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Taste of life as a support worker for Chief Executive Richard

14 December 2022

Chief Executive Richard Franklin’s 8am-4pm shift at Montpelier Rise last Thursday was ‘acceptable support for a first day,’ according to Kisharon’s Supported Living Operations and Manager Necola Reid-Warner.

Above: Richard at Montpelier Rise

The day started with a ticking off for arriving two minutes late after someone crashed into his car. Richard was forgiven but later on, putting typos into the daily logs and being given marching orders by the individual he was originally asked to support were definitely not his finest hours.

Above:Helping pack Chanukah gifts for Kisharon’s Gift & Homeware Store, Equal

Nevertheless, his time at the sharp end did prove a real eye opener. Richard confessed that in working closely with a man with learning disabilities for an hour, he learned more about him than in his five years as Chief Executive. The man shared how displeased he was when key staff went for off-site training. “The impact on 24/7 services of just a few people being off shift or unwell is noticeable, although staff and agency workers worked together to fill gaps,” Richard commented.

Richard came to appreciate too how an individual’s needs must be met at all times. “It seemed to me a straightforward trip to the shops, but it turned out to be anything but. You’re only a moment away from an incident report and investigation. Dedication must be total and focused, although at times the temptation to look at my mobile or address other pressing matters seemed overwhelming.”

Richard also learned more about the family and domestic demands that stop agency staff becoming Kisharon employees, even though this would bring more benefits.

The arrival of 4pm signalled the end of Richard’s shift and time to tackle his work for the day as Chief Executive. But he said: “Then it dawned on me how many people start again at the end of their shift just to make ends meet.

“What was so great to see was the motivation and mutual respect among colleagues of all different ethnicities and backgrounds working to support people with learning disabilities.”

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Pirkei Avos
“The world stands on three things: Torah, the service of G-d, and deeds of kindness.” Kisharon looks at the person not the disability, teaching Torah, Middos and Mitzvot embracing and cherishing everybody’s special talent and bringing out the best in them.