21-year-old Saskia Burnett started volunteering at Livability Keefield Close as a befriender in 2015. When she arrived, she had already had some volunteering experience elsewhere, but immediately felt at home at the service. It quickly emerged that she was a gifted and exceptional care worker, who felt a genuine connection with residents at the home.
Keen to learn, and with an infectious outgoing personality, Saskia soon became a favourite amongst staff and residents. As well as an enthusiasm for all aspects of the work – from keeping patient records to supporting them with personal care – Saskia was also happy to join in with all the activities on offer and more than willing to accompany any of the residents in their pursuits outside of the home.
‘Saskia has overcome many challenges in her life,’ explains Deputy Service Manger Trevor Gardner. ‘She has experienced social isolation and she knows what it is like to feel excluded. Because of this, she is hugely empathetic, which makes her a wonderful friend and carer to the people she supports at Keefield.’
Service Manager, Sandra Wilson, agrees. ‘What impressed us the most was her kindness and enormous patience with our service users. All the people here love her and have welcome her into the Keefield family.’
‘Saskia has especially bonded with one of our oldest residents, 73-year-old Val,’ Sandra said. ‘With no living family, Val’s relationship with Saskia is really precious to her.’
Now that Saskia’s internship is at an end, everyone is delighted that she has decided to stay on at the service in a more permanent capacity. ‘Saskia has really blossomed at Keefield and everyone can see how her confidence has grown,’ says Sandra. ‘She is a hugely positive person and brings a wonderful energy to the home. We are very fortunate to have her with us.’