YMCA Bedfordshire ?

I have lived in Bedford for my entire life, and feel that working for YMCA Bedfordshire allows me to contribute back to a community a grew up in. I also feel passionate about helping young people from less fortunate life positions thrive into independent living.  

What is you most memorable moment to date?

I had a great day at the residents Christmas party 2016 and 2017. It’s the one day of the year when staff across most sites come together, and we try and give our tenants a happy Christmas experience involving a traditional Christmas dinner, fun, games, Christmas gifts, music, and joy. The last two years have been great and I look forward to it again in 2018!

What would your dream project be?

My dream project, would be to work with a small volume of tenants, one a 1-2-1 basis, providing very intense but creative, practical, emotional, and developmental support. I would love to work with local businesses and organisations who could provide work and life experience to our service users.


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