We are sharing stories of how working in residential care can transform lives. By sharing the stories of the people who work in residential care we hope to offer an insight into the skills and experiences of our team and why they are well placed to offer therapeutic care to our children and young people.
Jim is a Residential Support Worker.
How long have you been supporting young people in one way or another? How do you do this?
My whole life, since I was 15 years old and I’m 62 now. Quite a long time. It’s something that comes naturally to me as I’ve done it all my life and I’ve followed the coaches that coached me. (I’m also an ex-professional footballer). I enjoy one-to-one support.
What skills do you bring to the team?
Humour. Always being a part of a team through football, I’ve learned to be a team player and I encourage colleagues when I can. I feel I work the best when it’s one-to-one with young people- I can listen to them, advise them, always empower them to be the best they can be. It’s about giving young people confidence so that they can do more in life.
What is your CHT or residential care career highlight?
Meeting young people when I first came into Tarvit was the highlight, made my mind up to join them. I’d never experienced a small residential before, I came from the bigger projects in Glasgow. The minute I walked through the door and felt it, and understood what it meant, I knew it was for me.
What would you change about residential care?
I’d make all care homes smaller so young people could get the chance for the relationships they deserve and be fully supported. I thought I did a good job in the bigger places, but it’s just different when you see the real thing.
What has been the funniest moment of your CHT or residential care career?
Meeting Kathleen again after 20 years! (We used to work together in the Gorbals, Glasgow.)
Also with the kids, went to Anstruther with S, into the chip shop, was joking with another customer and the young person started to join in. He was a kid who this was really hard for, so to see it was an absolute buzz.
What do you enjoy doing when you have some time to yourself?
I walk the dog, Pablo with my wife, Jules. I still work out every day and watch football on TV.
What do you think is unique about Tarvit Cottage that supports young people in our care?
The 24/7 support and the ability to do one-to-one when it’s needed. Where Tarvit is situated! It’s a brilliant location, it’s not too near any cities, but it’s not too remote. A good distance away from all vices.