Big thank you from

Jenny Monroe talks to Liza Wiseman, Support Manager, Prospects

LIZA Wiseman LIZA Wiseman is a Support Manager and works for Prospects, a Christian voluntary organisation which values and supports people with learning disabilities so that they live their lives to the full. It has an office based in the Longstone Street area which will be moving to new premises at Trinity Church.

Founded in 1976 by David and Madeleine Potter as A Cause for Concern', Prospects has seen remarkable growth throughout the United Kingdom. Its policies and activities are based on the Principle of Personal Value and it operates within a distinctive Christian ethos. Liza is married to Richard and they live in Lisburn with their two sons Joel 6 and Scott 3. Liza has a degree in applied psychology, She worked as a mortgage advisor before she had her family and then decided to work part time in the social arena.

I normally get up at 7.30am and get the boys ready for school and nursery. Every day is really different and I have to think on my feet every hour of every day. I work 20 hours a week and my time is split 50/50 between contact caring in people's homes (supported living) and carrying out my managerial responsibilities.

In my role as Support Manager I report to the Service Manager Karen Moulds and prepare monthly service reports for her as well as keeping up to date health and safety assessments, and tracking finances for the people we support as these are all audited.

In my managerial work I sort out wages, hold assessments and training classes and work on the general administration. I also engage with social workers, and people who run organisations that the people we support may attend. I also have close contact with occupational therapists if, for example, a person requires a handrail to be fitted into their home. Prospects work in partnership with local authorities, Housing Associations, Trusts and local churches.

Prospects aims to support individuals in each aspect of their lives - physically, emotionally, and spiritually. No two days are the same: while one day you may be needed to help a person choose what's for dinner, the next they may ask you to pray with them about an issue they feel anxious about, and the day after they need you to support them as they advocate for other disabled people in their area. Prospects supports people to live as independently as possible and develop a wide range of skills.

If I am working a contact shift this will mean me arriving at the person's house around 4pm. I do three of these a fortnight. Occasionally I am on call to offer back up and support to other support workers.

When I arrive I check the communication book and read the comments of other support workers. I check the person's social calendar and see if they have any pending doctor's appointments or anything else I need to be aware of. Then I help make dinner and get the individual involved. I have a list of things to work my way thorough such as sorting out petty cash, and helping with household chores. I'll maybe do some washing and ironing and if the person wants to go for coffee or to church I take them. My sleep in at the house starts at 11pm and staff accommodation is provided. I am there during this time to offer support should an emergency arise. Then in the morning I make sure the person is ready for any activities they may have that day and check they have everything they require. I see if any maintenance to the house is required and if so I'll get in touch with the Housing Association.

Once I finish at the house and make sure the person is safe and carrying out their normal routine, I might go to the office and so some filing or work on staff rotas. Then once I have updated files I will head home to collect my sons and spend time with them.

Ulster Star