Liz, one of Leuchie House's General Assistants, talks about her role and why helping guests have the best short break experience possible means so much to her
How would you describe your role?
It’s mainly about supporting guests at breakfast and dinner times. On the morning shift, I make sure every guest gets the support they need to have breakfast, and help get their day off to a great start.
I work one evening shift every week too. That involves helping one of the guests with their evening meal, then clearing up the dining room and getting everything ready for breakfast the next day. After that we move through to the guest lounges and help out with the evening entertainment. It’s always great fun to play a part in helping guests enjoy themselves!
How do you make sure each guest gets the meal-time support they need?
Every fortnight, up to 17 new guests arrive at Leuchie for a break. They all have different dietary needs and preferences, require varying levels of support, and can have different long term conditions.
Everyone is different so it’s really important to be led by the guests themselves. Even if someone has limited communication, you can usually always find a way you can help them to let you know what they’d like.
I also go through the menu with each guest at the start of their holiday, finding out what they like to eat. If there’s something specific they love that isn’t on the menu, I’ll speak to Margaret, our catering manager, and we’ll do our best to get if for them. I’m always happy to pop into the supermarket on the way home if necessary!
At Leuchie, every member of staff is involved in helping guests have the best short break experience possible. How do you help with that?
It’s all the little things you can do that often make such a difference to people.
If I’ve found out someone has a favourite food, I’ll try and make sure it’s available the next time they come to stay. One of our regular guests loves to play Scrabble but has no one at home to play with. So when he comes to Leuchie, I try to pop in after work for a game of Scrabble and a chat.
I also bring my dog, Bunty, in to Leuchie for a visit if I know that one of our guests loves dogs. So many guests are dog lovers but aren’t in a position to own one. If I can make their day by giving them a chance to spend some time with mine, that’s a great feeling.
What do you get out of working at Leuchie?
I get to meet so many interesting people! I love getting to know each of the guests, finding out about their backgrounds and families.
When guests come to Leuchie for the first time they can be anxious, so I really enjoy helping to get them chatting, then seeing their friendships grow during their break.
There’s a real team spirit at Leuchie too which makes the job very enjoyable.
And I can also honestly say I get more laughs here than anywhere else!
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