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We helped a resident find his voice

Emma and Evelyn in the garden at Redlands

In our latest blog Evelyn and Emma, two staff members at Redlands our residential service in Darlington, share their career stories and why working with people with learning disabilities is so rewarding.

Evelyn’s Story

My name is Evelyn Griffiths, I started as a Support Worker in August 2015. I was one of the lucky candidate’s who was chosen to enter the home of Redlands, where I started my journey. In May 2021, I was promoted to Senior Support Worker.

I have had a wonderful time at Redlands supporting five male residents. I thrive on showing them dignity and respect and what I have received back in return is respect from them and watching them grow, showing their strengths by learning new skills daily. I enjoy empowering them to overcome barriers that they face and building a brilliant working relationship with them so they can trust me and I trust them. I always work with integrity making sure each resident is person-centred.

I have learned that having a PBS (Positive Behaviour Support) plan in place that works gives our residents the best tools to live life to the full, enjoying themselves, taking risks and pushing themselves above and beyond.

One of best things I’ve witnessed at Redlands is seeing a resident get a voice. He came to Redlands with a care plan that said he was non-verbal. We introduced him to a music therapist and on his birthday we all sang happy birthday to him and he joined in, I had to take a 5 minute break as I couldn’t believe it. This was six years ago and he has grown from strength to strength, he now lets us know his wants and wishes.

I have enjoyed each and every one of the residents’ life journeys. One of our residents has his own greenhouse and I love the time of year when he comes to me and says: ‘I have grown this tomato for you to eat, Missus’. My heart melts and, even though I am not keen on tomatoes, I eat it and tell him how proud of him I am for growing them and how delicious they taste.

I just love watching the residents reach their goals and being that person to support them to achieve this.

Emma’s Story

My name is Emma Ilderton, I joined Cygnet in December 2017 as a Support Worker. This was the first job I had since completing a Psychology degree and since then I have learnt so much in regards to care and built good professional relationships with the residents I support. In May 2021 I was promoted to Senior Support Worker.

I love coming to work to support residents to fulfil their lives with the things they love to do in a person-centred way. Since facing the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, it has been fantastic seeing the residents I support getting back to in to the community, seeing their friends and family again, going for massages and taking part in local events.

We do lots of different activities here at Redlands and the residents love to get involved by organising raffles and baking cakes for coffee mornings. We have raised money for different charities such as Alzheimer’s and Macmillan and hosted BBQs for friends and family and Christmas parties.

It’s great seeing the support we give have a beneficial impact on the residents to empower them to reach their goals and independent living skills, such as making their own breakfast.

In addition we support the residents in any barriers they face – gaining their trust with aspects such as their physical health to support them to keep healthy and reassure them with any worries.

I love seeing the residents at Redlands reach their goals and making a difference in their lives in a positive manner.

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