Case study: Support Worker Debs

Student Debs, volunteered with Sense Scotland to get experience working in care however, after just a month she knew didn't want to leave. So Debs applied for a job as a Support Worker at TouchBase Lanarkshire so she can continue to work with Sense Scotland, while she studies to become a mental health nurse.

 

Sense support worker Debs 700x345

What did you do before working at Sense Scotland?

I studied History & Medicine and wrote a dissertation on occupational health nurses in the Scottish coalmines during the strikes. I was originally interested in academics and planned to do a PhD but I wasn't able to secure the funding I needed.

Through Project Scotland, I secured an internship with an educational software company doing marketing and social media. I loved the social side but found the marketing side a bit impersonal and discovered I actually really enjoyed helping people.

Why did you want to work at Sense Scotland?

I knew I wanted to do something in the care field. I wanted to do nursing and I'm really interested in mental health nursing, keeping people in the community and making sure they're not isolated.

I became a volunteer with Sense Scotland and after just a month, I knew I didn't want to leave these guys or the team. So when I heard there were job vacancies I decided to apply.

I've applied to University of the West of Scotland to do mental health nursing but I want to keep doing this as much as possible.

It's a really nice environment. Everyone is so friendly and sweet. I like the levels of interaction and how happy everyone is. Every day I see the good in people and how much they care.

Describe a typical day with the people you support

I'm based at TouchBase Lanarkshire, working on the activities such as baking, arts and crafts and music.

First of all, I'll come in and say hello to everyone and then make sure nothing's happened during the night.

Depending on what we're doing that day, I'll help set up for the activities like arts and crafts or the physio equipment, if it's a physio day.

Time management can be a challenge as I just want to spend as much time as possible with everyone.

What values do you bring to Sense Scotland?

Care and empathy. It's important to me that everyone is treated with respect and as an individual because that's part of my own values. I can also keep a cool head.

I also like to think I bring experience from the areas I love like music and art.

I sometimes play the piano for the guys and I can see how much they really respond to that.

What value does Sense Scotland bring to your life?

I've learned so much from working at Sense Scotland. For example, there are staff who've came from nursing and I've taken so much from the nursing experience they bring.

Can you think of a special moment or memory?

It feels special when the people I work with recognise me and remember my name. It's about the special bonds and getting the hugs. It shows me what I am doing is having an impact on them.

What do you think Sense Scotland brings to the lives of the people we support?

Independence. I think it's important to give our service users as much access as possible, allowing them to do as much as they possibly can.

I think Sense Scotland creates a real feeling of community and involvement.