Stephen Hall – accountancy to social care
Each month we profile a care professional who has come into the sector after a career change and who demonstrates that it really is never too late to care! This month we feature support worker, Stephen Hall from Milestones Trust.
From accountant to volunteer to support worker, Stephen Hall’s story is an inspirational one, showing that changing career can come when you least expect it. Now a year into employed care work, he works at Greengates in Bristol, a residential nursing home for people with mental health needs and a specialist home supporting people with Huntington’s Disease. The service is run by charity and social care provider Milestones Trust. Care Talk caught up with Stephen to find out why he has changed careers and what led him to the care industry.
“Several years ago, my mother had been in a care home with dementia and whilst it was a difficult situation, I was impressed with the care she received and it introduced me to the sector. At that time I was working as an accountant for a large professional services firm and volunteering in a not-for-profit organisation, so had some experience of voluntary work.
“Then in December 2016, after being an accountant for 38 years, I decided to take voluntary severance from my full-time employment and was presented with the opportunity to do something different. Having volunteered in the past I knew it could be a good way to move into a new line of work and also have a positive impact on both myself and my community.
“Upon redundancy, I started looking into options and began working as a volunteer at Greengates and picked up the odd shift, which I really enjoyed but wanted something more permanent. In January 2018 I was lucky enough to secure a part-time role, working three shifts a week at Greengates.
“One of my driving factors for a move in to care work was to be part of a team. My previous job was very analytical and very stressful – it didn’t give me the same reward as being a support worker. I really enjoy my job and get a lot back from it – I leave work feeling good about my day.
“Since taking on my permanent position at Greengates, I’ve been studying for Level 3 in Health & Social Care, which I’m hoping to complete in 2019. This will take me from a supported worker to a non-supported worker, meaning I take on more responsibility within the role.”
Recently nominated in the Extra Mile Awards run by Milestones Trust, Stephen achieved runner up position in the ‘Connections’ category, recognised by his colleagues and peers as “an exceptional man who is kind and caring and has always put himself out above and beyond for the benefit of our service users.”
“Being recognised for an award was a huge honour – one of my favourite things about the job is helping those we care for at Greengates to enjoy things they’re interested in. I like to find out their interests and arrange days out and trips that they’ll enjoy.
“I definitely see my future in the care industry – I could have easily stayed within accountancy and moved on after redundancy to being a consultant. But the opportunity to start an exciting new career and do something that I feel good about and helps others too has given me a new purpose!”