I started working at Homeleigh in 2013 as a cook. Back then, I ran and managed the communal kitchen on my own - I had a qualification in City & Guild’s Hotel and Catering. A few years later, I was given the option of becoming a full-time support worker – I immediately agreed, and have never looked back!
My main role is to now support all our individuals with their everyday lives, and cater for their needs, choices and wishes.
A typical day for me involves arriving at 7.30am to handover from the overnight staff, and to check how the individuals at Homeleigh are doing. I then find out who I am supporting that day, and divide my day according to whichever individuals’ needs need to be catered for.
This may include activities such as helping them get washed and dressed in the morning, assisting with preparing their breakfast, then perhaps taking them outside for the day for a walk in the park, for some shopping, or to a local café. I organise frequent in-house entertainment and games too, supporting the individuals to help me set-up activities as bingo and karaoke machines.
In the evening, I’ll help show them how to prepare their dinner and get ready for bed.
I continue to show and teach the people we support how to cook and prepare meals, which they really enjoy – and their development has benefited greatly from this.
Since becoming a support worker, I have seen real, positive changes in the people we support. , Being a key worker for Thomas, who has autism, has enabled me to understand his condition much better, and in turn has developed a trust between us both. This has lead to Thomas feeling much more comfortable and able to relate to me, and others.
I’ve also seen an improvement with Ciara’s moods. She is now far more active, and going out much more. I’ve built a trusting relationship up with her, and this helps when supporting her. Ciara is a different person to when she first arrived at Homeleigh, and her positive changes over the months are unbelievable to see.
I’ve seen the people we support flourish and change so much for the better – this makes me feel really proud! The house, management and staffing have also changed due to better team work - I look forward to another 5 years service!
Written by Ann Marie, Support worker at Homeleigh
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