One man standing with his hands outstretched, another man pretending to play a guitar.

Jamie's journey into a career in care

Jamie was a postman for 22 years and loved the person-facing nature of the role. Through one of his post rounds, Jamie got to know an elderly lady and began to help her with tasks that she was struggling with, such as grocery shopping. Jamie became an unpaid carer for the lady and loved the experience of helping her to stay independent. In addition to this experience, Jamie began to accompany a family friend to social events ran by social care providers for adults with learning disabilities.

Inspired by his experiences of caring, Jamie began to look for social care jobs. He was initially unsuccessful but he preserved and got voluntary experience working for Choices 4 Life, a day service in Coalville, Leicestershire. After two months, Jamie was offered a full-time role as a support worker.

Many of the people I work with face a lot of challenges in their lives and I love helping them to live happy and fulfilling lives. I love bringing joy to their day.

Jamie

Day in the life of a support worker

Jamie's role is to promote independence and support people to learn new skills and take part in meaningful activities. Like many daytime opportunity services, Choices 4 Life delivers a timetable of activities that people using the service can choose between. Each day consists of a morning session, lunchtime and then an afternoon session. Activities include swimming, cooking, sports sessions, colouring and crafts, games and community visits to shops, parks and cafes. Jamie helps to lead these activities and to encourage participants to challenge themselves and learn new skills.

Although there is a timetable of activities, Jamie must remain flexible and creative at all times. This is necessary because people's needs are always changing, and it is Jamie's role to place the needs of each individual at the centre of his work. This means empowering people to make decisions about what activities they would like to do. For example, a cooking session may turn into an opportunity for meal and budget planning.

Sessions are not set in stone. We go with the flow and see what the service users need at that moment.

Jamie
Career timeline

2019 - present

Support worker - Choices 4 Life day service

2018

Volunteer - daytime opportunities service for adults with learning disabilities

2017 - 2018

Assembly operative - garage door company

2017

Vending machine operator

1994 - 2017

Postman - Royal Mail

1992 - 1994

Computer training through Youth Training Service

1990 - 1992

Factory worker

1990

Left school with GCSEs

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