What makes our support workers so special? Kelly, (pictured above with Danny) a Senior Support Worker at Fiennes House in Wellington, won an award at our 2019 Excellence Awards, which are an opportunity for employee and volunteer achievements to be recognised and celebrated. The SeeAbility Excellence Awards are held every year and we welcome nominations from friends and family. If you feel you'd like to nominate someone whose made a difference, do look out for the nomination forms next Spring! This is what Danny, whom Kelly supports, said in his nomination: Kelly is a good listener and understands my needs. I am doing a lot and building my skills with her. She is a kind person and she listens to me. She helps me to understand feelings better. And this is a nomination from one of her colleagues: Kelly treats Danny like an adult, like an equal. And that’s changing his life. They talk about what upsets him and put strategies into place. When he’s not having a good day, they sit down together and talk about it, so they can recognise what he might do differently in the future. It’s really helped. He’s learnt a lot of coping mechanisms around who he is. It’s up to every support worker to follow support plans but also really think about who they are as a person. That’s what Kelly does. She understands that no two people are the same. . "I don’t think you can get a more heartfelt testimony than these nominations!" - We spoke to Matt Butcher, our Talent and Resource Manager, about what makes SeeAbility’s support workers so special: I actually started my career as a support worker. I honestly think there’s no better place that aligns to my values than SeeAbility. Everyone here really believes in what they’re doing and achieving great outcomes for the people we support, so it’s very motivating to work in an organisation where the values are truly living every day. SeeAbility is definitely different from our competitors. People often say the teams they work in here are like second families, and there’s an incredible amount of passion in their commitment to achieve great outcomes for the people they support. Nevertheless, we face the same challenges that impact recruitment across the social care sector. Like most other organisations in social care, we feel the effects of limited funding from local authorities and the Government. As a result, we’ve had to think hard about which roles receive a pay increase this year and have decided to prioritise those roles that work closest to the people we support - our Support Workers and Senior Support Workers. Another key challenge is the reputation of social care and understanding of the role of the Support Worker. There are not enough positive stories out in the media that demonstrate the incredible work that people do every day in social care and although incredibly hard work, how it can also be equally rewarding. To combat that, over the coming months we’ll be highlighting some of these stories and we hope you enjoy reading them.