Claudete manages several Look Ahead Homelessness and Complex Needs and family temporary accommodation services across Slough and Maidenhead in Berkshire.
I joined Look Ahead 17 years ago. I started in Hillingdon, in a West London mental health service, from there I worked in young people’s and ex-offender services in Ealing and Richmond where I became a team leader.
In 2012 I took on the role of Contract Manager for Slough Hostel a service for single homeless people. In time I also started managing night shelter services in Windsor and Maidenhead which operated when the Severe Weather Emergency Protocol was activated. These services were so successful they developed into an accommodation-based service, and we were also invited to replicate the service in Ealing as well.
What I love about Look Ahead is the support they have given me to develop my career. When I started at Look Ahead, I had no children. Now I’ve got two sons 12 and 14 but I don’t feel held back by being a working mum and I have the flexibility I need to do both well.
In 2019, I was delighted when I won Look Ahead’s Women in Leadership award 2019.
Winning the award was a highlight of my career. I used the grant to take the Health and Wellbeing Multi-Disciplinary Practice course at the prestigious Tavistock & Portman NHS Trust.
The course was so enriching, it really helped me to improve the way I do my job. I learned valuable skills that helped me to better work with my younger customers and understand the issues they face, and the role childhood trauma can play in shaping the way the customers behave and respond to support.
I also developed other important business and managerial skills like auditing.
I’m proud to be part of the 50 Stories series, the people make Look Ahead, and I’m proud of the team I have around me and the work they do.