Cornerstone's Support Worker Appeal
Find out how Megan went the extra mile for someone vulnerable in your local community of Aberdeenshire.
"I’ve been with Cornerstone for 7 years next month. I was a Support Worker at first, then 6 months later I was a Support Assistant, 3 years later I was a Team Leader and 3 years after that I’m now a Service Manager. Crudenlea, the service I work in, supports both men and women with a wide variety of needs and abilities. Our age range is huge as well, the youngest person we support is 26 and our oldest is 73. We support people with autism, cerebral palsy, epilepsy and some people who are blind so there’s a wide range of conditions too. I spread myself out and help out wherever is needed.
Prior to the first lockdown, I had fallen unwell with suspected COVID. I was feeling so unwell for a long while, but I came back to work once I’d recovered, and I worked all the way through the pandemic after that. I didn’t want to leave the staff and the people we support on their own. It was difficult at first, but the staff did so well to adapt to the changes.
We’ve organised different themed nights to keep the people we support entertained; I did a Winter Solstice themed night. Everyone had a great time and got stuck into the fun. It’s the little things that make you think this is great, this is such a good job. We organised a virtual train ride too for the people we support because at the time most of our residents couldn’t go out. We stopped all over the world including Hogwarts, complete with a trip to platform 9 ¾. We even had a conductor who stamped everyone’s tickets, and a trolley selling snacks and drinks.
It’s been really challenging though. There are times when I think ‘this can’t go on for much longer’. It comes with the territory in this job, you get to a point like that where you think I can’t keep going and then there’s little things that happen that get you through.
Yesterday was one of those days for me. One of the people we support really wanted to go for a walk now restrictions are easing so we went out. He loves to walk to a bridge that’s over a dual carriageway and he likes to record on his Walkman with cassettes. We were waving at the lorries and they were beeping and flashing their lights and it was so much fun for such a wee thing. On the way home he said, “You know what Megan, I really enjoyed that, I had a really great time”. He said that all the way home. When I got in, I just burst into tears. This is why I’m here. This is why I’m doing this job, it’s because of moments like that, helping people do activities that are meaningful to them.
Now with restrictions lifting, we’re able to get out again with the people we support which is even better. There’s been such a shift in their mood, being able to say next week I’m going to Aberdeen or Montrose. You can feel a real buzz around the service again."