Seeing someone progress and knowing that I’ve made a difference is the best feeling.
My Mum and Nan used to work in a residential home for elderly people. As a child, I would sometimes accompany them to work. I really enjoyed chatting to the people who lived in the home or getting them something to drink. Ever since, I’ve felt at home in that sort of environment.
I went on to study for a diploma in Social Care at Weston College. The course included a series of short work placements, and one of these was at Wyvern Lodge, a home managed by Milestones for people with mental health needs. I’d had placements at nurseries, playschools and homes for people with dementia, but within two hours of my placement at Wyvern Lodge, I knew that my passion was for supporting people with mental health needs and that this was the career path I should follow.
Following this work placement, I started working part-time for Milestones, and, once I’d completed my studies, I took up a full-time job as a Support Worker. I immediately felt that Milestones was a great company to work for. They put the people they support at the heart of everything they do. If I had a friend or family member who needed support, this is how I would want them to be treated.
One of the best things about working for Milestones is that I’ve been able to progress my career here. My managers have supported me well, with regular supervisions enabling me to set clear targets. I’ve frequently been given opportunities to increase my knowledge and skills, for example through courses on management. I’ve also had the chance to work at different kinds of services managed by Milestones, which has broadened my understanding and experience. These opportunities have helped me progress to increasingly senior roles, and now I’m a Manager.
The service I currently manage is the Recovery Hub, a home for people with enduring mental health needs. People come to live here when they become unwell or after a stay in hospital. Our staff support them to learn, or re-learn, the skills they need to become independent, whilst improving their ability to manage their health and wellbeing. We run in-house workshops that aim to identify and develop people’s strengths and abilities. The workshops cover a variety of topics, from paying bills and putting together a CV, to creative writing and art.
Ultimately, we want to help the people we support to maintain a life that is positive and meaningful to them. I’m passionate about supporting people to achieve their aspirations. Seeing someone progress in their journey of recovery and knowing that I’ve made a difference is the best feeling.
If you have a good heart and you care about people, then you should definitely apply for a job with Milestones. It doesn’t matter if you don’t have prior experience. What matters is that you have compassion and empathy, as well as a willingness to learn and think creatively. When I interview for new staff at the Recovery Hub, it’s not important to me whether the candidate has worked in social care before. If I can see that they have the right values, then that tells me that they have the potential to have a great career here, just like I have.