Maria Gibbs - Social Care Housing Lead
Tell us about yourself
I have worked in social housing since moving to Wiltshire in 2003. I initially worked for a housing association and joined the local authority in Swindon in 2016. My role involves dealing with applicants on the housing register that have specific requirements, this could be a learning disability, the need for supported or adapted homes. I also deal with patients being discharged from the local hospitals that are unable to return to their previous homes. My role is challenging and I never know each day what or who I will be dealing with. In the current economic climate the challenge is to provide good quality suitable housing for the most vulnerable residents in Swindon, whilst obtaining the best value for money for the Borough.
What attracted you to join SBC?
When the role was advertised it was a new role with the council, and I was attracted to the challenge of developing the role. It has been an interesting two and a half years with many challenges, the support from my manager and team has been amazing. I am looking forward to the future and developing the role further.
What do you most enjoy about working here?
The support from my manager and team.
Describe a typical day in your role
Arrive in the office check emails and phone messages, respond to anything urgent. I attend regular multi-disciplinary meetings at least one a day, this is to prevent bed blocking in acute hospital beds, to allocate adapted and supported accommodation. Afternoons are spent following up on any case work from the MDT’s, reply to any MP enquiries, review any supporting occupational therapist reports that have been received in support of a housing application. Complete move on interviews or home visits.
I work from various locations – SBC Adult Social Care and housing offices, Fessey House Care Home, Great Western Hospital.
What motivates you at work?
Seeing the positive impact that the right type of housing can have on a family’s quality of life.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I have two dogs and we enjoy long walks in the Wiltshire Countryside – I am lucky enough to live in a semi-rural area right next to the river Avon.
Where is the best place you have visited?
I am lucky enough to have been able to travel a fair bit. I think my favourite place is Cornwall in the winter, walking my dogs on the beach.
Who are your dream dinner guests?
What is your favourite film or book and why?
The Wizard of Oz – it brings back many happy memories of Christmas as a child.
What are your ambitions/aspirations?
To travel more.