At Eden Futures, it is not about your professional experience but your life skills. It’s the ability to have a conversation, show your caring side and enable people to feel independent.
“I spent a short amount of time shadowing support worker Emily*. Her day began by waking service user Jane* and asking if she would like a cup of tea. No assumptions were made, instead, Emily encouraged Jane to make her own decision and this approach continued throughout the day; Jane chose whether or not to wash her hair, the clothes she wanted to wear, what to eat for breakfast and the music she would like to listen to.
What might seem like small decisions to you or I are, for some of the people we support, huge. Emily also encouraged Jane to help with some of the daily tasks, like mopping the floor, helping prepare lunch or washing up.
Each of the people we support has an “all about me” file. When support workers are first introduced to them, this file makes it easier to find out their likes and dislikes and gives tips on how they are likely to respond in certain situations. For example, if they are anxious when completing tasks, the file would state this. So, when we visited Alan* (another service user), I knew he did not like to be asked lots of questions, as I had read his file beforehand. Instead, we chatted about his huge selection of DVDs, which put him at ease. Alan decided that he wanted to go out with some other people from his house in the afternoon to play bingo. Emily helped him think about what he needed, such as money and what to wear. We walked with him to bingo so he could enjoy the afternoon at a social gathering.
Each of the people we support has different needs. Many are not as straightforward as Jane and Alan, but what is so humbling is seeing how our support workers enable and enrich people’s lives every day.
My morning with Emily gave me a real insight into what it is like to be a support worker at Eden Futures and I hope this has given you a flavour too.”
*names have been changed to protect privacy