I have been an employee of YB for 11 years, I began by working casually on the weekends and later completed my certificate in disability. However, I have been a part of this incredible organisation since I was a young girl, with my mother being one of the founding staff. In a way, I have grown up with Yumba Bimbi, its families and staff.
So what is it like to be a support worker with YB? If I was to define what a support worker is I would say a person who supports people of all abilities to make choices about their life, assists them to gain access to equal opportunities and educates them and their families on how to independently live the best life they can. A support worker is someone who is willing to assist in the transformation of a person, their life, their skills and enhance their independence; Someone who is always willing to chase and motivate that person to become the best version of themselves, to achieve goals and knock down the many barriers that have been put up for so long.
Working as a support worker with YB is like no other job. You do not wake up, drag your feet to work and sit behind a desk all day. No… when you’re a support worker you bring you’re A game every day. You never know what will happen when you walk through that door! Every afternoon I make a plan for the next, I know what clients I have, I know what goals we want to achieve and I make a plan… but when you work with real people, not computers, not phones, real people, plans don’t always go the way you want.
Being a support work requires imagination, initiative, kindness, problem solving skills, time management, empathy, respect, sometimes a tough stomach, the list goes on but above all it requires… passion for people! Not just any people either… a passion for our people. Our service users, their families, our co-workers and the people in our community!
A few years ago we had an organisational training day where we were taught a very simple but important phrase “switch off, switch on”… I use this phrase every day, I switch off all the background noise going on in my life and switch on the skills I need to focus on the person in front of me, the people in my program and the organisation I work for.
As YB support workers we pride ourselves on the relationships we have built with our participants and their families, We enjoy challenging people on a daily basis and we love to see them achieve things that were once deemed impossible – like the day when an older man accessed the community for the first time in years, or when someone has for the first time, used the thankyou sign independently or puts their glasses on without prompting.
I have worked for a few organisations in the field and none of them compare to YB. We are a family friendly, diverse, open and inclusive organisation. Every single day I feel appreciated, like my voice is heard and I am always welcome. I know that the incredible leadership team are there to help, I know that if I have a silly question, I can ask it. I’m not a number or a worker bee. I am an important part of this organisation.
It has been quite difficult to put into words what we do, because we do so much, we get to be an important person in someone’s life, a person they trust and respect, we often see the most innocent and vulnerable side of a person and It is not something I take for granted. I just want to say I have the best job in the world! I couldn’t ask for anything better.
(Gabby, YB Team)