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Meet Darlene – Support Worker

Why did you join Affinity Trust?

I joined in 2012, but I’ve been working in social care for most of my career – longer than I’ve been married!

I started as a care assistant when people with learning disabilities were institutionalised. Then I did my NVQ and worked in various roles for different providers. Then I joined Affinity Trust as a support worker – as that’s what I love.

 What does your job involve?

I work in St Leonards-on-Sea, in a house where we support six people, all of whom communicate through facial expressions and body language.

Every week we have aromatherapy sessions in the house. Some of the guys have college on a Monday, there’s swimming on a Tuesday, and then visits to Rebound trampoline park, so it’s always go.

We go on bigger days out, too, like to see The Lion King, Brighton and Hove Albion, and even DisneyLand Paris.

We are all non-stop in the house, it really doesn’t feel like work and time just flies by.

What do you like most about the role?

To me it’s just so nice to see people so happy.  Some days you will go home absolutely knackered but that’s because we do so much and are always on the go.  The days just go so quickly.

Sometimes, when people we support have had to spend time in hospital, the doctors say we are better placed to care for them at home, as we know them and have that connection. It’s nice when a medical professional says ‘you tell us’, it’s empowering.

There’s one gentleman we support, who used to be so tense whenever he took a shower. But then we started singing to him and everything changed.

He just loves Frankie Valli. So not only do we sing all the songs to him, but we supported him to go to London to see Jersey Boys. When Sherry Baby came on he just rose up and was so happy. I nearly cried, I was just overjoyed to see this.

How has your work changed over the years?

Before joining Affinity Trust, I remember when I worked in an institution. Then it was a case of load everyone on a bus, have a flask of something hot to drink, and then coming back again.  That is no life for people.

What makes Affinity Trust different from other support providers?

It’s having a great team around you, this is really critical.  And the managers here are always encouraging us to try new activities. They say, ‘Go for it’.

What advice would you give to someone thinking about becoming a support worker?

Try it and see. The sector has moved on so much in all the years I’ve worked in it.

Contact us

Head Office

Head Office
1 St. Andrew's Court Wellington Street, Thame, Oxfordshire, OX9 3WT View Map
T: 01844 267800 F: 01844 267049 E: info@affinitytrust.org

Central England

Central - Divisional Office
109 Boston Road, Beaumont Leys, Leicester, LE4 1AW View Map
T: 0116 236 3793 F: 0345 643 7094 E: info@affinitytrust.org

East Anglia

East Anglia - Divisional Office
Office 3, Wharfside House, Prentice Road, Stowmarket, Suffolk, IP14 1RD View Map
East Anglia - Southend Office
Suite 7, 1st Floor Chalkwell Lawns, 648-656 London Road, Westcliff on Sea, Essex, SS0 9HR View Map
T: 01702 335980 F: 08456 437291
East Anglia - Norfolk Office
Crome House, 231 St. Faiths Road, Norwich, Norfolk, NR6 7AP View Map
T: 01603 400321 F: 01603 400771 E: infoeastanglia@affinitytrust.org
East Anglia - Lowestoft Office
The Old Police Station, 2 Regent Road, Lowestoft, Suffolk, NR32 1PA View Map

East England

East - Divisional Office
U18, South Fens Business Centre, Fenton Way, Chatteris, Cambridgeshire, PE16 6TT View Map
T: 01354 696009 F: 08456 437521 E: infoeast@affinitytrust.org
East - Luton Office
Unit 2B Bramingham Business Park, Enterprise Way, Luton, LU3 4BU View Map
T: 01582 584575 E: infoeast@affinitytrust.org

Midlands

Midlands - Divisional Office
Wood Lane Community Centre, 157 Wood Lane, West Bromwich, B70 9PT View Map
T: 0121 553 3502 E: infomidlands@affinitytrust.org

North England

North - Divisional Office
The Gatehouse, Curtis Buildings, Berking Avenue, Leeds LS9 9LF View Map
T: 0113 468 4460 F: 0113 242 1399 E: infonorth@affinitytrust.org
North - Sheffield Office
157-163 Sheffield Road, Killamarsh, Sheffield S21 1DY View Map
T: 0114 276 4980 E: infonorth@affinitytrust.org

North West England

North West - Divisional Office
Unit 9 Parkview Court, St Paul's Road, Shipley, West Yorkshire, BD18 3DX View Map
T: 01274 533553 E: infoshipley@affinitytrust.org
North West - Tameside Office
The Old Courthouse, Chapel Street, Dukinfield, Cheshire SK16 4DT View Map
T: 0161 711 0577 E: infotameside@affinitytrust.org

Scotland

Scotland - Divisional Office
37 George Street, Ayr, KA8 0AH View Map
T: 01292 292922 F: 08456 437822 E: infoscotland@affinitytrust.org
Scotland - Oban Office
First Floor, Glenshellach House, 7e Glengallan Road, Oban, PA34 4HG View Map
T: 01631 571311 F: 01631 566708 / 0872 111 4616 E: infoscotland@affinitytrust.org
Scotland - Aberdeen Office
Bon Accord House, Riverside Drive, Aberdeen AB11 7SL View Map
T: 01224 595529 E: infoscotland@affinitytrust.org

South England

South - Divisional Office
Suites 53-55, Aldershot Enterprise Centre, Mandora House, Aldershot, Hampshire, GU11 2PW View Map
T: 01252 311188 F: 01252 311170 E: infosouth@affinitytrust.org
South - Maidenhead Office
Unit 5, Maple Court, Grove Park Industrial Estate, Waltham Road, Maidenhead, Berkshire, SL6 3LW View Map
T: 01628 822359 E: infosouth@affinitytrust.org
South - Portsmouth Office
Gatcombe House, Copnor Road, Portsmouth, PO3 5EJ View Map
T: 02392 666624 F: 02392 666624 E: infosouth@affinitytrust.org
South - Oxford Office
Office 4, Hampden House, Monument Park, Chalgrove, Oxfordshire OX44 7RW View Map
T: 01865 893269 E: infosouth@affinitytrust.org

South East England

South East - Divisional Office
Suite 2+3, Henwood Pavilion, Henwood, Ashford, Kent, TN24 8DH View Map
T: 01233 665324 E: infosoutheast@affinitytrust.org
South East - East Sussex Office
Units 31-32, Castleham Business Centre East, Stirling Road, St Leonards On Sea, East Sussex, TN38 9NP View Map
T: 01424 853390 F: 0845 643 7300 E: infosoutheast@affinitytrust.org

South West England

South West - Divisional Office
Mendip Court, Bath Road, Wells, Somerset BA5 3DG View Map
T: 01749 605594 E: infosouthwest@affinitytrust.org

Bradford Positive Behaviour Support Service

Positive Behaviour Support Service
5th Floor, Margaret McMillan Tower, Princes Way, Bradford BD1 1NN View Map
T: 07584 528751 E: BradfordPBS@affinitytrust.org

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