We have been celebrating our young carers this month and thought it was time that we shared them and their fabulous stories with you all.
We have been celebrating our #youngcarers this month and thought it was time that we shared them and their fabulous stories with you all.
Kicking us off ( football pun!) is Jess. Jess works for us as our scheduler.
Hello, my name is Jessica and I am proud to work for Home Instead Windsor, Runnymede & West Spelthorne.
I was born in west London but moved to Surrey with my family when I was eight years old. My hobbies are photography and sport – mainly football, yes I am a Chelsea fan, don’t hate me. I love to travel and experience new places.
Through secondary school I studied health and social care level 2, and then when I left school went straight into college and study childcare. During college I wasn’t enjoying the course, I love kids but wasn’t the career I wanted to follow. I saw Home Instead Windsor, Runnymede West Spelthorne advertise in my college and thought I would give it a go and try something new.
From the day that I was born, to the age of 15, I had surgery almost every year… having had the support and care during that time made me realise that I wanted to return the favour by helping others such as the elderly because I knew how much it helped and benefited me.
The eight years that I’ve been with Home Instead have been amazing – meeting so many different people and personalities, listening to their individual stories has helped me grow to who and where I am now. Giving care the Home Instead way, seeing the same people and with time to talk in every visit is a real eye-opener and I’ve learned so many things about how life was for their generation when they were my age.
Just turning 18 when I started was challenging, but I have gained many life skills. I’ve experienced so many good times, but also challenging, emotional times giving our clients care. Ultimately you always think positively, knowing you are providing the best care you possible to help people live life as happy, healthy and independently as possible.
I remember speaking to one client, she said “thank you for always helping me” and I said “thank you for helping me.” And I meant it because being young, I had then learned so many life skills from her, like to cook and iron, and with such a big responsibility and spending quality time with clients this job has helped me develop in so many other ways. Eight years on and I’m still learning, with Anitra and Laura giving me the opportunity to do my health and social certificate level 3.
My career in Home Instead is progressing well. I was promoted in 2021 to area supervisor, and in late 2022 I moved to scheduling which I really enjoy as I get to speak with both our clients and care assistants every day. Being seen and promoted has helped me believe in myself and what I can achieve. I have always been nervous to speak on the phone, even little things like ordering a takeaway, but now I have that confidence to pick up and speak to anyone. The office is a really good work environment for me. Just like when I gave care, I now still get the right support – open and helpful guidance when I need support, and praise for my achievements.
It’s really important for us and our clients to have a laugh, so a funny story – When I first started, I could only ‘cook’ the basic things such as microwave meals (LOL). I turned up to a client and she asked me to cook her lunch so of course I said ‘yes’, well, she had a whole raw chicken on the side. I paused. I was very honest said “Barbara I’ve never cooked chicken before”, she was so sweet and said yes let’s not risk you cooking that, and we found something that I knew I could cook. From that day she helped me cook the recipes that she liked and always laugh about the chicken story.
A recent story, a friend of our client phoned to say he been trying to ring all day and no answer. I was concerned he had fallen so I went straight to his home. I rang the doorbell and waited but no answer, and I couldn’t see him through any of the windows either. