As part of our “Getting to know ..” series, our Senior Housing Options Broker, Jil Dyson, spoke to HOS volunteer, Robbie.
Can you tell me a bit about yourself and your role?
“My name is Jil Dyson and I’ve been at Housing Options Scotland since August 2018. I started out doing regular brokerage, which was just giving advice to clients. More recently, I’ve developed my own service called Making Moves which is specifically designed for young disabled people seeking independent living for the first time.
I’ve recently been promoted to Senior Housing Options Broker, but that’s still in the works and I’ll start the role at the start of the new financial year. That’s definitely something to look forward to.”
How did you end up working with HOS?
“I did an undergraduate in Social Sciences at Glasgow Caledonian University for 4 years, but there wasn’t really a clear route from there into a job, so I decided to do a full-time Housing Studies course at Stirling University after that. From there, I did a twelve-week internship with West Dumbartonshire Council.
Eventually, someone from the Stirling Uni course sent out an email, letting everyone know that HOS were looking for staff. I jumped onto that opportunity, had a wee informal chat with the CEO – Moira Bayne – and from there I got the job.”
What keeps you motivated at work?
“How ever-changing the job is. Every case that comes in is different and you’re always trying to solve a new problem. Obviously, there’s basic, everyday work, but the organisation keeps things fresh by encouraging staff to attend training courses and events, they also provide you with up-to-date information on housing which is really motivating. You’ll never find yourself doing the same thing constantly.”
How do you support clients?
“At the start of each month, we’ll have a triage meeting with all of the brokers where we go through our Get Help forms and figure out which client will be allocated to which broker. A lot of the time, it depends on each broker’s speciality. For example, I’ll handle independent living cases, while Eve Young might deal with homeless cases.
I’ll then assess each of my clients one by one and brainstorm ideas. Usually, I’ll initiate contact with clients by phoning them up and confirming all of the information they’ve put on their form. Eventually its up to the client – they can have as little or as much contact as they want. If someone needs a more hands-on approach the brokers are always happy to help.”
What do you enjoy getting up to in your free time?
“Both me and my husband are quite chill, relaxed people. When it comes to the weekend, I’m all about seeing friends and family, relaxing and taking the dogs out for walks. I have been catching up with a lot of TV recently, I’m loving “This Is Going to Hurt” on the BBC, as well as reality rubbish like “Selling Sunset” on Netflix!
Why do you enjoy working at HOS?
“I have two favourite things about working here: the people and the flexibility. My team are really supportive, us brokers have our own wee group chat, so if we have any questions about client cases we’ll drop a message in there and everybody’s up for a phone call if you just want to chat things through. It’s a really flexible place to work in the sense that I have a four-day workweek and a three-day weekend, which I really enjoy.”