Life used to be very different for Ryan Trueman and Newman Auty, who work for Hft, where they support adults with learning disabilities to live the best life possible. The two Bradford locals came to the charity from very different lines of work and haven’t looked back since.

34 year old Ryan is area manager for five Hft services in its Bradford region, including Culture Fusion, a specialist autism service that builds on life skills for 18-25 year olds, ultimately aiming for local supported employment and work experience opportunities.

Photo of Ryan

After studying Town Planning at university, Ryan pursued a career as a personal trainer but says it quickly became repetitive. Working with a young woman with cerebral palsy and successfully helping her improve her mobility marked a turning point though, inspiring Ryan to explore a career in social care. Starting out as a support worker, Ryan quickly went from strength to strength, taking on various roles at different disability service providers ranging from managing domiciliary care services to a role at a challenging behaviour unit. After seeking a role closer to home, he started working with Hft two years ago.

Ryan said:

“Looking back at my career, I’m so pleased I moved into the social care sector. You get into this type of work to make a difference, but there are also so many opportunities to progress and lots of pathways to suit different skill sets. The services I oversee now support a diverse mix of people – it’s amazing to see them progress.”

Newman Auty is 33 and came to Hft after working as a trade sales rep. After becoming “uninspired by the daily grind of the sales sector”, Newman realised he was following the wrong path and looked for a role in social care where he make a difference. He now works with Ryan at Hft’s Culture Fusion service.

Newman said:

“I’ve found being a support worker to be so much more rewarding than other career paths I’ve taken. There’s a misconception out there that care work isn’t skilled work but there are a huge number of highly trained and skilled members of staff at our services.

“It’s great to see the people we support achieving their own goals and accessing opportunities they are passionate about. It really does feel rewarding to know that we’re helping the people we support to live more independent and fulfilled lives. If you’re stuck doing a job you feel isn’t rewarding, try it!”

Ryan and Newman’s thoughts align with Hft’s Sector Pulse Check report, which reveals that 85% of learning disability sector job applicants cite wanting to make a difference to the lives of vulnerable people as one of their top three reasons for joining the sector. The report was launched earlier this year and is based on an annual survey of learning disability providers carried out by independent consultancy Cebr.

Hft currently supports more than 750 people with learning disabilities in Bradford across over 30 locations. This includes supporting people to live independently in their own homes, providing employment services to help people develop skills and experience for work, and helping people to pursue hobbies, make new friends and get involved in their local communities.

Read the full Sector Pulse Check report at www.hft.org.uk/about-us/media-centre/research/

Notes to editors

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About Hft

Hft is a national charity supporting more than 2,900 adults with learning disabilities across England and Wales to live the best life possible. Established in 1962, the charity uses its own unique Fusion Model to consistently deliver high quality, person-centred support across all its services.

Services range from supported living to residential care – from a few hours a week to 24 hours a day. Hft also helps people with learning disabilities to take part in daily activities, make friends and develop relationships and to find work.

For more information about Hft, please visit www.hft.org.uk

Information about learning disabilities

A learning disability can be mild, moderate, severe or profound and is defined as having a reduced ability to:

  • Understand new or complex information
  • Learn new skills
  • Live independently

For more information about learning disabilities, please visit www.hft.org.uk/resources-and-guidance