United Response are always looking for new people to come and work for us so we set our Support Workers a challenge... to tell us their stories in the form of words,  pictures and video so we can show you why we stand out from the competition!

Here are some highlights from the entries we received.

Brett Browns Holiday to Green Gathering Music Festival 

"When planning Brett’s holiday I took into consideration his previous holidays to try and make this years as person centred as possible. For the last 2 years Brett has gone on holiday to Butlin’s. It was observed that Brett did not enjoy activities in which he was the focus, preferring the activities that he could observe and enjoy the atmosphere around him, such as watching music shows. Therefore, I decided to take Brett to a music festival for the first time. Music is a massive part of Brett’s day to day life and is one of his main interests.

I spent a lot of time picking a suitable festival for him to go to, contacting the organisers and working out different plans for different eventualities. I decided on Green Gathering as the best option due to its small size, it had won family festival of the year, its proximity to Brett’s house (only 30 minutes away) and that it was going to be powered largely through solar panels so there wouldn’t be any large sound systems which may have been too loud for Brett.

  

On Brett’s previous holidays he has been so anxious about going home, from very early on. Sometimes even the first day of the holiday he will be saying he wants to go home. At Green Gathering the thing that he was most anxious about was whether he was going to get to see more bands.

It was such a successful experience that he has decided to go again next year and hopefully it can become an annual trip for him".

Shaun Glanvills Holiday to Disney Land

Shaun’s dream was to go on holiday to Disneyland

"We helped him achieve this by supporting him to save money, carefully planning logistics and a support plan to ensure he could enjoy the experience with as little stress as possible. The goal was to create a holiday experience where Shaun felt part of a group of friends enjoying himself, rather than a service user/staff relationship. To achieve this Shaun was to be supported by 3 staff who knew him very well and knew each other well.

We had researched the rides that were appropriate for Shaun and there was many that he enjoyed safely. He also attended different shows and simulator experiences. He also enjoyed meeting Micky Mouse and others at the Disney characters breakfast we booked.

Shaun bought a video camera so that we could record the holiday and watch back the footage and remember the good time he had there. 

The team was very proud of how we maintained the ‘lads’ holiday’ atmosphere which Shaun enjoyed so much, whilst keeping to the detailed plan that is required for someone with such complex needs. 

Created by Michael Law and Sam Iiles- Support Workers- Bristol Services. 

My 22 years with United Response 

"I have been with UR now for 22 years and I still support 2 of the people now as when I started as a support worker in 1994. I have been in many roles within united response and am now a team manager.

All the roles have taught me something different but the support is the most important part of the work I enjoy and love.

The people we support lived in a residential setting when I first started with united response and had previously been with Barnardo’s. The residential home was lovely, homely and the area was lovely but the support the people received has developed and changed so much over the years that when I look back I am amazed at what we have all learnt.

Progress is the key and as we all thought we did our best all those years ago if I could go back with what I know now I would. I look at how the two people I have supported over the years and how both have changed and moved on so much especially the gentleman, he has benefitted more than anyone with the changeover to supported living and the 1-1 support from staff. It’s sad that so many years have gone by and these changes may have been possible when he was younger if we had the knowledge we have now, but that’s life I suppose, progress is slow in some areas. We as a team especially the older staff celebrate the changes this environment and support has changed his life, not always easy to explain how but we see it in small ways and so have his parents. We can only improve on what we have learnt over the years and reflect on how much better people’s lives are now."

Dawn Baker

Team Manager- County Durham Services 

 Claire and James 

"Hello.  My name is Claire and I have worked for United Response as a Support Worker for just over 3 years now, in Liverpool.

 A few weeks after I started, I was introduced to a gentleman called James.  He was very welcoming and helpful, but it was clear that it would take a while for him to trust me.  After a bit of a rocky beginning working with James, I was really worried that I wasn't any good as a support worker. But I refused to give up, and worked even harder.

 After a while, James realised that women can like football just as much as men! When I was cooking the tea of a night time, I used to sing songs from the film Bedknobs and Broomsticks and we bonded over this. James finally found that we actually had a lot in common, we both love crime shows, Halloween and 90s music to name just a few!

James now he trusts me a lot and we get on very well. Sometimes I am the only person he will go with to attend important appointments, such as going to the Doctors and the bank.

This year was a milestone for James as he attended the polling station to vote, for the first time in his life.  I was honoured that he'd chosen me to support him on such an occasion.

I am very proud to be able to say that I support James".

Claire Titherington

Support Worker- Liverpool Services