And when the focus always remains about the 'who' and not just the 'how', what you get is an incredible team of people on the front lines, but also an amazing, dedicated, go-the-extra-mile team behind the scenes.
One such person is the beautiful and incredibly talented Niomi. As the first person you meet when you walk through our doors, Niomi plays an important role as Administration Project Support, resident baker and official calorie counter!
Here is an interview with this treasure - who brightens up our day - and helps make A Way Out great. We asked her to tell us about 'a day in the life of A Way Out'.
Niomi Jessica Rodrigues
How long have you been at A Way Out?
Three-and-a-half-years, although I started as a volunteer and did that for 18 months to begin with.
Have you changed roles in that time?
I started volunteering in October 2010, initially as part of the Youth Outreach team. As my confidence and enjoyment of the role grew I was given the opportunity to help out in workshops which we did in schools, and even take a lead on some groups. In April 2011 the position of Administration Project Support became available and I applied... the rest is history.
Highlights? Working with an amazing team who have become like a second family and getting to know our service users. It's always amazing when you are the one they trust and come to when they need help.
Lowlights? From time to time we have lost significant people from our amazing team, due to various reasons, because we are all so close that has an impact.
What does a typical day look like?
There is no typical day in the life of an Administration Project Support Assistant!
I get into the office at 9am, turn on my computer and get on with replying to emails, taking phone messages, and completing the admin tasks that are asked of me to do. I’m also 'on call' throughout the day for our hard-working support workers. So if they need me to do a pick-up, drop-off, run an errand, pop into town, make a cuppa, sit with a client or any other crazy request they ask of me, I am there!
Challenges of the job?
Finding a balance between getting admin work done and being able to support the other projects practically. I'm always busy.
What's rewarding about the job?
I love being able to see first-hand the lives of our service users being turned around with the help of our amazing team. It really happens and I get to be part of that.
We encourage all of the people who receive support from A way Out to learn to dream. What dreams do you have for the future?
I really want to develop within my role and hopefully apply for a Support Work position one day, if one was to become available.
This is a toughie. I love trying new foods and there’s not really much I don’t like! Something low calorie is always a bonus!
I have a love for baking and cooking. Trying out different recipes and using substitutes to make things as ‘healthy’ as possible. I also enjoy going to the gym and time with friends.
Do you have a bucket list?
I’ve never really thought of a bucket list, but I would love to travel a bit more. I've just returned from Australia but I would like to visit different European cities as well as tropical lands further afield. Who wouldn’t?!
Do you have a dream like Niomi to help people in need of support? Maybe you could spare a few hours a week and begin volunteering, just like she did. Your time will not only help change the lives of others, it will support the incredible team here and could pave the way for you too to become part of the A Way Out family.
Visit http://www.awayout.co.uk/get-involved/volunteer/ for more information.