Supporting people with intellectual impairments to live the life they desire is meaningful work for humanities student Markus McCraith.
Markus, 22, is in his second year of an Arts Degree at Victoria University majoring in cultural anthropology,
“I’m grateful to have the opportunity to support people in living out the lives they choose and to see the ways in which they are engaged in their communities. It’s both rewarding and insightful.”
It’s also a lot of fun, says Markus who works part-time as a support worker for Community Connections, a national provider of supported living services.
“There’s plenty of joking around and a real sense of lightness and camaraderie while also being very professional.”
Markus found out about support work serendipitously last year when he was looking for part-time work to fund his studies.
“A friend told me I’d be good at it, so I applied with Community Connections, got an interview, was accepted and went through an orientation programme. I have to say that Community Connections is an incredibly supportive organisation, equally caring for its staff and the people that receive their service.”
Support work has turned out to be a great fit for Markus’ studies and other life commitments – including playing drums.
“The flexible hours are a real bonus, and the work is really varied. Every person I work with is different in terms of their impairments and the things they need support with, whether that’s at home or out in the community.”
His day of support work can range from going to the vege market and having a coffee afterwards, to helping someone prepare their evening meal, and to walking through the interactive exhibitions in Te Papa.
“It’s very dynamic as you are continuously encountering new situations. So, if you’re a person looking to do meaningful and interpersonal work that helps people fulfil their potential, I’d highly recommend it. It’s really rewarding.”
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