A support worker who found love and a career for life at a charity supporting adults with learning disabilities is celebrating 30 years of service.
Ken Homer, who lives in Machynlleth in Wales, is marking three decades of supporting people to live the best life possible at a learning disability service in Cheshire run by national charity Hft. When he joined in 1989, he found a job for life, as well as meeting his wife of more than 20 years.
Ken initially started out as a woodwork instructor, before moving into support work four years later. Over the years, the 69-year-old has become passionate about supporting people with learning disabilities to live in their own homes, ensuring that people are supported with their finances, medication, cooking and all aspects of running their households.
Ken met his wife-to-be, Glynis Homer, when she began working at Hft in 1991 in search of a career in care where she could give back to her community. Glynis, 65, said she knew immediately that supporting people with learning disabilities was the right job for her, and that her colleague Ken was ‘a very special person’. The pair’s budding romance grew as they worked together, and the couple were married in Chester four years later, with a number of Hft staff in attendance.
Having racked up over 50 years of support work experience between them, the husband and wife team have worked side by side on numerous occasions throughout the years, including taking people with learning disabilities on holiday. Although they now work in different Hft services in Neston, the duo continue to share advice and best practice on a daily basis.
This month, they’ll be marking Ken’s milestone anniversary at the charity with a presentation at the supported living service where the dedicated support worker currently works. After taking on roles including senior support worker and team leader, Ken now spends his days supporting a group of three men in their shared home.
Ken Homer said:
“I worked at one of the first supported living services in my area many years ago and helping people to live in their own communities has been a real highlight. I’ve known the people I work with now for 30 years so it’s a very special relationship. The guys are getting older now and some are on the dementia pathway, so we work hard to ensure they are able to stay independent and active for as long as possible.
“I’m proud to have worked at Hft for 30 years and would recommend support work to anyone who is patient, flexible and empathetic. I’ve always said that if people have the right resources they can do absolutely anything and I hope I’ve been able to contribute to some life-changing achievements during my career.”
Glynis Homer said:
“I’m so proud of Ken for the commitment he’s shown over the last 30 years. His focus on equality and his patience and ability to empathise are a testament to the man he is.
“Having the person you trust most in the world working just a few miles away and knowing they completely understand your job is a source of practical and emotional support in a million different ways. For us, no job can match this one. Every day is crammed with achievements, whether it’s helping someone find a job or supporting them to express what they want for tea – for Ken and me, each is a battle won.”
Hft currently supports more than 2,900 people with learning disabilities across the country. This includes supporting people with learning disabilities to live independently in their own homes, providing employment services to help people develop skills and experience for work and helping people to pursue hobbies, make new friends and get involved in their local communities.