Meet Samantha. She joined our team of Support Workers in February 2022, and has been thoroughly enjoying her role, working within one of our residential care homes.
Here, she provides insight into just what makes her role so fantastic.
I am a support worker at one of Lisieux Trust’s residential care homes. A support worker role is nothing like an office job; there is no set day-to-day routine. Every day can be different, but with the same goal – to make a positive change in people’s life.
Although I have only been with Lisieux Trust for less than a month, I have felt welcomed and included since the first day of my role. I remember the first day, coming to work, I was nervous and worried about what the role would entail. However, through training and support from the Trust, my managers, and other support workers, my knowledge and skills as a support worker have been growing rapidly day by day.
During a morning shift, I normally start off providing personal care to residents, through verbal prompts or direct support, depending on what the individual needs. After that, some of the staff will help to administer medication while other staff members will start completing different domestic tasks, such as laundry, cleaning, and preparing food. We work as a team to deliver the best support.
The residents have their own schedule every day. Some of them may want to go shopping, some of them may want to go for a walk, and some of them may have work during the day. As a support worker, I will go out with them sometimes.
For example, I may be required to walk a resident to work and pick them up when they finish, due to safety reasons. Other times, we may just go walking around in the neighbourhood. We talk and laugh just like any other people. It may sound ordinary, but it could be enough to make their day.
In my evening shift, we tend to stay in the house at the project I work in. However, it does not mean that there is nothing to do. Sometimes, we do colouring together, we talk about football, about family, or even politics.
At teatime, we prepare meals. Sometimes I provide residents with personal care support as well. As mentioned, it depends on what the residents need. There is always something to do.
Each resident has a different nighttime routine. For instance, some of them like to spend time in their room using their iPad before bed, and some of them may like to spend time in the lounge with others until they want to go to bed.At the house that I am based at, the residents often have a cup of hot chocolate together before bed.
As well as physical support, I do have to complete some paperwork too. These can be daily records about what has happened during the shift, and any other information that other support workers may need to know about what has happened in a resident’s day.
Before I joined Lisieux Trust, I had been a support worker for a year within another organisation. After relocating, and seeing vacancies within Lisieux Trust,I decided to be a support worker again; despite being offered a number of roles outside of care. This is because of the huge sense of job satisfaction I get in this position.
From my perspective, being a support worker is not a job to just support others, but also improve yourself. In this role, you are able to enhance yourself in different aspects, such as communication skills, interpretation skills, confidence and leadership. When you are making a positive difference in people’s lives, you are also making a positive change in yourself.
So, you’re considering a career in care? Read on…
If you want a job where no two days are the same, then a career in the care sector is worth considering. If you’re looking for a position that is both challenging but incredibly rewarding, then care work may be for you.
To have a fulfilling career in care, you don’t necessarily have to have vast amounts of qualifications or experience; meaning that a care job may be more accessible than you think. Even if you do have experience, every environment and individual is different and will require adapted working styles, so adaptability and resilience are both crucial qualities to possess.
Here, we breakdown just what it takes to be a serious contender for a career in the care industry.
When it comes to interviewing, of course dressing appropriately and looking the part is important, but most employers will ultimately be impressed with your knowledge of the role.
It is important that, going into the care interview, you understand the roles and responsibilities of the care worker position, as well as the values of the company. Researching this beforehand will allow you to confidently navigate your interview, and will showcase your commitment to the role.
When responding to questions, try to remain relaxed. Practicing your responses to commonly asked questions in preparation for your interview may help with this; allowing you to respond confidently on the day.
Here are some samples of questions that could be asked. However, remember each interviewer is different:
- Can you describe a stressful experience you’ve been in and how you dealt with it?
- How would you deal with a resident that was displaying challenging behaviors?
- What would you consider when dealing with a resident’s personal finances?
- If you were delivering personal support to an individual, how would you maintain their dignity and respect?
Now, let’s cover some of the more tricky questions.
What are your strengths and weaknesses?
In an interview, we are keen to impress, so it is understandable that you may want to list off a dozen strengths to your interviewer. However, still be prepared to have an open conversation about your weaknesses too. An employer wants to see that you can recognise your own areas of personal development, and have a solution for them too.
What qualities can you bring to the job role?
This question is all about you and why you think you’d be ideal for the job role, so, don’t be afraid to really sell yourself! This is what Jo Bongiovi, Head of HR Admin at Lisieux Trust, recommends:
“Transparency and honesty are important qualities to show in an interview, as they are qualities of a good person. I don’t look for any particular personality, but I do look for somebody with a warm energy. I look for somebody that is enthusiastic, and shows they have a passion to work in care.”
