Judy's Story

Support Worker Case Study

When Judy came for her interview as a Support Worker at Avalon, she had no previous care experience and was initially worried that all the other candidates would be more qualified than her; leaving her with no chance of ever getting the job.

But it’s not always experience that counts when it comes to Social Care roles. In fact more than anything it’s about attitude, capability and passion. Judy had these three things in bucket loads.

Having been made redundant from a career which had spanned 26 years, Judy had time to re-assess what she wanted out of life. She needed a job that could be flexible around her lifestyle and would see her helping people every day. After spotting a local job advert for The Avalon Group Judy suddenly had her mind set and applied there and then.

She says “It was quite daunting coming to an interview as I felt I would be out of my depth. But I went in with the attitude of being honest about my knowledge base and using my common sense to answer the questions about people’s care how I thought it should be done. It was obvious that I had a lot to learn, but my enthusiasm and drive shone through and I was offered the position.”

Judy then went on to work in a new service, supporting two ladies with quite complex needs. There was lots to learn about medication and positive behaviour support as well as getting to know Avalon working policies and practices, but as Judy says “I’m the kind of person who wants to know everything about my job. I want to come in with the confidence to do what is needed. I was never afraid to ask questions and my managers were totally supportive; there whenever I needed a bit of help.”

As well as this Judy enrolled in Avalon courses, as well as independent qualifications to increase her knowledge around diabetes and support practices that she knew would improve the care she was giving.

“I’ve seen so much development in the ladies I support,” says Judy. “From being quite reclusive and lacking personal care skills, I’ve been able to bring them to the point where we go on holidays together to places like London and Butlins. Of course we have to ensure that certain things are planned in advance (food, medication etc), but to see the journeys these ladies have taken, and to know I had a hand in that fills me with immense pride.”

Judy’s Advice for those thinking about becoming a Support Worker

If you’re thinking about it I say just go for it. The training is there for you to become the very best and whilst of course there are challenges, the rewards you see in changing people’s lives are simply astonishing.

I’ve always said Avalon is one of the best places you could hope to work for. Even just talking to friends I know working for other organisations it makes me realise how supportive Avalon are and how any queries are listened to.

If I ever have any kind of problem I can come to my manager and know that it is being dealt with straight away. And that ethos is the same for customers too. It creates an environment of trust and of family and is something I’m very lucky to be a part of.

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Shared Lives is a pioneering alternative to traditional methods of care. Under the scheme, fully trained carers open their homes to allow people to live with them either on a short or long-term basis.

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