Supporting homeless people at YMCA

Madeleine Seeley

Tenancy Support Officer (TSO) at YMCA Housing

Madeleine is one of Nottinghamshire YMCA’s Tenancy Sustainment Officers within our dedicated Housing team. A Psychology graduate, she started her career as a receptionist within the charity’s Business Resource Centre, and then moved into becoming a Housing Needs Assessor before applying to become one of our TSOs.

Tenancy Sustainment Officers are based within our supported accommodation for adults and young people, and are vital in helping the homeless and vulnerable people we support to safely and successfully progress to independent living. As with all roles supporting vulnerable people, Tenancy Sustainment Officers such as Madeleine are faced with complicated challenges, but with exceptional reward.

“Residents may have a plethora of different support needs,” Madeleine explained. “So, it’s important to remain versatile and flexible in order to help people as best you can. I enjoy working on the frontline with the residents who live at our hostels and transitional homes in the community as it is very rewarding to be able to see them progress and move on in life.

“We welcome homeless individuals from a diverse range of backgrounds, and it is so important for us all to recognise that a person’s journey through homelessness to regaining their independence is not always a straightforward process. From accessing emotional and practical support to social arts classes and developing essential life skills in our training kitchen – each resident’s road to building up their self-confidence is a personal experience.”

Since joining Nottinghamshire YMCA, Madeleine has made positive use of YMCA’s internal training opportunities to strengthen her understanding and skills in how to best work with the complex needs of the charity’s residents.

“The training sessions have really informed my interactions with both residents and staff alike throughout the organisation,” said Madeleine. “I’ve learned a lot about the services available for local people who are in urgent need of our support.

“As well as learning about many different people from all walks of life, these skills and insights are incredibly valuable for Housing roles, as we work to give each individual the strongest possible chance to reach their own potential and success.”

In addition to offering a range of training and personal development programmes for staff, Nottinghamshire YMCA ensures that all contracted employees can access ‘wellbeing benefits’, including perks such as free YMCA gym membership, happiness boosting initiatives (including wellbeing walks and occasional staff massages) – not to mention a colourful social work culture.

Madeleine added: “I really enjoy socialising with people from many different departments! I recently went to London with the YMCA to celebrate the charity being named by The Sunday Times as a nationally recognised ‘Top 100 Not-for-Profit Organisation’, which was amazing. I’m an active gym member too, and recently attended an aromatherapy workshop held at the Nottinghamshire YMCA offices; it was so much fun – we got to create our own perfumes to take home!

“Nottinghamshire YMCA is a worthwhile, caring and quite empowering place to work. I’m very lucky.”

Find out what other workplace benefits are on offer by visiting our ‘Wellbeing and Benefits’ page.