No plans to retire for Barbara as she clocks up 25 years as support worker

PUBLISHED: 08:54 14 January 2019

Barbara Goodwin with Jeremy, one of the people she supports

Barbara Goodwin with Jeremy, one of the people she supports

Archant

A quarter of a century as a support worker is being celebrated by Barbara Godwin, from Takeley, who has no plans to retire.

Barbara, 76, who works for the learning disability charity Hft, entered the job unexpectedly.

After working in various finance roles, she applied to become a support worker after talking to adults with learning disabilities.

She says she hopes to stay with the charity for the foreseeable future, helping adults with learning difficulties live the best life possible.

She said: “I absolutely love my job and have met so many brilliant people over the past 25 years. My greatest achievement has been helping the people I support achieve their goals and learn to do new things.

“During my career I’ve taught lots of people to use public transport independently which makes such a difference, allowing them to go where they want to go and boosting their confidence enormously.”

Barbara says she’s unlikely to retire any time soon. Over the years, she’s reduced her hours and now works one day a week. She says if she did retire: “I know that I would miss it so much”.

She added: “I would encourage anyone considering support work to go for it. You just need to be patient, caring, and understanding. When you really get to know the people you support and build up a great relationship you can change someone’s life.”

Among the people Barbara has helped are a man she has worked with for the whole 25 years and another with a passion for football, who she has helped attend matches. including one at MK Dons, in Milton Keynes, where he had breakfast with the team and their manager.

The charity’s service manager, Sylwia Baginska, said: “Long-serving support workers are the bedrock of what we do at Hft, and Barbara is a shining example to the next generation of support staff.

“Her dedication and commitment, as well as her experience and knowledge of support work, are absolutely priceless. She’s developed extremely valuable relationships with people we support and their families, and always brings out the best in people.”

Hft previously stood for the Home Farm Trust. The charity’s first residential home in Gloucestershire was a farm.

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