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Carer stories

Provider services

Katie, Care and Support Worker

Every day I come home and feel like I’ve done a really good thing….

I’ve always liked being around the elderly, I grew up close to my Nan and always found her and other older people fascinating. After I finished college, I didn't know what to do, tried various jobs (retail mainly) but couldn’t get into them. My Mum suggested working with elderly, and it had always been in the back of my mind. Initially I worked in the community as a Home Carer but didn't like to leave the clients! When I went to Boniface, it felt like home. Boniface is like a family, and it’s like my second home now. I work with residents with dementia and love to find out about their lives as their past is still part of them. It’s sad when they can't remember the present but is wonderful when they can recall their past.

Honestly, it’s a once in a lifetime kind of job, enjoying so many moments with the residents. To anyone who’s thinking about working in care, I’d say I’ve never looked back, I love it so much! My colleagues are like family too, we’re with each other every day, there’s a lovely atmosphere here as we are all here because we love doing the job and that makes the residents happy. It's hard work but it's 100% worth it, every day I come home and feel like I’ve done a really good thing.

Sydney, Care and Support Worker

It’s what I’m meant to do…..

Before I worked in Care, I had cared for my Nan, I think you just have to care to be in a care job – you’ve either got it or you haven’t. I really enjoyed looking after Nan as I was able to give her the best care. I always think you treat residents how you’d look after your own family. Previously, I worked for a nursery with small children for two years, I wanted a change but wanted to stay in care. I live near Boniface and my sister had worked there, so thought would give it a go. I’ve been here for four years now and never looked back, I’m so glad I made the change.

It’s what I’m meant to do – it feels like I’m giving back but I also get so much from it. The resident’s stories are amazing, and some like to give us advice which is great as they’ve got so much life experience; there are some real characters, I love them all. Sometimes we’re the only people the residents see, especially in lockdown – we were their only support, was nice to know that we could be there for them.

It feels like we’re a little family, we work together all the time, whatever is thrown at us, we’ll overcome it – we got through covid together! Nothing gets us down - we just carry on and keep going above and beyond. I’ve got friends here who will be friends for life! It also helps that the managers are really good and understanding, they’re very welcoming and really lovely which helps so much in the workplace. Some people think we just make tea all the time, a lot of people don’t understand what a Carer does. We have a big responsibility, I care for a number of residents who are completely dependent on me, we know our residents “normal”, so know when something’s wrong. We’re close to residents and their families; I always try to help residents maintain independence as I know how important it is to them.

Reablement

Valentin, Reablement Support Worker

Before working in care, I used to work as a supervisor in a car detailing business, managing three sites. It was a very stressful job which involved lots of travelling and long hours. A friend suggested I tried care work, so I looked into it and found a job as a Community Care Assistant which involved personal care, feeding, giving meds, taking people shopping etc. When I relocated to Northampton, I joined West Northants Council in the Reablement Service.

It’s a very nice job, I am working with individuals coming out of hospitals and try to help them become more independent. I see the person initially unable to do anything for themselves, slowly you show them and help them to become independent – it’s the best thing, it’s what I love most about the job – it’s very rewarding and makes a big difference to their lives.

When I first joined Reablement, I did a lot of shadowing after my training, I wanted to be the best. My colleagues were very supportive when I was shadowing and always there if I struggled. I mostly work by myself but sometimes go out with colleagues for double calls when two Reablement Workers are required. I visit people in their own homes, when they’re discharged from hospital and do initial assessments, then keep visiting to support them until they’re able to be independent again or they have a care package in place if that isn’t possible. I’m currently getting training to enable me to progress in my career with West Northants Council. I would love to be a Team Leader or Manager one day and am also studying about dementia awareness as I’m really interested in it.

Trevor, Reablement Support Worker

Everyone is very friendly, and the level of training and support is excellent.

I ran a business for many years, and when that stopped a friend suggested I’d make a good care worker! I first joined a care provider who supported young people with autism which I thoroughly enjoyed, then worked in a care home and supported living before joining West Northants Council in Reablement. Everyone is very friendly, and the level of training and support is excellent. I noticed straight away that the service is excellent and very thorough.

I’ve been with Reablement for three and a half years, it’s a very supportive environment and I feel like I fit in. I hope to put a smile on my client’s face, they make me feel welcome and I look forward to seeing them. Everybody still has a life, I enjoy hearing about their stories, it can make the clients feel happy – it’s good for them to have someone to talk to, and it’s nice to do something for the greater good.”

Career pathways in Adult Services

Kerry, Registered Manager, Reablement West

I’m learning all the time.

