Kim is a Team Leader at Progress’s Children’s Short Breaks service, Stourbridge House.
This is her story.
It was Kim Williams’ younger brother who inspired her to work in care. ‘He is autistic and I grew up caring for him,’ she says. ‘I love him to bits, he is such a character and I wanted to help people in a similar situation.’
Kim was just 18 when she became a volunteer for Progress, helping out with activities in the community to gain experience before she started studying for a social work degree. When she went to university, she was a support worker for Progress in her spare time. She then decided to focus on moving forward with her career full time.
‘Progress is a lovely company to work for. I think you are really valued as an employee,’ she says. ‘My line manager identified I had the ability to progress and supported me. I feel that support has been ongoing ever since.’
Kim went on to a senior position in The Hub, helping young people to develop their independence.
Now, at 22, she is team leader at Stourbridge House, which provides short breaks for children aged 5 to 18, giving families a break from day-to-day care. Stourbridge House provides a range of activities like trips to the seaside and theme parks, as well as supporting children and young people to move towards independence and grow in confidence.
Kim’s role involves managing and supervising staff, helping to run the home and supporting the young people. ‘No two days are the same,’ she says. ‘We have 40 different families, so every day different combinations of children come in. It’s really enjoyable to work with children with a variety of needs. Some days we have a child with severe challenging behaviour, other days it’s a child with severe learning difficulties and physical disabilities.
‘It’s lovely to see the children make progress and to see the families being able to have a break, with confidence their children are being well looked after. The children make a lot of progress here.’
Kim has encouraged others to follow in her footsteps and work for Progress. ‘Progress provide such a variety of support,’ she says. ‘It gives you the chance to find your niche and see what you enjoy. I was able to pinpoint where I wanted to be.’
She is hoping to continue moving forward in her career with Progress and one day she would like to manage a home. ‘At the moment I’m really happy in the role I’m in,’ she says.
Kim says it is more a way of life than a job. ‘I absolutely love it,’ she says. ‘It’s a homely environment and you are coming to support children. The children are all absolutely amazing. They are such a joy to work with and every single one of them has their own qualities. You build relationships with them. When I have annual leave and I have been off for a couple of weeks I miss it. I can’t wait to get back and see the kids. It’s a really rewarding role.’
Are you inspired by Kim’s story? A career in care awaits you. Start your journey by clicking here to apply for a job at Progress today.