Caring is in my family, my mum is an assistant manager in a service like this, so I’ve always had an interest. I used to help out at the horticultural facilities in the summer with barbecues when I was a teenager. I went to uni and did a history degree and learnt more about disabled people over the past few centuries and how they were treated, which is why I think this kind of work is really important. It gives people with a learning disability a platform to see what they can do, and find out the great things they’re capable of. The line between who is a carer and who’s a client is more blurred here, there’s a sense of equality about it.
I like meeting people in the morning, the service users are all really friendly so it’s lovely just to say hello, have a cup of tea, see what they’ve been up to. Same with lunchtimes, having a bit of a joke with them and not taking the job too seriously, it means that the atmosphere here is always friendly.
If you care about people this is a really good thing to get into. You get to contribute to people’s development but they also teach you things and give a lot back. It can be really rewarding to have this back-and-for with the people you look after, they always have such interesting stories. There’s always someone supporting you and your development too, and helping you through. There are different events throughout the year so you’re always busy working towards something different; Easter, Christmas, summer fayres. There’s lots of different skills you help people develop, yes it’s caring but there’s also art, cooking, life skills, loads of different things that are really interesting.