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Meet Sharan – Support Worker

Sharan, who joined Affinity Trust in 2016, works as part of a large staff team supporting people with learning disabilities and autism in Cheadle in Staffordshire.

How long have you been working in the social care sector?

I’ve been at Affinity Trust for over three years, but have worked in the sector for 17 years. Before that I was working at Royal Doulton but got made redundant. It was all I had known workwise, but luckily a friend told me about working in the care sector and I’ve never looked back.

I wouldn’t consider working anywhere else now. I’ve found where I’m happy and, when you love your job, it really shows. You are happy in yourself and this can be seen by others.

What have been some of the main highlights of your time with us?

If I can make someone laugh or smile, then I can go home and know that I’ve made a difference to someone’s day. We are in someone’s home at the end of the day, we are invited in and we aim to do as much as we possibly can to help them to achieve their goals whatever they may be.

The more time that you are in the role, the more and more you get out of it. You get to know the people you are supporting and what activities they like to do. Even if you aren’t working directly with one of them on a certain day, you still see them in the home and are a part of their lives.

In our Refer a Friend scheme, our staff can earn from £100 to £400 per referral. There’s no limit to the number of referrals they can make so they can keep on earning extra cash!  We trust our staff to refer great people, just like them, so we don’t hold back payment until after a probationary period. If a staff member refers someone who is hired, we will make payment within a month.

Who did you refer via the Refer a Friend scheme and how did you find the process?

I actually referred mainly colleagues who I had worked with in another company. We all knew each other well and had worked well as a team before. Even after I had left, they would see me and the people I support out and about in the community, so we were always in touch and it wasn’t difficult to encourage them to make the move.

Another person was a friend of my cousin. She hadn’t worked in the sector before but I told her that it was the best place to work as we were given the time as a team to provide the one-to-one support needed. We’re very lucky as our managers are really on the ball and always accessible. If we need advice they are there to talk and we can always go and see them.

The process itself is simple enough but it’s you that needs to make it work. When I joined the sector I was so looked after, someone really took me under their wing as the expression goes and it gave me confidence. This is the approach I now take and always try to do this when others join us.

It’s fantastic you were able to earn money for your referrals; do you mind telling us what you spent it on?

It was great timing actually as I got the money just before Christmas. It really came in handy, as you can imagine, and I still have a little left over for a rainy day! I also became a great-aunt in November so it was nice to be able to spoil my new niece!

What advice would you give to others considering getting into support work?

The role is always so varied; we are off to the circus this weekend! Teamwork is really key, we are one team and we all do whatever we can to make sure that the people we are supporting get the best out of life. We’re mindful of the cost of things too so you do need to be creative at times and go out of your way to find the best activities to get involved in.

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
Unit 9 Parkview Court, St Paul's Road, Shipley, West Yorkshire, BD18 3DZ View Map
T: 01274 533553 E:
West Midlands Office
Flat 7, Parry’s Court, Woodside Place, Cannock, Staffordshire, WS11 4AA View Map
T: 01543 578764

Positive Behaviour Support for children, young people and their families

Positive Behaviour Support
1 St. Andrew's Court Wellington Street, Thame, Oxfordshire, OX9 3WT View Map
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: