My name is Tom Walker and I am the Operations Supervisor for Radius, looking after the Care Wardens for the Horton Housing scheme based around Bradford and surrounding areas in West Yorkshire. Although I am the new “boy” (I recently turned 38) I have over 14 years experience working in security and working with people with challenging backgrounds and needs.
I have worked in this position for just over 2 months and during this time I have seen the excellent work that the Horton and Radius staff do for the clients within these schemes. One thing that I did notice is that no two housing units or schemes are the same. Some are designed to cater for people that have left Hospital that have no residence to return to. Others focus purely on looking after individuals that need help to get away from their current situation, be that an addiction to drugs or alcohol, or even looking to flee an abusive partner.
No matter what the scheme, however, we at Radius have an obligation to maintain and exceed the high standards already set by the Horton Housing Scheme. Primarily our focus is keeping everybody on site safe, however sometimes our duties can include simply being a friendly person to talk to.
A large part of my job is visiting the various sites and seeing what kind of operative would be best suited to working in that environment. Because each of the houses has their own specific needs, finding a person that would work best there is crucial to my role. We make sure that each one of our Care Wardens is given a full induction to the site, fully briefed on the duties that are expected of them and we ensure that they turn up with a positive attitude, ready to help the clients that live there in any way they can.
The schemes that we look after stretch all through the West Yorkshire area. On any regular day I can be travelling between Manningham and the city centre in Bradford, right through to Skipton, then over to Keighley, then call in over at the two sites that we cover in Halifax. The travelling aspect is good as it allows you to see how the different schemes work within different areas and also how the clients differ from scheme to scheme. We are hoping to add more sites to our Care Warden portfolio in the future, even breaking out of Yorkshire and going into the North West, looking at areas such as Preston, Blackpool, Wigan, Chorley and Greater Manchester. Its an exciting time at Radius and I am glad to be a part of it.
Its definitely not a job without its challenges but working in this sort of environment is definitely worthwhile. When you see an individual making positive steps to turn their life around you realise all the stress and hard work is worth it. One thing is for sure, no two days are ever the same.