A woman with blonde hair and glasses helps a man with casual shirt on count money

My studies have really helped inform my work at this service and my experience here has completely informed my Occupational Therapy work.

“This way of working completely fits into my life”

I’m a Bank Support Worker at a supported living service for five adults with learning disabilities and complex needs.

My role is to support the clients with everyday activities both in the community and in their homes. This also includes providing financial and emotional support. It’s very person-centred and client-led.

Being a Bank Support Worker means that I have a flexible working role and that my hours are varied. If someone in the team is taking annual leave or extra support is needed, the Service Manager will let me know what shifts are available. Depending on what comes up, I can have a really busy week or a quiet one.

Day shifts start at 8am and I usually do at least a four hour shift. It’s really flexible as long as I commit to the shift I have agreed to. There’s no pressure to sign up.
This way of working completely fits into my life. I’ve been at uni so I’ve been away for months and now I’ve come back!

I’ve just got a new job as an Occupational Therapist working at two different hospitals on rotation but I’ll still be available as a Bank Support Worker for Southdown. I will be supporting individuals to transfer back to the community or into more supported living. Because it’s very flexible, if I have a really long week at the hospital I know I don’t need to sign up for any shifts.

My studies have really helped inform my work at this service and my experience here has completely informed my Occupational Therapy work. At Southdown and in Occupational Therapy, everything is person-centred and so I take that into my work wherever I go.

I’ve been here for four years now. It’s so much fun. As the individuals grow and develop, you grow and develop with them! Every day is different and every day surprises you and there’s fun and laughter you didn’t expect to have. You come away feeling happy.

With help from my team I have found my own supporting style whilst still continuing and adhering to the care plan and Southdown’s principles.

I’ve developed my skills in patience and in understanding different communication methods. I’ve also learnt not to take for granted or assume how someone might feel. That it’s important to have a fresh approach every day.

You need to be able to go with the flow but also be organised, have good time management and attention to detail. This work will absolutely make you grow and be a better person.

We get loads of really good training at Southdown. All the services come together so you can learn from each other and see how different services support their particular clients. We’re quite a high-functioning service here but our clients do have high emotional support needs.

We support clients to be in the community and in the way they like and need to be supported. We also do amazing activities with them – for example, we’ve just been to Thorpe Park!

It’s the clients and the team that have kept me here and the reason why I will still work as a Bank Support Worker when I start my new job as an Occupational Therapist. There’s a lovely ethos about the place. It’s a nurturing environment and the clients are wonderful people – I just can’t say enough how much I enjoy coming here!

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.