Samantha, a Support Worker in Cambridge, joined Affinity Trust in 2017. Here she talks about being a Support Worker and the impact it’s had on her life.
Why did you join Affinity Trust?
I liked the fact that we support people to do things for themselves, we aren’t doing things for them.
Did you always want to work in social care?
I never knew what I wanted to be growing up, so chose my GCSE options based on the things I loved doing. I studied hairdressing and psychology which, at the time, all felt so varied. Looking back now, I can see the common theme has always been people. I’ve worked in a fish-and-chip shop and I’ve volunteered with young parents, but it’s always been important to me to work with and talk to people.
Working with people with learning disabilities was completely new to me. I was perhaps a bit nervous to begin with but, in a couple of weeks, I had started to build great relationships. It’s true you really don’t need previous experience, you can learn as you go from others and through training.
What is the essence of being a Support Worker?
It’s really hard to sum up as we literally do everything within the role. The essence I would say though is supporting others to achieve the day-to-day aspects of life – going shopping, paying bills, preparing meals – as well as the bigger goals and things they want to achieve in life.
How do you feel you’ve progressed personally because of your work?
I’ve learned not to care so much about what other people think. The people we support will walk down the road singing if they want to – and I’m happy to say so do I!
I’ve also learned how to better manage my own time and money because these are things you are supporting others to do in their home. I go home feeling like I’ve achieved something.