During her career as a social worker, Claire Masula found that it was especially her work with young people, children and their families that were making her heart light up.
Claire had been working in a hospital with adolescents and young adults with cancer and so she was already aware of Redkite’s services to families when the opportunity to work with Redkite as the Senior Social Worker – Hospital Lead arose. It was a perfect match, says Claire.
“I was keen to work for Redkite because I could see what a difference they were making. I am drawn to this type of work because I think that as humans, we are not meant to ‘go it alone’ and this job allows me to be part of a community that supports people when they need it the most.”
There are many versions of what ‘making a difference’ for a family might look like. From supporting families to finding ways to talk to their children about cancer to connecting a family to much needed resources such as Redkite’s financial assistance program. Sometimes it is just being able help a family or individual feel able to face each day ahead, this is what makes Redkite’s social workers such a valuable resource to families.
“I see so many different things each day. Strength, weariness, awareness, doubt, pain, hope…Everyone comes to us in different parts of their cancer experience and talking to a stranger can be daunting.” Claire finds that it is her authenticity that is the key to connection. “When people feel that you genuinely care it is easier for them to take those first few steps with you and when they feel they can trust me they can be at their most vulnerable”
As someone who is on the frontline of Redkite’s services, the role can be emotionally draining but there are a lot of personal rewards and the wonderful team around her help Claire manage the big emotions and tough days. “I also want to thank the donors because you are choosing to support a service that proactively and holistically supports families who have a child with cancer. The impact is that these families feel like they are not alone and feel that the community care about people like them. They are so, so thankful.”
“I truly love my job. Families come in all shapes, sizes, identities and with their own strengths and we work from a model where we believe that families are the experts of their own lives, I am only there to support them to find the best way through for them. Redkite social workers have specialist skills and knowledge which we use to support these families, but we never underestimate the individual strengths and story of each person. It is an absolute honour and I consider it to be very precious to be able to walk this road with them.