Working in care allows you to really make a difference to people
A care and support job can be incredibly rewarding. Knowing you’ve helped someone who needs looking after and the impact this can have on them and their family is a wonderful feeling.
Whether you’re interested in becoming a support worker, health care assistant or maybe even a mental health support worker, there are opportunities for everyone.
We caught up with Samantha Taylor, Assistant Team Leader at Longhurst Group, who’s worked her way up through different roles in the Group’s care and support service.
Health and social care training – how to get started
The are many ways to enter the health and social care profession. For some, this may mean starting off as an apprentice to earn and learn at the same time, while for others a more formal educational route with work placements better suits them.
Samantha started out by completing a National Diploma in Health and Social Care at college after enjoying the subject at GCSE level. This included a placement at our Romsey Avenue scheme, where she completed more than 200 hours of volunteering.
Following the completion of the course, Samantha applied for a permanent position and joined the Group as a reserve worker. The rest is history.
Getting your first job
You can find jobs in the care and support sector in lots of different places. Recruitment websites are full of vacancies, while employers often advertise jobs on their own websites.
You can check the Longhurst Group website for our most up-to-date vacancies, which often include roles such as Support Worker, Care Worker, Care Assistant and Mental Health Support Worker as well as many others.
Making sure your CV is up-to-date and all of your relevant experience is on there is also important. If you’re a Longhurst Group customer, our Employment and Skills Team may be able to help you with this.
To help you gain experience, don’t be afraid to offer to volunteer at a service. Samantha completed more than 200 hours to help her to get to where she is now.
She said: “In my first year at Romsey Avenue, I worked with vulnerable adults with mental health. Doing this volunteering played a key role in passing my course and gave me an insight into working with vulnerable people and being able to make a difference to their lives.
“I ended up covering over 200 hours of volunteering there and after my year was complete, I applied for a reserve worker role within the company.”
During her volunteering, Samantha also completed further training and qualifications, before applying for her first permanent role in 2011.
Once you’ve landed your first job, the opportunities to progress and develop your career can be endless. With hard work and determination, you can work your way up and achieve your goals.
Whether that’s working in a particular type of care and support or at a particular service, or whether you want to be a manager with more of an input on how things are done, you can be in control of your future.
Samantha has seen this in her own career which has seen her go from a Reserve Worker to an Assistant Team Leader.
She said: “Over the years, I’ve been able to widen my own skills and knowledge working in mental health.
“The Group has supported me to better myself and provided different training that I’m able to use on a daily basis to help ensure that service users get the best care and support.
“I’ve now been at Romsey Avenue for over 10 years, and I’m now currently covering an Assistant Team Leader position, so I cover care aspects for individuals and also help to enable their social skills.
“This role also sees me take a more hands-on role with budgets, outside agencies and supervisions.”
Average pay in Care and Support can vary, but with career progression comes salary progression. Examples of average salaries for various jobs can be found online, using websites such as totaljobs and reed.
Another Longhurst Group colleague who has risen through the ranks in our Care and Support division is Fay Hirel, Director of Independent Living and Support Services. You can read her story here.
Working in Care and Support is a rewarding career.
In Samantha’s own words, she says no two days are the same and you can have a real impact on people’s lives.
She said: “I feel like my confidence has grown over the years.
“I really enjoy working at Romsey Avenue as no day is the same and I think that because I get on so well with both my colleagues and the service users, even when the days are tough, I’ve always got a good support network around me.
“I’d always encourage people to start a career in health and social care because I believe the learning, experience and training that can be given can be rewarding for you as well as others.”
If you’re inspired to search for a job in care and support, check out our latest vacancies on our website.