Catherine is a Support Worker in Oxfordshire and joined us in 2016.
Catherine is a young woman who started first her career in teaching. She used to work in school with SEN children (Special Educational Needs). But, after a while and after becoming a mum she was looking for more flexibility. She was also looking for another challenge and wanted to work with adults so that she could make a difference in personal people’s life.
First she found a job as a Support Worker for a private care provider but her job made more sense when she started working for Life Path Trust as their focus is on Person-centred care. She loves working with people with learning disabilities but she also loves working for Life Path Trust. “The people we support have their own voice here, they choose what they want for dinner, how, where and who they are going to celebrate their birthday with, and the activities they want to do in the next few weeks. It is a person-centred organisation, and I like the values they promote. I am proud to work for a charity like this. The people we support are able to express themselves and their views are always taken into account”.
She also feels very well supported. She knows that she can call her managers anytime she needs. They are all always available, supportive and ready to help and answer any questions at any time. She also received all the training needed to feel confident working with the people she supports. The training regarding the Management of Medication really helped her with the day to day care she provides.
Last Summer a group of 4 staff took 6 citizens to the Cotswold Safari Park. “It was so much fun!” The idea came about a few weeks earlier when one of the citizens came up with the idea that he wanted to see animals. He didn’t wait very long before getting the other citizens interested in the idea. The day went very well, and the citizens made some good memories. They all agreed that the Meer Kat was the star of the day!
Michael is a Person-centred Support Coordinator and he joined us in 2015.
Michael joined Life Path Trust because of its mission and values and what it stands for. The key values of the organisation and the commitment to teamwork and effectiveness match with Michael’s own priorities. What's most important to him is joining a place where individuals want to work together, as a team. Having the same values and community interests led him to want to work here. He also sees a long term opportunity to progress and improve his skills whilst working for a developing company - Life Path Trust.
Michael finds spending time with the Citizens, helping them in their daily routine and/or during their social and community activities, very rewarding. “My work as a Person-centred Support Coordinator is a source of satisfaction”. It makes him realise that there is no limit.
The support workers are here to encourage the people we support to do what they want in their life and to take them out of their comfort zone. In November 2018, he felt a sense of satisfaction after supporting a citizen in fulfilling his goal to learn to read. The citizen could not read at all before but through intensive interaction and engaging him in reading and learning he can read now.
The company’s overall reputation drew him in. He had a few friends who worked for Life Path and they always mentioned the atmosphere of professionalism. “I like LPT because it is a place that continually demands excellence whilst still allowing a healthy and positive work environment.”
Kristie is a Team Leader. She joined us in 2010 as a Support Worker and she then has progressed to Team Leader in 2012.
Kristie is a 40-year-old Grandma. She started working at Life Path Trust without any qualifications, just the desire to make a difference in people’s lives and with her own personal life experiences.
Since she was 15 years old, she supported her brother who has learning disabilities. It has been hard work and she has always helped her mother to manage him since he has been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder in 2005 and moderate learning disabilities 3 years later. She started developing her passion for care at that point and she has been fighting discrimination since then. Having two children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, she went deeper into it, by supporting them and managing their behavior at home and at school.
A friend suggested she had a go in the care industry. She wasn’t sure at first as she didn’t have any related qualifications. However, as soon as she took up the role she knew it was the right job for her. Her life experience, ability and values matched with the values needed for being a support worker. Kristie believes being patient and the desire to make a difference in people’s lifes are key ingredients.
Quite quickly Kristie had the chance to develop new skills and attended lots of training opportunities. As a result of this she is a dementia specialist and holds a Level 4 Qualification in Team Leader Management. She enjoys managing her team, and helping them develop by having a positive approach and encouraging them to progress. Basically, she is a problem solver! She would encourage anybody to work for Life Path. It is a charity and the values of the organisation are based on people’s needs. These values brought her and kept her here. Kristie believes that the Citizens are getting the best support as it is Person-centred.
Mark is an Area Manager and has just celebrated 25 years of service at Life Path Trust!
Back in 1993, Life Path Trust was called Coventry Homes and Mark was working elsewhere as a Landscape Gardener. Having been made redundant from his job, he was looking for a new opportunity when one of his friends who was already working for us, suggested he gave care work a try. “It’s a rewarding job and you can make a difference” he’d been told. Mark was curious about this, and so he decided to volunteer for a few weeks before taking on a role as a full time Care Assistant.
In less than a decade he progressed from Care Assistant to Senior Carer in 1996, Service Manager in 2005 and then Area Manager in 2008. He learned lots along the way and in time his curiosity turned into a passion. He still remembers his first paid shift at Ellys Road (our short break service) when he was to take 3 service users to visit another service. “I was really panicking when one of them sat down on the road and refused to move on “but I eventually managed to coax them in to carrying on and you learn from experience.”
By becoming an Area Manager, you tend not to have as much day to day support contact with our Citizens and Mark does miss having the opportunity to spend time with them especially supporting them on holiday. It was great seeing them relaxed and enjoying themselves or having the opportunity to try something new. Also, through positive risk assessing Mark was able to help our Citizens achieve their goals such as riding a motorcycle or going in a hot air balloon. Mark said that he worked hard to ensure that the decisions he makes on a day to day basis such as employing new staff, will have a positive impact on the services and the people we support.
“I truly believe that Life Path Trust makes a real difference to people’s lives and also offers great training and career advancement. If you are looking to start a career in social care, so Go on give it a chance, I did!”
Beauty is a Support Worker at our Short Break service who joined us in 2004.
She has cared for others all her life as she enjoys looking after people, mainly those with learning disabilities. Being a support worker can make a difference in a person’s life, it is important to meet their needs and to support people to live more independently. She supports our Citizens on daily activities including going on holidays or day trips, helping them to learn new skills: for example, cooking, loading the dish washer/washing machine or doing the cleaning. It is all about becoming more self-sufficient.
There are a lot of positive things about supporting people with learning disabilities. Once Beauty supported a man who needed to regain his capabilities. She supported him on a one to one basis. And, after a while, after repeating things again and again and again, he got his confidence back, he gained more independence as he was starting doing things for himself once again. She supported him to go to places where he had lost contact with old friends. He is now happy with more people around and he is able to do things on his own. It is so rewarding for her to reflect on his achievement.
She likes meeting new people. At our respite service there are new people almost every week, which means that there are more challenges and experiences to overcome.
Beauty says she appreciates that Life Path Trust values diversity and inclusion in the way it supports its staff and provides all the training required in order for staff to keep their knowledge up-to-date.