Support Worker in Profile – Meet Shaun
Meet another of our great support workers, Shaun likes to help people to achieve their goals and is excited by the new build and what we look to achieve there
Hi Shaun! Please introduce yourself, what makes you tick and what are your passions?
Hello, I’m Shaun. I’ve been in York since 1991 when I came to the city to study ‘Theatre, Film & Television’ at York St John University. When I arrived in York I started volunteering, mainly in community arts with people unrepresented in media and film. Before that I started in play group volunteering.
I did a placement at Old Dairy Studios, running workshops and helping people make promotional videos. I supported a lot of unrepresented people and people with disabilities. I also ran creative sound and video workshops and worked with schools.
Before I came to York I was a sales manager and before that I started out life as a trainee engineer (semi-skilled milling machinist).
What do you enjoy out of work?
I used to put on music festivals, I did 23 years of the green festival! I still enjoy listening to music, mainly experimental classics, Frank Zappa, Jazz. I enjoy walking, reading, photography and image manipulation. I also enjoy painting and I really like people.
What made you want to work for Wilberforce Trust?
The arts game was seriously underfunded and I needed to make a living, so I decided to step aside and do something a bit different. Being disabled myself (I had polio at 18 months old which got into secondary stages) I have quite a conviction about giving access to people with disabilities that are usually underfunded. I had worked with people from the Wilberforce Trust on various other projects and I had met tenants of the trust through my volunteering. I liked the history of the trust and what it works to achieve so I decided it would be a good place to work.
What made you want to be a support worker?
I like to help people achieve their goals. Before I started I had never had any formal training but I did support people when I ran workshops. When I started at the trust they gave me second to none training which was wonderful.
What do you like most about your work?
Well, loads of aspects. I have a certain outlook on disability and what decent support actually means to someone who can’t really compete with someone abled bodied and they don’t get access to certain support to achieve what they want to. It’s wonderful to help people achieve their goals. I get to do the kind of things I did on voluntary basis, dear to my heart and to get paid for it. It’s fantastic to get paid for what I would do for free. The trust recognises that the old model provision has had its day and that things have changed and the trust has embraced the changes, that’s refreshing. I’m also excited about the new build and what we look to achieve there. It’s really refreshing to have conversations with the CEO Philippa about the direction of the trust.
Are you inspired? Would you like to make a difference whilst you work? If so consider becoming a support worker yourself, apply here.
The Wilberforce Trust is dedicated to helping those with visual impairment, sight loss, hearing loss and other disabilities across York, North Yorkshire and the surrounding areas.