I have worked in the voluntary sector for over 30 years in a paid and voluntary capacity and in SYSHP for 20 years.
Paid employment – Hafan Cymru, in a Joseph Rowntree funded post, working with women to develop housing management policies and procedures.
Shelter Cymru as caseworker and then Shelter’s first regional coordinator. Trained as a lawyer hence my fundamental belief in the rights of the individual together with the right of the individual to enforce those rights.
Voluntary work over the last 30 years I have been campaigner and board member of a range of local and national organisations. Helped set up CPAG and CHAR in Swansea, organised rights of boarders campaign, board member of Swansea women’s centre, Swansea Housing Association, Swansea CAB, board member of CHAR (Housing Campaign for Single People); member of Law Society’s housing subcommittee.
I recently celebrated 20 years at SYSHP!
Job Title: Senior Operational Manager
Started at SYSHP: September 1996
I have had several jobs but prior to moving into advice and supported housing I was a member of a 3 person co-operative that owned a clothes shop in the City centre from 1988- 1992.
In 1992 I started volunteering with Shelter Cymru and was trained to become a housing rights advisor and did manage to get several paid contracts with Shelter Cymru but carried on volunteering when the contracts ended.
In 1996 I started my first role in SYSHP as a support worker. In 1998 I became the senior support worker. In 2003 I became the Team Leader at Drws Agored when it opened. In 2006 I got the Operational Mangers post for all the support and housing schemes and have remained in this role since.
Job Title: Finance Manager
Started at SYSHP: June 2004
I am a qualified Chartered Accountant (F.C.A.), and also holds the Diploma in Charity Accounting (DipChA). Prior to joining SYSHP, I worked over 30 years as a practicing Chartered Accountant both in Swansea, and in Pembroke.
I have been a Trustee of Swansea Samaritans for the last 18 years, and in the past have been an active committee member of Swansea City F.C. Vice-Presidents, who I still follow as a season ticket holder.
These days my two grandsons take up a lot of my personal time.
Name: Matthew O’Leary
Job title: Housing Management and Maintenance Coordinator
Started at SYSHP: November 2011
I was initially employed at SYSHP to work in the Pam Lai project, working with young people with complex needs. I then moved to the Floating support team supporting young people in their own tenancies. In June 2017 I was temporarily employed as Housing Management Coordinator for three days a week, alongside my support worker duties. In January 2018 this became a permanent full-time post. I have a very good understanding of the issues young people face around all aspects of housing and anything that may affect the smooth running of their tenancies. I also have a background in Health and Safety Management.
Job Title: Supported Housing Project Coordinator
Started at SYSHP: January 2003
I started working in the housing field in Bristol in 1998 for a Housing Association, then did two years with Bristol City Council working on rent collections and home visits to elderly residents.
Applied for and got the job of Tenancy Support worker in December 2002 and started in January 2003. Two years as a support worker was followed by starting as Team Leader for the Tenancy Support Team in 2005.
This was followed by a 14 month stint as Team Leader/Manager in Drws Agored before returning to the Tenancy Support Team and then in 2013 to take on the Supported Housing Projects as well.
Job Title: Project Coordinator – Drws Agored and SA1
Started at SYSHP: August 2004
I worked for Fords Motor Company for 12 years and worked my way up to manager. Due to redundancy I left to work for Royal Mail.
I also volunteered at Hillside Secure Centre and Neath Port Talbot Youth Offending Team where I gained valuable experience of working with vulnerable people.
I initially worked as a Relief worker at Drws Agored until I secured a permanent post as Project Worker in August 2004. I became Team Leader of Drws Agored in 2006 and have managed the SA1 project since 2012.
Job Title: Project Coordinator – Pam Lai
Started at SYSHP: July 2005
I have worked in the Social care profession for the last 20 years. This has involved many different roles. These include managing a challenging behaviour unit for young adults with Turning Point in London for several years.
I managed a residential unit for mental health and learning disabilities in Swansea. Alongside these roles I worked on a voluntary basis for numerous agencies dealing with addiction issues.
During my professional career I feel privileged to have worked with many different client groups, this giving me the opportunity to work with many different agencies across the country. I have not only provided support I have also shared my knowledge by delivering training to colleagues and outside agencies.
I am very passionate about my role within SYSHP and I believe my main goal is to make a difference by empowering and enabling the client group we work with.