Katrina (Senior Support Worker)

My name is Katrina. I am 29 and have worked for Hilton for two and a half years – I am currently the Senior Community Support Worker at Woodstock.

When I was growing up I didn’t want to be a nurse or a hairdresser – the normal jobs that children talk about – I was different. I wanted to be a Red Coat, I wanted to sing and dance, I wanted to perform. And for 8 years I did – I worked on an Entertainments Team in the UK and abroad. However, I always said the day I walked on stage and didn’t enjoy it anymore would be the day I knew it was the end and soon enough that day came. So what to do now? I wanted to help, I wanted to make a difference in life, I wanted to do something that was rewarding! I applied to Hilton but I was doubtful if I would hear back but I did. With an interview date set I began to panic, I had no experience in care or learning disability and I felt I would be out of my depth. But the interview came and went, I answered well and was offered a position! I was over the moon! My first day I was a nervous wreck but the team at Woodstock made me feel at home! Where I was working didn’t feel like a care home with floral wallpaper and high backed chairs!!! It was the Tenants’ home, personal and homely! I settled in well and was helped and supported with all the training and guided along the way to feel comfortable and confident in my new role as a support worker. I soon realised my new job was my ideal job – I loved it! The feeling of absolute satisfaction knowing that I was making a difference in someone’s life was amazing. I was honoured when asked to support a Tenant on holiday for the first time as they had asked for me! It was an enjoyable experience and it didn’t really feel like work – taking the Tenants to the cinema, the theatre, the pub, out to dinner, days out to the zoo, and achievements like race for life – what a brilliant day’s work!!!

I have now been with the company for over two years and within that time I have learnt more than just from the training that has been provided. I have learnt that people with learning disability are people too, they have the right to make their own decisions to lead a life how they want to lead it, to do things and go places that you or I would want to experience – they are equal and deserve equality in life. The only difference being they may need a little support to get to the places they want to go or do the things they want to do and that’s where I come in! As a support worker I can help them achieve their dreams and goals. And knowing I have made that possible is the only reward I need! To see the smile on their face!

I’ve worked hard and I’m currently the senior within the service. I hope to work my way to Team Leader one day and I am currently working on my QCF Level 3 in Health & Social Care. It just goes to show that with no previous experience I have learnt and progressed and will continue to do so – it’s a worthwhile job!!

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