Diane Davies, a Shared Lives Development Worker, recently showed her enthusiasm and dedication to her job when she completed her Supervisor Apprenticeship Standard (Level 3) and passed with a Distinction!
Could you give us a bit of background to your career with Persona?
I first joined Persona when I worked as a Support Worker at Woodbury Short Stay, I transferred from Bury Council to Persona in 2014. So, in total I’ve been in the service for 9 years. I began my role as a Shared Lives Development Worker in 2015, and it’s a job that I love. No two days are the same and being there for both carers and the people we support is a privilege and a role that I cherish. Being a Shared Lives Development Worker means that I develop new placements, this means that I support people to find the right kind of care with the right people, whether this be for just a few hours once per week or living full time with the carer. No two placements are the same and I work to completely tailor each package to best meet the needs of the person.
What is the qualification you’ve just completed?
I have just completed the Team Leader/Supervisor Apprenticeship Standard (Level 3). As somebody who has studied quite a lot in adulthood, I thought this would be much easier than my degrees – but it wasn’t! I thought that I would find the qualification a breeze but it was definitely more challenging and time consuming than I expected. But, it was an interesting topic that reflected the skills that I have already developed as part of my role, and I enjoyed being able to scrutinise my performance and the way that I interact with our carers and the people we support and improve my leadership skills. I found managing my time a challenge at first as I have a very busy schedule, so I devoted each Thursday to my studies and made sure that I kept my calendar empty each week.
How did Persona support you to do this qualification?
Persona were generous enough to fund the course and my manager Mo agreed to me taking each Thursday out of my work schedule to focus on my studies.
How do you feel about achieving this qualification?
I am proud of achieving this qualification and feel that it will be useful in my current and potential future roles.
What impact will this qualification have on your current role?
The knowledge and information that I gained while studying for this qualification will help me to understand communication better, eg how best to support carers who may be faced with a challenging situation and to help build rapport with the people we support who may be joining our service from experiencing challenges in their lives. Its important that both people we support and carers feel that they can trust me and can turn to me for support but also that I can guide them through the more formal parts of their role and will communicate effectively with them in a way that ensures that they carry out their responsibilities to the best of their abilities.
What’s the best thing about your job?
I am able to support people to access the best kind of care for their needs and to have the same opportunities as everybody else. I love being the person that people feel they can turn to for support.
What do you wish people knew about your job?
I wish people knew the various, hidden, challenges that my role involves such as securing funding, liaising with other professionals and external bodies such as Social Worker teams, colleges, safeguarding teams etc. But mostly, I am privileged to hold this role and be the ‘facilitator’ to allow wonderful things to happen for wonderful people.
Click to read other staff members' experiences of gaining a qualification while they worked.
Click to read more about Bury Shared Lives.