People often ask me, “why do you do this?” or “how did you get started in the care industry”, or the classic question “did you always want to work in care?”. I grapple with finding answers to these questions. At a young age I found myself stumbling into the industry, similarly to how I stumble with the answers to these questions. When I was at school I didn’t really know what I wanted to do, but I did know I wanted to help people.
I found my passion for Mental Health whilst studying Psychology at Sixth Form. I loved building the understanding of how psychology could be used to help people. And from there I had dreams of becoming a Psychologist, specialising in this sector. Whilst I left for university, one of my friends took a gap year earning money working as an Agency carer, and this intrigued me.
During the long university holidays, I needed a job to occupy my time and so too joined the agency. I loved that the role meant visiting a wide variety of clients with a range disabilities and illnesses. Coming home at night I would find myself researching into their conditions and disabilities so that I had a greater understanding of how I could best support them. I fondly remember working with a gentleman with Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) visiting him at his home. I was saddened by the effect that such a condition can have on the individual and their family.
I had taken a professional interest in both Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease after seeing an advert reading “Can you spare a few hours a week?”; I said yes and called Lynden Jackson from The Debenham Project. This is a great Suffolk based project focused on caring for the loved ones of those with Dementia, staffed by volunteers with the goal of raising the awareness of Dementia and building a Dementia-friendly village. I have volunteered with the project for many years.
My dreams of becoming a Psychologist didn’t leave, but I gained a huge passion for travelling. Working as an agency carer I had the flexibility to travel the world and pick up shifts for the next day.
In 2010, I interviewed to become an Assistant psychologist however, I wasn’t too keen on the clinical nature of the role. During my time working as carer I found my eyes were opened to how my skill set could be used to benefit those who need support in the care industry. As I have rarely found myself without work within the Health and Social Care sector and because of the ever-growing demand to provide second to none support to the community, I knew this was the career path for me.
Four years later and after working as a Domiciliary Care Manager I fell into healthcare recruitment. This allows me make positive decisions to ensure that a high of care is delivered. I am now very excited for what future holds for Ocala Healthcare; we believe there are no limits to what we can achieve.