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The 101st application – Opening the door to a career in care

Anna Wood

What comes first the chicken or the egg? I was pondering the Social Care equivalent of this paradox one day.  What comes first the experience in social care or the passion to enter with no experience? We all know that Health and Social Care qualifications are very popular with young people but what then stops them seeking a career in social care? Is it the theory but no experience, do they think they are too  young for such a role or are they frightened about making the first move and go for a less daunting career? Having thought it through and talked to several young people I came to the conclusion it was a combination of all these factors and became convinced there must be a solution.

Care m U m – making U matter, is a young, dynamic care company offering personalised care packages, promoting confidence to live at home, happily, safely and independently.  We give people the life they want to live and are making a big splash on the York care market. Not afraid to think outside of the box and to experiment and innovate I used my honeymoon last year to ponder on how we can make Social Care an accessible career for young people. By the end of a very enjoyable two weeks, I had the solution! The Care m U m – making U matter Academy! Proposition and plan written down, and on the Monday I began work again getting an advert out for two Trainees. Little did I know what the level of interest would be and by the Friday of that first week I had recruited my first two Social Care trainees! In lockdown, in my garden.

So, what is the Care m U m – making U matter Academy? It is an experiential, supportive, challenging, empathetic environment built around a twelve week programme that sees the trainees beginning with understanding what care and support is all about, the theoretical under pinning’s of the role, the Care Certificate, getting to know customers and their loved ones, shadowing experienced Team members, working with a partner out in the field and finally solo working with customers they know and are confident with. This is supported by weekly input and knowledge acquisition, reflective practice sessions, live supervision in the field, coaching and competency checking by myself.

Ella

Ella and Iona my first two graduates of the Academy have been absolute stars. They have made full use of the Programme both commenting on how supported they found it. Ella says, “After one hundred applications for a job with not one acknowledgment Anna and the Care m U m Academy gave me the opportunity to do something I had always wanted to do but didn’t know where to start. I love care and I love working with my customers and my team mates”.

Both trainees were nervous at first but quickly found their feet, and with the support on offer thrived and grew into the job. Iona said, “I had butterflies in my tummy that first day, but they quickly disappeared, and I can honestly say I have loved every day I have come to work”.

Customers have quoted how confident and competent Ella is and that she’s a natural in a caring role. One customer fed back and saying, “My mum loves Ella.  She always goes above and beyond, helping to put her makeup on and makes sure she always looks lovely and ready for the day. My mum has become much more confident since she started to help her.”

Well what next? This week I have taken on my next two trainees and cannot wait for them to start. Care is a great career, and the Care m U m Academy has been a great way of launching the first of many great new carers into a rewarding career.

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