I applied for a post as a Bank assistant development worker in 2015 after a member of my family telling me about the post. 6 years later and I am still working at Phoenix. At that point, I worked in the community as a Carer with older people who had dementia, communication barriers and mental health. I decided I wanted to apply for the post and see how I’d get on as I wasn’t quite sure how far I’d get in the process and if Learning Disabilities would suit me due to only supporting Older people. I was not quite sure where to go with my career path. 

I got an interview which I was successful and then had to do a few sessions and meet all the staff and people we support I did dance and movement, arts and crafts and supported people to attend College. I was successful in that part of the process. I was a bank worker for a year and through that time, I left working out in the community to work at Phoenix full time, as I felt that working at the Phoenix suited me better and I loved my role at phoenix. 

A full time temporary post came up after a year of working at Phoenix, which I applied for and was successful. I was on a temporary full time contract for 4 years and in that time I achieved my SVQ level 3 health and social care. I stepped up as a Development worker in that time to gain experience in achieving SVQ level 3. I was the paper work champion where I checked the paperwork to support my other colleagues and seen if everything was up to date and if any changes were required. I also helped to deliver training with my Manager to for the NHS and other providers on the Helen Sanderson formats, which we use at Phoenix. 

I then went to permanent assistant development worker in 2019. Through this time, I stepped up as Acting senior and took on the day-to-day running of Phoenix when my senior was off on annual leave.  

When the chance to become a permanent Development worker post came. I applied for and was successful. I cried when I got that job! I am a key worker for the people I support; I work with other agencies, social workers and NHS to work holistically. 

I think knowing that there is a career path and have the chance to develop my own skills set has kept me in this role. Also, the fact I can really see the difference I make in the People We support lives. We get the opportunity to really build up a strong rapport  

However what I love most about my job is the people I support they are the most kind and caring people I have ever met who have the biggest hearts. They are mostly always smiling and I love to see them achieve their goals or be working towards them. I love going to my work every day, which I think is really important for me.  


I joined Argyll and Bute Council in 2014 from the private sector. I have never worked for a local authority or “day supports” before so it was quite a difference. My background was residential, care at home and housing support but I was and am passionate about supporting people to have full and meaningful lives despite disability or illness. The initial 6 weeks were hectic to find out what goes on and who does what. I quickly realised that the support was excellent but the structure and systems to support and record that were not. 

In-house registered services have never quite “fitted in” as a registered set of providers in their own right but also part of a local authority and now a Health and Social Care Partnership. Most people did not know what we delivered; never mind how to manage us. 

I have been very fortunate that managers and teams, to standardise and modernise the support services for adults with learning disabilities and the linked approaches for inclusion older and younger people, have supported me. Our ethos is that people do not fit neatly into boxes. We support the person, not the “box” or “label” 

We have fantastic, innovate and passionate teams in both social care and health who give 100% to ensure that the people we support are fully part of their own lives and society with meaningful, achievable outcomes. 

From Morag Gillies

Attending Lochside as a young adult with complex learning disabilities since leaving school in 2019, Imogen has been provided with invaluable experiences which enable her to learn and maintain new skills. These have been delivered through a great variety of activities including art and craft, music, horse riding, ball games and gardening.  

Lochside is key to developing Imogen’s social, communication and cooperation skills and her ability to function as independently as possible within the wider local community. The atmosphere within the centre is always welcoming, nurturing and caring, this comes from both the staff and the other service users. Imogen loves going in to spend time with her friends and she has lots of fun in a safe environment, the smiles on everyone’s faces says it all really! 

The nature of the support that Imogen receives in this group setting is something she does not experience in other areas of her life and as such is fundamental to her development, mental well-being, confidence, sense of belonging and feelings of self-worth.  

Thank you to all at Lochside for the amazing job you do. 

From the parent of someone we support

“Attending Lochside has helped my confidence- I used to be quiet shy before. I like attending Lochside because it gets me out of the house and allows me to meet my friends.” 

Susan: “I like it because it gives me company. My favourite thing about coming is doing the activities especially Arts and Crafts. I like meeting my friends at Lochside.” 

Rowan: “I like coming to Lochside to meet my friends. My favourite thing about Lochside is chasing Susan and Shirley.” 

From some people we support