A Recipe for Enablement
Scott Hopkinson, Activity Organiser at Cintre
Scott Hopkinson, a 27-year-old key worker, recently received recognition for his outstanding contribution to activity sessions delivered by Cintre, a mental health support service operating in Bristol and the surrounding area. Scott’s success can be attributed to his innovative, empathetic approach to care and his dedication to the people that he supports.
Scott grew up in Devon and went on to study an undergraduate degree in anthropology at Goldsmiths. Scott reflects, “I had always been interested in people and society and realised early on that I wanted to have a job that involved helping others”.
After his studies Scott spent time volunteering at an orphanage in Nepal. He found this experience incredibly rewarding and it further confirmed his passion to work with people and make a positive impact on the lives of others. When Scott returned to the UK, he started working in London at the Single Homeless Project – a charity supporting homeless people and those at risk of homelessness. In this role, he undertook keyworker responsibilities and supported people experiencing a range of issues.
The Single Homeless Project works with people who are faced with barriers such as tenancy problems, complex needs, lack of information, and drug/alcohol issues. During his time there Scott led various support groups, all aimed at building knowledge and confidence amongst vulnerable individuals. These included an IT class, mindfulness training, and benefits advice sessions.
Scott believes in the importance of equipping people with skills that enable greater independence. This is a key principle that underpins his approach to work and life as a whole. Scott worked for the Single Homeless Project for a year and a half and he describes it as the “starting block” of his career in the charity sector. After this, Scott moved to Bristol, now clear about the kind of job he was looking for. It was at this point that he joined Cintre.
Cintre provides intensive support to adults with autism and other complex mental health needs, offering a range of interventions, group sessions and activities activities designed to encourage personal development and enable independence. He has been working with the charity for two years now and says that he is “extremely grateful to be part of a team that is genuinely passionate about making a difference to the lives of the individuals that they support.”
In June 2018, Scott launched a cooking group for Cintre’s service users. Scott believes that correct nutrition is incredibly important, but he also recognises that it can be daunting to know where to start. His plan was to “encourage healthy eating whilst also making the cooking process more accessible and enjoyable”.
The cooking group has been a real success. It provides a safe space for people to share healthy recipes, work together, develop skills and end up with a delicious, edible result. The cooking group equips people with useful skills that can be used in other settings and it inspires them to experiment with more recipes.
One of the most rewarding things that Scott finds about his job, is when an individual is able to learn and develop a new skill. Whether that means chopping carrots, working an oven, or making a roast dinner – each progress is a real accomplishment. Scott effectively summarises his perspective on social care, “a person-centred approach to support is best. It is important to try new things, let people make mistakes, and be real.”
We are excited to share and celebrate Scott’s fantastic work, and we are sure that he has a bright future ahead of him in the sphere of social care.