My name is Tracy Reid and I was going to say I’ve been working in the care sector for almost 20 years now but, when I think about it, I’ve lived and worked with challenged people all of my adult life. My son has ADHD and mild learning disabilities; my daughter had bulimia and has experienced mental health difficulties; my seven year old grandson has autism. I’ve worked with adults with learning disabilities and challenging behaviours for many years and, for 13 years, worked in the sector in a supported living environment.
Over the years I’ve established new residential care and supported living homes and been responsible for all aspects of assisting and encouraging people within the learning disabilities sector. Individual support plans, risk assessments, policies and procedures, new legislation and new ideas have been – and are – important aspects of my daily work but what I most enjoy is supporting and empowering those in my care.
We all have dreams and challenges in life and we all grow in confidence and contentment when we develop new skills and find a new pastime we enjoy and people with learning disabilities are no different. The needs of every individual must be understood and met, of course, but they must be fully involved in all decision-making about their lives and encouraged to feel, and become, part of the wider community in which they live.