Quality in human services has a direct correlation to quality humans delivering those services, and experienced, committed staff who stay in their jobs over the long term are critical to a strong workplace culture. They serve as mentors to new staff, and establish a consistent trusted presence with individuals supported by LiveWorkPlay and their families.
We are now sharing a bit more about our staff team on their annual workplace anniversaries. Join us in celebrating an September 5 work anniversary for Grace Hudson! To help get to know her a little better, here are some questions and answers about Grace.
Thirteen years is a long time – what are some recent memories you’d like to share?
I’m really pleased to have contributed to our efforts this past year to provide more support to individuals and families that had very little funding, or no funding at all in some cases.
For example, thanks to our Housing Task Force project and ongoing support from the Ministry of Community and Social Services, we have helped several experience a successful move to their first apartment.
It’s not necessarily a lot of hours of paid support, but we’ve seen how natural supports, technology, and “just enough” paid support can come together and make a huge difference in the lives of the people we support and their family members. There’s nothing more important than that in the work that I do.
In recent years but particularly in the last year, I’ve taken on a lot more responsibilities with supporting the staff team, and it is great to see them learning and growing and becoming mentors in their own right as new members join the team.
What are some of the longstanding traditions or older memories that stand out for you?
Definitely the Family Feast events, now in September, December, and March, and the Make A Buzz banquet in May. These events all date back more than ten years, and they’ve all evolved over time. I can remember when the “family fun nights” were highly scheduled events and we had to work really hard as a staff to help people get to know each other. Now at the family feast dinners everyone just automatically socializes, and a lot of our members who maybe used to just sit quietly are welcoming people and are natural ambassadors who seek out newcomers and make sure they are seen. That’s fantastic.
When I look back at the way the banquet used to be, it was mostly just individuals we support and their family members. These are still the most important people in attendance, but now more than half of the people who come are from elsewhere in the community. They could be co-workers or teammates or friends – we’ve helped make a lot of those connections and the composition of the audience is a way of seeing that we really are expanding the relationships in peoples’ lives.
What are you looking forward to in the future at LiveWorkPlay?
I am looking forward to continuing to work with individuals and families to help them access supports they need. Although this is something I am doing all the time, for each person and family that is new to LiveWorkPlay, it’s a fresh experience for them and the help we are able to provide or facilitate can impact their lives for many years to come.