Journey into a career in care
Sunny's career in social care began at university when his friend suggested that his personality and skills would make him a great support worker. Sunny's first role was working for a community support service for Deaf and Hard of Hearing people. This experience reinforced Sunny's commitment to a career in care and he decided to pursue a role that would enable him to work more flexibly and manage his own workload. In 2014, Sunny started a personal assistant service.
Sunny has completed training in a wide range of skills and specialisms; including managing challenging behaviour and supporting people with autism. He has worked with people of all different ages, from 14 to 77 years of age, and with a range of different social care needs. Sunny advertises his service to clients by using local authority personal assistant directories/ networks, through word-of-mouth and through his website.
Sunny's role as a personal assistant
Sunny's passion is working with Deaf, Hard of Hearing and non-verbal people from all communities, specialising in working with people from Asian communities. He currently has 4 clients who he works with on a regular basis. Sunny's schedule varies continually as he responds to clients' changing needs. Sunny does some short sessions (e.g. a few hours) and occasional live-in placements where he stays at a client's home to support them with every aspect of their daily life.
As a Deaf Asian person, Sunny can understand the specific challenges faced by people with disabilities in this community. These include increased risk of social isolation due to language and cultural barriers. Sunny's role is to empower people to access their communities, healthcare and social care services. For example, he supports people to attend GP and hospital appointments.
Sometimes Deaf or Hard of Hearing people have a difficult experience of accessing community and healthcare services. I empower people to have a voice, make decisions about the support that they need, and grow their independence.
Sunny is Deaf and is fluent in both British Sign Language and Sign Supported English. When required, Sunny works alongside an interpreter, called Peter. Peter translates spoken English into British Sign Language. This enables Sunny to communicate with hearing people. Peter also helps Sunny with other aspects of the service, such as registering with personal assistant directories. Peter is funded by a government scheme that supports people with disabilities to overcome barriers to employment.
We need more Deaf or Hard of Hearing people to work in social care. This will help improve access to services for people in the Deaf community who are living with disabilities and other social care needs.
Want to find out about becoming a personal assistant?
Visit Leicestershire County Council's website to register your interest.