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A Social Enterprise providing community based support for adults with learning disabilities and/or autism in the South West
Meet the Team: You First and Me

Meet the Team: You First and Me

16 April 2020

By Julian Clarke (Support Worker)

Having worked 26 years of my career (until 2017) within commercial companies which have financial targets and massive operations which are based purely on generating profits for businesses, a move into You First which is Social Enterprise (not for profit) has been a massive but self chosen directional change……Why did I make the move?

It is all too easy in our often short lifetimes to be driven by personal financial gain with little or no consideration for others around us, and very often to cocoon ourselves in a bubble of self indulgence!

We are ALL individuals and ALL have the right to be able to live and fulfill our own aspirations. This should not exclude people with learning disabilities and or autism or indeed any other people in society that live within the supposed margins of society with underlying and often severe mental health problems.

Being able to take a step back and reflect on what is actually important has enabled me to appreciate that there are a wide range of people that live within our communities that are often over-looked by the wider society and are left to simply cope and get on with their lives no matter how difficult it is for them.

Often Local Authority intervention is limited by budget constraints and often their families feel worried, unable to cope, abandoned or at their wits end. 

A Social Enterprise which is purely focused on enabling these valued people to live by their own rules to their own level of engagement and achievement with society is massively important, and ever more so as our Government, and in turn our local authorities aim to significantly cut costs.

The fundamentals of a Social Enterprise within the Social Care sector has and continues to become even more important to all of us now. Individuals are no longer (thankfully) forced to co-inhabit or worse still be institutionalized and forgotten.

What is truly amazing about You First is that all of its customers are treated as unique individuals with a full understanding of their needs and aspirations, which enables us as a Social Enterprise to focus fully on a person-centred, individualised and personalised support.

Yes, many of these people can present varying degrees of challenging behaviour. This is absolutely not their fault and no one should ever think that it was! It's actually a form of communication and the challenge is for us to truly listen and actively listen.

Our customers ALL deserve our full respect and support to fulfill what is important to them and being a Support Worker for You First in this sector is not just essential, but is also massively rewarding!

As an individual, I am also massively committed to building my own skills to not only provide a continued high level of support to our customers, but indeed to become an even better You First Support Worker within the community.

If you wish to talk about becoming a Support Worker with You First, please drop us a line.