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Mayfield & Framfield — East Sussex 01435 872 201 info@pjlhealthcare.co.uk

Support Worker interview

A day in David’s life

David Woollard joined us as a support worker three years ago. He had no experience in the care sector, but an abundance of enthusiasm.

We had a chat with David to find out what made him want to be a Support Worker and how he finds working at PJL Healthcare.

What made you apply to be a Support Worker with PJL?

I saw an ad for Support Workers needed at PJL Healthcare and applied. I came to an open day and met the Registered Manager of Mayfield Children’s Home. I had a look around the home and was impressed by the homely feel of the environment, what the company has to offer the young people and I had a good impression of the home.

I had an interview during the open day and later that day was offered a position.

Had you worked in social care before?

Never! Before I came here I was working in a photography shop. But I’d always admired people doing this out in the community and asked myself, “Could I ever do that?”.

Three years on I am still working at PJL Healthcare and have certainly answered my question; “I can!”

What do you like about your role?

Every day is different.

It’s challenging and I get a sense of satisfaction that I am helping and making a difference to the young people in my care.

I have built up strong trusting relationships with a variety of young people and have had an impact on them developing their own independence. This can mean personal care, preparing their own lunches, cooking skills, choosing activities that they want to do and being out in the community like going to cafes, public swimming pools, walks and local places of interest.

It’s given me great satisfaction to give them support to promote their own independence, to develop their own self-esteem and confidence, and support their everyday routines. Respecting each young person as an individual with their own thoughts, feelings and wishes.

What qualities do you need to be a great Support Worker?

You need to be calm, patient and caring to ensure the young people are happy and that they have opportunities and experiences in their lives just like anyone else.

The young people connect with different types of people in different ways, so everyone can bring something to this role and learn from each other.

It gives me satisfaction seeing the changes in the young people when they first come to the home and how they develop over time.

What’s it like working in a team?

I love working as part of a team alongside my amazing work colleagues who all bring their own individualities and qualities, but work towards the same goal to enrich the lives of the young people in our care.

What are your shifts like?

They vary from 7am-3pm, 2pm-10pm, or sometimes 7am-10pm.

What happens in a typical day?

7.00am – I arrive to start my shift, get a handover from night staff and start the morning routine with a young person. This consists of waking them up, personal care, medication, breakfast, then driving to a school or college. While the young people are at school, I clean the house and do the laundry.

Grocery shopping may be done at a supermarket or by doing an order online. Plus, there’s paperwork to fill in.

3.10pm – The young people are picked up from school or college and driven back home. They will have a drink and snack then will have an afternoon activity either out in the community like swimming, a walk, or bowling, or an activity at home.

Then it will be dinner time and time to try to encourage the young people to assist in some way, like getting the cutlery out of the drawer and laying the table or getting plates or cups out of the cupboard.

After dinner time it will be relaxation time, like watching TV, then the evening routines start for the young people’s personal care, medication, and what they like to do to be calm and settle down for the evening until they fall asleep.

Who would you recommend the job to?

I’d recommend a job as a Support Worker to anyone and to give it a go. If you are good with people, a good communicator and are calm in challenging circumstances then this job is so rewarding!

Been inspired by David’s story?

We’re always looking for enthusiastic, motivated people to join us as Support Workers. If this sounds like the job for you, take a look at our current opportunities or call Mel for a chat to find out more.