“It’s my fifth year as a Sheltered Housing Officer” Harry says proudly “and I still love it!” Harry Banga always wanted to do some kind of caring work. He explained that as he originates from India, caring for family is a very important part of his culture. So as a Sheltered Housing Officer helping people, ensuring they feel safe and are enjoying their life brings him a the job satisfaction that he was hoping for.
Harry is part of a three person team who look after 5 schemes with a mix of residents; aged between 55 – 80+. The properties are all located within easy reach of Maidenhead Town Centre. They are self-contained apartments with either one or two bedrooms, a kitchen, lounge and bathroom, which are managed by Housing Solutions. Harry works from 08:45-5:15 Monday to Friday and has responsibility for around 90 customers. Each morning starts with him receiving a check in notification from each customer which alerts him if there are any issues. This is a very helpful service as Harry relates that recently a resident didn’t call in. Harry went to her flat and found that she had fallen in the night. Harry was able reassure her and wait with her until the Paramedics arrived. For family's who have elderly residents living in the schemes this type of intervention is a huge relief.
The properties have communal lounges where residents can socialise and also entertain family and friends. The schemes also have nicely appointed Guest Rooms so that friends can stay. Harry enjoys arranging social events and activities so there is a regular schedule including lunches, coffee mornings and trips out with residents choosing to be as involved as they want to. Harry also runs a monthly Resident’s Meeting which is an opportunity for everyone to have a voice, discuss any requests they may have and also get together.
Every day is different which is another aspect of his role that he enjoys, “you can never predict what you will be asked to help with that day” Harry says. His wealth of experience means he can support customers in a wide variety of ways and they know they have someone to advise and guide if they need it. He can signpost them to various agencies and also regularly helps with benefit questions with the aid of the Housing Solutions Welfare Team. Harry enjoys the variety and interaction he has with all the customers, ensuring that they are happy in their homes, are able to remain as independent as they would like to be but have help on hand if it is ever required.