Lois is 18 years old, she’s 2 years into her career as a carer; has completed her Care Certificate, her Level 2 Diploma in Health and Social Care; and has won the respect of her clients and colleagues alike.
She works for West Sussex-based Elite Choice Home Care, which she joined as an apprentice upon leaving school. Lois recounts: “I really enjoyed it, doing the job quickly became so normal to me that I didn’t think about the scale of what I was doing. Everyone was happy for me to try learning new skills and they encouraged me to work at my own pace.”
Lois now has the qualifications she needs to progress further but has studied for them alongside caring for clients and getting paid. She states: “A lot of my friends are in college and they’re studying Social Care. They are getting their qualifications but they have very limited hands-on experience. I am learning, getting the experience and I love what I do.”
She adds that the role offers so much more than people realise. She laughs: “So many of my friends ask me why I would want to do this job. I get comments like “You’re just wiping people’s bottoms”, but that isn’t what the job is. You are building relationships. Even going in and making someone a sandwich; helping them make appointments; light household duties; paying their bills; taking them shopping or sitting with them to have a chat, makes their day so much better. It is also a diplomatic role as you are dealing with your clients’ families.”
Lois is due to begin her Level 3 Diploma in Health Care next which will provide a more clinical focus given her ultimate ambition of going to University to do a Nursing Degree. This role, she says, has allowed her to experience all aspects of care and cemented in her mind what aspects of the job she loves the most – the medical side. It’s a path she advocates for anyone considering a career in care. She says: “Ring around care companies and homes; get yourself out there; and be open to anything.” The rewards for her have been huge. As she says: “This job has made me a different person and, actually, a better person.”
Inspired by Lois’s story? Find your role in care today!