Friendships, Relationships and Professional Boundaries

Emma Fraser is, in no particular order, a person supported by Dimensions, a quality checker and my friend.

Why shouldn’t we be friends?

There’s no reason but that’s not what Emma thought!

I was surprised and a little sad when she said that. I rewrote the policy a few years ago with some help from lots of people including those we support, their families and colleagues. I thought it was really good because I thought it would help to stop professional boundaries being used as a barrier to people having great lives and great relationships. We named it ‘Friendships, Relationships and Professional Boundaries’ and made it about enabling rather than restricting. But, sadly, some people still think the policy is a list of things we shouldn’t do.

So, below is a picture of me and my friend Emma with my three beautiful babies. We had a lovely day at Crazy Tykes in Wetherby and will be meeting up again soon, but at Emma’s house so we can see her garden in bloom.

Emma with Sinead and her three beautiful babies
Emma with Sinead and her three beautiful babies

We hope our picture will encourage Dimensions colleagues to have another look at the policy, to discuss how we can help people to make friends and have great relationships.
By sharing this beyond Dimensions’ boundaries, we’re hoping to highlight a hidden barrier that readers may not have spotted in their own organisations.

When I was a support worker in Derby, my family lived around the corner. By connecting the ladies I supported to their neighbours – who were also my neighbours and included my family – they had people to sit next to on the bus, people to chat to in the local shop and people to look out for them. Although it’s now been 15 years since I left, they still have that.

Friendships are so important!

By Sinéad McHugh-Hicks, Regional Managing Director in the North