Meet a Norwich community hero that helps disabled children
PUBLISHED: 12:24 18 December 2018 | UPDATED: 15:10 18 December 2018
Sioux Feeney went from working in London's West End to helping disabled children and adults in Norwich's Hamlet Charity.
The 52-year-old administrator began working at The Hamlet Charity in 2006 after moving her entire life from London, where she worked as a master carpenter for the Theatre Royal on Drury Lane.
The Hamlet supports children and young adults who have disabilities and complex health needs, along with their families.
Mrs Feeney of Quebec Road, said: “I’m so thankful to The Hamlet for taking a chance on me and giving me a job.
“I didn’t have much admin experience, so the chance they took on me was a big one.
“From the moment I walked into the centre, I felt like I was at home. The atmosphere was, and still is so welcoming and the students are amazing.”
Mrs Feeney’s job includes typical admin jobs such as answering phones but she also welcomes pupils and helps other members of staff care for them.
She said: “The meeting and greeting and the mornings along with seeing the pupils off at the end of the day and having a chat with the parents is my favourite part of the day by far.
“Sometimes I’m the ear for parents that coming in, I feel a lot or responsibility with that as I may be the only person they have talked to all day.”
During the centres ‘out of hours’ session, where adults socialise in restaurants or at a pub, Mrs Feeney will attend to spend time with the students.
She said: “Seeing the students mature and achieve things they wouldn’t have when they first arrived at the centre, it gives me so much joy.
“I spend a lot of time with the students, I have been teaching one of them all about my job and sometimes she will come and sit with me.
“Being able to give some of these adults some independence while also giving their parents some time to focus on themselves makes me feel like I’m doing something worthwhile.”
During her time working at the centre, Mrs Feeney has raised more than £1,500 by swimming the 24 miles, the length from The Hamlets Adult Centre on Ella Road, Norwich to Cromer Pier.
“I love coming in every single day.”
To donate to The Hamlet Charity, visit www.totalgiving.co.uk/donate/the-hamlet-centre-trust quoting ‘Evening News’