Hi, I’m Sarah. I’m 29 and I have worked as a support worker for Wilberforce Trust for almost six years in both their York and Tadcaster residences. Those that know me would say I am a positive person who is sensitive and empathetic and enjoys helping others.
Six years ago I was working in a coffee shop, I loved my job but I felt that something was missing. I first heard about the role of a ‘support worker’ from someone I did volunteer work with and I thought it sounded ideal. She spoke proudly of the organisation she worked for – the Wilberforce Trust. There were a lot of care companies to choose from at the time so the recommendation was really helpful. Still, loving any excuse to write up a list, I remember writing down all the pros and cons to help me choose and Wilberforce Trust came out on top. I loved that they specialised in something and sight loss was an area I knew virtually nothing about, so I really was intrigued by that learning opportunity. Plus, they offered competitive pay rates and a good health care package (by the way, they still do)!
Six years on and I have never looked back! My role as a support worker for the trust has been more rewarding and fulfilling than I could ever have imagined, and I’ve learnt so much. I’ll never understand the national shortage of support workers, what other job is there that you get paid to chat with someone over a coffee, to go shopping , to go to the cinema, to unwrap presents with someone on their birthday, or even assisting them on holiday!? Of course, not every shift is like that and there are definitely challenging parts of the job, but I don’t think the highs are celebrated enough. When you are a support worker, you get invited into other people’s lives, welcomed by their families, involved with someone’s day to day routines and traditions, it’s such a special thing to be part of.
My favourite part of my work is the tenants we support. I get so much enjoyment from chatting to them, taking them out, helping them solve a task they are struggling with and helping them to become healthier, happier versions of themselves, living a life as independent as possible. There is a lot of change coming soon with our new premises Wilberforce House being built and I’m really excited to be with the trust right now to see that through. I would 100% recommend anyone considering joining us as a support worker to do it! If you easily empathise, have a positive attitude and are keen to help others then just like it was for me, it could be the perfect fit for you too.
If you are interested in joining Wilberforce Trust and making a difference to peoples lives then click here to see what vacancies we have.A day in the life of a Wilberforce Trust Support Worker
There is no such thing as a typical day in support work. Every single day is as different as each individual tenant we support. Each individual has independent needs to help them live the best way for them. One day I could be in the service all day baking, then the next day I could be strolling around the town. Another day we could be at the cinema or going to use the trampoline centre. The constant I do have is doing personal care, this could be helping as much as just a prompt or shaving a tenant.
Evening meals are great times as I get the tenants to help prepare for the dinner using hand over hand, they love to be involved in cooking for their house-mates.
What’s the best thing about being a support worker?
My job is very rewarding and seeing my tenants happy and content shows I am supporting them to my best ability, supporting them to have as much independence as they need. I love seeing them happy; this is what makes my day.
Which 3 words best describe your role?
Exhilarating, challenging, rewarding.
Thank you Lou Lou, not only for the interview but especially for your devotion and care to the clients you work with.
To find out more about joining our team as a Support Worker for the Wilberforce Trust and all our current vacancies see our Jobs & Careers page.