Louise - Housing Options

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During my 12-week internship, I worked within the Housing Options and Homelessness team. I had the opportunity to shadow a wide range of roles within this team and beyond at West Suffolk Council. 

I shadowed outreach where I went out with a support worker at 7am in Bury St Edmunds and engaged with rough sleepers. I also attended two events, one in Haverhill where I networked with organisations that assist vulnerable individuals. The second in Lowestoft where I learnt about the help people can receive during the cost-of-living crisis. I also visited many accommodations across the district. 

Within the office I shadowed a range of roles from triage who make initial contact all the way to strategic housing who plan for affordable homes to be built. I gained insight into the housing pathways and the widespread network that assist vulnerable people with housing matters. Between training and shadowing I also worked on a project for the Rough Sleeper Service and Housing staff. This project was central to Severe Weather Emergency Protocol (SWEP) where I created a public facing leaflet, staff guidance and policy. 

Alongside my work within the Housing team, I worked on a group project with my fellow interns. This project briefed us to research the link between volunteering and the cost-of-living crisis. We conducted multiple surveys and put together 3 market stalls that we ran in Mildenhall, Bury St Edmunds and again in Bury St Edmunds at the Food and Drink Festival. These market stalls allowed us to engage with the public and gain feedback from the community. 

This internship within local government has equipped me with a solid foundation to build my future career. I have learnt how a local authority operates and the complex challenges that come along with it. Although ultimately it is a very rewarding sector to work in, being able to help the most vulnerable within the community and create unique career opportunities for people of all skill sets and backgrounds. During my time at West Suffolk Council, I have felt welcomed and supported throughout and can recommend this opportunity.