It goes without saying that adult social care providers can only offer high standards of care because of committed, compassionate staff. However, in Bridlington, more people like this are needed.
Choose Care, Change Lives is an initiative by East Riding of Yorkshire Council with the mission to inform, educate and inspire people to consider careers in care across East Riding. The initiative supports the Department of Health and Social Care’s national recruitment campaign to "Care for others. Make a difference”, which aims to attract people with the right values and attitude to come and work in the sector.
The Choose Care, Change Lives campaign is running from July to September, and aims to highlight the qualities and skills that people may already have that may mean they’d make great care workers or “ancillary” workers – those people who don’t provide direct care, but are vital to support the sector. This would include cooks and kitchen assistants, cleaners, drivers and maintenance workers.
Liz Smithson, strategic business development and commissioning manager, at East Riding of Yorkshire Council, said: “You will know those people who have a genuine caring nature, those people that you come across who you know will make a difference.
"We are wanting more of these people to join the East Riding adult social care workforce. They might be people who usually work in sectors like retail or hospitality who are thinking of changing career, or parents who appreciate the flexibility around other commitments that adult social care jobs can offer.
"Your retired neighbour might be looking for a job to keep active after a professional career, or your younger family member might be interested in long-term career progression and a job that is really varied.
"As part of the campaign, we not only want to appeal to people who care, but we also want to showcase some East Riding of Yorkshire Council staff who work in care. We want to share honest, first-hand information and testimonials from those already in the industry, and hope to help more people make an informed decision as to whether a career in care is right for them.”
Three adult social carers tell us why it's the perfect role for them
Patrick Foley’s career path has been a varied one to say the least.
After leaving school he found a job as a butcher, a career that spanned 16 years. From there the now 61-year-old moved into retail store management, where he was part of an £10m turnover business. As retirement beckoned, and with a real thirst for education, Patrick decided to embark on a psychology degree at the Open University, before teaching in a secondary school for two years.
Patrick’s desire to stay active and utilise his vast life skills meant that he decided not to retire after all, and instead he found the perfect role as a part-time community support worker, helping to re-able people in their own homes following time in hospital. He is now in the final months of a master’s degree in mental health studies.
He said: “I wouldn’t have dreamt that I’d be doing this 20 years ago. Yet as you go through life and learn great skills, naturally care for friends and family through illness, this role seemed like the perfect thing to do.
“It doesn’t actually feel like a job.”
Working in care provides mum-of-two Stacey Harper with the ideal work and home life balance.
Her evening shifts gave her the flexibility to take her children to and from school when they were younger, which was a real perk of the job. Stacy now works as a support worker for the council’s STARS service, helping East Riding residents to return home after a stay in hospital.
Stacey first embarked on a career in care following a period looking after her grandmother. Nursing had always been an ambition, but she couldn’t afford to go to university. A job in adult care gave her the opportunity to receive on-the-job training to kickstart a career.
Stacey said: “Doing a job that is rewarding is something that makes me feel really good. I’m not sure I would get this feeling in any other job. It’s also like I’m self-employed, as I am empowered and trusted to carry out my visits to fit around the residents and my own life.
“The support from my management team and peers is amazing, especially during the pandemic. It’s nice to know that I am working for an organisation, or in an industry, where there are career opportunities if you want to take them.”
For Debbie Jones, every day spent at work is a real pleasure.
The former prison manager relocated to the region in 2019 for her husband’s job, and had planned to retire. However, she later decided to put skills to use and embark in a career in adult care.
Debbie already had experience working in the care sector. She began her career in care aged 17, progressing to being a manager of a care home. In 2001, she decided on a career change into the prison service, and after retirement, she worked as a supported living coordinator, helping vulnerable young adults with learning disabilities. This set her in good stead for her most recent role as a senior care assistant.
She said: “I decided to get back into care to stop the boredom, and I'm loving it. It’s not like being at work at all. Yesterday, we spent the day making hanging squirrel feeders so that the residents can feed and watch the squirrels. Last week, we had a tea party for a member of staff who was retiring, and a resident's birthday.
"There are always lots of activities going on, and there are fascinating residents who have lived such interesting and varied lives, with so many stories to tell.
“It’s one of the best places I’ve ever worked.”
Could you be an ambassador for adult social care?
Think about your friends, family members and people in your social media networks – which ones would make brilliant care workers like Patrick, Stacey and Debbie?
Share current vacancies from the Choose Care, Change Lives website with friends or family members so they can apply if they’re interested. If you know someone you think would be a good care worker, you could also introduce them to the Choose Care, Change Lives website at www.choosecareeastriding.co.uk
Apply to the council’s pool or search for vacancies in independent care settings across the East Riding.
Use your social media networks to tell people what a great career working in social care can be.