“My family feel that it has been the making of me”
I have been a Support Worker at Look Ahead for just over 18 months. This is my second job as a Support Worker, but for 30 years prior to that, I was a stay at home wife and mum.
I’ve raised six children and when my youngest grew up I decided that I wanted to find something to keep me busy and give me a new purpose. When I first heard about Look Ahead I had a look at the organisation online and it instantly appealed to me. As well as general things like the great location and the good rate of pay, the organisation’s values fit really well with me. I loved the fact that it supported people in real need so I felt like I would be giving back and making a difference to people’s lives.
I work in a small mental health service in Barking and Dagenham. The support we provide is about encouraging and supporting customers to be as independent as possible. This means supporting customers with things like helping them to find work, accompanying them to important appointments and teaching them skills to help them live independently.
I really enjoy my job; I love the fact that I’m helping people to grow and to flourish. People who have mental health needs can be very isolated and you’re helping them to open up and explore new ideas.
I love the fact that I have the opportunity to progress within the organisation; I’m now starting to think about progressing onto the next stage of my career and becoming a Team Leader. I think it’s great that I am able to stay at Look Ahead to take this next step, without having to look elsewhere.
My proudest moment at Look Ahead actually comes out of sadness; in February one of the people I supported sadly passed away but as a result of my work with her before she died, I was nominated for an award by one of our Directors.
I received the staff award for trust because of my relationship with her, which was a huge honour for me. I didn’t think that I’d done any more than anybody else, but somebody recognised my hard work and that was a big feel good factor. There is a lot of recognition within Look Ahead and I think that’s kind of unique. My family feel that it has been the making of me. I wouldn’t change a thing.