Local Solutions' Homecare service supports people to live at home in Liverpool and St Helens. Our services have all been rated 'Good' by the Care Quality Commission (CQC). This is in part due to our excellent care support workers, who are incredibly passionate about what they do. We managed to catch up with some of them and ask them what it is like to be a carer.
Ali McCartney, Care Support Worker, Homecare Liverpool
“I’ve been a Care Support Worker with Local Solutions for nearly 13 years after my neighbour told me about the opportunities. The best bits of the job are getting to meet the older people, adopting a load of nans and grandads. It's a very rewarding job and you make people smile. It's not always easy - you get attached to people and you lose them - but if you didn't you wouldn't be doing the job right. You've got to care to be a carer.
During my time here, I’ve achieved an NVQ Level 2 and and NVQ Level 3 and I’m about to start a new job as a Mental Health Worker at Whiston Hospital. Without Local Solutions and the support from the training department, I wouldn’t be where I am now and moving onto this new job.
My top tips are: Go in with an open mind; always be prepared; Do your best and if you don’t know, ask someone. Think about the person you are caring for and be sensitive to them - everyone is different.”
Kelly Stephens, Care Support Worker, Homecare Liverpool
“I’ve now been in this job for 12 years, before this I was a beauty therapist. The role involves delivering personal care, preparing meals, giving medication and sometimes you’re just there for a chat and to provide some company. Sometimes you become their family, the number of people who say “If I hadn't had this care, I wouldn’t have met you.”
Providing personal care is quite challenging but you’re giving people a little bit of their independence and dignity back after an illness. They haven’t always had the illness and they think their life is gone and you walk through the door and they think ‘someone’s treating me normally.’
One man hadn’t been out for years and I fought for him to be able to get out and now he goes out once a week. I’ve taken him on the Liverpool Wheel and the ferry—things he thought he’d never do again.
At the end of the day you get a sense of pride, I’m proud of me, I’ve made them laugh and cry—with laughing. They were made up to see me after a day off. It’s not the money, it’s not the most dignified job, it’s the fact that you’ve made someone’s day.”
Stephen Rogers, Care Support Worker, Homecare St Helens Branch
“I’ve been a carer now for 2 years and my role involves everything! Get people up, giving them breakfast and medication, getting them showered, dressed and cooking for them.
I start at 8 in the morning and finish 8 at night. The part of the job I find most challenging is the paperwork - keeping records of all the care we give and I can feel nervous when meeting new clients. I enjoy the feeling I get when I go home, knowing that you’ve made a difference.
Local Solutions were extremely helpful when I first started, explaining everything to me and easing any worries I may have had.”
Jill Birkett, Community Response Carer, Homecare St Helens and Liverpool Branch
“I have been a carer for 22 years and worked for Local Solutions for 6 years. I started when I was 18, working in a care home. That was only supposed to be temporary, as someone had left on maternity Leave, and I’ve been a carer ever since!
I’m a Community Response Carer which is like a Senior Carer - other carers can come to me with questions and I carry out spot checks, supervisions and auditing. I’m based between our St Helens and Liverpool offices.
Even as a team leader, I still like the caring side, but I also like the side where I can help people out if they’re stuck. I am always looking to offer information and advice.
After years of practice, I don’t find anything about the caring role challenging but my biggest problem is working computers!
My top advice for new carers is – Be patient, ask the person you’re caring for what they’d like and if there are any issues write it down.”