Discovering the rewards of working in care
51-year-old Stephen joined Brandon as a support worker in June 2021. He tells us about his move into a career in care and what it's been like so far.
I've had several jobs over the course of my working life, including in retail, hospitality, and catering. I was also a primary school teacher for seven years.
Before joining Brandon I was working in an electrical shop. I was put on furlough during the pandemic and when the time came to go back to work, I just felt that I needed a change.
It was actually a friend of mine who suggested I apply for the role with Brandon. She had seen it advertised and knew that I would be able to use my skills from previous jobs to have a positive impact as a support worker. I believed I was up to the challenge so I applied and was offered the job.
'Rewarding and inspiring'
If I had to describe my experience as a support worker so far, I would say that overall it has been rewarding and inspiring. The heart of the job is enabling the people we support to make progress and live life in the way they want to. One lady I support has come really far since I've known her – you really do go on a journey with people.
At the end of each working day, I feel like I have shared in the joys (and sometimes the upsets) of the person I am supporting. Individually or as part of a team, I may have encouraged them to try something new or challenging, which will make them feel good about themselves and empower them to grow in confidence.
My job is to ensure they are safe, understood, and allowed to be who they are – to let their personalities shine. Everyone I support is unique, which makes every day different. One gentleman likes to go for walks and out in the car, for example, while another lady enjoys having her nails done.
Another positive of the job is the people I work with. I love my colleagues and my team leader is brilliant – they're all so supportive. When I started I was given a buddy, and there was also another support worker who joined around the same time. As a result we built a friendship and it meant I had someone in the same boat as me that I could check in with.
My advice to anyone who is considering a career in the care sector is to push past any fears or misconceptions you might have. Visit your local Brandon Trust offices and have a chat with anyone who already works there. You can ask to visit a house where people are supported or shadow a team member, and experience the rewards that the job brings. It really is good fun!
Start a new career today
If, like Stephen, you're ready to try something different and rewarding, Brandon is a brilliant place to start a new career in care. We welcome people from all backgrounds and offer lots of training and learning and development opportunities for everyone who joins. We also have a wide variety of roles and services for you to choose from.
Head to our jobs section to view all of our current vacancies and find out more about working with us.