Latest News, Personalities | Posted: Monday, April 6th, 2020 at 12:15 pm | return to news

From personal tragedy to changing lives

Following a personal tragedy – a loss of a child – Mary Meyrick from Dorset wanted to do a job that was meaningful.

Mary Meyrick has worked in a meaningful job for over 30 years following a personal tragedy. She is pictured with Robin Patterson
Mary Meyrick has worked in a meaningful job for over 30 years following a personal tragedy. She is pictured with Robin Patterson

Mary Meyrick started working with people with learning disabilities and autism over 30 years ago. Now, aged 65, she still relishes her support worker role with not-for-profit Dimensions, where she found her calling. She said, “My job brings me joy every day. Supporting people, seeing them grow and gain independence has been the most rewarding experience.”

She has been working with Robin Patterson (41) for over 30 years. Robin spent most of his life in institutions, and when he came out, his family wanted him to be supported by Dimensions.

Now, Robin has his own home, learns to dress himself, make his own meals and live independently. Mary said, “It’s a real privilege to be welcomed into his home every day and support him in this process. It’s all about giving people the chance and opportunity to be the best people they can be.

“For the past few years, I’ve been organising Robin’s birthday party, inviting his loved ones and friends from institutions. Over the years, the parties got bigger and bigger, and last year, for his 40th, we had a magician and a disco.” Mary credits Dimensions with encouraging her to be creative and go above and beyond for the people she supports.

Having someone like Mary has been invaluable says Robin’s mum, Veronica Patterson. She said, “The continuity has been brilliant. Mary knows Robin’s whole history and through the years has developed an incredibly strong relationship with Robin.”

Mary, Like 61 per cent of Dimensions’ support workers, thinks that jobs in the sector have an undeserved bad reputation. “I feel that the current perception of social care work is that it’s simply about being there to take care of people’s most basic needs, such as personal hygiene. That’s part of it, but it’s so much more than that.”

She adds, “To anyone who is thinking about starting a career in care, I’d say: think about it carefully. It’s not an easy job – but if you’re a people’s person, willing to put your whole personality into your job, then go for it. The rewards at the end of every day are worth it.”

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