Mark Merryweather’s blog
On being a support worker and loving every minute
People sometimes ask me what I do for a living and I tell them I’m a support worker. The thing is, it’s not what I do – it’s what I am. It’s been a long journey through various jobs to get to a profession I enjoy being part of. But now I’m here, I’m loving every minute of it.
I spent the last thirteen years in various cleaning management positions. In one of those managerial roles, I was able to employ six people with learning disabilities. The change I saw in them was lovely to see. They gained confidence, self-esteem and independence. I never forgot that and hoped I would be in a position to do it again.
Last year, my Dad passed away. Before he died, I saw the fantastic care staff attending to him. I helped where I could and at the time, I thought: “yeah, I could do something like that”. So when Dad died, I decided that life was too short to do things you didn’t enjoy anymore. I applied for a support worker role.
I was offered a position and started part time. It took me about two weeks to come to the decision this is what I definitely wanted to do – so I became full time. There is a lot of training involved to enable us to do our jobs safely, but the support we get from Dimensions is amazing.
“It’s a joy to be in a job where you help people achieve all the things that others take for granted”
The role of a support worker is a varied one and no two days are the same. An important part of my job is supporting people with personal care – but that’s a small part of the job.
One day, you could be supporting someone to attend an important appointment. The next, supporting them to go to the cinema, a restaurant, or a club. You could be supporting them to do something like make a cup of tea, or sitting with them to plan a holiday. One day, you’ll be supporting them to cook a meal. The next, supporting them to go shopping, or visit friends and family.
As a support worker, it is my responsibility to make sure the people we support are empowered to make decisions and to live happy, varied lives. Everyone has the right to a life of opportunities, the right to be valued and the right to control what goes on in their lives.
It’s a joy to be in a job where you help people achieve all the things that others take for granted. It’s incredibly rewarding.