Andy describes what being a support worker at Epilepsy Society involves
Andy is a support worker and shift leader from one of the residential care homes at Epilepsy Society based in Chalfont St. Peter, Bucks.
Andy decided to become a support worker, as he "wanted to try it out and see how it was". Since then, he hasn't looked back.
He joined Epilepsy Society four years ago, which was his first carer job. He didn't have any care experience as his previous jobs were in hospitality in London.
However, he had the qualities and values of a support worker, which led to him obtaining the job. Andy developed his skills with on-the-job training, which led him to become a shift leader and has worked his way up!
Andy recommends becoming a support worker. He says: "It doesn't feel like I'm going to work as I enjoy my job and share some common interests with the residents. Both a resident and myself share an interest for rock music, so we'll listen to that whilst I make him a cup of tea, or relax in the living area".
Perks of the job
He believes the most rewarding aspect of his job is the residents "it's good to work with and help the residents. It's also very fulfilling".
Tracy Cousins, Service Manager at the residential care home which Andy works in, says: "Support workers are caring, considerate people by nature who have the best interests of the residents at heart, they enable residents to push their boundaries and empower individuals to reach their own personal goals, whilst ensuring that their emotional and physical needs are met".
Every day is different
Andy says: "every day is different" as a support worker. One aspect of the role is there are a number of tasks, both admin and care based, to make sure that the residents receive the best care possible. Some of the essential daily tasks include giving the residents their medication and cooking their food, to updating their health charts.
Another aspect of the role is making the day full of activities where he will not only provide support, but also get stuck in! It is a varied role one that Andy is very passionate about. Whether it's helping the residents participate in a cookery class or going on a trip to the cinema, Andy tries to get involved as much as possible and make sure that his work with the residents makes a real impact.
Residents are the priority
As well as looking after residents with varying types of epilepsy, some of the residents have other conditions, such as learning disabilities and autism. Through our on-site training development, Andy has the skills to equip him to manage the changing levels of support that residents need.
One of the residents he cares for his blind. Therefore, Andy and his fellow colleagues have to make sure that the resident is safe at all times, so if he has a seizure, he doesn't fall into something.
Tracy adds: "Here at Epilepsy Society, we are looking for kind, honest support workers to support our residents to live a full and active life”.
Some of the residents are quite independent, but others are less so. Andy tries to encourage these residents to try and do some weekly tasks such as laundry, so they have achieved something. This is fulfilling to see as Andy has built up a great relationship with the residents he supports as well as their families.
To relax in his free time, Andy is a musician and often plays the guitar at Epilepsy Society in a band made up from a mixture of the activities team and other staff members who are also musicians.
Epilepsy Society are supporting the Department of Health and Social Care's 'EveryDayIsDifferent' campaign and are looking for support workers. We have a number of vacancies available across our six residential care homes on site.
If you are interested in becoming a support worker at Epilepsy Society, please visit epilepsysociety.org.uk/jobs to find out more, or phone our recruitment line on 01494 601366.
To find out more about the DHSC's campaign, visit everydayisdifferent.com. Find out how you can be part of something worthwhile.