Journey of a Residential Support Worker

26th Jun, 20 / First Blue Healthcare

Many years ago, as I sat at my desk completing more mundane paperwork I started to wonder if there was more I could be doing.  I had lots of energy which I put into work each day and I wanted to make a difference to someone’s life.


I trawled through the job ads in the local paper (gives you an idea of just how many years ago this was) and saw an advert for residential support workers.  This had me intrigued and I decided to apply just to see what it was all about.


I went along to an open day and during one of the workshops a poem by an unknown author was read out (I would love to find out who wrote it).   This had a massive impact on me and convinced me to apply, I was successful and began my long career.  Although I went on to be a social worker my heart has always been in residential.  Thirty years later and much blood, sweat and tears I am proud to be the Director of Care for First Blue and wanted to share the poem with you.


The Person who had feelings


Once there was a very small boy who had feelings.

He had many feelings and got them every day.

His family liked him when he showed his feelings so he stared wearing them on his sleeve.


One day his Mum said she did not like to see his FEAR feeling anymore,

so he tried to pull it off. Mum said she would give him some TOUGH to cover his FEAR. 

It was very hard to cover the FEAR with TOUGH so Dad and grandparents helped. 

It took many days, “now you look wonderful” the parents said when it was done.

“We’ve covered some of your feelings with TOUGH and now you will grow into a good strong person.


When the boy was a little older he found a friend. 

The friend also wore his feelings on his sleeve. 

One day the friend said “my parents want me to cover up my LONELY feelings and I will be different from now on”. 

And he was!!!


The by decided to cover his LONELY feelings too and got some ANGER from another adult. 

The boy put the big patches of ANGER on top of his LONELY. 

It was hard work trying to cover the LONELY feelings.


One day when the by went to school some of his LONELY feelings started to show. 

So, the Teacher kept him late and gave him some GUILT to cover the LONELY feelings.


Sometimes at night when he was alone he would look at his feelings. 

He would pull of the TOUGH and ANGER to look at his LONELY and FEAR. 

Then he would have to take a long time putting the TOUGH, ANGER and GUILT back on again.


One night he noticed his LONELY and FEAR were growing and beginning to stick out around the patches. 

He had to go out to find some more ANGER to cover the LONELY and got all the TOUGH that his parents could spare to cover his FEAR.


The boy grew bigger and was very popular. 

Everyone said that he could hide his feelings well. 

One day his parents said they had a PROUD feeling because the boy had so much TOUGH. 

But the boy could not find anywhere to put the PROUD feeling because the TOUGH was getting so big. 

The boy had trouble finding any room on his sleeve for any other feelings. 

The TOUGH and the ANGER were all that showed.


Then one day he met another person and they became friends. 

They thought that they were a lot alike because they both had only TOUGH and ANGRY feelings showing. 

But one day the friend told the boy a secret. 

“I’m not really like you, my TOUGH and ANGER are really only patches to hide the FEAR and LONELY”. 

The friend then pulled back the edge of his TOUGH and showed the person FEAR, just for a second.


The person sat quiet and did not speak, then carefully he pulled back a little edge of his TOUGH and showed his FEAR. 

The friend saw the LONELY underneath. 

Then the friend reached out and touched the persons FEAR and then the LONELY.


The friends touch was like magic, a feeling of ACCEPTANCE appeared on the boy’s sleeve and the TOUGH and anger were smaller.

Then the boy new that whenever someone gave him ACCEPTANCE he would need less TOUGH and then there would be more room to show the REAL feelings, whatever they were, HAPPY, LONELY, SAD, LOVING, STRONG, GOOD etc.


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