Welcome to the second in our blog series where Livability Staff Recognition Award winners introduce us to the service they work at. This time we’re talking to Marita Parsons, winner of Livability’s Outstanding Achievement award, about the wide range of support available from Livability East Midlands.
Marita, tell us about Livability East Midlands
I work on the community side of things as an Enabling Support Worker, so I’m supporting people who live in their own homes, enabling them to live as independent a life as possible. Livability East Midlands’ services include residential care and a great day centre too.
Who uses this service?
People with learning disabilities. We have a wide age range, from 80-plus to someone in their twenties. We support about 40 people, including one person with an acquired brain injury. In my role, I support about eight individuals.
What kind of support do you provide?
It really varies. Some people need help with tasks that require reading and writing, so I would support them with admin, or help with the internet. I help with daily living, like drawing up healthy menus and budgeting. I make sure the person is safe in their house, so for example, we have one gentleman who is a hoarder, so we look at keeping this under control with no trip hazards. People get scam emails and phone calls and can get very anxious about sorting this out, so I can help with support and reassurance. Medical appointments and all that entails is another part of people’s lives where I can support them.
Can you tell us about one person you’ve supported?
Yes, there’s an older lady who lives quite a secluded life and really struggled after her mum died ten years ago. She’s built up a very trusting relationship with me, and really little things, just like buying her a bar of chocolate, makes her so happy. The Church is very important to her and I was able to support her to get back to church when Covid died down, which took a bit of organising. She loves to contribute and really lights up when she helps with something, like getting a shopping list together.
What is special about the way staff at East Midlands deliver this service?
We know how important support and reassurance is to the people we serve, who face a lot of challenges. I can get anxious myself so that’s something I can relate to. Just listening is often what’s needed. When someone is new, we show them photos of the staff team, and they always have a rota, and know who is coming in. Some people find change hard so we prepare them if a member of staff is going on holiday. I think all the team love to be able to make someone smile.
Congratulations on winning your award! How did you feel when you won?
I was very, very pleasantly surprised and it’s much appreciated. We celebrated at the service with plenty of chocolate!
Team leader Alison Sedgwick tells us why she nominated Marita: ‘Marita is very modest but she is an absolute star. The people in our service need a lot of reassurance and Marita provides that in so many ways. She does so many little but significant things to make life better for the people she works with. When I nominated her, the words I chose for a Livability ‘sum’ for her were … Friendly face + Dedication + Support … and that says it all, really.’