Our Colleague Spotlight feature is on Sue Hildreth who is a Senior Community Support Worker. Read Sue’s interview below to learn about her career in care with Surrey Choices and much more!
How long have you worked at Surrey Choices?
I have worked with Surrey Choices, and Surrey County Council before that, for a total of 38 years. I started as a coach escort for one of the four 52-seater coaches that used to bring in over 200 customers to Lockwood in the early 1980s. I then worked as a volunteer at Lockwood in between shifts at a pub. After a year I became a Practical Assistant, working with different professionals as well as supporting customers in their work. I have gradually moved up in the company until I became a Senior Community Support Worker several years ago.
What is top of your bucket list?
To learn how to play the saxophone!
How has care changed since you started?
There have been so many changes! Moving and Handling legislation did not exist and we had no hoists, changing beds, PPE, guidelines, or training. The biggest to me is how much conditions such as Dementia and Autism have been recognised. Dementia diagnosis for people with learning disabilities did not exist. It was classified as challenging behaviour, as was Autism. Now it is part of our daily lives and people are very aware of how to work alongside our customers.
What has been your proudest moment at Surrey Choices?
I really liked supporting people throughout lockdown, going out or being with them in their home.
What advice would you give to someone just starting in care?
Respect people as if they were a member of your own family and how you yourself would like to be treated. Get involved with training, ask plenty of questions, find out as much as possible about the people you are working with, allow time for customers to process information. It is amazing what you will get back in return.
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