With additional needs that might make coping with the Covid-19 pandemic more difficult for those with learning disabilities, autism and mental ill-health, many people in supported living services have found it incredibly tough. But Mousa Jawasreh, a support worker at Eden Futures, has been amazed how well they’ve coped with huge changes to their routines and normal life.
“Support workers have been important to people in supported living when they couldn’t see their family and friends. At my service in Bradford there was a lovely sense of community spirit and working through it. I’m proud to be a key worker, now more than ever, and wear my Care badge with pride. People’s perception of us has also changed and there’s a renewed appreciation for valued, skilled, professional support workers.”
We all have a different career path, so to people reading this either looking for their first job, or moving within the sector, his advice is don’t be put off by a lack of experience or knowledge.
“This is because you’ll get this on the job and through training. Our life experiences are qualities to use positively.”
Mousa has been a support worker for five years and he really enjoys the challenge, mix and diversity of the job. His life experiences and career path are different to his colleagues. Mousa is from Jordan and one of six siblings, all of whom work in the healthcare profession. He graduated in 2008 with a bachelor’s degree in Nursing and after a spell working in America, came to the UK to study at Huddersfield University in 2010 for his master’s degree in Health and Social Care.
He returned home to apply his knowledge and education and became a health field officer for Jordan Health Aid Society International, a partner with many international NGOs like the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. Mousa’s family lives close to the Syrian border and he worked in the Zaatari camp; the world’s largest for Syrian refugees with a population of 80,000.
Mousa was interested in the refugees’ mental health and their quality of life and it became the focus of his PhD in Social Work and Social Care. He found that most refugees want to work and improve their situation. They’re worried about their quality of life which impacts their mental health and wellbeing.
In 2017 Mousa joined Eden Futures as a waking night support worker in Bradford and supports four people. When they slept and his duties were done, he wrote his thesis and he’ll soon qualify as a Doctor. His camp work taught him empathy and patience, both of which are vital skills in supported living.
“Eden Futures has been hugely supportive of my education and I was proud to win Support Worker of the Year award in the company’s Excellence Awards 2020. I also volunteer in Bradford for the NHS Covid-19 vaccination programme, and my wife gave birth to our daughter, Kady this year. Now five months she’s teething, so it’s been quite a busy year!
“In my culture failure isn’t an option. I hope my work ethic inspires people I work with and ultimately my family, in the UK and Jordan.”
Speaking about Mousa, Dawn Berry, CEO at Eden Futures, said: “It’s a privilege to celebrate our top performing staff and his award was well deserved. Mousa was nominated for his person-centred work in supporting service users to bond with one another. He goes above and beyond to make sure that he always puts those he supports first.
“He makes a valuable difference in the lives of the people we support every day, and I thank him for his ongoing determination in driving positive change.”