Lisa Hudson, centre back row, with members of her Dorset Young People's Services team
BCHA Senior Practitioner Lisa Hudson talks about the work carried out by BCHA’s Dorset Young People’s Services and her pride in her team, whose dedicated support helps young people lead happy and fulfilled lives. The service houses a diverse group of homeless 16-21 year olds across five properties in Wimborne, Ferndown and Christchurch cared for by a team of six staff.
The youngsters are referred to us through social services, local housing authorities, youth offending teams and other BCHA services as a result of family breakdown, domestic abuse, drug and alcohol misuse, mental health diagnoses and exploitation.
The stigma surrounding these issues is huge - we try to alleviate this by being non-judgmental, non-discriminatory and empathetic from the minute these amazing young people walk through the door.
The long established team I work alongside are incredible and I am so fortunate to have their help and support from the minute I started working for BCHA three and a half years ago.
I genuinely love my job but it isn’t without its challenges. No day is the same - you can leave a property in complete harmony one evening to return the following morning to complete and utter chaos, usually triggered by the word ‘no’ or a WiFi outage!
The positives, however, far outweigh the negatives and the relationships we build with our residents are phenomenal. Our ultimate goal is to empower the young people to learn the skills needed to move into and to maintain their own property and we have achieved this in abundance.
We HAVE come up against pink washing that was once white and the odd burnt piece of toast that has triggered the fire alarms but the young people get there…eventually.
Visiting ex-residents in their new homes is a real privilege and a wonderful reflection of the hard work they have put in themselves to achieve such a positive outcome.
There have been so many highlights over the past three years: positive move-ons, family reconciliations, GCSE passes, job and university offers, Sunday breakfasts being prepared and cooked from scratch – the list is endless.
However, there are three events which I am personally proud to have achieved since being in role: Team and Employee of the Year in 2019, supporting an ex-resident as a birthing partner and being at the birth of her beautiful daughter and, most recently, being shortlisted for a National Housing Heroes Award for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion. I couldn’t be more pleased for such a deserving team of people.
I often get asked: “What is it you and your team do to achieve what you do?”
My response is: “Whatever it takes!”