Relief Support Workers, Woodbridge, Saxmundham and Sawston




JOB TITLE:                           Support Worker, Suffolk Mind Relief Pool

ACCOUNTABLE TO:                       Service Director & Team Leader

1.         SCOPE OF THE JOB

Suffolk Mind’s Relief Pool Workers provide cover to housing projects at times of staffing shortage. Permanent staff are always available on an on-call system to provide back-up and advice to Relief Workers.

The overall aim of Suffolk Mind's housing projects is to enable people who have experienced mental health problems to live in ordinary housing and achieve as normal a lifestyle as possible. Staff provide the day to day guidance to people living at the projects under the leadership of the Team Leader and Assistant Team Leader.

2.        THE BASIC ROLE

The role is a flexible one. This arises from the need to provide staff cover to the projects, and support the changing needs of service users. The number of hours required will vary as demand arises. There is no obligation for Suffolk Mind to provide work to relief workers, as is there no obligation for workers to accept offers of work.


3.1       To form caring and supportive relationships with users of the service which at all times respects their personal dignity and rights.

3.2       To encourage participation in all aspects of the service.

3.3       To assist users of the service in claiming welfare benefits, as appropriate, and seek to maximise uptake.

3.4       To assist users of the service in maintaining a reasonable standard of health and safety in their accommodation, and to promote awareness of these issues.

3.5       To assist in keeping the accommodation in good condition and to promote a reasonable standard of domestic management. This may include working practically alongside service users.

3.6       To provide advice on housing needs and rights and assist service users when moving, if appropriate.

3.7       Through the use of Support Agreements, to provide an overall service of support, advice, advocacy in such a way as to develop personal choice and autonomy.

3.8       To aim to enable users of the service to achieve the fullest possible independence from support services, through working with them to develop their skills and opportunities.

3.9       To provide practical support and advice to enable users of the service to organise educational, work and social activities, in line with their wishes.

3.10    To offer appropriate support in times of crisis, and to facilitate preventive work which may include promoting service users' self-awareness and/or the involvement of other relevant agencies.

3.11     To assist clients with their responsibility for self-care, offering advice as      appropriate.


3.12.    Under the guidance of the project management, and in accordance with Suffolk Mind adopted policy and procedure, to take responsibility for the handling and administration of prescribed medication, as and when appropriate.

4.         LIAISON

4.1       To actively develop positive relationships with other agencies in order to further the best interests of users of the service, liaising as appropriate, at all times respecting confidentiality in accordance with Suffolk Mind policy.

4.2       To act as an advocate for clients, eg on welfare rights issues, attending case conferences, helping to resolve disputes, assisting in negotiations with housing          providers etc.

4.3       Research and maintain awareness of a wide range of services and opportunities which may interest users of the service.

4.4       Where appropriate, to assist service users in selecting and accessing resources such as advocacy services, training and employment opportunities, leisure and educational services, health services, expert welfare rights advice etc.


To assist with the general administrative tasks concerned with the running of the project as delegated by the Team Leader and Assistant Team Leader, such as:

            a.         maintaining proper written documentation relating to users of the

                        service, project records, care logs etc.

b.         keeping proper entries in project records of petty cash and other expenditure, in accordance with Suffolk Mind practice.

            c.         to record receipt of rent payments and other monies.

d.         to submit accurate claim and record forms as required, eg, monthly

timesheets and mileage forms,  meeting the appropriate deadlines.


          6.         OTHER DUTIES

Duties may be reviewed from time to time, in accordance with the needs of users of the service and requirements of the project.

6.1       Hours of Work

                       Hours of work will be in response to demand, including evening and weekend work on a shift system. Sleep in cover may also be requested. Occasional waking night cover may be necessary, paid as enhanced working hours.


7.1       There is no entitlement to occupational sick pay, superannuation or other employment benefits, other than those required by law.

7.2       Relief workers are required to complete a timesheet at the end of the month in which any hours are worked and to submit it to the management team of that project.  This timesheet will be approved by the management team and forwarded to Suffolk Mind's payroll system.

7.3       Pool workers will be registered as part of Suffolk Mind's payroll and paid monthly according to actual hours worked.  Tax and National Insurance contributions will be deducted from pay, as appropriate.

7.4       Payment will be made direct into the worker's bank/building society account. Payment advice will be sent to individuals from Suffolk Mind.

Pay and Allowances


£9.14 per hour 

Sleep-in duties

Sleep in cover may be requested.

Hours of work

As and when required. Pool workers and Suffolk Mind are not obliged to offer or accept working hours.

Mileage Allowance

For authorised travel incurred in the course of duties, costs will be reimbursed at the prevailing rate as detailed in the Staff Benefits & Rewards policy.

            Employment Benefits

Training and Qualification Opportunities

Suffolk Mind is committed to achieving high standards of training for its workers.  We provide a range of in-house induction and foundation training courses designed to meet service standards

Support to undertake relevant qualifications will be provided. In-house training available, aimed at improving skills and knowledge.

Suffolk Mind



The following criteria are required for this post.  Please make sure that you demonstrate how you meet the criteria, either in a paid or unpaid capacity.






At least one year’s experience of working with people who have long term mental health needs or associated field

Community Work


Skills/ Knowledge

Good Communicator

Basic IT and Administration skills

Housing legislation


Basic awareness of Welfare rights and benefits

Knowledge of issues affecting relevant to Mental Health

Relevant practical skills and willingness to support individuals in practical everyday tasks

Skills in providing personal emotional support to people who experience emotional distress

Awareness of issues of diversity

Awareness Health and Safety in Supported Housing



Ability to organise own workload and use initiative


Ability to advocate on behalf of users of the service

Ability to respect the rights and confidentiality of individual users of the service


Personal Attributes

Able to commit to the aims and values of Suffolk Mind


Able to work at times under pressure


Able to work with people experiencing acute mental distress


Able to work within a small team


Able to undertake sleep-in duties


Able to work shifts and flexible hours*





Certificate in Community Mental Health NVQ Level 3 in relevant area

Other relevant qualifications