At Achieve together, we are committed to helping people we support to reach their full potential, and one way a person might choose to do this is through work or volunteering.
Employment, be it in a paid or voluntary capacity, can help with learning valuable skills, increases independence, enhances social networks, and generally improves the quality of life. For anyone interested in working, we can provide help and guidance and ensure that the necessary support is in place.
At one of our many supported living homes in Hampshire, there live some busy people. Many of the people supported at the Portsmouth-based home work and volunteer in roles ranging from animal care to helping in a Cafe. “I feel the ethos at our home for people we support to have a fulfilled life is transparent through the team members,” says Lorraine Nash, Senior Service Manager.
“People we support are encouraged to see their own potential, which can be hard in some cases when they relive some historic prejudices”.
Richard, who has lived at the home since 2016, volunteers at Waterfront Gardens and would one day like to be in paid employment. Undertaking jobs such as woodwork and potting plants at the garden centre, Richard loves the social aspect of his role. “I have learnt how to socialise better,” he says. “I have used this skill in the community”.
Richard has mobility issues and has been given special equipment “to help me do my job better”, which is a great example of a workplace offering reasonable adjustments.
David, who has also lived at the home since 2011, has a job at ‘Go Create’, a vocational work-based skills service, where he likes the hard-working aspect of the role, stripping crates and building projects that go for sale on Etsy (an online shop for hand-crafted items). Building things is a skill that David has now used outside of work.
Steven, who had a brain tumour which resulted in him being unable to walk (and has been at the home since 2019), now works at Lily and Lime (a Café) and The British Heart Foundation. “It’s not too hard to do,” says Steven, who likes meeting new people at work and helping them. He’s learned new skills through his job, such as time management and customer service skills. Gaining new skills such as these is a reason why Steven would recommend work or volunteering to anyone being supported at Achieve together. When asked if Steven has any tips or advice for people looking to get a job, he says, “If anyone has difficulties or questions to ask.”
Lorraine credits a strong working relationship with a locally supported employment service, YouTrust, for the success that people at the home have earned for themselves. “We are privileged to have a great Into-Work employee at YouTrust called Annabelle, whom we have worked very closely with alongside social workers,” she says, and she is looking forward to continuing this relationship into the future.
“The most enjoyable part of my role is seeing people supported, at our home, living fulfilling, busy lives and promoting their social inclusion,” Lorraine adds. “Most satisfying is working as a team to reach individuals’ goals, whether that is a job opportunity, increase in day service hours or a holiday. We will go above and beyond to reach their goals, being creative and thinking outside of the box.”