Celebrate Real Lives

Its never too late to care

Nicola Woodbridge

From retail to care


Could the demise of the High Street be the answer to Social Care recruitment? The recent winner of the Home Care Newcomer Award at The Great British Care Awards would incline to agree. Nicola Woodbridge (Pictured) from Caremark (Cambridge and South Cambridgeshire) won the accolade for her region and attended the Finals on September 25th

Nicola previously worked in retail, found the job dull and uninteresting. She has quickly adapted to working in social care, showing a true commitment and passion, she will willingly go out of her way to support her service users and prefers Social Care in her words because: “caring for others has given me a real purpose in life and instead of getting out of bed to go to a dull and uninteresting job I now know I am going to make a difference to people lives every day.”

With high street retailers, who were already facing a pre-Corona virus slow down due to the increase in online shopping, the advent of COVID-19 has meant an even greater shift from traditional shopping habits to the ‘safety’ on purchasing our products from the comfort of our own homes. With the Centre for Retail Research calling it a: “Hammer blow to the sector” also stating that: “Shopping in high streets and malls has become less pleasant. Hygiene and social-distancing rules and the frequent closure or restriction upon hospitality have made a day out shopping impossible for part of the year and an obstacle course even when shops are open.”

Nicola, who lives in Bar Hill, Cambridge had this to say on her transition: “I have had an amazing journey since moving into care at home from retail, caring for people feels natural to me and gives me great satisfaction, this feels like my calling and I am so glad I made the move into care at home.

With the Centre for Retail Research predicting 200,000 job losses in the sector social care seems the obvious solution for the employment market. With the Care at Home market booming and retail workers having many transportable skills, such as customer service and experience of dealing with many different types of people face to face. We could be set to see a substantial migration of workers from the retail to the social care sector.

Managing Director of Caremark (Cambridge and South Cambridgeshire) Rob Johnstone (Pictured) had this to say: “Nicola has been a fantastic part of the Care Team here at Caremark since she joined us in 2019 and has since been promoted to Field Care Supervisor, Nicola was a very quick learner and within a few months was already displaying her leadership qualities. The carers look to Nicola for guidance and support which she happily gives on a daily basis and of course, Nicola has the people centred focus which makes the right person to be looking after vulnerable people.”

Throughout the network of 7000+ Caremark Care & Support Workers, there are so many stories like Nicola’s, stories of people who moved across from other industries, people who have not really considered social care as a career, but then so happy they did, a job where you can help people within the local community, those in need of the care these empathic individuals are so happy to provide.


Edel Harris





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