Behind everyone that Dimensions support is a busy team of hard-working people. We recently caught up with Regina Meakings, one of our Locality Managers, so she could share her Dimensions story.
What’s does your role involve?
I’m a Locality Manager which means I’m responsible for a number of support services including residential care homes.
I actually joined Dimensions 21 years ago as a support worker and have never looked back.
Why did you join Dimensions?
Before I had children I was a nursery nurse, but I was looking for something a bit different.
When I was younger, I had a work experience opportunity at a home for children with learning disabilities and the experience stuck with me.
I’ve always admired the values Dimensions has, which is why I applied for the support worker role and I’m so happy I did.
It’s great to see that everyone who works here practices what they preach, from board members to the newest recruits.
Who do you support?
I support a number of residents with various needs. Watching them progress is fantastic – there’s no lightbulb moment but there are small victories.
For example, one of our residents was very shy when he came to us. Over time, and with support, he agreed to attend a day centre to meet new people and to this day he still goes.
He’s gained so much confidence and has learned to trust our staff to help him lead a more fulfilling life.
What’s the best part of your job?
Simple things like a cup of tea in the morning with our residents is lovely, but the residential meetings where staff and residents get together are a particular highlight for me.
In the past we’ve made pizzas, built lanterns to celebrate Chinese New Year and created cards for Valentine’s Day. And when I say together, I mean together.
We don’t do things for them, we support our residents to take ownership and be proud of what they create. It’s lovely because it’s not forced, we genuinely enjoy spending time together.
Any memorable moments?
Some people have misconceptions about autism and learning disabilities but the residents I support are wonderful and always make me smile.
One of them often calls me Carol and when I correct her she asks me when I changed my name! Although they don’t always say it, you know they appreciate you being there.
After we had been out together, one resident said to me, “I’d like to thank you for taking me on this lovely walk.” It was such an offhand comment, but it really brightened my day.
What would you say to someone considering support work?
Honestly, there’s no job like it. Where else can you accompany someone to the cinema or on a day trip to London for work?
You can enjoy yourself while being the difference between someone having a good day or a bad day.
I’m not saying there aren’t challenges, but it’s incredibly rewarding. When I recruit someone, I’m not necessarily looking for experience – I’m looking for good values and a willingness to learn.
Ultimately, I genuinely love what I do. I can’t wait for the day when society becomes more inclusive and the people we support are not defined by their disabilities, but instead appreciated for their unique personalities.