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How to be a good… support worker

Emma Cork, Support Worker, Eden Futures

Completely new to the care industry, Emma Cork stumbled upon the support worker role by chance.  As Emma was looking for a career change, a friend suggested applying for a role at Eden Futures, where she currently worked. Emma was successful and began working as a Support Worker in August 2017.

One of Emma’s first thoughts about this role was “Why have I not done this before?” Straight away she found enjoyment in her career choice and was not fazed by any of the challenges that lay ahead of her.

“I love the constant rewards that come with being a support worker and when I see a smile on the face of someone I care for, that is the biggest reward I could ask for. I enjoy the accomplishment of supporting people to try something new and watching their confidence grow as a result.”

One of the biggest compliments Emma has received was from a dentist. While accompanying a service user on their routine check-up, the dentist commented on how happy and confident the individual looked. Knowing that she had supported this was a rewarding moment for Emma.

With the rewards come the challenges and Emma approaches these situations with a calm and professional manner. “I have to remind myself not to take things personally as I can be sensitive when I am faced with confrontation. It’s very easy to get upset, but if you take a step back and approach matters calmly, it always helps the situation.”

Emma’s dedication to providing those she cares for with a fulfilling life extends into her own personal time. She enjoys organising parties, activities and researching local groups for those she supports. At Halloween Emma spent hours preparing food and helping service users decorate their house, as well as lending them decorations. “I like to do these activities in my own time so that I am able to spend 1-1 quality time with individuals during my working hours. I also really enjoy doing this, so I never give it a second thought!”

She also goes out of her way to encourage individuals to achieve their personal aspirations. One particular individual wanted to lose weight and Emma not only supported and encouraged this goal, but also took part in the fitness routine they developed so they got the most out of the activity.

After only a few months in the role, Emma was nominated for the Eden Futures Newcomer award at their annual awards dinner. Her colleagues who nominated her we impressed with the way that Emma was very open to taking on new responsibilities. She gladly took on the role of supporting a service user with their personal finances, and liaising with the individual’s family, to ensure their weekly budget is managed. Emma was also complimented on being organised and professional with how she has approached her tasks.

Andrew Lennox (Eden Futures CEO) said, “it was clear from her colleagues nomination that Emma is a patient, kind, and outgoing person who is excellent at listening and communicating. All of these combined make her an exemplary support worker. She treats individuals with the dignity and respect they deserve and is a true asset to Eden Futures. After she won the company’s “Newcomer Award”, we had no hesitation in nominating her for the Learning Disability & Autism Awards for England where she won the title of “Best Newcomer. Well done Emma!”

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