Paul's story

"Becoming a support worker was the best decision I ever made. I’ve had more role satisfaction in these six months than in six years of my previous job."

Before becoming a support worker, I was working at the Royal Mail where I’d been for 25 years. When I was made redundant, I started looking around at other opportunities.

I had some relatives who’d previously worked in care and said how rewarding it was and I liked the idea of being able to help people.

My wife was given a leaflet about jobs at Brandon Trust and when I said I was interested, she replied ‘really?!’ It was a huge change from my previous job but it’s been the best thing that I ever did.

I started out as a casual bank worker which was a great as it gave me the opportunity to experience different places and areas of Brandon Trust’s work.

Even though I wasn’t a permanent member of staff at the time, the offices were always calling me to offer me training courses and check how I was getting on. It’s a good way to get your foot in the door.

I was placed at Forest Way for a few shifts and really liked it so when they offered me a month’s worth of shifts, I snapped them up.

During a chat, my locality manager asked me if I was enjoying it there and whether I’d be interested in staying on permanently. I was invited to interview for a permanent role at Forest Way and I got the job which I was delighted about and I’ve been here ever since!

The last seven months have flown by! In my old job, it was just the ‘same old, same old’ every day whereas here, it’s something new every single day: a new challenge, a different activity, something new to learn.

You’re not just following the same protocols and using the same machinery every day, you’re getting to know people, building relationships and bringing joy and happiness into their lives, watching them make progress all the time – which is that’s incredibly rewarding.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not easy and there is quite a bit to take on at first but you get so much training and support. I remember wondering if I’d ever get the hang of it but now it’s amazing to look back and see how far I’ve come.

For me, personally, I love being able to get out and about with people and seeing them enjoy the different activities. There are some absolutely beautiful places to visit around here too – we go sailing on lakes, to play skittles, to the Forest of Dean and we’re looking to take the man I’m key worker for down to Looe soon as he loves the sea.

The other day, I was out on the lake with some people we support, it was a beautiful day and everyone was having so much fun. I looked around and thought to myself ‘Where else could I do something like this?’

Work has never felt so good and I’ve enjoyed my job much more in the last six months than I ever did in six years at my previous role. I can honestly say that becoming a support worker was the best decision I ever made, I’m absolutely loving it!