Woman posing in a reception area with painting of animals in the background.

Polly works as a work skills coordinator for WHM Work Connections, a work-based learning centre for adults with physical and learning disabilities based on a working farm in Seagrave, Leicestershire.

We interviewed Polly to find out what inspired her to work in care and what her day-to-day role involves...

What inspired you to work in care?

I started at WHM Work Connections as a volunteer in July 2013. My sister worked here, and I thought it would be something I'd like to try during my university holidays. After about 4 weeks I had the opportunity to run some of the activity sessions. By the end of the summer I was working five days a week in a paid role. I really enjoyed my summer and came back to work here during other university holidays.

My experience of volunteering inspired to me to choose a career in care because I saw the difference that the work that we do has on the lives of the people who we support. In 2015 I graduated from my degree in Psychology & Criminology and started as a full time support worker. Over the next few years I had the opportunity to take on more responsibility and to develop my skills. In October 2018 I became a full-time work skills coordinator.

What does your role as a work skills coordinator involve?

In my current role I support people to find voluntary or paid employment. This involves a range of activities, including coaching people in job application writing and interview skills. WHM Work Connections is based on a farm so, as well as employability skills support, I deliver group and 1:1 sessions in activities such as animal care, egg washing, horticulture and cooking. I find it a very rewarding role, especially when someone that I have supported gets the job that they wanted, and I see the results of the support that I provided.

As well as supporting people using our service, I also carry out staff supervisions, organise staff training and monitor staff development plans.

What have you gained through your career so far?

I have gained skills and experience that have increased my confidence and will undoubtable help me progress further in my career. For example, I have learnt how to work under pressure and deal with difficult situations, such as medical emergencies, in a calm and professional manner. I feel that I now understand how to communicate with people more effectively and I have become a more open and understanding person. Before working in social care, I was quite a straight-talking person, however I have grown into someone that can now look situations from different points of view.

If you're thinking about working in social care, do it! It can be hard work, but the job is very rewarding.

Polly
Career timeline

2018

Work skills coordinator - WHM Work Connections

October 2016

Part-time Coordinator / part-time support worker - WHM Work Connections

July 2015

Support worker - WHM Work Connections

July 2015

Graduated - BSc Psychology & Criminology

2013 - 2015

Volunteer - WHM Work Connections

2012

Started university

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