Catherine started working for Centrepoint 17 years ago in Housing Support services, supporting young people in shared flats. Since then she went on to manage several of the larger accommodation services. In 2008 she moved to head office and is now the Quality and Contracts Manager. We wanted to find out why she has worked for Centrepoint for so long, the change she has seen and what matters to her.
What has been challenging in your time at Centrepoint?
Centrepoint receives both voluntary and government funding. And although voluntary donations greatly contribute to supporting young people, one of the main challenges has been the shifting political landscape. This has meant constant change in the way that Centrepoint receives funding. We want to provide a stable home for young people with consistent support by staff, but we have to work with constant uncertainty about how long that home and those staff will be supported by local authorities.
What has been rewarding in your time at Centrepoint?
It has been rewarding to experience a wide range of opportunities. I had the privilege to work directly with young people - helping them to achieve their goals and become independent. As a manager, I was able to support other staff and help them develop their skills in working with young people. When I moved to our head office, I became more aware of the tremendous range of things which Centrepoint does and how complex and interesting an organisation it is. Now I am able to play a role in maintaining the high quality of everything Centrepoint does.
Why do you enjoy working for Centrepoint?
Centrepoint is a community of people who have very different skills and backgrounds, but who are all dedicated to helping disadvantaged young people succeed and become independent, with a job and their own home. It is invigorating to belong to such a community, as there is always something new happening.
Why would you say it is important for people to support Centrepoint?
In my 17 years at Centrepoint, I have seen it develop enormously. From focusing mainly on providing temporary housing, we have evolved and grown to keep pace with changing needs. We are now able to give specialist support, help and opportunities to young people in many different ways, including around their employment, education and health. This means it is less likely that young people will end up in a cycle of homelessness and they are more likely to succeed and become valuable members of society. Supporting Centrepoint means investing not only in our young people, but indirectly in the communities they are part of and the families they will have in the future.
What do you think the future holds for Centrepoint?
Centrepoint is a dynamic and flexible organisation which can meet challenges and adapt to changes when needed. I am therefore sure that we will continue to respond to the needs of young people and I am looking forward to being part of whatever comes next.