Robert is a Project Worker at Bethany House. He has kindly shared with us his experiences as a Project Worker, and talked us through his average day…
How long have you worked for Bethany House?
I have worked for Bethany 18 months now.
What made you want to work at Bethany?
I’ve always had a heart for homeless people who may suffer with addiction and mental health problems. I have always loved the work of Bethany, and to be a part of helping people, seeing lives changed and being able to show Gods love to people – that’s what made me want to work for Bethany.
What does your normal day look like?
A normal day for me starts at 9:45am; i’ll grab a much needed cup of tea before heading into the handover from night shift. After the handover, staff will go down to the group work room and do the taped handover from the other team, which tells us what has happened during the days we’ve been off. Then, we will have a devotional time and a prayer time – each day we pray for a different flat.
Following prayer, I might be holding the office, answering the door and the phone, or I might be tasked with flat cleaning, where I go around the flats to check how clean they are. If they’re dirty, I remind the individual whose task it might be to complete the task by a certain time. Other days, I might be cooking lunch or I may have a support meeting in the morning. Lunch is at 12pm, and i’ll sit in the dining room and chat with the residents.
After lunch, I may be leading kitchen duty, so I’ll help to tidy up and delegate to other people what they can do to help. After a break for 45 minutes, I come back and I may be on devotions in the dining room, where I’ll read the bible to the residents or answer any questions they may have. I may also do window checks at 3pm, which involves going into each flat and room to check that the windows are secure. Some days, I may be on tea break, setting up tea, coffee and biscuits for the residents.
Dinner is at 5pm, and afterwards I’ll help out with kitchen duty until 6pm. Following dinner, the staff have team time for an hour, catching up on the day and seeing how everyone is doing; we might play a quiz game or just relax. After team time, I’ll sometimes do a flat meeting, which involves seeing how things are going in the flat for that day; basically, I’ll check if there are any issues around the flat, such as if something needs to be fixed or possibly to talk about a flat outing. If not in a flat meeting, I may be holding the office or be involved in another support meeting.
Sometimes I’ll go to the pool room and play a game with the residents and, shortly after, the night shift team arrive and they’ll receive a handover from the shift leader that day – this is my average day!
What’s most challenging about your work?
The most challenging part for me is all of the paperwork, such as writing up support meeting minutes or filling out interview forms!
I’m sure it is difficult to narrow down, but what’s been the most rewarding part of your work?
The most rewarding part of my job is seeing when I’ve done something to help a resident, something that makes them happy and smile, and sharing Jesus with them.
How has working here made you a better person? How has it encouraged others?
My work has given me more compassion and has taught me to listen to people more.
What do you hope for the House and for Bethany in the future?
I just want to see people’s lives truly transformed by God through the work of Bethany, and by the love and care that is given. I want to see more people coming to devotions and to see success in people’s live in overcoming addictions.
What do you take away from your work each evening? Feelings, hopes for both Bethany and Scotland?
I go away sometimes feeling burdened with what I see on a day to day basis; addiction, mental health issues, depression and hopelessness. My heart just wants them all to be encountered by Jesus who can change everything. I want to see a great move of God in Bethany and Scotland so that many people come to the Father.
What advice would you give to someone who perhaps doesn’t have the ability to volunteer at Bethany but wants to help?
I would say, if you see a need in someone who is homeless and it’s within your power to help, even if it’s a smile, a chat, or even a bite to eat, that’s great and it will mean so much to the person!