I have known that supporting young people was the line of work for me since I worked as a youth club volunteer. Soon afterwards, I found Atkinson, where, after a short trial period, I became a residential support worker. It was a natural progression and the career path just felt right.
At Atkinson, most support workers start at the same level and your progress is dependent on you and your own drive. There are amazing career development opportunities, with many different types of pathways you can take. Having completed all my required training, I progressed through to a Senior Support Worker and now I am case co-ordinator.
The role involves working closely with young people, ensuring their well-being, relationships and daily lives are okay. We work in a therapeutic, trauma informed way – something that really sets us apart from other secure homes. I am the main point of contact between young people, their families and the home itself, and liaise with education, camhs, health, social workers, parents – representing Atkinson and the young people we look after. No two days are the same, which is challenging but incredibly rewarding.
The best part of my job is the people – helping young people creates so much positivity. The core team that work with me are incredibly supportive and it’s very easy to bond as the job entails efficient communication and the building of strong relationships. We stay in contact with a lot of our old residents and seeing their progress makes everything worthwhile. Helping young people overcome life’s hurdles is what gets me out of bed every day.
Outside of work, Devon is a great place to live. It is perfect for the work-life balance, regularly getting out and about and seeing friends. I really enjoy yoga and love travelling, whether that’s to other countries or in the South West, making the most of the beautiful coastline.