Each issue we profile somebody from Sheffield Mencap and Gateway, to find out more about what makes it such a varied and special place. This winter we get to know staff member Hartley Forte – better known as H.

How long have you been at Sheffield Mencap and Gateway (SMG) and what do you do here?

I think I’ve been here over 18 years now! I started off as a volunteer in kids and adults’ services, and then progressed to being support worker in the TGIF! and Short Breaks children’s groups and supporting people 1-2-1.

What have you gained through working at SMG?

Patience! And it’s carried over into my life outside of Mencap too. I’m much more patient with people than when I was younger – I take the time to get to know all different kinds of people and give everybody a chance.

What are your goals for the next year at SMG?

Just making everybody smile and keep doing what I’m doing! I enjoy what I do. I love chilling with the members and having a laugh with them.

Can you tell us your favourite story or memory from SMG?

Theres so many. I’ve got so many great memories of having laughs and jokes with the members. Especially the most challenging ones. They’re the ones that give you the stories. Also I’ll always be proud of getting Stan into the kitchen! That was a task!

How do you balance work and life – what do you do to relax?

Well at the moment I’m restoring my house. I’m doing one room at a time, taking my time with it. It’s a big project and it’s keeping me busy. I’m enjoying it – even though I do have a bath in my living room at the moment!

Finally, tell us a fact about yourself that people at SMG don’t know…

Everyone at Mencap knows that I love clothes, but not everyone knows that I once won best dressed man at Doncaster Races!