As our Children and Young Adults Service turns 15 we wanted to introduce you to some of our amazing staff. Without them we wouldn’t be able to provide the services we do to so many North East families.
Patrick Humble, St Oswald’s Care Support Worker from Killingworth in North Tyneside, has been a member of the team since we first opened our doors back in 2003. Patrick tells us more:
“I’d followed the Jigsaw campaign and the progress with the Children’s Unit in the local media and had even done some fundraising for St Oswald’s before deciding to apply for a job. My background was in social services, mainly working with adults but I also had some experience of working with children, which I’d really enjoyed.”
Back in 2003 the team was made up of just 17 members of staff. This has now trebled with over 50 members of staff and four volunteers. Patrick added:
“The last fifteen years have been challenging at times but on a whole extremely rewarding. I’ve had the honour of knowing a lot of the families and children for years so I’ve seen them grow up and their conditions progress. I’ve also formed some special friendships with staff past and present.
“I love the diversity of the job, every shift is so different. One day I might be baking cakes and the next I might be going on a trip out. The best part of the job is caring for and having fun with our children and young adults, there is a lot of laughter and smiles. It’s lovely to be able to make the children and young adults feel comfortable and able to express themselves.”
When asked about favourite memories from the last fifteen years Patrick said:
“We had a young man who was turning 18 so to mark his big birthday he was desperate to go to Shearers Bar in Newcastle. He was a huge Newcastle United fan so we took some black and white bowler hats to wear, along with some other Newcastle United merchandise. When we arrived, much to our surprise, Graham Souness who was the NUFC Manager at the time and Assistant Manager Terry McDermott were also in the bar! We got chatting to them both and they agreed to have photographs with the birthday boy. It well and truly made his day and made turning 18 even more special for him.
“Being able to make things like this possible for our children and young adults is so special. Going to certain places may be hard for families to do but with our specialist staff we try our hardest to fulfil their requests.
“The Unit has grown and changed a lot since we first opened our doors 15 years ago but striving to provide excellent care with a real human touch has remained at the core of what we do. I’m excited to see what the next few years bring and to meet more amazing children and families.”