Real Lives

It’s never too late to care

Sam Parker – From construction to care

Throughout the year 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 meet Sam Parker, Care Assistant at Westmorland Homecare, who went from construction to care.

A former construction worker is building a new career as a home care assistant with a Kendal-based company.

Sam Parker, 28, who previously worked for his father’s historical building restoration company, has joined Westmorland Homecare.

In his construction role his job involved brickwork, plastering and general labouring tasks. Now he spends his day helping elderly and often frail people to live independently in their own homes.

And Sam, who lives in Kendal, is delighted with what he says is a very rewarding job. “When you wake up in the morning and look ahead to what the day has in store it doesn’t feel like it’s work,” he said. “It’s more like you are going out to help friends and family.”

Sam, a former pupil of Hawkshead Primary School, spent several years working for his father’s firm Chris Parker and Son. Projects included restoring a wall at Sizergh Castle’s famous ‘mirror pond’ and building a toilet block at Rydal Hall.

But Sam, who says he has always loved caring, decided on a change of career. His role at Westmorland Homecare involves providing personal care and medication and meals support for the company’s clients.

“I also take some of my clients out on social visits,” said Sam. “We might go bowling, to the cinema or out for a coffee and cake at Levens Hall or Rydal Hall. I took a younger client to a gaming shop in Kendal – I am an avid gamer so we have a lot in common.”

He said the main satisfaction he gained from the job was helping to make people’s lives easier. “If it wasn’t for me, they would not have the quality of life they have,” he said.

He believes his time in the construction industry gave him some transferable skills for his new role. “I think I am good in very stressful situations and I learned that in the building trade. I am level headed and if something happens when some people might panic, I will stop and think about what to do.

“I also met many people in the building trade where you have to be socially adept and able to speak to anyone and that has also helped in my home care assistant role.”

Sam said he would recommend becoming a home care assistant to anyone thinking of entering the profession.

“I would say go for it. There are thousands of people who need help with the quality of their life and if you can be a tiny part of that jigsaw puzzle that is fantastic.”

He said he also enjoyed the flexibility his role offered. He was able to take some hours off during the day, which meant he could return home to look after his snakes – two Burmese pythons.

Kelly Haygarth, training co-ordinator at Westmorland Homecare, said having staff from varying backgrounds was a benefit.

“They are a fresh pair of eyes and ask questions we might not usually be asked. That challenges to think about if we should do things in a different way.”

Kelly said new staff were given extensive training and support to help them in their jobs.

She added: “Whenever anyone comes to us seeing a job it does not matter if they are experienced or not. What we are looking for is that they genuinely care about people – everything else we can train them to do.”

Westmorland Homecare has vacancies for staff, including home care assistants. To find more information email


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