My Princes Trust Fairy Tale16 Oct 2019
By Mairi Martin
The Princes Trust sounds majestic. It suggests a magical power that will overcome hardship and make the people of the Kingdom happy. This fairy tale became reality in 1976 when HRH The Prince of Wales completed his duty in the Royal Navy. He became dedicated to improving the lives of disadvantaged young people in the UK and founded His Trust to deliver on that commitment.
I recently met with Dale, a young man from Dundee who started his career in social care with Cornerstone through the Princes Trust programme, to find out more about his experience:
“When the Princes Trust introduced me to Cornerstone I was delighted. I had two weeks’ intense training which covered medication and moving and handling with an opportunity to shadow shifts for another two weeks to see what a role in social care entailed. I really enjoyed the experience and we had a great celebration event at the end of the programme, and then and agonising wait to find out if I had got a job.
"I was over the moon to find out I had got a job at the Springhill service. I liked working at Springhill as I already met the team and the people we supported with and knew their routines and how best I could help them. After my Princes Trust experience, it was great to be a real Cornerstone team member, and I really enjoyed getting upskilled in the new way of working in a local care and support team (LCAST).
"Being in a LCAST means my team can make their own decisions, without approval from supervisors and managers as I had expected. Already I can see this new way of working is letting me do more with the people we support. There are so many more benefits. The best example is someone we support hadn’t been on holiday since they were a child. He is now in his 50s and the team decided that we should take him on holiday. We didn’t need to ask a manager or wait to get authorisation from anyone, we just did it!
"It was an amazing experience for all of us. The person we supported was so excited to be able to go on a plane and kept doing plane signs which made us all smile. It gave him an experience as an adult that he hadn’t had before, and as we all know, going on holiday makes everyone much more relaxed and happier. He could be anxious at home, but with our own pool on holiday he was able to swim every day and he loved it. It was a great experience for him, and it was brilliant to make decisions that provide the people we support with choices that make them happy. It’s why I wanted a career in social care… it did feel weird being in Spain on holiday and I was still working, but that’s just an added perk!”
It seems that the Princes Trust was the first step in Dale’s happily ever after, and the impact of making decisions with Cornerstone’s LCAST structure extends that joy further. Through working together, we can offer our colleagues and the people we support a valued life - the life they choose.