Case study taken January 2019
How did you get into care?
I only started in care 4 months ago. My Mum is a care assistant and has been for many years. I had been wanting to take the leap and do this for a long time but I never had the courage. I spent 20 years in construction, mostly working in and around London, and it got to a point last year where I thought this is the time to make a change and go for it. I wish I had done it sooner. I love it, it’s better than I expected.
What do you love about working in care?
I get the chance to help people, it’s what I enjoy doing. It’s a lot more rewarding than construction. The reason I got the job is because they were looking for values rather than experience and qualifications. I have come from a background of drug and alcohol abuse and have now been sober for about 8 years. In these 8 years I have been sponsoring and helping other people through ‘Alcoholics Anonymous’ and I volunteer every Wednesday in a homeless shelter in Hitchin. I do this with a few friends and it is really booming. That is as rewarding as this job and those experiences helped me get this job. Why wouldn’t you want to help people as a job?
How supportive have Crossroads been to you?
Extremely supportive. The initial Care Certificate training and inductions were in depth and gave me the confidence to do my job. They gave me the chance, have given me the training, and they couldn’t be more supportive. Doing this job I expected it to be hard, but the way they have helped me makes it a bit easier. I haven’t had any challenges so far, but I have been extremely lucky. I was matched up with the right clients and I get on really well with everyone I support.
What hours do you work?
I work Monday to Friday and I do alternate Saturday’s, 7am to 3pm. I do cover calls as well if anything needs covering. I have two daughters and my youngest is still in primary school. These hours means I get to be there when she comes home from school and that works. Compared to construction work, which was draining and very physically demanding, this role means I am able to spend quality time with my family.
What would you say to someone who is nervous to apply for a role in care?
I had a bit of a health scare in 2012, I was diagnosed with cancer. It took about a year and half to get the all clear, and since then I have had a different perspective and am making the most of life.
The pay has dropped drastically from what I was doing before, not even half of what I was earning, but I don’t care about the money. I would rather be happy and feel rewarded in myself. Money isn’t everything.
Personal care did not bother me at all. I was a bit hesitant but after the first time, it was completely fine. I work alongside a great care support worker with the client I do need to provide personal care for and she makes it a lot easier. She is brilliant to work with.
There is also a stigma that care is a job for females. We are all human, this is a human focused job; both men and women need care and support, and both men and women can work in care.
If you want to do it take the chance. I hindsight, I wish I had done it a lot sooner.