It can be a lot of fun - there are a lot of laughs in this house!
Jack - Support Worker
Who will I support in Portishead?
We support several adults and young people and, like all of us, their interests, lives, and ambitions are unique. We support everyone to live as independently as possible and to live the lives they choose.
In one house, you'll support five gentlemen who lead very busy lives. Days are often active, fun, and refreshingly different; from supporting people to visit family or go on day trips, to accessing social events or travel training.
In another home, we have roles supporting two busy young ladies. One communicates through her behaviour and the other is non-verbal; it's a particularly rewarding time as she discovers new ways to communicate using eye gaze technology.
We also have roles supporting three young, sociable men to achieve their goal to live as independently as possible. You'll support them in their daily living; they have jobs, play football and other sports, and socialise regularly.
We also have roles supporting two young men and a young lady who share a home and lead busy lives.
The people we support are involved in recruiting their own support workers, so you'll meet each other and from there, if you're successful, we'll offer you a role.
We met up with support worker Liz, and the two ladies she supports in Portishead. She says it's the day-to-day support and activities, as well as the bigger life-changing differences that make the role so rewarding. One of the ladies, who is non-verbal, was recently introduced to eye gaze technology which means she can communicate for the first time in her life.
It's a great place to work. We have a great team leader too.
Judi - Support Worker
What's working in Portishead like?
We support a number of individuals in Portishead so you'll have your immediate team for support, as well as staff in nearby locations. There are opportunities to network and share ideas with colleagues. Sometimes staff work in different services, so they all get to know each other.
Portishead has lots going on with many activities and opportunities for the people we support.
Supporting a person to use eye gaze technology and to be able to communicate for the first time was very emotional.
Kirsty - Support Worker
Why do staff like being support workers in Portishead?
Some say it's about being able to support people to get out and lead more fulfilling lives. Others say it's rewarding to build professional relationships and enable people to develop. Sometimes it can be fun, particularly if you share the same interests as the people you support.
There are the 'big' moments where you might be involved in a significant event in someone’s life for example, supporting them to travel independently for the first time. Other times, it can be the small, everyday things that are rewarding.
What's a typical day for a support worker?
Each day is different depending on who you're supporting. Whilst there are challenging times, there is also some fun.
You might start your shift helping with breakfast, catching up with other members of staff, and planning for the day. You might then support people to manage finances, to do housework, or cook meals. Some of the people we support need only prompting with personal care, whilst others need full support. You might then support someone to travel to their job, go to a doctor's appointment, or visit friends and family. Or perhaps to go swimming or horse riding.
Some shifts are 'sleep-ins', where you'll support people at the end of the day and in the evening, and then sleep in their home to be available should anyone need support through the night.
Weekends are often busier. There are the everyday tasks including supporting people to cook, do chores, or paperwork. You might support people to play football or go to matches, to a music concert or festival, or simply get out and socialise.
There will be challenging times, and often things don't go to plan. You'll need resilience to deal with these occasions, but you will be trained, and you'll have supportive teams around you.
Could I be a support worker at Brandon?
People join us with a wide variety of different experiences; we employ people from all kinds of backgrounds. They bring life experience and skills to a role where they're valued.
You'll need good communication skills and a positive, patient approach. Respectful of people's differences, you can build professional relationships and have a flexible attitude. You'll share our values, ask questions, make decisions, and get stuck in to do whatever needs to be done. You'll need resilience and will always start with the needs of the individual you support.
You will need to be able to work 24/7 shifts including weekends, evenings, and nights. We're happy to discuss the shifts to see if there is flexibility to fit with your needs.