Hemwatie is a Support Worker in Loughborough. In 2019, after 30 years of continuous service supporting people with learning disabilities, she received an Affinity Trust long-service award.
What brought you to Affinity Trust?
At the very start of my career I was employed in various jobs in a hosiery factory.
I joined the NHS back in 1989, working at the Laurels at the Leicester Frith Hospital. In 1992, I applied for a night shift position as this suited my young family. I worked there for many years, relocating to the Herschel Prins Centre in Leicester (but keeping the name the Laurels) in 2009.
I transferred to Affinity Trust at the end of 2010, as the people I was supporting at the Herschel Prins Centre moved into the community. It was a slow process and a life-changing event for everyone involved. And a new adventure!
What does your current job involve?
I support nine people with learning disabilities who live in a purpose-built cluster of flats in Loughborough in Leicestershire. They have a range of needs. I support them with all their needs, including personal care. I usually work night shifts, but also work in the day if needed.
What do you like most about the role?
I like seeing improvements in the people we people we support – which can be little things. I love to see people becoming more independent.
How has your job changed?
I have seen lots of changes over the years – mental health awareness, legislation, human rights etc. Everyone’s more independent, and there’s more one-to-one support.
How did you feel when you heard you’d received a long-service award?
Shocked at first! And very flattered. I felt like all my hard work was appreciated. Leo [Leo Sowerby, Affinity Trust’s Chief Executive] rung and thanked me personally.
What did you spend your long-service voucher on?
I’ve spoiled myself with a little jewellery!