On original assessment, Emma was assigned a key worker who helped her access community cafés using her mobility scooter for 3 hours a week. Emma became enchanted with the Woodhall service as a whole and in a short period of time, went from relative immobility to coming into the centre to support other service users who attended.
Emma revised her outcomes to gain vocational skills with the aim of volunteering and was supported directly by Mo, the manager, to develop her administrative skills. Emma completed her outcomes and was no longer funded to receive support, but she approached us to take on a volunteer role. She applied, attended an interview and passed through recruitment to be the first admin volunteer at Woodhall.
Emma reported back such positive things about Woodhall, her mum applied for the support worker bank role. Family values have been added to the SJOG values at Woodhall!
Interview with Emma
How did you first find out about SJOG?
I had been on a long waiting list through social services for support in the community. I received a call from Mo asking to do a home visit for an assessment, and to see if they could support my needs. We had a long talk and I decided to go ahead and get the support through SJOG.
How did you use the service?
I received visits to our house from two of the support workers, and as I became more confident with them I would go out and access the community. Then Gillian [support worker] wanted to see if I would like to visit the centre, I loved it and really felt comfortable there so I would then spend time at Woodall.
Did you find your goals and outcomes were met?
Yes I became a lot more confident and happier as felt I had more to life than being stuck at home, and I ended up with a voluntary job!
Why did you stay on?
Mo could see I liked admin and organising, so he took me under his wing and I became Mo’s admin assistant. This has made a huge difference for me. I felt happy and could express myself, and I could use my skills from college course: level 2 early years diploma. It feels like one big supportive family unit.
What do you do now?
I now work in the office doing admin, taking hall hire bookings, plus helping with lesson planning for the other clients. I also spend time with the clients building up a rapport and trust.
What opportunities have you had working here?
I’ve had access to online training, developing interpersonal skills and learning how to support others.
How would you describe the work environment?
Positive and happy! I have an assistance dog and she helps with my anxiety, and she makes everyone else happy as well.
Why do you work here rather than other places?
Due to long term medical problems I’m unable to do a ‘regular’ job. Everyone at Woodhall understands my situation and are very supportive; they know when I’m not feeling so good and I’m able to leave or I’m given space when I need it. The sensory room is one of my favourite go to places when I feel overwhelmed. Also having my dog with me is great and I can just have time out with her or sit with the others and decompress.
How have you developed since changing roles and what professional achievements have you had?
I am a lot more confident in myself and in my ability. I’m a lot more understanding of other people’s situations too. I just feel like a better person. I love online training and I’m
always bugging Mo to give me more work, learning more around admin and doing hall hire.
What’s it like working with your mother?
I feel we work well together and we support each other. If we are not sure about anything, we ask each other, plus it’s fun seeing my mum playing football.
What do you hope to do with us in the future?
I am very happy with my position, Mo understands me and my needs and I love what I do.
To see more information about the Woodhall Opportunities Project click here: https://sjog.uk/woodhall/