Online Project Leader

Read Nat's story to learn how her new role has given her the opportunity to improve the lives of adults with learning disabilities during the coronavirus pandemic.

Photo of a woman wearing a navy hoodie posing next to a sign that says 'Meadow Barn View Ltd'

Did you know that technology is playing an increasingly important role in adult social care? The national lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 caused the role of technology to become more important than ever. Adult social care services like Meadow Barn View, a day service for adults with learning disabilities in Whitwick, had to adapt fast to respond to the needs of their community. It was in this context that Nat was promoted to the new role of Online Project Leader.

Read the interview below to find out what Nat's role involves and why she loves her work.

What does the role of a Online Project Leader involve?

My role began with setting up a private Facebook group and coordinating the delivery of activity packs to peoples' own homes during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic. I then began to post activity videos on the group to give workmates something to do at home.

Myself and my colleagues quickly realised that our community was missing social interaction and we needed to change our way of working to meet this need. It was here that my new job role began.

My job as a Online Project Officer involves lots of different projects, but the main one is running virtual activity sessions. The activities we do include chair exercise classes, bingo, quizzes, and even discos. My role is to support Workmates to stay connected to their community, grow in confidence, and learn new skills.

Thanks to funding from the National Lottery, we have been able to buy tablets to give everyone access to the technology they need to take part in our sessions. Part of my role is to support workmates to learn how to use the tablets and software such as Zoom for our virtual meetings. Part of this involves creating easy read 'how-to' guides and doing 1:1 tech support meetings.

A big part of my role is helping our workmates to get creative and have the opportunity to express themselves and learn new skills. Last year I supported a group of workmates to create a magazine called 'My Life in Lockdown'. The purpose of the magazine was to share voices from the Learning Disability Community about how they have felt during lockdown.

I love my new job - it has been a role of discovery, creativity and exciting challenges and opportunities!

What does a typical day in your role look like?

I start the day with planning and prepping for my day of virtual activity sessions. This usually involves learning signs to numerous songs and writing a quiz or two!

After planning, I start delivering my timetable of sessions. This is my favourite part! I love giving workmates the opportunity to catch up with their friends, have fun, and learn new skills.

After each session I write a record of what each workmate achieved in the session.

The rest of my day is spent managing our social media accounts, having meetings with my colleagues, and then planning for the rest of my week's activity sessions. I am always researching new ideas for activities and resources to help our workmates reach their goals.

What inspired you to work in adult social care?

I have always worked with people with learning difficulties, but my career has always been in roles working with children. My role as a support worker at Meadow Barn View was my first role working with adults.

I actually fell into my job! I had just finished a teaching position with children with Autism and was looking for something different. I did a google search and found MBV and found it was only 3 minutes drive from where I lived! They were luckily hiring and after one visit around and spending some time with the workmates, I knew I needed to work here. I haven't looked back since!

Visiting MBV and getting to know the workmates and staff is what inspired me then and continues to inspire me now.

What has been your proudest career moment so far?

One of my proudest achievements has been helping to create our very own mobile app. We created MINE-D to support our workmates, and all of the adult learning disability community, to find purposeful daytime activities and promote physical and mental health and wellbeing.

The app is filled with resources such as exercise videos, fun quizzes, and information on important health and wellbeing topics. Part of my job is to keep the content regularly updated so it continues to meet the needs of our workmates and the wider community.

I hadn't considered a role in adult social care until I found Meadow Barn View. I am so grateful I did! I am proud to be part of something that strives to offer people opportunities to feel a sense of self-worth, gain greater independence and achieve a brighter future.

Nat

2020 - now

Online Project Leader at MBV

2018 - 2020

Support Worker at MBV

2007 - 2018

Peripatetic Teacher for children with learning disabilities and/ or autism

2001 - 2007

First role as a teacher at a school for children with Special Educational Needs.

2001 -

Graduated university with a degree in Teaching

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