Day in the life: Camden Kaleidoscope | Depaulcharity

Depaul helps people who are homeless, vulnerable and disadvantaged.

Day in the life: Camden Kaleidoscope

By Sam - 30 July 2018


Depaul UK runs a range of specialist services for young people, including the Camden Kaleidoscope project in London. This project offers accommodation with a high level of support, and a focus on mental health needs. Dedicated Specialist Progression Coach Sam has blogged about a day in her life working at the project.

My name is Sam and I work at Camden Kaleidoscope based in West Hampstead, part of the borough of Camden Young People’s Pathway. I'm a specialist progression coach, and part of a team of around 14 people.

We provide help and support to the young people which covers areas such as finances, welfare, activities, education and employment. The young people we work with are at risk of becoming homeless and are also diagnosed with mental health issues often focusing on what is termed  personality disorder.

I get to work every day by bus as I don't live too far away. I used to live on the other side of London and would take the Jubilee line into work, but that meant walking past all the delicious looking cafés and restaurants on West End Lane. Taking the bus has been better for my finances and for my health!

When I get to work I usually have a coffee, and catch up with my colleagues. Every day is different, and it's useful to stay in the loop and have a thorough handover at the start of each shift.

We discuss each young person at the project and also talk about general tasks that need to be completed during the shift. This could be anything from maintenance-related issues to buying tea, making a phone call, arranging visits to see young people or attending meetings with professionals. I then read through the communications book, where we keep a log of relevant information and messages for specific staff members.

Today, after the morning staff have handed over, I arrange to see a young person for whom I’m the key worker, who is currently in hospital. I pack a few items for her and make my way over to the psychiatric unit where she is staying.

Even though I've been to quite a few units by now, I still find them slightly unnerving places to visit. Although the patients are there for their own safety and wellbeing, it's still sad to see them confined to a space they do not want to be in. It’s fairly busy on the ward today but the young person and I find a quiet spot to catch up, chat and share some chocolate. I can see her mood is lifted by having a visitor.

We talk about her finances, her relationship with her family and how she’s doing at the hospital. Before I leave the ward, I have a chat with the nurses there about information I think would be relevant to the young person's treatment. We arrange to meet again soon, and I head back to the project.

When I get back, I eat my lunch and make a mental note of things I need to try and complete before finishing my shift: write up my contact notes, finish updating a risk assessment and start preparing for a presentation I'm giving at our team meeting in a couple of weeks. Plus, I add writing up this blog post to my list!

I finish late, at 9pm, and plan to head to bed early as I'm attending a ward round at the hospital tomorrow morning. This is a weekly meeting of professionals including doctors, nurses and anyone working with a young person to meet and discuss their progress.

I'm satisfied that it's been a fairly busy day but a productive one.

Read more about Camden Kaleidoscope from Progression Coach Hannah Brock.

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