A day in the life of… Luke Coppinger
Luke Coppinger from Penzance joined Green Light in January 2015. He has worked with several teams since then but is currently a Support Worker with the Tranquil Cross team who support two adults with autism and learning disabilities from the home.
|Luke with ‘Frankie’ & ‘Bo’|
Q: What previous experience of autism or learning disability did you have before joining Green Light?
A: For 3 years I taught music and dance to young disadvantaged kids in schools and prisons around the US, Europe and Asia. We also had workshops working with people with a range of disabilities which was amazing. Working with Greenlight for 6 years has helped me grow in confidence to help others.
Q: What kind of things do you and your team do on a typical day?
A: Myself and the Tranquil team always like to get out and get involved in many activities. Even though we have been restricted due to coronavirus, we still get to do many activities inside and around Tranquil. We all love walking and going on bike rides. Hopefully soon we can all get back to doing the other activities we used to do too.
Q: What kind of things would you be doing to support the people living in your home?
A: I always like the people I support to see me as a friend, as well as somebody that is supporting them. I’ve found that I can not only be there as support but also like to think I have a positive impact on their day. It’s been tough in lockdown this year but prior to this I’ve helped support the guys in their daily activities like helping to complete the food shop and with their household chores. We all love going bowling, swimming and playing golf.
Q: What are the challenges & rewards of supporting people with autism & learning disabilities?
A: There’s always going to be challenges working in health and social care, but I try to just be myself and hopefully they will see that I care. Plus leaving work at the end of the day knowing they’ve had a laugh and made them happy feels pretty awesome.
Q: As you head to work; what do you most look forward to?
A: When I first started working for Green Light I was supporting a guy at Penrose farm. We always had a right laugh and I was always buzzing to get back on shift with him. I managed to help him get to the disco, which he hadn’t managed to go to over 10-years. Leaving and driving to work I still think about that day. He loved it. I drive to work nowadays hoping I can give people a laugh and help them overcome any worries they might have.
Q: What has surprised you most about working with people with autism & learning disabilities?
A: After 6-years I’m still learning so much about care. I make mistakes but I like to think that’s all part of learning. Mostly I’ve learnt that each day is different, and as long as you give your time and patience to others, that’s what matters.
Q: Have you learned anything unexpected about yourself or your skills and abilities?
A: I think I’ve learnt that when I put my mind to things I can achieve more than what I thought I could. My cooking skills were a shambles when I first started, but now I can cook a mean chicken a la crème!
Q: What kind of skills & values would you say people need to have, or develop, in order to be great at this kind of work?
A: I think you need patience and a natural ability to care for others. You need to be open and willing to learn. A kind personality always helps as well!
Q: What’s been the highlight of your career working with people with autism and learning disabilities so far?
A: A few years ago a chap I used to support accepted my invitation and came to my wedding. Having him there was the best feeling. He seemed so happy with his buffet plate in one hand and a pint in the other. Such a great guy. I like to think I helped him as much as he helped me.
Q: As you leave work, at the end of a typical day, how do you know you’ve done a great job?
|A pre-Covid theme park visit|
A: If I’ve made people laugh and smile I like to think I did good that day. That’s all I can hope for.
Find out more about Green Light on our website