What does your job involve?
As the Vocational Services Manager at Pinetree Hospital I manage a team of 3 Activity Co-Ordinators. Our Learning Disability service users here are an active group, and there are a lot of requests for us to support them to become involved in vocational, leisure and health activities.
Along with our other clinical colleagues we are involved in identifying what each service user would like to do and achieve. Our team then creates personalised weekly activity plans and supports the service users to engage in their chosen activities.
Before service users start any new activity we will risk assess the activity and then ensure that our service users can enjoy the activity safely whilst helping them improve their health, skills or confidence.
There is a lot of demand from service users to be involved in work placements. So over the years we have established some great relationships with groups like Risca United AFC where our service users help with ground maintenance or Walnut Tree Farm Park where they enjoy volunteering.
Why did you join Ludlow Street Healthcare?
I have been with Ludlow Street Healthcare for 13 years, and I’ve been at Pinetree for 11. I had done a number of different jobs previously, I’d even played football professionally for Cardiff FC.
As you might expect I’m quite an active person, so I wanted a job that reflected me. I joined initially as an Occupational Therapy Technician and found it offered me the varied and active role I was looking for.
What’s the best part of your job?
Being involved in organising all the amazing activities the service users get involved with, and seeing what they get out of it and how they develop as people.
The other week I turned around to see two of our service user volunteers sat cross-legged during their tea break in front of an elderly Taffs Wells FC member listening to him telling them stories. These two service users struggle to relate to people socially, so it was really moving to see the connection they had all developed.
And the service users appreciate the opportunities we create for them. We get really positive feedback and they are genuinely grateful. That’s what makes what we do worthwhile.