Social worker jobs are fundamental to communities

Social work jobs are often much misunderstood, because social workers often end up in the headlines for all the wrong reasons. We all know that the media – tabloids especially – loves to tell a tale of tragedy and misbehaviour. But the old maxim – when you do something right, people won’t know you’ve done anything at all – might well apply to social worker jobs. Well, at least in the sense that it is unlikely for there to be headlines in the papers about what great things are being done to benefit society by people in social services jobs: it is much more likely that they will focus on the one bad example that is not at all representative of social workers in general.

But the truth is that when a social worker does his or her job well – and the majority of them do, regardless of what the papers might say – it does get noticed. Not by the journalists, cameramen or news reporters, but by the people that social work jobs are there for. It seems that amidst all of the scandalising of community jobs, especially in the public sector, most people have lost the concept of what social work actually is, and what social services jobs actually do for the communities around the country.

A social worker is there for lots of different sorts of people – perhaps another reason why most people do not have a very clear idea of what a social or care worker does. But the common thread lies in the reality that a lot of people in this country – and indeed in every country – are in a state of crisis in one form or another. Social workers are there to help them out of their crises, and therefore the job of a social worker can be as varied as the issues of the people being helped.

A significant proportion – just over half – of social services jobs are to do with supporting young people and their families. But there are several other categories of people that are helped by people in social worker jobs. They include the elderly, drug addicts and alcohol abusers, people with learning disabilities or other mental health afflictions, and young offenders. Social work jobs involve a range of activities. For instance, workers maintain regular contact with service users, in order to be able to advocate for them or to offer counselling support. They also write up reports, often in partnership with medical staff to evaluate service users’ needs.

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External louvres work with the elements to meet energy targets

It’s always satisfying when good looks and practicality go together. Whether it’s a pair of well-fitting jeans, a carefully chosen antique fruit bowl or a hip yet practical family car, most people would rather combine style with function wherever possible. This holds just as true for buildings, especially when many aspects of function are non-negotiable due to energy-conscious building regulations. From this need has arisen the developing market for the brise soleil, aluminium curtains and external louvres. You may not be familiar with these terms but you will have seen them countless times, probably without registering that they were anything more than a stylish flourish to finish off a building in need of an identity. Not so.

The term ‘brise soleil’ effectively means ‘sun block’ in French and it was a French architect, Le Corbusier, who first popularised their use. Although Le Corbusier was famous for using concrete moulding on his buildings to prevent the sun from glaring into rooms, these days it is increasingly common to use aluminium curtains or external louvres as the 1960’s enthusiasm for concrete has receded. These architectural additions give a lighter, more modern, visual touch but they are far more than simple adornments.

While in our homes we often think about insulation, in offices with a high number of computers, all pumping out heat, cooling is just as much of an issue and an energy drain, as heating. Add to this the taste for large windows and the heating effects of the sun are even more of an issue. However, large windows can also be used to improve the building’s energy efficiency by reducing the necessity of artificial light and, if the sun’s heat can in some way be captured, can also meet some of its heating needs in winter.

The most efficient way to achieve this balance is by addressing these issues in the initial design of the building, although retro-fitting is also possible. There are even companies now, such as Maple Sunscreening, who not only manufacture and install such solutions but who can also analyse either the plans for a new building or an existing structure. They plot the course of the sun not just over one day but across the whole year, offering style-conscious solutions which will help to maximise heat retention and light in the winter while preventing over-heating and glare in the summer.

The clever part about these structures is that they are, although usually fixed, able to create different effects at different points in the year through careful angling, blocking out summertime glare but allowing precious winter light to enter. Not only does this improve energy efficiency, it is now well known that employees benefit mentally from natural daylight, especially during the darker months, making them less prone to both poor concentration and depression. So, the next time you walk under a brise soleil as you head into an office or admire the style of an aluminium curtain or external louvres, you will know that you are looking at a building with more than just a pretty face.

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Cash Genie and short-term advance policy

Cash Genie is an internet lending company that sticks to particular rules when it comes to deciding whether to lend applicants money or not. Their decisions are based on a number of straightforward principles, which means that it’s comparatively easy to know whether your application will go through or not. Aside from that, there are a few things to remember, since what you make of the opportunity in the long term is more up to you than any number of rules and parameters can dictate.

Informal lending can have an appalling reputation – loan sharks and other unscrupulous lenders charging sky-high rates of interest, keeping no paperwork (or keeping the paperwork from you) and ensuring that you never properly know when you’re out of debt. In fact, the intention of these people is not to keep you out of debt: it’s to keep you in it, always repaying interest but never totally paying off the loan. The saying is apt – you can fleece a sheep many times, but only skin it once. The best companies, on and offline, should work on the principle that they should be trying to make themselves obsolete to each person who uses them: their service is temporary, intended to get the client through a short-term problem – not to keep them in long-term poverty through repeated and unnecessary repayments.

That’s why Cash Genie lend only for one month. There are no hidden charges: the rates are 30 percent for the course of the loan. It might seem expensive, but that’s it. It’s a kind of one-off flat-fee, and the arrangement is supposed to finish after that. The idea is to get you out of trouble and hopefully keep you there, rather than saddling you with repayments that go on and on for years. The purpose of the loan is to give you the breathing space to look at your accounts properly, understanding where you went wrong and putting some measures in place to make sure that you don’t need to keep coming back to instant loan approval companies again in the future (and, incidentally, it is almost instant – the decision is made within minutes or even seconds, everything is automatically checked, and the company uses specially designed software to make sure that you are getting the right amount of money – not more than you need, which is bad practice on both your parts, but not less either).

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