Image by Philip Bohle
Support work is more than just a job; it’s a journey of personal growth, compassion, and making a positive difference in the lives of others. Brady is a dedicated support worker in Tasmania’s north west. In this story he shares his experiences, challenges, and the meaningful impact he brings to the lives of his clients.
Fostering a Sense of Belonging
Working with shared values and a commitment to helping clients to achieve their aspirations, brings a strong sense of unity and collaboration to Brady’s work as a disability support worker and team member.
“In support work, I feel like we’re brought together. By we I mean the staff such as the support workers, my supervisors, my clients, and their parents. Basically, we’re working together, working towards helping our clients reach their needs and reach their goals that they may have in mind. That’s how I feel united in my work. We’re brought together working towards similar goals and we share similar values together. We’re working as a team.”
Inspiration: Finding Meaning Beyond Expectations
While support work is often about inspiring others, Brady acknowledges that he has been equally inspired by his clients. Witnessing the determination and resilience of clients, even in the face of anxiety and challenges, has deeply impacted Brady’s perspective. He is continually motivated to encourage and empower his clients to pursue their passions and interests.
“When I first discovered support work, it was the value of inspiration and possibility in general. One of our values is inspiration. That I resonated with and I wanted to inspire a lot of people I work with. But something I wasn’t prepared for was how I would be inspired by my clients. And working with my clients, their mindsets and their way of thinking has shaped my way of thinking about work as well.
A lot of people I’ve worked with believe in no excuses. There’s this one client I work with who might hold back a little bit because he might be a bit anxious. And he pushes himself outside of his comfort zone. And that really inspires me, that even though he might be feeling a bit anxious about going out in the community or interacting with people, he gets out of the house and he gets the job done. And he doesn’t let anxiety hold him back. That’s something that inspires me during my work.”
Image by Philip Bohle
Reality: Confronting Discrimination and Upholding Dignity
People with disability not only face their own personal struggles, but may be subject to harsh discrimination. Brady is driven to challenge perceptions and promote equality and respect for his clients Brady remains committed to understanding and supporting his clients with empathy and patience.
“Going into this job, I wasn’t entirely sure what I was going into, but it really opened my eyes when I discovered how people with disabilities can be treated. And going out in the community by, just an example, say I was going out for lunch with my clients. Just staff talking to me instead of the client, it almost felt like they weren’t being treated with equality.”
Integrity: Growing as a Support Worker and as a Person
By becoming more aware of others’ struggles, Brady has been transformed. He approaches his work with integrity, provides positive reinforcement, and encourages others to take small steps towards long-term goals. This helps his clients with their own personal growth, building self confidence and a sense of accomplishment. By assisting clients to pursue their goals, Brady finds purpose in his work. He values getting to know his clients and understanding what makes them happy.
“I think support work has definitely shaped me to be a more patient person. It’s definitely helped me build patience. It’s allowed me to have even more empathy towards those who might have it harder than others. It has made me more passionate about my work. It’s made me more grateful for my own life. And it’s definitely made me more passionate towards work and my attitude… I was a Dishie previously. I used to wash dishes and I wasn’t getting anything out of that. There was no passion or joy out of washing dishes. But I get to come to work now and I get excited that I get to have an impact on someone’s life every single day. And help someone work towards a goal that they may have and make changes in their life.”
Service to Others: Making a Significant Impact
One of Brady’s most profound moments as a support worker involved supporting a client to regain their sense of self-worth and confidence. By encouraging and motivating the client to take small steps towards self-care and engaging in their interests, Brady witnessed remarkable personal growth and transformation.
‘I was working with a client who finds it very difficult to find motivation for personal hygiene. To many people, that’s a basic, easy task, but it was quite difficult for this person who struggles with his mental health due to a lot of trauma. And he would just sit in his room with his blinds shut, focus on his games all day.
And I’ve encouraged him and found out ways to get him passionate and excited about a task through his interests and what makes him excited. I was able to get him out of the house, which was something he hadn’t done for a very long time, and he was quite anxious about. And he just recently had a shower for the first time in, it’s got to be months. And to watch that personal growth and watch his confidence build back up, he’s just grown to be an even better person. And he’s more confident in himself and he reckons he’s more capable of greater things. And he’s set some goals for himself now. And he’s more motivated.’
Through Brady’s insightful story, we gain a deeper understanding of the meaningful impact that support work can have on both support workers and their clients. It is a journey of unity and personal growth, where each interaction can make a significant difference in someone’s life. Brady’s dedication and passion reflect the essence of support work—making a positive impact, one step at a time.
Our sincere thanks to Brady for his contribution to Work with Purpose.
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