Are you interested in a role at Arc?
Hello Jordan! Tell us about Arc as a whole and the work that they do?
Arc is a local homeless charitable organisation, supporting over 350 people per year in Taunton, Sedgemoor, and West Somerset. Our core service is accommodation, and we have 16 properties housing approximately 170 people on any one night. This includes a 24-hour staffed direct access hostel, where meals are provided, alongside our more independent ‘satellite’ accommodation, assisting clients with different stages of their journey. Our mission is to offer supported accommodation where people can be inspired and empowered by their own strengths.
Arc understands that it is not just about having a roof over your head, so we help our clients on a road to recovery, inspiring and assisting them to move forwards through a positive journey to independence. We then support their move into their own properties with support for rent and furnishing. Now, with Crescent Cleaning Services, we can continue that journey, providing employment opportunities.
Can you explain your role at Arc and tell us the importance of introducing a social enterprise to the charity?
My role as Social Enterprise Manager has been to set up an S.E that will provide supportive employment opportunities for not only former Arc clients, but anyone experiencing barriers to employment. After 10 months of planning and preparation, policies, training and operating procedures are now in place and so my job role changes from planning to operations. My role is now one of supervision, support and management with the specific aim of making sure all have access to long-term and supportive employment.
The S.E is very important to Arc. Senior management, along with all staff have been working for the last 3 years to bring this idea successfully into fruition.
What inspired you to set up the social enterprise within the cleaning industry as Crescent Cleaning Services?
Arc are an innovative organisation and we are always looking for gaps in the homeless service provision that we can fill. We want to ensure inequalities are addressed and homeless individuals have access to the support they deserve and need.
One of the difficulties that our clients face are the multiple barriers to good employment opportunities. With this in mind, we conducted a survey with our clients looking at training and employment and ways that we could introduce additional support and opportunities for them. From this the idea of Crescent Cleaning Services was born.
Apart from providing a 1st class service, the core aim of Crescent Cleaning Services is to act as a route back into employment and so you could say that the potential employees are the inspiration.
Is it possible to share with us what you hope the future of Crescent Cleaning Services looks like?
We have both short and long term plan for CCS.
In the short term, we would like to be taking on the cleaning services of all of Arc’s properties and the ancillary jobs that come along with that.
In the longer term, we will be providing services to companies outside of Arc, including office cleaning, window cleaning and gardening. We also hope to help people move into different employment, if that is what they want and also, support them in setting up their own small business.
CCS is here to support our employees and by growing as a company, we can support more people.
What are the values that you hope all future employees of Crescent Cleaning Services will have in common to help create an enjoyable work culture?
The values for CCS are the same values that we hope all employees have, or grow to have;
Community – we need to provide a service for the wider community but also provide a place of employment for the ‘community’ of people who have experienced homelessness.
Opportunity – we will provide a place of opportunity for people to begin employment again.
Growth – grow as a company but having the understanding that we are all growing and support people on their journeys
Reinvestment – As a social enterprise, our key aim is not profit, but instead social impact which means any surplus made will be reinvested into our community work, creating better opportunities for the homeless community.
Finally, as the Social Enterprise Manager at Arc, what makes you think “that was a really excellent day”?
This job can be hard work. Things can be constantly changing and you do have to think on your feet whilst also making sure we are providing a safe and secure work environment. We are providing employment but with extra support, so making sure our employees feel safe, and are able to gain confidence again is extremely important.
With the fact that things change, and days can be different in mind, it means there are also different reasons for it being a good day. Having someone say thank you for giving them an opportunity to work again. Hearing clients of Arc’s services say thank you for the house being clean. Having people express pride in their work but above all, knowing that you are making a massive difference in people’s lives.