Maintenance Operative Scott Jackson

From home renovation to brightening young lives

Meet Scott Jackson, Maintenance Operative for YMCA Goole 

When Scott Jackson became the Maintenance Operative for YMCA Goole in October 2020, he began putting his life experience to good use to help make a positive difference to the lives of young people at the charity’s supported housing.

Providing a valuable care package

As a former qualified deputy care manager, Scott has already shown considerable understanding of the impact a nurturing living environment can mean for boosting a vulnerable person’s wellbeing and sense of self-worth.

Scott explained: “When I took on this role I knew there was going to be a lot of work but I was ready for a new challenge. This position proved perfect for my career change, and it feels good to use my 10 years of experience working with children and young people to better signpost residents for the most appropriate support to provide a more valuable care package.”

Responsible for carrying out maintenance projects for the charity’s hostel and transitional homes in Goole, plus a YMCA Children’s Residential Care home in White City, Scott’s stoic attitude is shining through his incredible work during the pandemic.

His most recent adventure saw a complete redecorating of a transitional flat to provide a warm and safe environment for a young person to occupy. Managed by the YMCA, these properties serve as semi-independent homes for formerly homeless young people who also receive keyworker support from the charity’s housing team in Goole, East Riding of Yorkshire.

‘Inspiring residents to aspire for better’

The renovation took eight days to finish and involved stripping down the flat to its basic components and modernising through a complete redecoration. Tasks included everything from sanding down wood, sorting light switches, glossing doors and woodwork, filling wall holes, changing taps, painting all walls and ceilings and cleaning everything throughout – primarily the hallway, lounge, bedroom and bathrooms.

“A key part of my role involves updating and preparing homes for a new resident when an existing resident successfully moves on to achieve fully independent living,” said Scott.

“It is important to help people to feel motivated to strive for their next life step and I want residents to feel that YMCA rooms are not just somewhere to put their head down. These refreshes are about giving a young person a sense of belonging in a space that raises their life standards and sets a higher bar for what their life can be.

“Something so simple as a lick of paint or new carpet can boost a person’s feeling of self-worth and heighten their life expectations. By crafting a higher standard of living, I want to inspire residents to aspire for better.”

‘A real family feeling’

“Budgeting in a charity is always a challenge so I was conscious to find innovative ways of creating the best standard that I would want to live in myself for minimum cost,” said Scott.

“It greatly helped that a kind local donor generously contributed 50 handles so I could modernise the interior doors. Updating the kitchen by painting the cupboards and handles also gave the environment a really modern feel. New carpets were installed throughout and I repurposed some of the existing furniture that could be made to feel new again.

Mansfield residents seaside trip“I’ve worked for massive companies in the past but there is a real family feeling at the YMCA where I feel supported by my managers – not just in Goole but by our wider Group charity Nottinghamshire YMCA, too.

“YMCA truly is a great company for which to work – they push themselves to expand and do better, and their standards are reflected in that vision. It is lovely to see how the movement’s ambition doesn’t take away from the team’s honesty, openness and friendliness when getting the job done.”

‘YMCA gave me the training to succeed’

Scott added: “Before taking this job, I had no maintenance qualifications or real experience in this field other than renovating my own home. YMCA saw my potential and gave me the training needed to succeed in this role. They put me through a plumbing course that expanded my knowledge and boosted my confidence, in addition to maintenance and ‘working at heights’ courses.

“All training proved extremely beneficial and it was great to see staff members from all corners of wider charity coming together to learn and grow as a connected team. Having the confidence to develop is so important for anyone who wishes pursue make a career in maintenance, and the training opportunities YMCA offers are incredible.”

Shaping young lives

Giles Conlon, Housing Development Manager at YMCA Goole, said: “Scott has done some fantastic work over the past few months in helping to create vibrant and positive living spaces in which our young residents can thrive and feel at home.

“It is staff members like Scott who make our organisation such an empowering driver for positive social change, and we know that young lives will genuinely benefit from his and the wider team’s exceptional efforts in East Riding of Yorkshire and beyond.”

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