Imagine this: you are at a workshop and the facilitator asks you to write down your favourite quote or phrase and on the piece of paper provided you write these four words: “Empowering People, Enriching Lives”.
Fast forward a few weeks and you start to see those words appear everywhere. And others start seeing them too and talking about them and what they mean.
That is exactly what happened to Hannah Maddever who joined Southcare in March 2010 and wrote those words at a Spirit of Southcare Leaders workshop in 2011.
“I read the phrase one day in a book,” Hannah said. “I liked it, and it stuck in my mind ever since as a good description of how I hoped I was living my life.
“It felt good when I started to see those words at Southcare and others responding to them as well. How inspiring to see a group of people come together with the sole purpose of empowering people and enriching lives.” she said.
The workshop was organised by Southcare CEO Dr Nicky Howe who started at Southcare in September 2010, and the quote was in reference to, “What does Southcare mean to you?”
“Southcare is about serving the community – it is about empowering people to live independently at home and enriching their lives in the way they want to live,” Nicky said.
Hannah echoes those words. She started as a Community Support Worker and after nine years of working directly with the community in their homes, moved to an office-based role as Assistant Home Care Coordinator.
“The key is to treat each customer as the most important person and to always be present while you are with them.”
“Many people think this work is about cleaning and doing general tasks, and that is certainly part of it, but what the customer really remembers is the connection they have with you while you are there, not just about how well you clean their home.
“You work and you listen and you engage with them,” she said.
Hannah used to drive past Southcare’s Manning office regularly and one day called in on a whim and asked on arrival: “What happens in here?”
“The Human Resources Manager met me and when I heard that Southcare started as pastoral care for City of South Perth residents, I said I’d love a job. They gave me some forms and the rest, as they say, is history.”
“Like most of us here, I do this job for the love of it, for the people we care for, and to serve the community.”
Dr Howe said this sentiment was echoed among all Southcarers and still rang true 40 years after the not-for-profit was first established.
“All Southcarers are here for one common purpose: to empower people and enrich lives.”
“We’re excited to welcome the future and the opportunities that will bring but we also remain deeply connected to our past and our reason for being here.