From teacher to Team Leader – a different career makes the difference

People at a salsa class dance together

“I’ve worked in all sorts of roles and organisations over the years, from jobs in the corporate world to running my own business, before eventually becoming a teacher of science to secondary school pupils.

I came into care work quite late, after becoming disillusioned with teaching. I had experience of working with children with a Learning Disability but not working with adults. But when a friend mentioned Ambient Support and the work they do, I thought that my background and skills might be suitable.

And I’ve never looked back.

I have been working one-to-one with a lovely lady for the past 5 years now. She has really complex support needs but that has not stopped her – and us – from making the most of life. I have really seen her come on in leaps and bounds since working with her. We have even learned to tango together! It’s so rewarding seeing someone transform and grow and she is very much involved in making choices about her life – hence the tango!

There are lots of challenges on a daily basis and you have good days at work and difficult days. I think as Team Leader one of the most challenging things is negotiating and working with outside agencies, where staff change quite regularly.  But my client has had the same social worker for a while now and that has created stability as they have a good understanding of my client’s unique needs.

If someone were thinking about a career change to care work I’d say ‘don’t knock it until you’ve tried it’! The rewards in life are not always financial. I had suffered a close bereavement before moving into care work and working with my client has transformed my outlook. I know that every single day what I do makes a positive impact on her life.

I have had excellent support from my Manager over the years and the best thing is we all respect and care not just for each other, but the people we support as well.

Go into care work with open eyes – every day is different and every day you can be the difference. If I had my time again I would have done this kind of work years ago!”

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