Celebrating 20 years

Deb, our East Road Team Leader, is celebrating 20 years of working at Jimmy’s!

Deb started at Jimmy’s on the 17th June 2003 as a Locum Support Worker after finishing her social policy degree at Anglia Ruskin University. At that time, Jimmy’s was still a Nightshelter and has seen many changes over the years. Read our interview below, as we catch up with Deb on her milestone 20 years at Jimmy’s.

What is your role at Jimmy’s?

I am the Team leader at Jimmy’s. This involves the day to day running of our East Road site, managing staff and residents.

 What is your favourite part about working for Jimmy’s?

The variety, every day is different and feeling like I have made a difference to people, even if I don’t know it at the time.

What is your proudest moment at Jimmy’s?

Seeing staff members that I’ve trained, move on to run their own services.

What have been the major changes Jimmy’s has been through in that time?

When I started Jimmy’s was a 31 bed Night Shelter in the basement of Zion Baptist Church, with shared dormitories. People came in at 7pm for a meal and bed for the night and left at 9am the next morning. There were only a dozen staff who covered shifts. In 2010 we relocated, whilst work started on transforming the old shelter and upstairs to become a 24 hour service in 2012. I started off as a locum and quickly became a support worker, moving to senior in 2010. The service has become much more person-centred and trauma informed as time have moved on.

What has made you laugh over the years?

The different characters that have come in over the years, and some of the stories they have had to tell, as well as some of the situations that have occurred.

What 3 words would you choose to describe Jimmy’s?

  • Friendly
  • Caring
  • Supportive

What has been your biggest achievement over the years?

Achieving the Chartered Institute of Housing Level 4 certificate in housing.

Share something personal about yourself. Who is Deb outside of the office, and what does she like to do for fun?

 I like to go the gym and do strength and endurance training. I am an arty and creative person. I enjoy drawing, crafts and pyrography, as well as reading.

Here is some feedback on what Deb has meant to Jimmy’s these past 20 years.

“Deb, I can and will never forget the times that you’ve helped me get back to my family”. – Ex resident at Jimmy’s.

“Thank you for all your love and support you have given me and many others. You are head and shoulders above the rest”. – Ex resident at Jimmy’s

 “Congratulations on your 20 years at Jimmy’s which is an incredible achievement. I really admire that after 20 years you still really, really care about the people that Jimmy’s are here to help. Thank you!”. – Mark Allan, CEO

 “Words cannot tell, not even in part, of the thanks we owe to you from Jimmy’s, from staff and residents, past and present..” – Eunice, staff member.

“Congratulations on 20 years. I am so glad you have been a consistent presence throughout the time as we have changed the basement Nightshelter to an Assessment Centre, to the hub of an extensive support service for people experiencing homelessness. I just want to thank you, on behalf of the trustee body, for your continued service and wonderful presence at the frontline of Jimmy’s service and hope you have had a satisfying and rewarding time as a support worker and team leader now”. – Fiona Blake, Chair of Trustees.