Can you give me an example of a time when you have actively participated in a team?
Teamwork is crucial in care. In high pressure situations, it’s important that your colleagues can rely on you, and vice versa. Your ability to work succinctly in a team will ultimately impact the outcomes received by the people in your care.
Good teamwork is formed by different elements such as good communication skills, ideas, support, and efficiency. Giving examples of how you’ve used these elements, or how you would use these elements, will truly show you understand the importance and impact of good teamwork.
Why do you want to work here?
As a care worker, you will be responsible for some of society’s most vulnerable. Your answer to this question will tell the employer a lot about you as a person and your intentions.
Working in care requires a person to be naturally compassionate and caring. Be prepared for the fact that working in care isn’t always glamorous, so pursuing such a role isn’t for the faint-hearted.
Think about all the reasons why you chose to pursue this particular opportunity, and be sure to show that honesty and authenticity during your interview.
The two most common questions brought up in a care interview are typically based around legislation and safeguarding. Both are incredibly important things you need to be aware of and understand when working in care.
The care industry is based on lots of ever-changing legislation. These form a standard to ensure that individuals who require support are being supported correctly.
Safeguarding is the action of protecting somebody in a vulnerable group. As a care worker, it will be your responsibility to report and intervene (where safe) any type of harm or abuse directed at the people you support.
Preparing responses that show your understanding of this will truly help to set you apart.
Being a care worker isn’t a 9-5 job, as care will always be required outside of office hours. It’s important to be aware that most care roles won’t come with regular shift patterns, and will require you to sometimes work unsociable hours, so flexibility is key.
Your day-to-day duties will differ hugely, and priorities will often change at the drop of the hat. Demonstrating your adaptability is important, as this will evidence your dependability.
Ready to kickstart your care career? If you think you have what it takes to be a successful care worker, visit www.lisieuxtrust.org.uk/work-for-us to learn more about our current vacancies.
We are extremely proud to announce that Lisieux Trust resident, Janet, has completed a Marathon!
Starting on 1 June 2021, Janet committed to pacing steps towards the 26.2 mile mark around her Care Home. With Janet’s disability reducing her mobility, she made the decision to complete the course in small daily stints.
With Janet’s mobility in mind, the challenge was gruelling for Janet, but each day she woke up, determined to reach her goal.
On 30 June 201, Janet took her final step over the finishing line; cheered on by her Support Workers and fellow residents.
Janet had dreamed of completing a Marathon for a very long time. She brought the idea to her Key Worker, Emma McEvilly, who helped Janet to come up with a plan to achieve this goal.
Both understood that the achievement wouldn’t come without its challenges, but they were driven by Janet’s unwavering motivation to make her Mum proud.
Janet completed the marathon for her Mother, who has Dementia. She took on the challenge to raise funds for Alzheimer’s Society; a cause very close to her heart.
Janet had hoped to raise £500 for the charity. However, touching many with her story and commitment, she has so far managed to raise a huge £1,065.
To celebrate her fantastic achievement, Janet was awarded a certificate and medal from the Lisieux Trust team. Alzheimer’s Society further gifted Janet with two t-shirts and a medal for her support, which Janet has loved wearing.
It is hoped that in the coming weeks, the achievement will be properly celebrated with a garden party within Lisieux Trust.
Speaking of her achievement, Janet said: “I am really proud of myself. I’ve always wanted to do a Marathon. Now, I’m thinking about what to do next!”
To contribute to Janet’s fundraiser, please visit: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/janet-wakeham
A parent from within the Lisieux Trust community has completed a Captain Tom Challenge to raise funds for Lisieux Trust.
Bob Bright, father of a Lisieux Trust tenant, committed to fundraising by taking on a golf challenge.
He set out to chip 100 golf balls into a bucket from 10 metres away, and invited sponsors to guess how long it would take for him to achieve this goal.
The inspiration came after Bob had seen a TV clip of Captain Tom’s daughter, welcoming Brits to take part in a fundraising challenge. He saw this as an opportunity to support the organisation looking after his son.
Having experienced some hiccups during his training, peers appeared to show little faith in Bob’s abilities.
He said: “I found straight away that any balls that went into the bucket bounced straight out.
“I sent out mails to friends, relatives, and to many playing colleagues at Wishaw Golf Club. The response was great; although some had very little faith in my chipping ability.
