I first became interested in health and social care when I was 16 years old. I used to volunteer at my local dementia lunch club once a week and this led me into starting a nursing degree.
Unfortunately, I didn’t finish my studies due to personal reasons, but I still had a passion for caring and supporting people, so I found a job in a care home on the dementia ward.
I loved my job there and hold fond memories of my time and the residents that we cared for.
In 2013 I took a break from care and went on a 3-month volunteering trip to Zambia with an NGO called Restless Development. Restless Development work in rural Zambia to develop young leaders in local communities. Our work there was aimed around providing young people with sexual and reproductive health information and supporting them to improve financial literacy. We set up a youth friendly corner in the hospital and focus group to understand what they needed directly from the local young people. We arranged a village event where we had speakers from the local hospital attend to speak about sexual health, improve knowledge and young people accessing services. I was lucky to be staying there on International Women’s Day, which was a big event and was invited to join the local women and teachers celebrating each other with performing traditional dancing and music. I was born without rhythm and my dancing got a huge round of laughter!
On my return I began to think about what I was going to do next. Supporting and empowering people rather than caring appealed to me more and I made the transition from care to support work, moving to Autism Initiatives working in their outreach programme. I spent nearly 5 years working there. It was a challenging but rewarding role. This is where I began to develop my practice, leading
reviews, key working and seeing the people I supported achieve goals such as going on holiday, attending college, volunteering, and developing their life skills. Moving into support work was one of the best choices I have made.
I moved to withYOU in 2016 as a Senior Support Worker in the East Lothian Service and stayed there for over 5 years before applying for the Team Leader role at the East Craigs/Cardross Service in June 2021. I am very thankful for the opportunities that withYOU have shown me and I am proud to work as part of the team here. I don’t see myself working in any other sector and hope to be part of the withYOU team for the foreseeable future.