Jenny Hollow is a Senior Support Worker with the Huthnance Park team. The home is located between Hayle and Helston in West Cornwall and home to four people with autism and learning disabilities, each of whom has their own self-contained apartment. Jenny joined Green Light as a support worker in March 2016.
Q: What previous experience of autism or learning disability did you have before joining Green Light?
Q: What kind of things do you and your team do on a typical day?
A: Everyday at Huthnance is unique, there is not a typical day . Each new day is a new adventure, including supporting people to live as independently as possible, enabling them to feel a sense of purpose and self worth. We provide support and encourage people to try new experiences and activities therefore enriching their lives. The people we support are always at the centre and are supported in a way that enables them to make their own choices and decisions.
As a team we have needed to adapt many activities due to Covid 19. Team Huthnance have excelled at thinking up new ways to enable people to keep experiencing new adventures and challenges. This has included the National Trusts 50 things to do. Some of these activities have been tremendously challenging for our guys however we have been blown away by their achievements and our team’s effort and support .
|Gardening at Huthnance|
Q: What kind of things would you be doing to support the people living in your home?
A: Daily personal care, housework - we clean and tidy together. Provide support to enable people to prepare their own meals when possible. Accessing daily activities. Enabling and supporting people to develop their independence and attempt harder new challenges. At Huthnance we celebrate the steps that may appear small to many however to our team and the people we support, these steps are monumental! Witnessing people’s pride in these achievements makes me so proud of the work we do.
Q: What are the challenges & rewards of supporting people with autism & learning disabilities?
A: Each shift varies from problem-free, running smoothly, to emotionally challenging and exhausting. However at the end I always feel good knowing that I have provided the best possible support and care to the person and to team members. Each day is rewarding and when you are the recipient of a genuine smile, wow that’s the best ever feeling, especially at the end of a particularly challenging shift. What a privilege it is to be able to support these incredible individuals.
Q: As you head to work; what do you most look forward to?
A: Seeing the people we support and team and anticipating the exciting day ahead.
Q: What has surprised you most about working with people with autism & learning disabilities?
A: How blinking clever they are! They will try and trick you and then knowingly give you a smile to melt your heart... then they’ll try to trick you again! Plus their understanding of emotions and how incredibly intuitive they are to how others are feeling. Also how amazing our guys are and that they can achieve almost anything with the correct support .
Q: Have you learned anything unexpected about yourself or your skills and abilities?
A: Mainly that I feel my purpose now. After my family left home I was a little lost. Now I learn something new everyday either about a person we support or a new way of tackling a challenge together, but mostly that I genuinely look forward to ‘work’. Being a support worker is by far my favourite job so far.
A: A good sense of humour, patience, understanding, perseverance, a flexible mindset, thinking outside of the box, and being good team player.
Q: What's been the highlight of your career working with people with autism and learning disabilities so far?
A: What they’ve all taught me about life and being able to witness their achievements.
Q: As you leave work, at the end of a typical day, how do you know you've done a great job?
A: A feeling of satisfaction, knowing that I’ve given the best support and care I can. Knowing that I’ve made a positive difference however small.