Story by Beverley (Support Worker )
My name is Beverley, I am 52 years old and have worked for Hilton Care for 8 months and hold the position of Senior Community Support Worker in Fakenham.
Originally from Somerset in the UK, I lived in Cape Town, South Africa for the last 33 years. Always wanting to come ‘home’. Myself, my husband and 7-year-old rescue dog sold everything and have now made the UK our home.
I have had different positions in Administration & Secretarial ranging from working for a Heart Transplant Surgeon and running the transplant patient clinic, then to Aviation being an Administration Manager at a Flying Club to Ground Hostess & Reception for an International Aviation Company handling VIP private flights. I enjoyed the jobs I did, but when moving to the UK, I wasn’t sure I wanted to go back into the corporate world.
I saw an advertisement for a Carer, something I had never done before, but working for the Heart Surgeon I enjoyed working and connecting to the patients and their families, I found it very rewarding. So, I applied – not thinking anything would come of it as I had no Carer experience or working with people with learning disabilities.
Then, I got the phone call, had the interview and a training date. I started work on the 25th February 2019.
Needless to say, my nerves kicked in. First day of work I must have looked like a deer in headlights, but I loved it. The team of colleagues I work with are amazing, they made me feel so welcome, as did my team leaders and managers, the support I received and the training was and is brilliant.
Meeting the Tenants was daunting at first, getting to know them and their individual needs has been so fulfilling. When you go out and a Tenant takes your arm to walk with you, or come to you to ask you to help them with something is a sign of acceptance and such a good feeling.
I was lucky enough to have recently been asked to go with 2 colleagues to accompany all four of our Tenants on holiday. It was so special to see them out of their everyday routine and environment and being able to assist them doing things that they don’t normally do.
It’s now 8 months on and I have learnt so much from the training, colleagues and the Tenants. At 52 I did not think I would be making a career change and it turning out to be the best decision. I never imagined that I would be doing a job where I would be supporting the Tenants going to movies, out for lunch, shopping, barbeques and parties.
It is so rewarding to know that you are helping people with learning disabilities to enrich their lives, supporting them in making their own decisions and to go and do things that they enjoy doing to enable them to live an equal quality of life.
This is not just a job, to me it’s much more.