Craig joined AFG 15 years ago as a Support Worker in one of our independent mental health hospitals in Cheshire. Having previously worked in the banking and retail sectors, this was a complete shift in career direction for Craig – who’s friend recommended AFG to him. “It was a huge career change for me – but something I knew I wanted to do. The opportunities are endless at AFG so I’ve never looked back since!”

After working as a Support Worker in our Mental Health division for 5 years, Craig switched over to work in our Learning Disability division, where he supported vulnerable adults in the community. “I took a sideways step to work in our Learning Disability division, but this allowed me to gain even more experience and knowledge in social care. This enabled me to progress and become a Team Leader – a position that I held for 8 years.”

“I was then seconded to the role of Learning Partner, which eventually became my permanent position. Having worked in operations for so long, I understood the demands of the Support Worker role, and what it takes to deliver exceptional standards of care. I believe I was ready to pass this knowledge on to new starters as a Learning Partner, so that we can continue positively impacting the lives of others.”

As a Learning Partner, Craig is now responsible for developing and delivering our internal training offer for our operational colleagues. “My current role is focused on providing sector-leading training to our new starters. I have a huge passion for Positive Behavioural Support, which is focused on improving quality of life and independence whilst reducing challenging behaviour. Although I now work in a head office role, my work still has a direct impact on the people we support – which is incredibly rewarding.”

“It blows me away how compassionate our operational colleagues are. It’s our job as the Learning Team to provide training for the ‘hard skills’ that are required as a Support Worker – but as long as you have the right values, the opportunities are endless.”

Craig says his proudest moment with AFG came when he took over one of our properties in Wirral as Team Leader, helping to turn the service around with his support team. “We implemented new policies and processes around finance and safeguarding, and built strong relationships with the families of people we support. But the biggest thing was being present as a team and getting stuck in. It wasn’t easy – but it was worth the hard work to improve the lives of people we support.”

Reflecting on why he enjoys working for AFG, Craig said he loves the ‘family-feel’ of the organisation: “There is a real focus on wellbeing at AFG. I feel happy here and that I’m part of a team who have a common purpose. It’s always great to see the progression of our colleagues – we always celebrate each other’s successes.”

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