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Compassion and Passion: Meet Sam, a Referrals Navigator at Maples

Updated: May 9

Meet Sam, who not only thrives in his role as a Referrals Navigator within the Compass Team, but also has many passions outside of work. As a Referrals Navigator, Sam plays a crucial part in guiding individuals through our referral and assessment process, ensuring every service user is guided on the right pathway through Maples.

What are your passions outside of work?

“I live with two of my mates and we’re all quite sporty, so I spend a fair amount of time either playing or watching rugby

and football. I enjoy playing rugby for a local team, fitness, and other outdoor activities, it’s the best way for me to reset and clear my head. I love riding my motorbike too, and I’m hoping to take it onto the ferry over to Spain this year. I’d like to travel more often, I’ve done a bit of travelling in groups, but I’d love to go travelling alone. I also love music and I’m looking forward to a few festivals this year.”

Tell us about your role? “My job title is Referrals Navigator and I work in the Compass Team. The role of the Compass Team is to help guide people to their most beneficial destination, whether that’s bringing people into the company or reviewing service user’s placements. It’s my role within the team to support new service users entering the company.

I speak with Brokers and Social Workers who ask us to meet and assess potential service users from Bristol who may need our help. I assess each service user to determine if we can offer them the level of care and support that will meet their needs. I regularly travel to a variety of locations to meet with potential new service users. I’ll evaluate our capacity to ensure we’re able to provide the best support possible for every person who joins. We have a fantastic service to offer here at Maples and it is my job to showcase this to professionals and service users.”

Could you tell us more about the assessment process?

“For someone to be assessed, they’ll need a Social Worker. The Social Worker can either contact us directly to us or go through a Brokerage with the Local Authority. The referrer will tell us about the individual and the type of support

package they’re looking for. We’ll then arrange to go out and meet with the potential new service user.

The first meeting is always informal, we’re there to get to know every service user as much as possible. We want to know what their hobbies are, what makes them happy and what kind person they are.

It’s very much a two-way thing, we want to help the service user get to know us and what we’re all about. We have lots of great activities outside of our core support, including swimming, music production, gym, and loads more which are all very popular.

We want to work out exactly how we can help our service users get to their next destination. We can provide support with things like cooking, cleaning, budgeting, managing benefits, medication support, emotional support, occupational support and loads more. The key point is that we can create a bespoke support package around each of our service users. They are in full control of how they utilise their support and are in the driving seat on their journey to their future life goals.”

How do you know if someone is the right fit for Maples? “Compatibility is a major thing for us here in The Compass Team, we want to help as many people as possible, but if we’re moving a service user into a house, it needs to be suitable to those already in the accommodation. A happy and compatible house can be one of the best ways to improve mental health and we try to advocate this as much as possible.

It's the Compass Teams philosophy that we never say ‘no’ to a referral, it’s just that they’re either not ready yet, or we do not have a space that suits their needs. While we can’t accommodate everyone due to our capacity, availability, or compatibility, we are always happy to revisit the referral in the future.”

What is your favourite thing about your role? “I meet incredible people from all different parts of the country and the world, and they all have different backgrounds and life experiences. I find it really inspiring that despite what our service users have gone through, and their battles with mental ill health, they can still find hope for a better future and give back to the community.

It’s quite exciting giving people an opportunity to move their lives forwards, it never gets old. Lots of the people I meet have moved on positively and have received the support they need, be it in hospital or in the community. No matter what you go through, everyone deserves an opportunity to find hope for a better life.”

Sam's role as a Referrals Navigator at Maples is crucial in ensuring that every service user is guided onto the right pathway for their individual needs. Through the assessment process, Sam takes the time to understand each person's individual needs, goals and aspirations, creating a personalized support package. Beyond his professional responsibilities, Sam finds fulfilment in his passions for sports, motorcycling, travel, and music. At Maples, we recognise that are staff are all individuals with a unique perspective and experience of the world around them. These personal experiences make up a large part of our unique ability to connect to one and other.

To make a referral, email us at:

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