I founded You First in February 2014 with two clear objectives:
To enable people with learning disabilities and/or autism to build and grow their lives in a way that is meaningful and makes sense to them
To develop a workforce that feels supported, valued and provides quality support
This vision comes from a deep personal commitment to equality. Everyone has the right to equal life chances and You First works to empower people to make those choices for themselves. It’s not about staff providing choice, it’s about people realising they have the right and the ability to make choices. That’s empowerment. That’s powerful and transforming stuff!
Focusing on ambition and aspiration You First has seen people taking control and transforming their lives and it is an absolute privilege to have played a role in so many people’s development and personal growth.
Chief Finance Officer
I am a Director of You First alongside Andy Robinson and my role is to look after the CIC’s finances.
You First is a Social Enterprise, a “not for private profit” organisation but we exist in a very real market place where the fiscal pressures are real, challenging and felt. Careful financial management supports organisational growth and this in turn supports the realisation of the You First vision.
Whilst my head may be buried in spreadsheets and real time bookkeeping I do this to support You First to not only provide high quality support but also to drive up standards in social care more generally.
I have worked in social care settings for over 30 years, starting out many years ago as a Nurse in a long stay hospital, supporting people to move into the community.
Over the years there have been many changes to the way people with disability are supported, and I've been privileged to play a part in that story in a range of senior roles. These roles have been in positions across the sector including mental health, transforming care, supported employment, shared lives and short breaks.
I have been part of the You First story for three years, in a part time capacity. Joining the organisation full time is giving me the opportunity to be part of an organisation that truly puts the people supported at the centre of their support.
I returned to full time employment after my youngest child started school full-time, taking a role with a local learning disability college in a Waking Night capacity. During this time I found I had found my vocation and progressed into a Learning Support role quickly after this.
I joined You First Support Services around three years ago as a Support Worker and have held a number of roles for the company during this time, evidencing the organisations commitment to staff progression. This has enabled me to increase my experience and knowledge through the various opportunities I have been afforded.
I enjoy my role with You First as I believe the organisation allows us to work closely with customers and their families building a strong relationship that allows us to meet the needs of the customer and putting their family’s minds at ease.
I joined You First in April 2016 as a Support Worker.
This is a sector I have always wanted to work in and as soon as I started I knew that I had found the job for me; I absolutely love my job! It has been a real joy to me to see people with learning disabilities and/or autism grow in confidence and truly demonstrate autonomy.
Fortunately I have been able to progress professionally within You First and as such I have a commitment to support staff members to reach their potential and grow professionally. Supporting staff in this way is key to You First delivering upon its vision.
OUR CUSTOMERS are the architects of their own support. Each package of CARE is as unique as the person receiving it.