“Time predictions varied from two hours and 48 minutes, through to 18 hours and 46 minutes.”
Wanting to perfect his swing, Bob sought support from a golf professional.
Bob said: “I have golf lessons at Lea Marston. Ben Challis changed my chipping technique and this improved my success rate enormously.”
On Saturday 1 May at 1000 hours, Bob started his challenge.
He said: “My better-half, Helen, had gone shopping and when she got back, she looked in the bucket and reckoned there was 100 in the bucket already.
“I stopped the clock and we started counting.
“There were 110 balls in the bucket!”
Despite predictions from his peers expecting a lengthy battle, Bob managed to complete his feat in just one hour and 40 minutes.
Thanks to Bob’s fantastic efforts, he managed to raise £500 for Lisieux Trust, which has been gratefully received. It is expected to be used towards an exciting activity for Lisieux Trust residents and tenants.
To find out more about how you can donate to Lisieux Trust, please visit www.lisieuxtrust.org.uk/donate. For more information on fundraising for us, head to www.lisieuxtrust.org.uk/fundraising.
Following months of restrictions, it is with great delight that we were able to recommence Lisieux Trust’s Gardening Club this month.
The Club – which convenes weekly on a Friday – is responsible for the ongoing transformation of the Head Office garden, which has seen the previously untouched land being turned into a fruitful allotment.
This year, the project will centre around converting an old pram shed into a beautiful, cosy pergola. It is expected to be enjoyed by residents, tenants, employees, and visitors during the summer sunshine.
The garden project began in June 2020, but as a result of the series of lockdown measures implemented across the country, activities were forced to a halt in October 2020.
Speaking of the decision to reinstate the club, Keith Latham, Groundsman and session leader, said: “It has been fantastic seeing the guys on a Friday again. The response has been positive overall, with everyone having fun, working together on the project.
“It’s great that the guys are outdoors again; it has brought back a sense of normality after spending a lot of time stuck at home.”
With some regular day activities and classes still yet to resume, the reinstatement of the Club has been met positively among our learning disabled and autistic community. For those who have been shielding for much of the year, the Garden Project has acted as a first move towards resuming an essence of routine and normality.
Updates on the progress of our Garden Project can be seen online, with regular photos being uploaded onto Lisieux Trust’s Facebook and Instagram pages.
We are delighted to share the news that all Lisieux Trust residents and tenants have now received at least the first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine.
On Thursday 15 April, JN, a tenant within our supported living projects, was the last of our people to receive their jab. He was supported by Registered Manager, John Gillon, to attend his appointment in Sutton Coldfield, making him the final service user within the organisation to receive the Covid-19 vaccine.
Speaking of his experience, JN said: “I feel good, and I am happy.”
The roll out of vaccinations within Lisieux Trust began on 9 January 2021, marking a 15-week timeframe from the first individual being vaccinated, until the last.
Until March 2021, autistic individuals, and individuals with a learning disability, were not considered a priority for the Covid vaccine; despite data suggesting that they were at greater risk of becoming seriously ill with the virus. Following a widespread appeal to the Government, with Radio presenter Jo Wiley providing a high-profile face alongside the cause, the learning-disabled and autistic communities’ positions were reviewed.
Subsequently, autistic people and people with a learning disability were urged to come forward for the vaccination as soon as possible.
Although fears have mounted over the possible side effects of the Covid-19 vaccine, we’re happy to report that Lisieux Trust residents and tenants have responded well to the jab; with no serious aftereffects having been presented.
Commenting on her experience, resident, MCo, said: “It is the only jab that I have had that did not hurt. I hope I can go back to Ebrook soon, as I have had two jabs.”
With lockdown restrictions having eased further on 12 April, more Lisieux Trust residents and tenants now feel empowered to return to their usual activities and placements. Day centres, such as Ebrook Resource Centre, are expected to reopen their doors to welcome back people with a learning disability or autism in and around Sutton Coldfield.
Following a year of grave uncertainty, and change in routine, this prospect has been met with excitement from residents, tenants, and employees alike.
Commenting on the news, Jess Alsop-Greenacre, CEO of Lisieux Trust, said: “I am absolutely thrilled that all of our tenants and residents have now received at least the first of the two COVID-19 vaccinations. This is instrumental in helping to ensure that they stay safe and well during this pandemic.
“I have been so impressed by the commitment and bravery shown by residents and tenants during this process; especially from those who find injections daunting.”
To keep up to date with the fantastic things residents and tenants are getting up to, please follow Lisieux Trust on social media. We’re on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.