At the Trust, the services we provide aim to help people live as independently as possible, develop their lives as they choose and participate in the wider community. This couldn’t be done without our incredible staff, including those who work on the front line with the people we support.
We spoke to Emma Webster, (pictured right, with Diane, one of the people we support. Please note this was taken prior to Covid restrictions) community support worker at Myland House, to find out more about her role and the people she supports.
Hi Emma, what does the work of a community support worker involve?
What doesn't it involve! The role is so diverse - from administering medication, planning person centred activities, be it arts and crafts or days out, to assisting with personal care routines and appointments, cooking roast dinners and everything in between!
Why did you choose to become a community support worker?
Having previously had a career in childcare, I was keen to stay within the care sector and fancied a new challenge. Although I was apprehensive before starting the position, not knowing whether adult care would be for me, I have been here for six years next month because I enjoy my role so much (which is the longest I've ever been in the same job!)
What does a typical day involve for you?
Well, no two days are the same here! But I would say... firstly, striving to leave home life at the door and remembering that I am the first face many of the people we support see when they wake up in the morning, so being sunny and cheery is how the days here begin. After all the PPE is on and admin is done, it's time for the first medication round of the day and the "Good Mornings" before personal care routines start. Then, it's on to breakfast and having a chinwag with them about what they would like to do today and inform them of anything that's going on. Before I know it, it's lunchtime! After prepping and serving and once everyone is finished, it's usually an activity, outing or working on goals, and for some, another medication round. This takes us to dinner preparation for the evening meal. Something I have really missed during the pandemic is being able to all sit down and eat dinner together whilst chatting about the day. Hopefully we can get back to doing this soon! After dinner, it's usually clearing up followed by assisting everyone with their night-time routines, hot chocolate for them and time for some more admin for us. Then usually medication, movies and bedtime when everyone gets sleepy!
What is the best part of being a community support worker?
I would say the best part for me personally is the opportunity to make a difference to someone's day to day life. We all love looking forward to things and getting excited for something special, so to be able to facilitate a planned day trip or throw an in-house party to celebrate an event that you know they will love is magical!
How does the work you do impact the lives of the people we support?
Supporting people to be independent and seeing how much joy and encouragement they get from what they achieve is part of the impact the community support workers have on the lives of the people we support. My understanding of my job role includes (but is not limited to) motivating, encouraging and inspiring people to live their lives to the full, and support them in whichever way is suitable for their individual needs. I believe it is also to maintain a happy, clean and relaxed home environment that they enjoy living in. This is beneficial in encouraging our them to feel comfortable enough to express their needs, wants, aspirations and dreams. The support staff all try and facilitate these things for them, providing opportunities and experiences to help them really enjoy their lives within the Trust and ultimately, flourish.
We'd like to say a huge thank you to Emma for sharing this with us.