Diary of a support worker

Join Debbie on her shift as a support worker at Apple House residential home in Wigston, Leicestershire.

Group of adults wearing high-visibility jackets. Some are holding litter pickers. All are doing a 'thumbs up' to the camera.

This diary is made up of social media posts from our ITC Ambassador Debbie who took over our Facebook and Instagram (@inspired.to.care) Stories to give an insight into her day-to-day role as a support worker. Debbie works at Apple House residential home in Wigston. Apple House is a small service for adults with learning disabilities and is home to 9 fulltime residents.

6.30am - Getting ready for work

I wake up at 6.30am to get ready and drive to Apple House in time for my shift at 7am. I always start my day with a cup of tea.

Photo of a cup of tea. Text over the photo introduces Debbie and explains that this is her cup of tea before she heads out to work.

7.00am - Start of shift

During the COVID-19 pandemic, my shift starts with taking my temperature and putting on personal protective equipment (known as PPE) that includes a face mask. I then take part in a handover meeting where the support staff from the night shift gives us an update on how the residents are doing and if there are any activities or appointments planned for the day.

Photo of thermometer, box of vinyl glovers and box of medical masks. Text over the image explains that Debbie is taking her temperature before her shift.

7.30am - support residents to get up and ready for the day

Once handover is done it's time to support the residents to get up and ready for their day. Each resident has unique needs and preferences for how they receive support, and this can change over time. My job is to support residents to be as independent as possible.

Photo of a shower sign. Text over the image explains that residents are starting to get ready for the day.

8.00am - Prepare breakfast

As Apple House is a small home, all of the residents are able to sit around one table together for meals. I support residents to get the table prepared, decide what they would like to eat and drink, and then prepare their meal.

Photo of a long dining table that is set up for a meal. Text over the photo says 'breakfast time!'

9.00am - Chat and catch up over breakfast

Meal times are always full of chatting and laughter at Apple House. At breakfast we usually talk about the residents' plans for the day.

Photo of a group of men eating breakfast at a long dining table. They are smiling at the camera.

10.00am - Laundry time

After breakfast I support the residents with household tasks. This morning it was laundry. It is my job to empower residents to be as independent as possible by teaching them the skills they need to complete these tasks with minimal support.

Photo of a laundry basket. Text over the image explains that it is time to support the residents to do their laundry.

10.30am - morning craft activity

Our residents love doing crafts so this morning we spent some time making Easter cards.

Photo of two men and one care worker posing behind a collection of handmade Easter greetings cards.

11.30am - walk and litter pick activity

We are currently collecting aluminium cans for the Helipads for Hospitals project. The cans we collect from our walks will be melted down and made into a helipad for the Leicester Royal Infirmary. We were inspired to do this by one of our residents who loves recycling and anything to do with litter collection. This morning we collected 43 cans for the charity!

Photo of a group of smiling people wearing high-visibility jackets. Text over the image explains that the group are litter picking for charity.

I'm so proud of what our residents have achieved with this project. I have so much pride and respect for them.

Photo of a man wearing a high-visibility jacket holding a litter picker. The man is smiling and walking towards the camera.

12.30am - a well deserved coffee break

When we got back from our walk we made ourselves a well deserved drink and had a rest before starting to make lunch.

Photo of a mug of coffee. The mug has the Apple House residential home logo on it.

12.45pm - say hi to our manager Chloe

Chloe is the registered manager at Apple House. It is her job to make sure the service runs smoothly and the residents get the care and support they need. Chloe is often busy working in her office, but she also get involved with the activities and mealtimes.

Photo of Apple House's manager sat at her desk typing on a laptop.

1.00pm - Lunchtime

At mealtimes I support the residents to choose what they would like to make and then prepare their meals. Today the group decided to have beans on toast.

Photo of a group of men eating a meal at a long dining table.

1.05pm - staff treat

Me and colleagues took a break while the residents were eating their meals to have a sit down and some pizza.

Photo of a takeaway pizza. Text over the image explains that Debbie has stopped for her lunch break and the staff have treated themselves to pizza.

2.00pm - gardening afternoon activity

Everyday is different as a support worker. We do lots of different types of activities at Apple House, today we did some gardening! I supported the residents to plant some new fruit trees in their garden.

Photo of three men. The man in the foreground is holding a plant. Text over the image explains that they are planting fruit trees.

Apple House Directors, Mo and Shan, dropped by in the afternoon to see how the gardening was going. Mo and Shan spend a lot of time with the residents and supporting us staff. The residents love gardening with Mo, he is very green fingered!

Photo of a couple posing for the camera in Apple House garden. The text introduces them as the owners of the care home.

2.50pm - get ready for the end of my shift

Before leaving for the day I complete paperwork and put together notes for handover with the evening and night shift team. We write reports on what the residents have eaten that day, what sort of support we have provided, and anything else we think it is important to record.

Photo of a pile of folders. The text over the image explains that Debbie is doing paperwork at the end of her shift.

3.00pm - end of shift

My shift finishes at 3pm but I usually leave a little later because I like to say goodbye to all the residents before leaving.

Photo of the Apple House front door. Text over the image explains that Debbie has finished her shift and is leaving.

I always have a cup of tea when I get home! Thanks for spending the day with me.

Photo of a mug of tea. The text over the image explains that Debbie is enjoying her first cup of tea after getting home from work

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