Sarah, one of our project managers, talks to us about life at Ailsa Road.
Sarah: "...the true joy of my role is being able to help my clients to live the life they want, one that will be fulfilling to them."
How long have you worked for Field Lane?
I’ve been with Field Lane for seven and half years, five as project manager at Ailsa Road.
What does your typical day look like?
I lead a team of 17 staff, whilst continuing to provide clients with one-to-one support and liaising with families. It’s a juggling act really and you have to remain focused to ensure the effective management of the project – across the board. It helps that I have a very strong team; everyone is incredibly supportive and has a similar ethos in terms of working together toward the same goal of enabling our clients to live independent, fulfilling lives. We have six clients, aged in their 20s and 30s.
There has always been a positive and happy vibe at Ailsa Road. People visiting often comment on it. I think this has an impact on our clients who like to get involved in lots of different and varied activities. On any one day I can be helping clients with personal care; shopping; swimming; college work – even going away with them on holiday. Last year another staff member and I took clients on a trip to Crete.
How are you managing to keep clients' spirits up during lockdown?
Things are very different this year, with the lockdown. But our clients are managing really well, with the support of our brilliant staff. Our clients have generally accepted that they need to stay home. We’re lucky to have such a nice house and garden, where we’ve been able to engage in many different activities to help distract and re-direct attention from the stress of being in lockdown.
We’ve had BBQs and garden games; cultivated a vegetable garden; set up pampering days and we’ve even done regular exercise with Joe Wicks on You Tube! On VE day we had ‘street party’ on our driveway, along with other neighbours, all of us keeping at a safe distance of course. We’ve made sure clients have regular contact with their families through FaceTime, Skype, Zoom etc. We’ve also taken lots of photos to create a ‘lockdown collage’, so we can look back and remember our lockdown days. We have get-togethers where we talk about the future and what we’re looking forward to doing again after lockdown. And of course we all join in the Thursday evening clap for carers.
What is the best thing about working with Field Lane?
It’s hard to say – I’m happy in my job and the brilliant people I work with. Ailsa Road is a great project; if only we could replicate it so more clients could have the opportunity of having the positive experience our current clients enjoy.
I think the true joy of my role is being able to help my clients to live the life they want, one that will be fulfilling to them. Enabling them to achieve this is really fulfilling for me.