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14 February 2024

How Support Workers transform lives with Cygnet

Lauren Broome Blog image

We recently caught up with Lauren Broome, a Senior Support Worker, working within Cygnet Social Care at North West Supported Living where we support individuals with learning disabilities, autism, mental health needs, and behaviours that challenge.

Supported Living is an important step towards independence. We know how important it is for individuals to have the right support so they can live the life they want to live. 

Cygnet supports individuals in several different locations across the North West including in Macclesfield, Cheshire, where we help support nine tenants in single occupancy apartments.

 

How did you come to work at Cygnet, Lauren? 

I worked in retail, at Asda for a few years and had tried working in nurseries and elderly care. I loved people but doubted myself. One of my friends had worked at Cygnet and in August 2021 I applied to join as a Support Worker. 

 

What was your first job with Cygnet like?  

It was in Wigan, doing supported living, supporting just one Service User with mental health and learning disabilities. She was 18 years old and had mental health and learning difficulties. Over the 18 months that followed, I built a good relationship with her and also started doing some acting senior support worker duties, like being involved in paperwork and audits. 

 

Did the acting senior experience lead to your desire to get promoted? 

Yes, I applied for a Senior Support Worker role in Macclesfield in January 2023, this time working with 9 service users. 

 

How was the transition to the senior role and the new setting? 

In the main it was positive. I love being busy as you never get bored and it was certainly busy! As I’d done some senior work in an acting capacity, I’d already been conditioned into what I could expect. That said, until you do a role like this, you never quite appreciate how much goes on behind the scenes. There’s the one-to-ones, dealing with conflicts, and the supervisions to do too. You have to be able to put enough time aside to be able to do each part, probably 50:50 between the senior part of the role and the caregiving to Service Users. 

Cygnet has been providing a national network of high-quality specialist mental health services for more than 30 years. We have built a reputation for delivering pioneering services and outstanding outcomes with 85% of our services rated ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’.

Can you tell me about any professional development you’ve had over your 2.5 years with Cygnet? 

I’ve got a (QI) Quality Improvement certificate, I’m qualified in Safeguarding, and I am the North West Lead at Macclesfield. I’ve also just started an Apprenticeship Level 3 Leadership & Management course which I’m due to finish this December. I have a class every two weeks and I’m learning off the job. 

 

Have these qualifications aided your personal development and if so, in what way? 

Definitely. I have far more confidence. Now I’ve got a deeper knowledge background I know I could develop more to become a Team Leader and do more management. 

 

Would you say Cygnet has been a supportive employer? 

They’re amazing! I’ve never had support like this in previous careers. They’ve supported me throughout all the opportunities to develop myself and my career here. 

 

Working in Care and Support is a tough role – how do you cope? 

You have to make time for yourself and shut the door. The Managers at Cygnet are good at reminding you that “work is work” so staff don’t get too upset on the emotional side with Service Users. Also, I’ve come to realise that even when as a Senior, it can feel like ‘everything’s on you”. It’s not, you have to delegate. We always have check-ins with the North West Team Leaders and Seniors. 

 

What part of your job have you enjoyed and look forward to doing more of in 2024? 

Safeguarding! I’ve started creating bulletins and display boards for staff to learn more about safeguarding and how to implement it in their day-to-day life. I am looking forward to finishing my Leadership & Management course and learning more about management styles and qualities.

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