1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
I support six adults with learning disabilities in a residential care setting along with five other care workers and two volunteers. I support the residents in their day to day lives, helping them to achieve their goals and aspirations. We help maintain a clean and safe environment for residents, staff and visitors. Residents are supported attending day support services.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
I have attended/completed all mandatory training, including Health & Safety, Safeguarding, Food Hygiene, Medication, etc. I have developed skills in undertaking routine inspections and reviews into health & safety, fire safety, and medication audits. I have been encouraged to help residents plan activities that require detailed planning, such as holidays abroad and 'big wishes' like attending concerts. I am now undertaking a level 3 apprenticeship as a 'Lead Care Worker'
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
The work and learning programme is detailed and enables me to find areas of my work which I can reflect on and improve. It covers different aspects of my job role, highlighting the importance of why government laws and company policies and procedures are in place and how I can implement them properly in my day to day working practices.
4. How well organised/structured is your programme?
The apprenticeship programme has been clearly structured - I can see my progress on the BUD online learning portal and I am supported by my apprenticeship mentor who I get on well with; we meet monthly to discuss different topics and review my learning progress. I am given good advice on where to find further relevant information and feel comfortable with the pace of learning.
5. How much support do you receive from your employer?
My employer (manager and deputy manager at the residential setting where I work) give me support by helping to provide instances where I can learn from on the job experience - I am able to shadow experienced staff in tasks that I have limited experience of and am given the opportunity to ask questions and gain further understanding.
6. How much support do you receive from your training provider when working towards your qualifications?
My apprenticeship mentor from Paragon meets with me monthly which is good, as we can use these regular meetings to assess my progress and provide support where I might need more information or guidance. I am able to use the BUD learning portal to submit work and contact my mentor if I have any queries.
7. How well do you feel that your qualification (through your training provider) helps you to perform better in your role?
The qualification I am working towards follows the most up to date guidance, policies and best working practices in the care sector, which is helpful as it gives me more knowledge about things, such as the introduction of General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which is vitally important and relevant in the sector which I work to ensure personal information is secure used for its intended purposes.
8. Are there extra-curricular activities to get involved in at your work? (For example, any social activities, sports teams, or even professional networking events.)
The head office organises annual events such as a summer BBQ and Christmas meal, which residents and staff are encouraged to attend. Most recently the residents have had ping pong sessions once per week by PingPong4U which they really enjoy and the staff are able to support them in doing. Staff at the house also have a Christmas meal and volunteer farewell meal.
9a. Would you recommend Catholic Care to a friend?
Catholic Care (Diocese of Leeds) provide services to those most in need, which they do in a sympathetic, supportive, and professional way. Staff are encouraged to develop their skills, supported in their wellbeing and are given responsibilities in a way that promotes personal development. The head office are approachable and managers at the home are responsible, compassionate, and responsive.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Catholic Care?
There are lots of different opportunities available so be honest about what you are trying to achieve - you can be supported to develop in areas that interest you and there are lots of nice people to work with and learn from. It is a close knit, community centred charity that appreciates its clients, staff and supporters.