30-year-old Kelly Turner has been working in social care at Dimensions in Bournemouth for 10 years, where she is currently an assistant locality manager. She has spent that time supporting people with learning disabilities. Having previously trained as a hairdresser, but did not feel satisfied with what she was achieving. She said, “I felt something was lacking. I wanted to feel like I was giving something to someone that was going to help them enjoy their life, so I decided to make the move to social care. What I’m doing now is amazing.
“One thing I really love is teaching someone you support to learn a new skill. Once they’ve grasped it, they have a real sense of achievement and you also feel fulfilled because you’ve taught them something new.”
One person Kelly supports is Matthew, who has autism and a learning disability, as well as being a very anxious and nervous person. In order to provide effective support, it was very important to build a strong and trusting relationship first.
Kelly said, “With trust you can achieve things that maybe wouldn’t otherwise have been possible. The people we work with need to trust you, so that you can help them at times when they are feeling vulnerable.”
It hasn’t been easy to work through the pandemic, but Kelly focuses on the positives. She said, “During the pandemic Matthew has really upped his skills around the house, such as doing his washing and hanging it out to dry or unloading the shopping. Normally, he wouldn’t get so much involvement in the day-to-day tasks, so it’s been quite beneficial for him to develop new skills and keeping him engaged.”
Kelly says the people she has supported have coped amazingly through the pandemic. “Many of the people I support struggled to understand the situation we’re in, and it’s been difficult for them not being able to see their families, but they’ve coped really well. Having their core team of staff and having those familiar faces has really helped them.”
Kelly would encourage other people to consider taking on a career in social care. She said, “Every person can bring something different to the table and we can all make a difference in someone’s life. It’s such lovely job that, to me, it doesn’t even feel like working.”
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