Rebecca Garrard has been the Registered Manager of Mount Pleasant since 2018 and has been with Achieve together for over 12 years.
When we asked her what she loves most about her job, she told us, “It’s the changes and different challenges every day, both with the people we support and also our team members. Even with the whole organisation – how we’re changing, growing and developing.
“I love seeing inspiring stories on our social media about people we support having a choice in their medication, and joining medication research groups involving diets etc. We are very person-centred which is exciting, because people have more choice, a voice and are encouraged to share their views.”
People at Mount Pleasant are supported to participate in activities that increase independence. Team members will support people with identifying and maintaining any voluntary work, education and/or paid work, and help people build daily life skills such as cooking, budgeting and taking public transport.
People also take part in a variety of leisure activities both in the service and in the community. This includes cinema trips, meals out at restaurants, bowling, swimming, arts and crafts, picnics and music classes, to name a few. There are also a lot of day trips that go on at the service, including trips to the coast and nearby towns.
Rebecca described how Mount Pleasant reflects the values at Achieve together: “Valuing everyone: We have team members ranging from 28 to 74 years old! We respect all ages and all opinions. We respect the wishes of people we support – in fact the service is completely designed by them, and each room has been decorated to suit individual tastes.
“Being brave: People we support are very brave. One lady had a fear of hospitals, so we liaised with the Clinical team to help prepare her. We were able to get her into hospital to have life-saving breast cancer surgery. People living through the pandemic have been brave – and they are now getting involved in the community again – attending sensory classes, musical therapy, enjoying restaurant visits etc. I feel I’ve also been brave with making positive changes by example.”
We asked Rebecca about her career progress. She said, “I started my career working in a mental health institution as a Re-settlement Officer, working with the most challenging individuals. I then worked in a hospital, before starting at Achieve together.
“What excited me about this career path was being able to help change people’s lives. I worked with people who felt they had no respect from others, and I was able to place them into the community, give them a better environment, and see them change. That was inspiring. Every day was a challenge, but every day a goal was achieved!
“I initially wanted to be a Paramedic. During my training, I came across mental health and learning disabilities, and saw how there was a lack of understanding around this area. So I followed on from that.
“What inspires me to keep going is seeing people make changes, and living the life they choose to live. I’m here to support that. And even if that means people moving on, or out of the service I run, I feel that is a success in my job. I also love mentoring our team members and giving them inspiration.”
Rebecca expressed that she is proud of how Mount Pleasant has changed with her management style, and the way in which people have responded positively to that.
Outside of work, Rebecca offers support at homeless charity centres for people with mental health needs, learning disabilities and alcohol addiction. She also spends time with family, friends and loves the seaside.
Rebecca’s mission and aspirations for the future are “To fill a vacant room we currently have, and make sure the new person will fit in well, along with the others who live here. I’m really excited about the prospect of a new person moving in, and new challenges, supporting them to achieve their goals. I also want the service to be award-winning – and we’re not far off from that!
“I’m really looking forward to supporting people to get back into the community, and live a fulfilled life seeing their friends and family, and enjoying holidays.”
Mount Pleasant is a specialist supported living service for female adults aged 18+ with learning disabilities and mental health needs.
The team at Mount Pleasant are passionate about supporting individuals to make choices and have control over their lives using a wide range of communication aids and methods.