Story by Jo (Team Leader )

My story of how I came to work for Hilton Care and with people with learning disabilities.
I had been working as a nursery practitioner for many years and I had moved back to Norfolk. After a few months in my new job I found out my uncle was dying of cancer – I had been going to the home and applying cream to his legs and feet and helping him out in other ways. My stepdad was very ill so I had been looking after him and had done many hospital runs (this is still ongoing). I remember my uncle saying ’you’re good at this you should go into care’ I didn’t really think much of it until he passed away and I decided I wanted to give back and help others as much as I could. I wanted to look after people the way I would want others to look after my family if they were ill, dying or in any other way.
I applied for a job with Hilton and to my surprise got an interview, this was a Skype interview (arrrrrh!) but it was fine and all went well. After my induction I was sent to my place of work and joined a small team of four others.
I have to be honest I had never really had contact with anyone with learning disabilities so I had no idea what to expect and when I first had the pleasure to meet them I was a little nervous and scared.
After spending my 1st shift with a fantastic team leader and two lovely Tenants I knew that this would be my forever job, the Tenants are lovely and give back so much more than you would ever understand.
A typical day here would be to get them up and bathed, dry and dressed, give medication, have breakfast either in the home or go out for breakfast, then head off for the morning or full day, some of our trips are to the beach and enjoying walking along the pier or we will go to the woods and enjoy a picnic and walk or maybe even stop and have a coffee and piece of cake on the way there or back or even a meal at a restaurant.
We also take trips to the movies or to see a show, lots of shopping for food or clothes, birthday gifts or Christmas things, our Tenants go riding and also sailing, so as you can see there is so much to do and loads more, you name it we have probably done it or tried it out once. Nothing is impossible, the world is our playground and as long as it’s safe to do for the Tenants then we are all going to have fun and try it.
Since joining the team I have now become Team Leader and I love it, yes it’s more responsibility but I’m learning something new every day.
I feel that we give the Tenants freedom to explore and travel and do things that they would never be able to do if they didn’t get outside, we went to a safari park and drove round, the Tenants faces were a picture when they saw the animals close up next to the car. Of course everything we do is risk assessed so there is no danger to them in any way.
If you have ever thought about going into care then try it, but please understand care work isn’t a 9-5 job with weekends off, it’s like having a second home, you have another family to consider (your team and Tenants), you have to work sometimes long hours and do your share of the weekend shifts, but I can promise you one thing – there is no job anywhere else that will give you the satisfaction that you will get from looking after your Tenants. Well that’s how I feel anyway