P is for Patience
This is Dawn Kuehnel. Dawn is a support coordinator in an activity and resource centre in Dumfries.
Dawn's role is to coordinate activities and support people with learning and physical disabilities - helping them remain active and as independent as possible. Dawn plans activities like art and drama, cooking and sport while building confidence, developing skills and creating opportunities at the wonderful Burns Street Activity and Resource Centre (ARC) - and around the community of Dumfries.
The supported people have a wide variety of disabilities and learning support needs and Dawn has a natural ability to find everyone's strengths, going out of her way every day to bring happiness and joy to all activities.
Dawn's day-to-day role is full of variety, and it's fair to say Dawn goes above and beyond...
One supported person enjoyed playing the tin whistle...what did Dawn do? Learnt to play along so they could duet and perform together.
Another supported person was afraid of costumes and masks...with Dawn's support and patience, that person went on to play the Gingerbread Man at the annual pantomime.
FACT - The Dumfries Activity and Resource centre supports 61 people a week. There are six different ARCs in Dumfries and Galloway, together supporting 226 people through each week.
Best part of the job? "The people. I adore everyone I work with, supported people and staff; we laugh every day, we bring to joy to each other's lives, we are creative, supportive and we champion one another to live life to the fullest. Working at the ARC makes me truly happy - there is so much variety to my role and I know what I do makes a difference; I only hope everyone around me understands what a positive impact they have on me."
Dawn, it is true that the smallest of changes can make monumental impacts, and this is what you and your colleagues do for the people you support and their families.
It is the smiles you give, the detailed planning of every activity, the pride in your work and the connections you make with all those around you that are precious, important and valued.
Thank you for everything you do. And enjoy the festive period - you deserve it.