I joined West Northants Council (or Olympus Care Services as it was then) in 2013, and had been working in a day centre for adults with learning disabilities before that. I’d never worked with the elderly until Olympus Care Services, but it was really important to me to join a service that offered really good training and induction. I was given training to become a Reablement Support Worker and did that job for three years, which felt like a really good amount of time as gave me a good grounding in the service. The role was varied and in addition to the Reablement Support work, I was also able to gain experience of office work and contact with hospitals and learned different skills within pilot schemes that the service was involved with. In 2016, I became supervisor! I was encouraged to apply by my manager and got the job. I was given training for the supervisor role, an induction to the new job, a lot of mentoring from other supervisors within the team and some specific courses at supervisory level training. This along with the previous experience I’d had as a RSW helped me to feel confident in the role. We had annual appraisals as well as regular supervisions. Supervisions were a new thing for me when I joined, and we had them as a RSWs as well. They are a chance for you and your line manager to talk about your development, any concerns you have, any training you’d like and the service – what’s happening within it and within your own role.

After some time off for maternity leave, I returned to my Supervisor position and continued to develop and learn within the team. A short while later I was interviewed for a Team Leader position and was successful, I was supported by my manager and another Team Leader too, so it was an easy transition. In 2020, I became a became Registered Manager. Again, I felt really well-supported by my line manager; my line manager is always really supportive, and I can always go to her. The role has its challenges, but I have support from other Service Managers and HR colleagues, I can always go to HR for advice, they’re really helpful.

When I joined as a RSW, I knew I wanted to progress, but I hadn’t expected it to happen within the same team, which is a bonus! I’m learning all the time; the other Managers support me as many have had a lot of experience. I have a lot of respect for my team, and I am glad that I can support them as their manager. The teams do a really important job, and it feels good to be part of it.

There’s definitely career progression available within the service, as the service and the council are always evolving. It’s about being in a team that makes you happy and in the social care profession, there are always challenges but there are also some real benefits to working in the sector - namely a sense of fulfilment. For Reablement West, the team is unlike any other care service because we are actively helping people be as independent as they can so they can leave our support. It’s about thinking outside of the box and coming up with creative ways to help people to manage for themselves. That is one of the best and most rewarding things about being in reablement. And we see new people all the time as we’re supporting them through a time when they need help to become independent again.

Linda Lindon – Registered Manager – Boniface House

It’s such a rewarding job, everyone says that bit it’s true. I go home and I can think “I’ve done THIS today” and the training offered is fantastic.

In 2004 I joined the council as a Carer, it was perfect for me as needed a flexible job as I had a young family. I did NVQ2 in care, and one of the Senior Carers encouraged me to go for the next step as a Senior Carer. I got a role and did all the training, so I was able to run shifts. When a job came up for a Care Supervisor at a different council home, my manager supported me to apply, I wasn’t sure but applied anyway and got it! I started at Boniface in 2011 as a Care Supervisor. I worked alongside four other Supervisors for a few years, then a Team Leader post was created to cover for the manager when required. I took the role and in 2015 I applied for the role of Registered Manager, which is where I am now.

I remember my supervisor who encouraged me to apply for promotions, in fact all my managers I’ve ever had here have supported me to train and develop. I did all the training required for my first supervisory job, like medication, safeguarding for managers, NVQ 3 and the ILM (leading and management training), IOSH (health and safety) and a physical health skills course at university which enabled me to check oxygen levels, check urine, blood pressure and removal cannulas. After that I did QCF level 5 in Leadership and Management. All my training has been done whilst working for the council, and I’m so glad I’ve got my level 5!

Every bit of training I’ve been able to do has really helped me to progress my career. I encourage my own staff to do training, such as apprenticeships, QCF training - anything that will benefit them, I encourage and support them to do it! That’s how I got to where I am, anything that helps their advancement and personal development is good for them. Everyone benefits from it – those they’re working with and caring for.

I’ve always been open and honest, as people sometimes think they’ll just be making cups of tea when they work in a care home, but it’s a lot more than that! It’s either a job you’ll love, or you won’t! Personally, I love it - I’ve always loved it and I’ve done it for nearly 20 years! I love working with the residents, they always come first for me.

It’s so worth giving it a go, it’s such a rewarding job, everyone says that bit it’s true. I go home and I can think “I’ve done THIS today”. The training offered is fantastic, from the initial training and then so many more training opportunities along the way.

If you want to try it – come on! You’ll get so much great training and support, we always make sure new starters here are fully prepared for the job, particularly if someone’s new to care. They do the care Certificate and shadow another member of staff until they’re completely confident.

If the stories above have inspired you to want to work in the caring profession register your interest at Be a care worker.

Last updated 11 February 2022