From customer to colleague

Natasha Williams has been a Beyond Housing tenant for 18 years. On 28 February 2018 she took up a post within the company’s Revolving Door scheme, which annually offers a one-year paid work placement to a tenant who has been unemployed for at least 12 months and who would clearly benefit from an educational qualification and the additional work experience and confidence that such a team-based role can provide.

The Revolving Door scheme sits within Beyond Housing’s My Better Life programme and, with the support and guidance of Project Coordinator Claire Simpson, Natasha soon found that the small team’s holistic approach to health, wellbeing and employment support suited her perfectly. She worked hard throughout the year, progressively growing in self-confidence and taking responsibility for her own client base. A number of positive case outcomes and the rewarding aspect of the role further fuelled Natasha’s motivation and recent months have seen her successfully gain her Information, Advice and Guidance Level 2 qualification and take up driving lessons, while also helping tenants to settle over £7,000 in outstanding rent arrears.

“This role has helped me to change my life and my mindset.” she said, “It has given me the opportunity to change other tenants’ lives as a way of saying thank you and I’m sure now that I really want to pursue my career as an employment support worker. Beyond Housing has given me an opportunity to shine and I’ve done my best to do just that. I was particularly proud to be chosen by Board Chairman James Hayward to cut one of the celebration cakes on the very first day of our newly formed company.”

Claire Simpson, My Better Life Project Co-ordinator, said “Natasha has really embraced every opportunity that has been given to her and she has flourished in the last year, becoming a very confident Employment Support Worker. Her clients respond very positively to her warm personality and she is a highly valued member of the team.”