“I think the spirit of Southdown is ‘can do’, it’s a positive culture”
I’ve been at Southdown for 25 years this year!
I’m a Practice Development Trainer. I provide training mainly for our staff in Learning Disability services and I work with teams, coaching and developing staff around things like communication and active support. I also oversee and help people access qualifications. I’ve been doing this since 2004.
When I first started, the organisation was called Brighton and Hove Area Group Housing Association (BHAGHA). It was very much a learning disability organisation that was growing and taking on new services. I was a Home Care Support Worker.
The organisation was really small then and there was only one other trainer at the time. It was tiny! We were in a small office in Newhaven and there were only 182 staff!
There’s always been something new in terms of project, or focus, or teams. The job has always been very interesting and I’ve been fortunate enough to work with some really great people and supervisors. I’ve learnt and grown in my time here.
In some ways a lot of things have changed, but the fundamentals have stayed the same. There is an absolute genuine commitment to the work and to clients across all the services.
People are committed to doing a good job. Everyone has an understanding of the role of the organisation, whatever job they do. Everybody has a sense of what we are trying to do for our clients.
There’s a sense as an organisation that this is our reason for being and we all play a part in that.
I think the spirit of Southdown is ‘can do’, it’s a positive culture.
Being part of a positive culture and an organisation that looks to get things done has kept me working here. I’ve learnt a lot from great people with skills and professionalism. I like the fact that there are women in senior posts across the organisation. I like that it respects culture and diversity. For me, it’s a very safe place to work.
I didn’t enter Southdown with the intention of making it my career! I moved down to Brighton from Suffolk in 1990 and in all honesty I was just looking for a job! I saw the Home Care Support Worker job advertised and thought I could give a good go of that and applied. Part of me felt that this was something I could do. And I’ve been here ever since!
The whole idea of support and care in the community was still new and it felt like quite a radical time because people with learning disabilities had previously been living in long-stay institutions.
It felt we were at the start of something where we could make a real impact on people’s lives. It felt like we were bringing people back home.
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