“I’m very proud to work for Southdown”
I’d describe Southdown as committed, focused on good support, and caring.
My name’s Brian and I’m a Service Manager at Southdown Court, a Learning Disability Support service.
I’ve worked for Southdown for 32 years. I started in 1990 as a Support Worker.
In 2004 I opened our first Supported Living Service as a Manager. From there, I opened lots of services in West Sussex. I joined the Senior Management Team for about five years and then returned to being Service Manager at two services.
Opening our first Supported Living Services were very proud moments for me. To see the change in how clients were supported, the benefits they got, and the rights they got was incredible to experience.
Just watching people move out of long-stay group homes, places that weren’t as positive as their own flats, and watching them develop was amazing. It was a real privilege to be part of that. Within weeks of opening, they turned into an amazing service where people embraced having their own space.
Southdown’s investment in developing services, moving them forward, and continually making them better for clients has been really amazing to me. That’s what keeps me coming back to work. The fact that we’re a not-for-profit organisation and everything goes back into supporting our clients.
As a staff member, I think it’s a great organisation. I’ve always felt that people valued me. I’ve always felt that they valued my skills and helped me develop my skills. I also feel they look after me. I’ve had periods of illness and I’ve been really supported through that by Southdown. They ensured I got everything I needed and they welcomed me back to work in a safe way.
The people within Southdown are another reason I continue to work for them – colleagues and clients. I’ve known a lot of clients and they’ve inspired me along the way.
When I started there were five or six group homes, a very small office, and very minimal staff. The growth has been incredible, but within that growth has been the ability to keep that person-centredness.
I’m very proud to work for Southdown. I’ve always been proud to work for Southdown. I’ve had bad days and I’ve considered looking for other jobs, but one of my roles was going out and assessing new clients and I saw how good Southdown is compared to other organisations.
Looking back over the 32 years, I feel like I’ve achieved quite a lot working for Southdown, much more than I would have done in any other chosen profession.
I said on day one, “I’ll do this until I get bored.” I haven’t got bored yet.
Southdown manages Supported Living services across Sussex. Supported living is where an individual owns or rents their own home and has control over the support they get and how they live their lives. Accommodation and support is provided separately. It can be very different for different people. For one person, supported living might be a few hours of support a week to enable them to live independently by themselves in a rented flat. For another it may be around the clock support in a shared house or self-contained flat.