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Staff Appreciation Post: Ulrike Luebcke

Staff Appreciation Post: Ulrike Luebcke

Today we would love to highlight one of our wonderful occupational therapists, Ulrike Luebcke!

At Laura Fergusson Brain Injury Trust, we help people with spinal and complex injuries, as well as brain injuries. As a member of our Assessment Team, Ulrike specialises in Wheelchair and Seating, where she assesses clients and helps figure out their needs in this space. Before working at LFBIT, Ulrike lived in Auckland working in wheelchair service, and she is very passionate about working with people to help them meet their physical needs.

Ulrike describes her role as being a kind of event manager- organising supplies, clients, technicians, research options - her day-to-day work involves a lot of coordination. Once the admin is complete, the fun part begins.

“The assessments are what I love, they’re the fun bits,” says Ulrike. “I get to know a person with their wonderful and essential goals and in the follow-up visits we might put an item in place or bring a new product, it becomes a great problem-solving exercise.”

Being hands-on is a massive part of the wheelchair and seating role. Ulrike has a great understanding of the human body, and how to work with a person’s body to help them meet their goals. Each client brings a unique challenge to the table, so her problem-solving skills are always put to the test. It is not always easy, but there is always a methodical way to approach and accept clients' goals.

Some days, it is just the small adjustments that make the largest difference.

“The other day there was a guy who was leaning over his chair and couldn’t push himself back up. All I did was carried out an assessment, checked him out lying, understood what was going on, and we made a small adjustment to his seating and he’s sitting fine now. Small things like that have an impact not just on him but his family. And I think that’s what I found really rewarding when I went home that day.”

One thing Ulrike appreciates is the opportunity to work in a smaller, charitable organisation, where a balance is struck between being economically viable and doing truly good work.

“It is well balanced, and the priority is disability. It’s got good values to me, it’s charitable, and it is small enough that I can have lunch with the CEO and with the HR team who are approachable and accessible. That is pretty awesome and that also means that people are more responsive, I get a lot more buy-in from everybody in the team.

Thank you Ulrike for all of the work you have done with us! We are thrilled to have people like yourself in our Wheelchair and Seating team.