THERE aren’t many roles where helping somebody live their best life is in the job description.

But that’s what 21-year-old Katie Moffat does for the North East Autism Society in Bedlington.

Katie and her team of staff support a young man called Luke to live in his own home in the Northumberland town. They help him shop and prepare meals, and take him on activities like bowling and trampolining.

They also support him to do the things he’s passionate about, such as exploring his love of trains at the Stephenson Steam Railway in Wallsend.

Katie, who is Team Leader for Independent Supported Living in Bedlington, says: “We are supporting Luke to have as fulfilling and independent a life as possible. We give him every opportunity we can.

When you say you work in care, people think of care homes, not supporting an individual to live their best life. But that’s what we do.


There are four Independent Supported Living homes in Bedlington run by NEAS, with a fifth opening in August. All are now recruiting for care staff.

“I would 100 percent recommend the job, it’s so rewarding and there are lots of opportunities for progression,” says Katie, who is from Ashington and now lives in Bedlington. 

“If Luke really enjoys an activity and it makes him happy, seeing the smile on his face is wonderful.”

Katie had been out of work for six months when she got a job as support worker at NEAS in January 2020. She had previously worked in office administration and as a home-to-home carer but neither really suited her.

“I like looking after people and I like being out and about. Sitting in an office from 9-5 is not for me,” she says.

In home-to-home care, you were in and out in 30 minutes, with no real time to get to know people. Whereas here we do – we have built a relationship with Luke. He trusts us and we trust him.

Katie has been promoted twice, first to key worker and then to team leader, and is now being funded to study a Level 3 Diploma in health and social care at college.

And she says she has learned invaluable life skills since she joined at 19, when she didn’t even know how to cook. “My family and friends are proud of me!” she says.

“It can be challenging, but 99% of the time it’s rewarding and those are the times that you remember.”

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