Using stories and testimony from carers, the campaign will raise the profile of social care, its values and rewards – and encourage more people to join this life-changing sector.
The local health and care workforce is made up of around 58, 000 people. A significant proportion (27%) of these are in care roles. Currently, there are around 1,500 local care worker vacancies – something the campaign hopes to change by challenging negative perceptions and highlighting just how rewarding social care careers can be.
No specific qualifications or experience are needed to start a career in care and people of any working age are welcome. However, care work can offer real benefits for:
- Students – who may be looking for part-time evening and weekend work to fit around their studies, or for practical experience to support a social care or healthcare qualification.
- Parents or carers with young children – who may be looking for flexible, local work to fit around their own caring responsibilities.
- Career changers – who may be looking for something new, where they can work directly with people and have the opportunity to make a positive impact on their lives.
A huge variety of roles are on offer in a range of settings - supporting older people, disabled people and people with learning disabilities. Typical tasks include providing personal care, assisting with jobs in the home, getting people involved in social activities, and helping people access services in their community that keep them well and independent at home for longer. Training and support is available for all new starters to build the skills they need.
Lizzy Trevarthen, a community care worker for older people in North Somerset said: "My favourite part of the job is getting to know the people I help on a deeper level, so that when I visit them, it doesn't really feel like I'm working, more that I’m helping a friend.
"I love waking up every day and not feeling the dread of work. I also love the team I'm a part of as I've never met such caring, friendly people who look after their employees so well. I'm a very practical person and like to be on the go. In my role, I feel like I have a lot of freedom as I'm not tied down to one building."
Karin Brownlie, Registered Manager at Frenchay House Able Care Home said: "I love coming to work as every day is different and full of new challenges. It is a joy to visit all my residents each day and have a chat with them, as they are full of fantastic memories and stories. I have a really supportive and fabulous team; we are like a big family unit.
"I also feel that I am actively making a difference to the lives of our residents and giving them the very best opportunity to live out their last years in comfort and safety. There is no other job that gives you better satisfaction than one in care."
A new Proud to Care recruitment website has been launched to support the campaign. All vacancies with councils in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire can be found at www.beproudtocare.co.uk
Cllr Mike Bell, North Somerset Council’s Deputy Leader and Executive Member for Adult Social Care, said: “We want to support our care providers to recruit and retain high quality care staff who are essential in supporting some of the most vulnerable members of our communities, helping people live as independently as they can for as long as they can.
"Having high quality, accessible home care available during winter can help reduce the number of unnecessary hospital admissions and delayed hospital discharges, helping those who are able to return to their homes quicker - freeing up hospital beds and relieving some of the pressures on local health systems.
“Working in care is challenging but it can also be hugely fulfilling and rewarding so I’d encourage anyone who’s looking for work or thinking about a career change to consider working in care. There are different roles available across Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire including temporary, permanent, full, or part-time work, and you’ll get all the training you need. By working in care, you really are making a difference to the lives of people who need it the most.”
Julia Ross, Co-Executive Lead for Healthier Together and Chief Executive of NHS Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “Social care staff play a hugely valuable role in people’s lives, and their contribution to a safe and effective health and care system is also significant.
“We know there will be many people out there at the moment reconsidering their options as a result of the pandemic – perhaps looking for more fulfilling work where they can make a direct impact on people’s lives or thinking about sectors which offer greater flexibility. There will also be people with transferable and relevant skills, perhaps through supporting their own loved ones at home.
“We are asking those people to consider the care sector and make a difference for people in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire.”
If you, or anybody you know, are able support care in your community, please visit the Proud to Care recruitment website: www.beproudtocare.co.uk.