Make a Difference with Megan
Megan, an Activities Coordinator in Sheffield, has recently been shortlisted for the BBC’s Make a Difference Awards! We spoke to her about what making a difference means, and what a day in the life of an Activities Coordinator looks like.
How did it feel to hear that you’d been shortlisted for the BBC Make a Difference Awards?
When I got the phone call from my manager I was so shocked- I thought she was calling to tell me there was something wrong! When she said she had really good news and told me about the award I was really excited and proud. It came as a shock as I’ve only been in this role for a year and a half, but I really love my job and am so grateful. I’ve put my all into being an Activities Coordinator, and it’s really nice to know that all the hard work is paying off.
I’m really looking forward to even just attending the event in September, it’s going to be a great experience and really fun- I’ve never done anything like this before! I’d like to take someone we support as I know that they’d enjoy it too, and after all, they’re the reason I’ve been nominated.
How do you make a difference in your day-to-day role?
I like to make sure that the people I support get the most out of their days. Whether it’s by doing smaller activities in the house, or bigger trips and events, we always ask what they would like to do that day and do our best to make it happen.
Recently we took the tenants on a trip to a farm which was a lot of fun. We’re trying to help people get back into a routine after Covid, as many of the people we support struggle from anxiety with getting out and about again after all the lockdowns.
We’ve really been trying to help people achieve big goals and dreams too. Last year, we took some of the people we support on their first holiday after lockdown. We took them to Blackpool and had a great time visiting Madam Tussauds, going shopping, playing in the arcades and everything. The social experience in the hotel was great for them too.
What activities have you been up to lately, and do you have any coming up soon?
We celebrated the Queen’s Jubilee by throwing a big party and inviting other services to get involved. We had karaoke and a BBQ, and even had a special guest visitor- a Shetland pony! It was wonderful seeing everyone come together and have so much fun- seeing everyone hanging out was really special.
We also marked Red Nose Day and held a bake sale for it. I got all the people we support personalised t-shirts which they absolutely loved- they wouldn’t take them off!
I’ve just moved to a new service, doing the same role, and I’m so excited to get to know the tenants and create fun activities for them too. With the weather warming up at the minute we will be able to do nice garden parties and more BBQs so I’m looking forward to that!
Can you walk me through a day in your life as an Activities Coordinator?
I come into work and do my general support work duties, like getting people up and then doing personal care. Then it’s a case of seeing if there are any appointments or things in their schedule for that day and planning things around them. We’ll ask what the person would like to do that day and then see what we can do!
Sometimes I’ll do longer shifts so we can go out on full days too, like to Cleethorpes or Scarborough. Sometimes its mini-golf, shopping, trips to the cinema- lots of fun things.
What does ‘making a difference’ mean to you?
It’s the small things that make a big difference, but these are often overlooked. The people we support appreciate the day-to-day things, like helping them to do their hair how they like or painting their nails. They’ll give you a smile or a giggle, and there is just nothing that compares.
A huge congratulations on your nomination and shortlisting Megan, it’s an amazing achievement and we’re all very proud of you. We’ve got our fingers and toes crossed for you and look forward to September!