Ashley, or Ash as he likes to be called, has been a Sylvanvale Support Worker for more than six years. Ash took the time to answer some questions about the job he enjoys so much.
What made you want to become a support worker?
The mum of one of my friends worked in the industry and she used to say lots of really good things about it. And I’ve always had a caring nature, so I thought I’d take to it – which I did. I really enjoy what I do.
Is there a particular demographic that you support?
All the guys are males aged from their 30s to mid-50s. I get matched to them because we’re the same gender and in a similar age group, so we tend to have more in common.
What type of support do you provide?
I provide flexible support, which means I go to a person’s home or take them out into the community. I’m there to help them do the things they want to do.
What types of activities do you do with the people you support?
The type of things we do really depends on the person I’m supporting. A lot of the guys are interested in fitness and in going to the gym to do activities like weights and swimming, so we go together and I support them and motivate them.
But for some people it’s not an option, or it’s not something they’re interested in – so we might go shopping, go to the movies or do other things in the community that they want to do.
What do you like about your job?
I find it really rewarding helping the guys achieve their goals – any little improvement is a reflection of your work. I like seeing the guys happy with themselves. And I like the fact that in this job you can really make a difference to someone’s life.
Thomas is one of the people whose life Ash is making a difference to. Ash has been supporting Thomas for more than three years. They participate in a variety of activities together. In Thomas’ words, “Depending on how much money I have we may go out for lunch, go shopping, go to the gym, the pool or the movies.”
One of the things that Thomas enjoys is the gym, “It’s good fitness and it gets me out of the house. I started going after a doctor told me I needed to lose some weight – and I have.”
“Ash used to talk about the gym, which got me interested. We looked at gyms and compared prices, until we found one I was happy with.”
Find out more about Sylvanvale’s Flexible Support here.