Affinity Trust

Jillian Farmer, Operations Manager at Affinity Trust tells us about a bit about herself and the organisation.

Describe Affinity Trust in a paragraph.
Affinity Trust supports people with learning disabilities to live as independently as possible – helping people to live the lives they wish to live regardless of their level of ability. Whether helping someone to live in their own home, providing opportunities to make new friends, experience new things or gain work that is rewarding and enjoyable, Affinity Trust aims to ensure that those we support have the opportunity to live life to its fullest.

What is the background to Affinity Trust?
Affinity Trust has been supporting people with learning disabilities since 1991 throughout England and Scotland, supporting approximately 700 people and employing around 1500 staff.

In Leeds, we have been in operation since 1997 and currently work with around 120 people, supporting them to achieve their aspirations and goals in life and attain the level of independence they wish for.

What services do you provide do you deliver?
In Leeds, we currently provide Supported Living, Outreach and Day Opportunity services along with supporting people to access work and educational opportunities.

Who is on the team? (staff and volunteers)
In Leeds, there is a permanent staff team of approximately 150 support workers, 18 Senior Support workers, five Support Managers, two Admin staff and an Operations Manager. In addition, we have two volunteers who work with our admin staff one morning every week.

Across the UK there’s eight operational divisions, each with a divisional director.

What is the best thing about your job?
It’s the best feeling to see people achieve their personal wishes and aspirations.

Playing a role in this gives me a lot of job satisfaction. Getting staff to look at how they work with people and asking themselves “Am I doing the best possible job for the person I support?” is also vital to me.

What is the most challenging thing about your job?
I have worked with people with learning disabilities for over 25 years and never wanted to do anything else.

I find it challenging when things change for people without the changes being properly explained to them.

If you had a super-power what would it be and why?
I’d love to be able to fly then I would not have to sit in traffic jams!

If you could give someone you know an award, who would it be?
Simon Duffy and the Centre for Welfare reform for all the work they do in campaigning, researching and education. And every unpaid carer in the UK.


April 2014