A support worker from Essex has shared her pride at marking 25 years of supporting people with learning disabilities to live their best life possible.
Yvette Adams, 71, has spent the last two and a half decades working a national learning disability charity Hft, during which time she has supported people to achieve a range of life ambitions, from going on a dream holiday to securing a first job and finding love and getting married.
HCI has shared this story as part of our Good Care News series, which aims to highlight the important contribution that care workers make to society.
Yvette was inspired to start working at Hft when her parents passed away and she took on more caring responsibilities for her sister, who has learning disabilities.
Keen to use her own experiences to make a difference to more people’s lives, she began volunteering for Hft one evening a week. She immediately took to the work and was soon asked to apply to work at the service.
The last 25 years have seen Yvette support people with learning disabilities at a range of Hft services in the Hertfordshire and Essex area.
They include a lady who she helped find love with another person supported by the charity. The pair got married and Yvette was a witness at the wedding.
Other memorable moments include supporting people to boost their independence and have new experiences by going on holiday.
One man was supported by Yvette and another support worker to travel to Las Vegas and attend a Britney Spears concert, which he said was a dream come true.
Yvette said the experience resulted in a boost of confidence by allowing the man to use his own way of communicating to make purchases and interact with others, and that the holiday has resulted in a higher tolerance to large groups of people.
Citing supporting people to become more independent as one of the most rewarding aspects of her job, Yvette has played a key role in helping people to develop cooking and money skills, as well as guiding them to take their first steps into the world of work.
Yvette said: “After all these years at Hft I’m still very happy in my role and am so proud to have reached my 25 year anniversary. The best thing about being a support worker is when you finish your shift and know that you’ve helped somebody develop a new skill and made a difference to their life.
“I’ve always been passionate about helping people, and about seeing people for who they are, rather than their disability or any other label. I’d encourage anyone considering a career in support work to come and try it – all you need is to be understanding and a good listener.”
Adolf Kamusoko, regional manager at Hft, said: “Yvette has been an outstanding support worker – one of her biggest contributions has been integrating individuals into supported living services and working with them to gain independent living skills, including introducing personalised technology and assisting people to understand how the equipment can improve their lives.”
If you are a home care provider and want to share a Good Care News story about one of your team members with HCI, please contact Sarah Clarke at email@example.com.
Please include an example of how your staff member has improved the lives of a client(s) by going the extra mile.