At Work With Conor
14th June 2021
Pictured: Conor at HELP's Pinjarra Hills Hub
Conor has been working as a support worker at our Pinjarra Hills Hub since 2020. After initially joining the team as a volunteer in 2019 Conor quickly transitioned into a support worker role, using his creative skills to connect with participants through film, music, and drama.
We chatted to Conor to find out more about what a typical day on the job looks like – here’s what he had to say.
Pictured: HELP participant Fred with his support worker Conor at the McIntyre Centre.
My day usually starts with a strong coffee and a quick shower before I dive into the car to start the day. When I get to the hub I welcome our participants, catching up about the weekend or the latest news as we get ready for activities.
My morning routine ranges from 1:1 activities to group support and mainly focuses on helping participants to develop their communication skills. We often use an app called Proloquo2Go on the ipad to introduce new vocabulary and communication techniques in a more visual way. What's great is that no two days are the same. Amongst other activities, one of my favourite things to do is to head down to our sensory garden where we get to water our plants and care for our chickens. A couple of times a week we spend the morning out and about in the local community visiting libraries, the museum, and even Mt Cootha. I really enjoy working with our participants outside of the hub environment because it gives them a chance to experience new places and practice the communication skills they’ve learned with new people.
Pictured: HELP participants Regan and Fred with their support worker Conor at the McIntyre Centre.
Throughout the day we stop for snacks and lunch making sure we have regular breaks between activities. In the afternoon we tend to focus on mobility, using the arena area out the back of the hub to do exercises and movement training. We also have the option of visiting our neighbours at the McIntyre Centre to get some one on one time with our horsey pals. There are always plenty of things to do at the McIntyre Centre including grooming, and unmounted sessions.
I usually finish up around 4 pm after saying goodbye to our participants and recording my reports for the day. Before working at HELP I struggled to balance work with my creative projects so it’s been really refreshing to have a job where I can do both and achieve a good balance. At times the physical side of the job can be challenging (assisting participants with self-care activities and maneuvering around public spaces), but seeing the participants reach their goals, and being a part of that journey, really outweighs any negatives. I’ve learned so much working with our hub participants and have definitely come to appreciate the unique perspectives they bring to the table. I’m really excited to see where my future at HELP will take me.
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