Mayday Asset Coach, Erone Knight-Simpson looks at what it means to be a coach and reflects on her first month in the role.
A seemingly innocent question you would think, but as an Asset Coach for Mayday Trust there can be quite a lengthy explanation, that can take your listener on a magical journey in understanding what it means to be a part of the Mayday Trust team.
Let’s start at the beginning. Hi, I’m an Asset Coach for Mayday Trust, something I’m proud to be, not the preverbal dread one may associate with an introduction at an AA meeting. That title encompasses so much more than a job role, it is meant as a way of life, as a movement.
What you see is what you get with Mayday Trust, we are a small organisation that packs a big punch. We are trying to change institutionalisation surrounding homelessness, which has been around for decades – this is no easy feat. From Oxford to Northampton and now Westminster, one of the top three most expensive boroughs to buy a property in London. Most people would not expect homelessness to be a problem here, but it is, and a complex one.
I work out of a building which has a covenant on it, used specifically for those who are experiencing homelessness and transitioning through difficult times, times we could all find ourselves in, after all as the media says – ‘we are all only three pay cheques away from being homeless.’
We look at the individuals we work with as people, not homeless, not clients, not service users, but people we work with. Individuals who may have owned homes, paid mortgages, been married, have children and families, worked in finance, have bachelors and master’s degrees, people just like you and I. Days can be challenging, they can also be rewarding each day is different and brings its own unique experiences.
So let’s get back to how my day was…
Picture this, a month into my new role with Mayday Trust and I find myself putting together an Ikea sofa with my colleague, a sofa which still looks great by the way, loved by all and still standing strong. Obviously not your usual start to the day, but how did it end? Watching Tottenham vs Newport at Wembley Stadium.
Why you might ask, because we can and we do.
We look to people’s strengths and enhance their assets not their deficits, I’m not going to talk to someone transitioning through a difficult time about the fact that they drink 6 cans of cider a day, unless they want to, but I will attend a football game with them in sub-zero temperatures, to help them leave their flat, help them to feel less isolated, and be engaged in doing something that they really enjoy, socialising with other football fans – a great experience and one which will only lead to more opportunities for that person in the future and ultimately assist them to work towards their own goals and ambitions.