Access To Care- Staff Interview- Donna

Interview with Donna

Donna has worked in Social Care for over twenty years and is an important part of our Access To Care team. Here she very kindly allows us to interview her, to give an understanding of her day to day role, supporting the young people at our service.

Thanks to Donna and The Access To Care team for the interview.

Hi there!  Let’s start with asking you to tell us your name and how long you have worked with A2C, or in the sector overall

Hi I’m Donna

I have worked in social care ooh, must be over 20yrs now, and have done all sorts of roles, from working with the elderly through to outreach with young people and more recently over the last 15 years I have been working with young people at Access to Care.

I started here in around 2008 so I’ve seen lots of changes.  Over the years I think I have supported just about all types of young person with every type of need or support you can imagine!


Interesting, thanks Donna.  With that in mind, tell us how would you describe your daily routines and tasks in your role at Access to Care

So, day to day I assist our young people to develop skills around independence, a lot of the time to be fair, the young people are really good at tasks like household routines, you know, cleaning, laundry, that kind of thing; but they still need a few pointers, which is where we come in.  I think doing my job is about balance; you have to consider how to deliver support and how to promote independence without being overbearing or patronizing, our kids have had a tough time, so trust is always an issue and relationship is key to achieving goals  it can take a while to gain both; I always find honesty and openness are values that the kids appreciate even when dealing with difficult topics or setting boundaries.


I work hard to provide a homely environment for the kids and always look to get little treats and home comforts along the way, for example a nice cup of hot chocolate goes a long way to settling down to a movie or the soaps or having a chat around the kitchen table in the evening .


I totally agree!  So how would you describe the young people we work with at Access to Care?

Our kids are so varied in regards to where they have come from and why they have ended up in a support setting, everyone is unique by their experience and their needs. I think that despite the varied orientations of our young people all of them have in common that they just want to feel safe, accepted. It’s essential that our kids feel part of a “normal” homely, family home.

What would you say are the main challenges faced by our young people?

Our young people are in a real difficult situation when you look at them moving on from our setting, even with the best support and preparation, it’s so tough for them; after 18 there’s little support and they have to fend for themselves.  I wouldn’t fancy it to be honest, not to mention that they are dealing with so much personal trauma, mental health issues, socio-economic pressures and housing concerns which all mount up and can have an impact.


That’s understandable, we all want the same really don’t we?  Can you tell us something positive about working with young people?

I have learnt over the years that my input or effort may not show as outcomes for our young people for many years after they have left us, but it is always nice when a young person comes back to the service or stops me in the street and tells me how they are getting on and they will often mention something that I said or did in the past and how that has positively impacted on them going forward, and nine times out of ten it’s a small thing or the fact that I didn’t give up on them all those times..its nice as you don’t always get flowers but I’ll take the small wins when they come.


Oh and Christmases are always lovely, I tend to work Christmas day most years, just to be part of the atmosphere.

What are your long terms hopes for Access to Care ?

I love working for Access to Care, I love the work we do, the impact we have on young people and the ethos of the teams and colleagues I work with.  The last few years have been tough but we are still here and things are slowly looking more positive.

I would like to think we can grow our service again and get back to having more services across the North West,  I would like us to specialize in service delivery in specific areas, like therapeutic settings or more one to one settings, or working with particular issues like CSE or CCE as we have a lot of experience in those fields.  I think we are about 18yrs old now so I’m looking forward to a party when we are 20yrs old !



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