ASC’s service users and staff said goodbye this week to our popular and hugely successful Service Manager, Jen Aitchison. And at the same time they welcomed new Interim Service Manager Leanne Fairburn, a familiar face at ASC as a deputy to Jen and a Practice Lead.
Jen, an expert in working with young adults, has earned huge respect from service users and colleagues alike. Under her leadership, ASC has improved its grades despite the challenges of lockdowns and staffing pressures.
Jen (pictured above, right) pushed for improvements and upgrades to the ASC living facilities, particularly the ones for young adults. A vital element of the upgrades was getting service users involved, from paint colours to designs and furnishings. This has given them pride and ownership of their space, and created some extra meaningful activities.
Under Jen’s tutelage, a social enterprise concept has flourished. The seeds for LOTUS, as it is called, were sewn at Christmas 2019 when ASC began selling some of the hand-made wooden objects, ornaments and furniture pieces service users create in the site’s popular on-site carpentry workshop. Lockdown provided a perfect opportunity to hone their creative talents, and add to them. Jen leaves to pursue other career opportunities.
Taking over as Interim Manager is Leanne Fairburn who said: “ASC’s mission is to enable service users to lead as independent a life as possible, and to ensure quality of life. That means them interacting with the community, whether that is shopping for groceries, going to the gym or library, or visiting the seaside, zoo or restaurant. With that comes, crucially, good community links. Jen left no stone unturned when it came to developing contacts that helped service users, leading to everything from kayak lessons to gym membership.”
Leanne (pictured, left) began her managerial experience aged 19. She joined ASC six years ago, working her way up from Senior Support Worker. Leanne has been instrumental in creating a hugely successful Positive Behavioural Management training programme in two of the units at ASC’s base in Balbeggie. The training addresses non-escalation, de-escalation and crisis management during a conflict using everything from body language to ‘trigger avoiding’ to listening and empathy tools. The same training is now being rolled out to Balhousie’s other care facilities.
Says Leanne: “It is a privilege to lead ASC, and it has been a pleasure to work with Jen. I look forward to developing and strengthening the practices in place, to making sure improving service users’ quality of life is at the forefront for them, and to taking ASC to the next level.”
Want to join Leanne and Jen in progressing your care career? View our ASC vacancies here.
Products from LOTUS, the social enterprise venture begun at ASC under Jen’s leadership.