Tynedale Centre Hexham
I’ve always been in care but I used to travel a lot more. I’d just leave my job and go where I wanted to go. Then I got into Newcastle Social Services in the relief bank, and absolutely loved it. I loved doing care for the council, I’d never had those training opportunities before. Then I moved up this way and applied for a job and never looked back. I came here 25 years ago as a care assistant up at Dean Park, loads of doors have opened for me since then. The council is so brilliant for training opportunities. I went up to assistant manager, and then to manager.
I started with a manager who if you fell down you just had to get up and deal with it. I had to go to meetings where I felt out of my depth but in some ways it was really good for development. Luckily it’s far more supportive now, we make sure no-one feels like they’re dealing with too much at once. But I like to see people pushing themselves and trying different things, and going home satisfied. I push the staff a little bit to take on more responsibility when they’ve come up with an idea, I let them see it through and they are so pleased and proud of what they’ve done.
We have volunteers at this centre too as well as carers because otherwise we wouldn’t get the number of staff. We provide them with moving and handling and basic first aid qualifications. Some of the volunteers come and they’re so shy, and then even after a week you can see the progress in their confidence, and it makes them feel valued in the community. This centre is definitely not humdrum, it’s very exciting, and there are loads of projects to get involved with.
There a lot of opportunities in care, you might start off in adult social care and then branch out into safeguarding or nursing or loads of other things. People specialise in particular areas too. In this job our main manager likes us to specialise in certain areas so he’ll help us specialise in that. You won’t just be coming into care, you’ll get experience that’s applicable to lots of jobs, it’s a really broad job.