Manager: Tom Allan

Tell us about your experience with the company?

I have worked for Silva Care for 10 years. Before working in care I did lots of different jobs, from multi-drop deliveries to electrical loom wiring on helicopters, house and piano
moving, and building and installing sound, light and power wiring for theatres and schools. In the end, none of these jobs really satisfied me and I eventually became bored. A
friend suggested I try support work with Silva Care as a complete change of direction and I never looked back.

I started at Oakleigh in 2010 as a support worker. After 5 years I became a senior support worker and I have recently started a deputy managers role. A year ago we started
managing a second house called Hazels. Oakleigh and Hazels are small supported living houses with three residents in each home.

Describe your senior team?

We have a senior team of 3 people, Jayne (manager), Aga (senior support worker), and myself (deputy manager). We believe in making sure everyone we work with at Oakleigh and Hazels feels welcome and confident in their abilities to do the job. We ensure we run a safe and person-centered service and help new members of staff achieve the high standards of care Silva Care is known for.

What are the needs of the people you support?    

We support people with a wide range of physical and emotional needs. Some of our service users are very independent and just need verbal prompting with daily tasks, and support when out in the community. Some of our service users require a bit more support with getting ready in the mornings and evenings, and preparing meals. Some service users require personal care and much more support around their mobility and eating.

Run us through a typical day as a support worker at your site?

Our supported living houses are staffed 24 hours a day. In the morning we come in and have a chat with the night staff. They will let you know any issues that may have arisen
during the night. This could be someone who had a late night and will probably want a lie-in, or someone who was unsettled or ill during the night. We will then support people with their morning routines once they are up. Each person will have a different routine. We will follow the service users lead, so some people would like breakfast before their wash and getting dressed and others like to be washed and dressed before breakfast. We support everyone to do as much as they can during showers and personal care, so some people just need you there to give a little verbal help, whereas others will need us to wash, dry, and dress them. We will support the service users to do their daily chores like laundry, cleaning, and tidying their rooms and the shared areas of their house. During the day, we support our service users to take part in activities and interests they enjoy. We support people with their shopping and cooking, and also to keep regular contact with family and friends.

What activities do you do at your site?

Popular activities include, swimming, rambles, visiting the theatre and cinema, day centres, sessions in the gym, discos, cooking classes, arts and crafts, music sessions, day trips to the beach. People also love going to the pub or restaurants for food and drinks. We also support service users on holiday for up to a week at a time.

What about your sites are you proud of?

At Hazels and Oakleigh we are most proud of the friendly, homely atmosphere we have managed to create. We do get compliments about how warm and caring it feels when
people come to visit.

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