Walfinch Southampton Sees Students’ Enthusiasm for Care Careers

“The tide is turning on the image of care work,” says Angela Harding, Joint Managing director of Walfinch Southampton.

“I went to a Skills Bootcamp session run by our local Itchen Sixth Form College, for adult students who were taking a Health and Social Care Skills Bootcamp this week. They were so enthusiastic about care work and eager to get practical experience,” says Angela.

Angela attended the day with co-managing director Laura Pineiro and Deputy Care Manager/Care Co-ordinator Robin Boulter.

“When we explained that holistic care involved more than just personal care, and extended to activities, companionship and wellbeing for our clients – and included their pets – they were keen to learn more,” says Angela. “Jo Brooke, Director of Community Education at the college, is very enthusiastic about what a career in care can offer – and that enthusiasm has been picked up by the students.”

Stepping stones to nursing

The Walfinch team also explained how care work can lead to careers in care management, and can be a route into nursing or other hospital roles.

“The students were surprised to hear what a stepping stone care work can provide,” says Angela. She started as a front-line carer, doing NVQ Level 2 in Health and Social Care, and after climbing the ladder through the profession is now working at Level 7 – equivalent to a post-graduate qualification. All her qualifications have been taken while working and getting paid, rather than going to university.

Holistic care – for clients and their pets

Laura Pineiro explained: “We look after a client with a cavapoo called Bobby. Our carer ensures that the client takes her medications, gets coffee, food and shopping – and walks Bobby twice a day, sometimes with the client. Recently we took Bobby to the groomers, so he looks even more adorable.”

Laura adds that Walfinch Southampton also has a client in his 90s who was formerly n the RAF. “Our live-in carer takes him to RAF reminiscence sessions on Saturdays, where he joins in singing songs and chatting – especially about his membership of the RAF cycling club, which took him all around the country,” says Laura.

“We explained to students that our care plans are flexible and fitted to each client’s needs, so that gives carers a varied job – no two days are alike, which is attractive to many candidates.”

Jo Brooke says: “Angela and Laura, renowned for their expertise in care careers, were deeply impressed by the enthusiasm and dedication shown by our students. Their visit highlighted the transformative impact that our Skills Bootcamps are having on aspiring care professionals.”

The Walfinch team will return to the course to offer candidates interviews for jobs on the Walfinch team. “I’m really excited to see the enthusiasm among the students,” says Angela. “It looks like people are at last waking up to the value of a career in care.”

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