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“The best thing about working with Sandy,” Corey says, “is she’s warm and empathetic. She has such a positive energy and is very enthusiastic in everything she does. She really puts a smile on my face.”
Over the last four years, Corey and his support worker Sandy have been working together to empower Corey to live independently. The support relationship has been an enriching experience for both of them. For Corey, it has meant being able to live life the way he wants while Sandy has been able to use her existing skills to support Corey in the way he wants to be supported.
Cooking, swimming, organising and more
A typical day in Corey’s life starts with getting up and ready followed by a delicious breakfast. “Sandy is an elite cook,” Corey says. Then, the pair plans their day, which might involve shopping, getting a coffee, dining out or going to the park. If the weather is rainy, they plan a meal to cook, shop for ingredients then do the cooking together back at home. Sandy is also on hand to take Corey to his appointments.
Corey is a big soccer fan and loves swimming and volunteering for his church in the form of letter writing.
“She just knows what to do without being told and she has a lot of love as well. It makes me feel really happy to know that Sandy really does care about her job. I’m very grateful that Mable has made it possible for me to find Sandy and I’m very grateful that she’s happy to work with me as well,” Corey says.
Corey is really appreciative of Sandy’s organisational skills. “It’s the little things too. She’s a really good organiser,” he says. “She brought in a filing cabinet system one day to help get me organised.”
Most recently, though, Corey has found Sandy’s support valuable in planning an overseas trip after a long pause in travel. Having had her own travel business for more than 25 years, Sandy has been assisting Corey to plan for an upcoming trip to Thailand or Dubai with his brothers.
“To be able to travel, especially after COVID, it’s going to be really nice to experience another part of the world. Yes, there’ll be challenges but I’ll get through it because I have the right people to help me achieve that,” Corey shares.
Choice, control and safeguards: Mable made it happen
For Corey, the process of finding and engaging Sandy was made easy thanks to the Mable app, he says.
“When you look for a new support worker, you can read their bios, reviews other people have written about them, and what kinds of services they offer. And you don’t just have to meet them at your home. You can do a video call before you meet them.”
Corey also appreciates that with Mable, he has the flexibility to organise his support sessions himself. “I can book Sandy for a day on the weekend if I need to, or for a specific event.”
Meet Sandy, Corey’s support worker from Mable
Sandy’s motivation to sign up on Mable as an independent support worker was to help the community. “I had my own travel business for 25 years, but it was time for a change. I wanted to put my efforts into helping people who really needed support. When I found Mable in 2017, I realised it was what I was looking for.”
Sandy adds, “I could provide the types of support I was good at. It took about a week from enquiring to joining Mable and starting work, and I kept working in my travel business at the same time. Before long, I was able to get more clients and was working more hours for Mable, so I focused only on Mable.”
Talking about her support relationship with Corey, Sandy says, “Corey’s very down to earth. I’ve become really fond of him.”She says the best benefit of being an independent support worker is the freedom she has to work the way she wants to. Incredibly, she works around 70 hours per week, but says she’s much happier because she’s doing exactly what she wants. “I love what I do, I’m working more than I ever did in my entire life, but I love working with my people. I feel that I’ve built a beautiful career and I’m so proud of myself.”