Care Supervisor Michell in the Yorkshire Post

We absolutely love this piece in the Yorkshire Post about our Care Supervisor Michell. It is the real passion for care that sets us apart as a care company and Michell is a perfect example of this.

How a life changing event living in South Africa led to a life caring for others…

Having grown up in South Africa, both myself and my husband decided to move to the UK in 2020, following the loss of my mother-in-law, who was inappropriately looked after in a care home there, resulting in her passing away.

Starting a new life in a new country, I had previously enjoyed a diverse career, ranging from a beauty therapist to a real estate agent. Whilst qualifying for my diploma in beauty therapy, I had practical hours to complete within the community so chose to do manicures and pedicures at residential care homes and loved it.

Combining this with the experience I had looking after my mother-in-law at home before she died and seeing the crisis in the care sector in the UK, I decided it was time for a complete career change.

Looking for advertised jobs, I was drawn to one as a carer with a company called West Park Care in Harrogate. I genuinely connected with MD Tom Page, who started the company after his own appalling experience of care for his grandad. We had common ground and as a smaller care company, their values and goals aligned with my own vision of care, so I started my first paid role as a carer.

I loved the interaction with the clients and just wanted to take them all home. As West Park Care do not support 15-minute pop-in visits, you get more one to one time with the clients and feel part of a family. We spend anything up to an hour at a time with our clients, so they have companionship as well as care.

Our clients had so few pleasures during the lockdowns and were unable to see their families, that the little things mattered so much more. One client, ‘Uncle Bill’, wanted to stay up to watch the football final as he had been a supporter all his life. I got it all set up for him, but also went back when it ended that night to make sure he had got safely back in bed. He also didn’t go outside due to a fear (and history) of falling, so we took photographs of the outside of his home, so he could see what it looked like and the garden.

Whilst the initial training as a carer is mandatory in the first month, I was supported in completing the Care Certificate, and then my levels 2 & 3 in Health & Social Care. In the space of less than two years, I have progressed to Care Leader, and am now the Care Supervisor. All my studies have been funded by West Park Care as I don’t qualify for grants working on a visa. Being a carer isn’t the unskilled work people have the perception it is, it has genuinely created a career for me, with significant progression in a very short space of time.

Whilst I genuinely miss daily contact with the clients, I now want to mentor and support others to follow in my footsteps as we grow as a company and expand outside of Harrogate. The satisfaction you get seeing a client smile and making their day is the only motivation I need.

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