‘The most meaningful job I’ve ever had’: How support workers at a Lifeways service in Leyland, Lancashire help four individuals thrive
In a shared house in a suburb of Leyland, Lancashire, live four people we support: Chris, Jamie, Paul, and Steven.
Their Lifeways support team, which includes Dave, Kirsty and Steven, have formed often close-knit bonds with each individual – and carved out new careers.
As part of their everyday tasks of working at the Lifeways supported living service, Dave, Kirsty and Steven:
- work with Chris, Jamie, Paul, and Steven to carry out regular checks and audits on the level of support provided
- assist each individual with meal preparation, hobbies and daily activities, such as going to the shops
- make sure the service is a safe and thriving environment
Watch our video about working as a support team member at the service:
Dave’s developed an attachment to each the four individuals at the service, and is enjoying his support career of four years – and counting. “I can’t see me doing anything else,” he says.
Dave’s colleague, Kirsty, is a newly-promoted team leader, having previously been a support worker. Before beginning her career in support, Kirsty had worked as a hairdresser for 14 years.
“I changed my career because I like to help people,” says Kirsty. “I chose to go into supported living because I felt I could give more than I was already giving to people.”
Meanwhile, Steven, a support worker – who shares the same name with an individual at the Leyland service – has enjoyed seeing individuals open up to him in his three years in the role.
“When I first came, Steven [the individual we support] was not as verbal in his communication as he is now. But now we can have a regular daily conversation about what he wants to do next.”
Steven, the support worker, was no stranger to working with people living with different needs.
‘You’ve got to be a motivator’
Before joining Lifeways three years ago, Steven used to be a driver helping people with special needs to travel around the north west of the country.
Reflecting on what you need to become a support worker, Steven says:
“You’ve got be honest about your work, you’ve got to be caring, you’ve got to be a motivator.”
And as Kirsty shares: “If you’re the right type of person, you can easily and quickly get started as a support worker.
You don’t need any experience, you get all your training [included], you can develop a career, and you can move up.”
Kirsty should know. At the time we spoke to her, Kirsty had received news of her promotion from a support worker to team leader on the exact same day!
“I’m looking forward to the challenge, and the change, and the things that I’m going to have to learn,” Kirsty says.
Dave adds: “I’m not sure what I’d do without them [the people we support] now, if I’m honest. To give someone the opportunity to be part of a community, and let them live as independent a life as possible, is really a gift.”
Looking for a new role?
If you’re looking for a fresh start in your career, how about a stable, rewarding role as a support worker for Lifeways? Find out more.
Lifeways is the UK’s largest team of support professionals providing support for adults in the community.
We support adults with diverse and complex needs, including learning disabilities, autism, physical disabilities, acquired brain injuries, and mental health conditions.
As the supported living sector’s largest team of professionals, Lifeways’ extensive experience and national reach mean we deliver extraordinary support to adults, enabling them to live fulfilling and independent lives in the community.
Our 11,000 colleagues currently support almost 5,000 individuals who live in our 1,500 supported living and residential services across England, Scotland, and Wales.
Find out more about how we change people's lives at: www.lifeways.co.uk
Follow us on:
More news and events