‘My work helps people to live more independently – it doesn’t get better than that’

WHEN we first went into lockdown back in March, I was working two jobs – in a fish and chip shop and in my local pub in Hereford – and everything had to close. I had no work and no money coming in.

Years ago I had thought I might like to go into care work because it seemed like such a rewarding job. My nan had been supported by a care worker so I knew a bit about what the work involved, and care workers are in demand so I decided to give it a go.

I applied for a home care job in March and got it, so in the end I was only out of work for about two weeks! I was a bit nervous when I started the job because there is a lot of responsibility and lots of different personal routines to learn, but I took to it quickly. I didn’t realise how much I’d grow to love my job.

I was given training and a week of shadow shifts where I went on visits with an experienced care worker before I went out on my own. I picked it up quickly because I learn fast when the work is so interesting.

Now, eight months on, I make 10 plus visits in a day, so I meet a lot of interesting people – mostly older people – who share their fascinating stories about what they’ve been through in their lives. One lady told me about surviving a bombing very close to her during the war.

I’ve learnt about myself too – I have more patience and I’m more caring than I ever realised, so care work is bringing out the best in me.

Before I started, I had no social care experience but my customer service skills gained through different hospitality jobs are proving to be very useful. I’m confident about meeting new people, I know how to be helpful and responsive to people’s needs and I’m well organised and motivated.

I’m a quick worker which affords me time to sit and have a cuppa with the people I support, something that we both enjoy. I might be the only person they see all day, so I’m glad I can offer company and the chance to have a chat

My last grandparent died when I was about ten – that was my nan – so I’ve missed out on building relationships with my grandparents. It’s nice that my work allows me to spend time with the older generation. They have such wisdom and experience of the world.

I like how good the home care assistant role makes me feel. It offers job security in a world where there are so many uncertainties, and that’s important to a lot of people. Society will always need good care workers.

On a deeper level, you know you are making every person feel better about themselves and their lives, enabling them to live more independently every day. And a day at work doesn’t get more fulfilling than that!

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