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Yvette’s a Support Worker finalist in the Great British Care Awards!

Yvette Goodman has been shortlisted as a finalist in the Support Worker category in the East of England region of the Great British Care Awards!

Yvette works at our supported living Service in Shoeburyness, Southend on Sea in Essex, and supports customers with learning disabilities and high nursing needs.

Being a Support Worker requires compassion and dedication, but it’s essential to have an enquiring mind to take advantage of new methods of care. It was Yvette’s enquiring mind that changed customer Phil’s (not his real name) life significantly for the better.

Phil, who’s in his late 40s, is non-verbal, peg fed, lives with epilepsy and uses a wheelchair, has always been extremely difficult to communicate with. He never engaged, would prefer to stay in bed all day and it was hard to know whether he was happy or sad.

Since he arrived at the Service just over four years ago, many methods had been used to find a way to communicate, but none had really delivered. Yet, within three months of Yvette using a care system called Tacpac, Phil and Yvette were ‘talking’.

Yvette first heard of Tacpac, a sensory communication tool, from Phil’s Occupational Therapist and decided to find out how it worked. It was clearly a regime worth adopting and, while the whole team at the Service was trained to use this one-to-one therapy, it was Yvette who really ‘got it’.

After doing Tacpac regularly with Phil, they had built up a sensory vocabulary together. This, in turn, created rapport and trust between the two. More importantly both Phil and Yvette could express themselves and communicate.

For Phil, this has been life-changing. Using eye contact and facial expressions he can now tell Yvette how he’s feeling and what he needs. He was able to ‘tell’ Yvette that he felt more content and how much happier he was that Yvette and the team were listening to him.

It’s great that Yvette has been recognised for her efforts by the Great British Care Awards.

There will be a gala dinner at the end of October where winners will be announced.  We’ve got everything crossed.

Well done Yvette!