Here at Cavell Healthcare, we are hugely proud of the fact that two of our care team have been shortlisted for a Great British Carer Award this year. So ahead of the regional finals next month, we thought it would be lovely to hear from them about what it means to be a carer. So we are thrilled to hear from Helen Twiddy in her own words…
My name is Helen and I am absolutely blown away to have been nominated for a Great British Care Award for Newcome of the Year. In all honesty, when I found out I actually thought the email was a scam! However, it is an amazing feeling to be recognised for doing a job you love and doing it well. I would obviously love to win, but with so many amazing carers out there, it is a privilege just to be nominated.
I have lived in Norwich all my life and over the years I’ve had a few jobs, including office, shop and bar work, and before I started work in care, I was a stay-at-home mum to my 4 incredible children. However, about five years ago, my nanny became poorly. She sold her house and moved into The Meadows care village at Bowthorpe. Thankfully, she made a full recovery and is still going strong at 89 but the experience had a life-changing impact on me as when I was visiting her at The Meadows, I was able to meet her carers and saw what a rewarding job it can be and what a difference you can make as a care worker. It was this that made me decide to go into care.
So, I started my job at Cavell Healthcare in October 2019 and had my initial training with them, which included both face to face and online.I also shadowed senior staff members to get used to the role, which I found really helpful. Since then, I have completed the care certificate and also recently completed an NVQ Level 2 in the understanding of the safe handling of medication in the workplace.
I am now a fully qualified home care worker and I go into people’s homes and help them with their daily tasks. I do this part time, working mostly evenings and every other weekend. A typical day might involve anything from assisting clients with personal care, preparing meals, administering medication, popping to the shops and doing housework. Providing companionship is also important and sometimes might even involve a sing song!
Of course, things have been more challenging during the pandemic as there was the additional PPE (wearing of masks and visors) as well as disposable aprons and gloves and this can be difficult at times as it can be a bit of a communication barrier. However, I have learnt that a reassuring thumbs up, or squeeze of the hand are just little things I use to hopefully put clients at ease. It’s still me under there! For me, working during Covid has helped keep me going – knowing you are the only company people have, sometimes for weeks on end, was a real eye opener in a situation no one could have predicted. I think it made the job even more rewarding.
I know there are other care providers out there but I really do think Cavell Healthcare is a great company to work for. The welfare of both clients and staff is definitely paramount and the office staff are really supportive. We also feel valued and often get rewarded with treats – we can even win a holiday at the moment, just by entering our name into a draw! I do feel we are a little community and this means the staff here at Cavell go above and beyond in their roles to look after our clients. It’s the way it should be.
If anyone out there is considering going into the care profession or even thinking about a change of career, I would say definitely go for it! When I first started, I was worried I would struggle with some aspects of the job but when you are in the moment and helping that person, the only thing you care about is them and how they are feeling. So, if you have a caring nature and want to help people, just give it a go. You will be surprised!