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Changing careers - Josh's story

Josh has been working for Brandon for two and a half years. After a year as a support worker, he progressed to become a team leader. He describes his journey from teacher training to social care.

From the age of around 15, I had always wanted to be a primary school teacher. I choose to do the A Levels and degree qualification that I needed to become a teacher. This was all I had considered doing and had almost convinced myself that I had to be a teacher. I was three quarters of the way through my teacher training year when I came to realise that I couldn't manage the stress of the profession. I openly admit that I became mentally unwell and made the decision to quit teacher training and take some time to recover.

It was a challenging time for me as I had no idea what career to pursue because I had never considered anything other than teaching. It was my fiancée's mother that mentioned Brandon Trust to me as she had heard a radio advert and knew I had a caring personality. I had a look at Brandon and ended up applying!

Being a support worker/team leader is rewarding to me because I enjoy the feeling of knowing other people have achieved their goals and are supported. I take pride in my communication skills with my staff team and I always listen to their worries, doing all I can to support them.

Currently I work as a team leader in the Bristol area where we support six people with a learning disability and autism. In my role, I oversee the day to day running of the service and communicate messages between locality managers and support workers in the team. I am involved in ensuring the people we support have access to everything they need, be that as simple as food, or more complex needs such as administering medication.

A typical day involves checking the shifts for the upcoming week to see what needs covering, communicating with healthcare professionals to ensure medication is reviewed/the people we support are getting health check-ups, etc. It’s also my job to ensure the staff have everything they need to support people in the way they want to be supported.

I feel rewarded when I have supported someone to access healthcare and also to achieve their goals. This is especially true where I work because the people we support are unable to communicate their wishes when it comes to healthcare decisions. When I can advocate on their behalf for medication changes or a podiatry check-up for example, I feel proud as I know I've done my bit to improve someone else's quality of life.

If you know someone or are yourself considering a role in social care, my advice would be you've really got to want to help other people. The whole role of working in care is about doing things for other people to improve their quality of life. If you are someone who has a caring personality, you will fit right in! One other bit of advice would be to expect the unexpected because anything can happen and every day is different.

Team Leader

Do you want to enhance the lives of people with a learning disability, autism or both?

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