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Meet Darlene – Support Worker

Darlene is a Support Worker at a residential home in St Leonard’s on Sea.

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 Sussex, in a house where we support five 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. (Some of these activities are currently on hold due to the pandemic).

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.

Find out more about support work

Contact us

Contact us

Head Office

Head Office
1 St Andrew's Court, Wellington Street, Thame, Oxfordshire OX9 3WT View Map
T: 01844 267800 F: 01844 267829 E:
Media enquiries to:
1 St. Andrew's Court, Wellington Street, Thame, Oxfordshire OX9 3WT
T: 07553 264 975 E:

Central England

Central - Divisional Office
Rowan Room, Acacia Room, BT Room, Poplar Room and Office Ground floor, National Training Centre 3 Gilmour Close Leicester LE4 1EZ View Map
T: 0116 236 3793 F: 0345 643 7094 E:
For enquiries about Sheffield-based services
T: 07387 058 872 (9am-3.45pm Monday-Thursday only) E:

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:
Enquiries for Norfolk and Suffolk should be directed to the Divisional Office.

North England

North - Divisional Office
Unit 12, Curtis House Business Centre, Leeds, LS9 9LF View Map
T: 0113 468 4460 E:
Bradford District Office
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T: 01274 533553 E:
West Midlands Office
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T: 01543 578764

Positive Behaviour Support for children, young people and their families

Positive Behaviour Support
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T: 07341 478228 E:


Scotland - Divisional Office
62 Viewfield Road, Ayr KA8 8HH View Map
T: 01292 436030 E:
Oban Office
First Floor, Glenshellach House, 7e Glengallan Road, Oban, PA34 4HG View Map
T: 01631 571311 F: 01631 566708 / 0872 111 4616 E:
Aberdeen Office
87a Urquhart Road, Aberdeen, AB24 5ND View Map
T: 01224 039264 E:
Isle of Bute Office
18 East Princes Street, Rothesay, Isle of Bute PA20 9DL View Map
T: 01700 500376 E:
Irvine office
Suites 2/1 and 2/2, Landek House, 44-46 Bank Street, Irvine KA12 0LP View Map
T: 01294 446600 E:

South & South West

South - Divisional Office
Suites 53-55, Aldershot Enterprise Centre, Mandora House, Aldershot, Hampshire, GU11 2PW View Map
T: 01252 311188 F: 01252 311170 E:
Somerset Office
Mendip Court, Bath Road, Wells, Somerset BA5 3DG View Map
T: 01749 605594 E:

South East, Bedford and Northamptonshire

South East - Divisional Office
Suite 2+3, Henwood Pavilion, Henwood, Ashford, Kent, TN24 8DH View Map
T: 01233 665324 E:

Specialist Support

Specialist Support
Head Office, 1 St Andrew's Court, Wellington Street, Thame View Map
T: 01844 267800 F: 01844 267049 E: