Job Well Done or Just Everyday Life?

If you were to google ‘support worker’, the dictionary tells you they ‘provide personal, social, physical and emotional support to clients such as the disabled, poor and elderly’. When you think about it, these four things that support workers provide are the very same things you dedicate to your family and loved ones.

The upcoming WA Disability Support Awards (to be decided in May) recognise people who go beyond ordinary standards of service and provide the highest standard of individualised support to people with disability. Due to the dedication of Sheryl’s team of support workers, she considered it a ‘no brainer’ to nominate them for an award.

Sheryl is a friendly woman with a bright and creative spark. She naturally attracts people with her warm personality and she loves to get out, meet people and make new friends. Due to Sheryl’s physical disabilities, she can find verbal communication very difficult and requires support with many aspects of daily living. Over the past three years, Sheryl has had a team of women supporting her and their dedication, values and compassion have helped Sheryl to gain independence, confidence and control in her life. Each team member is dedicated to putting Sheryl first and their support does not end when staff go home.

In early January 2019, Sheryl’s situation changed which necessitated a change in her living arrangements. The team knew Sheryl would not enjoy living in a group home, so they offered her their own homes and personal support until a permanent living arrangement was decided. The team, in liaison with One2One and its Support Coordinator, researched various options for Sheryl to consider.

One support worker was thinking about moving out of her home and decided to offer Sheryl the opportunity to share a place with her. She offered to share a home and her life and become Sheryl’s main support, providing 24-hour security and support. Sheryl jumped at this opportunity. 

To secure the funding that would be needed to live independently, Sheryl’s team helped her to prepare and plan for her upcoming NDIS transfer. They also supported Sheryl to feel confident in voicing her needs.

Then came the fun part of moving (ok, not so fun) and furnishing a new home. Her team were onto it. They used their networks and innovation to acquire furniture and items for the house, which was no mean feat given Sheryl’s rather specific brief for purple items. Purple being Sheryl’s favourite colour! Her team learnt that its actually fun to shop for purple furniture.

Now that Sheryl’s settled in to her new home, her team support her to maintain her family connections and visit the people important to her, at times changing their own plans around and working in with family availability. The team and Sheryl get together informally to catch up (outside their working hours). They have introduced Sheryl to their own families, partners & children and through this Sheryl has become included in a wide network of people and support.

One2One understands that every support worker nominated in this team has an equal passion and drive to support Sheryl to live the life she wants to live. They go above and beyond daily, just as family would and it has been a pleasure to see the positive impact this has had on the lives of all involved.


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