Alison Freeth

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We give people back the steering wheel for their own lives

Alison Freeth,

Senior Support Worker

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Alison's Story

I’ve never worked anywhere like this before, there is so much reward, so much support and development. There are many proud moments in my job. When a parent calls and says “thank you, I’ve got my child back”, that makes me proud. Seeing someone’s development, seeing what’s working, is a daily joy. To see a victim of abuse able to sit down and trust people again is very moving.

It’s important to help our clients recognise what they can do for themselves, for example, to notice they’re eating the right foods, looking after themselves.  We give people back the steering wheel for their own lives. I want them to feel proud of themselves. I hope to be part of a future where people with a learning disability can take more control of their own lives. So they can enjoy themselves. Then my job is done.

A true partnership

Everyone who works here is right for the unit and brings something different to the table. Together we make an exceptional team.

At the start I was told by my manager, “my door is always open, I will support you, no matter what.” I’ve never forgotten that. The managers trust your judgement and have confidence in you. Everyone is supportive. If I have to describe working at Sussex Partnership, I always say the clue is in the word ‘partnership’: we work together to make things better. Sussex Partnership go above and beyond so that you can be the best you can be. The training is second to none.

Every day we have to take every detail about our clients into account. Detailed care plans can change every day, that’s the nature of an assessment and treatment unit like ours. We are the last stop for people, when nothing else has worked. We rehabilitate people so that they can go back out into the community, for example, into assisted living.

A joint acheivement

Challenging behaviour can depend on a person’s trigger. Some people may seem to understand what you are saying to them, but it can be more than they can process. Only one person should talk at a time or there is overload. As a team we can spot frustration before it grows. We read each other.

Boundaries have to be set, to help people feel safe. We work together as a team with colleagues and clients. It’s not ‘us and them’. We’re educating them and we’re educating ourselves. You wouldn’t think this was a challenging behaviour unit, there is so much laughter. People enjoy groups and make friends.