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Careers Week: Starting out and Returning to Care During a Pandemic

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Posted

2 March 2021

Careers Week: Starting out and Returning to Care During a Pandemic

The past year has seen unprecedented career changes for many but for Miranda Russell-Graham and Alicia Padfield, carers at Connors House Residential Care Home in Canterbury, it was an opportunity for one to try something new and one to return to something she loves.

“I worked in a café before starting at Connors House,” says Miranda, “I’d previously worked with people with disabilities and wanted to help older people, I started out in the kitchen in March. Once the pandemic took hold, I became a carer and I didn’t know much about care at all at the time but in the past year I’ve learnt so much more than I expected to, which I count as a blessing. I never expected to be where I am now when I first started. It’s definitely made me realise the importance of having a good team around you.”

Miranda’s colleague, Alicia returned to the care sector after taking time off to have her daughter. She agrees teamwork has carried them through. “After a few years of looking after my daughter, I returned to work in November, just before the second lockdown. I was inspired by everything that was going on and whilst it’s been difficult, we’ve really pulled together and supported one another, creating close bonds with the staff and residents has helped a lot.”

Despite the challenges for the team, the rewarding nature of the role is unparalleled. “I didn’t realise quite how humbled I would feel and how rewarding it is,” says Miranda, “working in care has helped me to see the bigger picture, that you don’t see as an outsider. It is so much more complex, with both the small and bigger things and the emotional support. We give our all to the residents but we get so much back.”

Rewarding is a word Alicia uses to describe her work too, she says, “You can go home and know that you’ve improved someone’s day, you make such close bonds, it really is so rewarding.”

And the future is bright for both, with aims of obtaining qualifications and developing skills in other areas. “I’d like to work towards my NVQ level 2, so I’ll be qualified,” says Alicia. With the goal of helping people in her mind, Miranda is keen to learn more about wellbeing and fitness and is currently undertaking a personal training course.

So what advice would they give to someone looking to start a career in care? “If you’re a caring person and you want to help others,” Alicia encapsulates perfectly, “you’d be perfect for it.”

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