Sadie Birks - Development Team Leader at Whites House

What is the best bit about your job?

The best bit about being a support worker is definitely the people you support. It is a privilege being invited into their homes and into their lives; they really do make everyday at work a reward.


Worst bit about your job?

When funding decisions or tight budgets mean that individuals cannot get the 1:1 support they require, or attend activities they would like to. It can be very frustrating, but we always do our best to ensure that the residents get the best deal they can.

Where will you be in five years time?

At the moment, I am studying Public Policy at Bristol University and writing my thesis on the way Adult Social Care is commissioned and funded. So hopefully I will be working in the policy department of a charity, or third sector care provider.

Advice for anyone wanting to do your job?

It is an ideal job to help you learn what your strengths and weaknesses are. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys being around people and is willing to work very hard. It is definitely a job where you get out what you put in!

How did you manage to get this job?

I was working in a café but I wanted to try something new. When two separate people mentioned that I should think about Freeways within the space of a week, I took it as a sign. I sent in a general support worker application and was invited to an interview at Morley House about two weeks later. After a successful trial shift I was offered a full time position. I’ve been here for six months now and it has flown by.

Any perks? Training? Flexibility?

Freeways offers a lot of ongoing training which is really great! They are also open to trying to find courses if there is something which staff feel they would like to have extra training on. The system of regular supervisions is also really positive as it helps you to constantly improve within your role rather then staying static.

What did you want to be when you were young?

When I was younger, I wanted to be a politician. However, the more I learnt about the way the world works, I realised that I would have more chance of achieving change in society from outside the political establishment!