Meet Elle - Community Support Worker

Fun fact about yourself?

I worked in Leicester's LGBTQ+ bars as a Team Leader before coming to work for LCC! I sing and play guitar and perform at local bars and clubs as a solo artist, in my spare time.

What is your role within social care?

I am a Community Support Worker within an Older Adults Team.

What are the main responsibilities of your role?

I complete assessments and arrange support for older people. Whether it be care packages to promote people's independence and enable them to live safely in their own homes; or arrange residential/nursing care for those who need it, when they can no longer safely live at home. I also arrange support for those being discharged from hospital.

What inspired you to start a career in the care sector?

I wanted a career change from my previous job in the hospitality/nightlife sector, so I applied to be an admin assistant within the Adult Social Care department. I'll be honest, I didn't really know what Adult Social Care did, when I applied for the job! After working in various administration roles for a couple of years, and seeing the great work that the social care teams did with the people of Leicestershire, I wanted to work in a front line social care team myself, so I applied to be a Community Support Worker, and have never looked back!

Describe 3 of the best things about working in adult social care.

  1. No two days are the same! We are constantly facing new challenges and finding new ways to best support people.
  2. The brilliant support from colleagues, and management
  3. The opportunity for on-the-job training, and opportunities for career progression

Members of the LGBTQIA+ community face many challenges throughout their lives. How do you feel a career in social care could help to overcome these?

I have experienced nothing but support from my colleagues and managers, regarding my sexuality. I have always felt accepted and have never felt the need to hide who I am in the workplace. In my experience, those who work within the social care environment are open minded and non-judgemental, so we can be our true, authentic selves.

What would you say to a someone identifying as LGBTQIA+ considering a career in the care sector, but who may feel hesitant to apply? What encouragement would you offer?

I would say, go for it! In my experience the people I've met working within social care have all been open minded, non-judgemental and accepting of others. We support people from all walks of life in this sector, so I feel it's important to have staff members from all walks of life too. I personally think that going through challenges in our personal lives, can help us understand and empathise with the people we support, who are often going through challenges themselves.

The LGBTQIA+ community is under-represented in our sector. Why do you think this could be? Do you think there are any misconceptions of careers in social care that we need to overcome?

I am not overly sure why this would be, I don't feel LGBTQIA+ people are under-represented in the department I work for. At LCC we have an LGBTQ+ Staff network, and within my department there are visible LGBTQ+ role models in various roles. We have also had webinar sessions recently that all LCC staff members could join if they wished, to raise awareness regarding Trans/Non-binary folk, which I found really useful and think it is very important to raise awareness to the wider staff network.

I think the LGBTQ+ community may be under-represented in the "hands on" care sector (i.e. domiciliary care), potentially due to misconceptions around the older generation not being so LGBTQ+ friendly?

It is difficult, as the older generations we support grew up in a time where being gay/lesbian was illegal in this country. I personally have never received any homophobic abuse from the people I support, however I do not talk about my sexuality with the people I support as this isn't appropriate in my role. I believe as time goes on, attitudes toward the LGBTQ+ community do seem to be improving.

What has been your career path to the position you are in now?

Role

Years In Role

Admin Assistant

2015 (Mar-Sept)

Admin Team Leader

2015 – 2016

Office Manager

2016 - 2017

Community Support Worker

2017 – now

How will you be celebrating pride this year?

Sadly I won't be able to make Leicester Pride due to being away on holiday, I will however be celebrating at Birmingham Pride at the end of September! We will be marching with the procession then celebrating in the village!

Added 16th September
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