From factory worker to support worker: “I love what I do, every day is different.”

Support worker Ian Davies has been working for Integrate for almost a decade, after a major change in career having previously worked in a factory for 26 years.

Ian was made redundant and decided to volunteer in a daycare centre, then when a support worker job came up at Integrate, he went for it and has never looked back. Here he tells us about a day in the life of an Integrate support worker.

“If I didn’t visit some of the people that I do, they would be on their own – that is a massive motivator for me. I love what I do, every day is different. One day I can be ten pin bowling or going to a stage show or sat having a cup of tea and a chat, helping with household chores or shopping, very different to my previous role. What is nice is that I share a lot of the same interests with the people that I work with – so we have a good time together.

“All the People We Support” range in age and different learning difficulties and I do activities with them to suit each of their individual needs.

“The most important qualities to have in this role is to be flexible, have patience and the ability to listen, be caring and good communication skills. I have a calm personality and am quite laid back so am able to switch off at the end of the day and go back to my family life – but I really do care about all the people I support, I don’t think you can do this job without caring.

“I was so fed up of factories, I would never have thought about this as a career option before, but I find it very rewarding, it can make my day when a day goes well for a client. I don’t judge anyone and try to understand how each person is feeling.

“There are six or seven people that I see regularly, who are all male, and my aim is always to try and get them to do things for themselves with my support in the community. I have even been on a trip to Wales with a person we support who would not have been able to go without my support.

“There can be bad days, but you have to remain positive and not give up on someone as the rewards by far outweigh the challenges.”

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