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I’m fifteen years old and have recently took an interest in housing and wanted to learn more about what Elim do and how they work. I am spending a week here at the head office, whilst also visiting many of their sites - and over this time I have and hope to discover lots about the different areas of their work.

On Monday I was mainly based in HR with Hannah and Tiff but also did some IT work for Simon by collecting serial and model numbers (along with the name of the computer, device type etc.) for the computers on the upper floor and logging them in to the system so that they can be recorded and traced. This was surprisingly interesting as I was told about why this was a necessary process and how it helps that they have records of every device in Head Office – and their other buildings. In HR, Hannah explained the logistics of pay roll and bonuses, as well as travel costs per person. Additionally, I viewed job applications for the open role of ‘support housing officer’ and a ‘traveller site officer’. I had to decide which applications were suitable and unsuitable, based on the previous job experience – whether they had experience in housing or care homes e.g. – and their effort put in (if they had a covering letter or one of good standard). Along with this, Hannah and I shortlisted certain candidates that we thought were suitable for the job. This involved adding them to the spreadsheet on excel and moving their CV (and covering letter in some cases) into the folder of suitable candidates. This was a good introduction to what HR is/does and was a different and interesting experience.

On Tuesday, I went out with Dave and we firstly had to go collect some keys that were needed and then we visited residents, in Bristol, who had concerns at their property that Elim will fix and repair. We also went out to Weston-Super-Mare where we did a viewing of a flat. This meant that Dave explained/showed the applicants around the flat and helped choose the best option for them as Elim properties are of a much more reasonable price. In addition, we visited Ron Jones House which is an all-male temporary accommodation with over 40 occupants; I was told about what Ron Jones House do, what temporary accommodation means and how they decide or choose who they can house. Originally, I knew little to nothing about Ron Jones House and the system of who they house and so this was very eye-opening.

For Wednesday, I was out with Jamie and we went to Bristol, Avonmouth, and Yate. We visited Priory, Phoenix and Forecastle as well as Blakeney Mills and other temporary houses. At Priory I found out about their shared accommodation and their individual flats which houses many women and children. At Phoenix I was taken on a tour and saw the flats, communal area (living room), food shop and their new baby room which had just been finished that day. I also met with the staff who help run the place and how they help people move on with their life or provide them with the help and support they need. At Forecastle we saw two of the flats/rooms as they’ve just been refurbished, and I understood how standard rooms should look. I met a member of staff in the Office who informed me about what Forecastle does, their goals and how they help. Also, I was taken to Blakeney Mills in Yate and was shown around the house and told about the residents. Similarly, we had to visit and check a five-bed house and check that everything was as it should be, and Jamie responded to any queries the family had and the same goes for the other temporary house we visited. And later we came back to the office where Jamie showed me the emails he had to send once he had checked the houses and if they had any requests he would have to record and email them as well. In this day I learnt so much about temporary accommodation and Elim’s sites and has really made me consider and understand more deeply, different ways of living, along with the downsides and hardships of working in housing.

I am still yet to complete Thursday and Friday, but I know that whatever I do will have been thoroughly planned and designed so that I can gain the most out of my work experience placement. I am very grateful for this experience I have had and for Elim for taking me on for work experience.

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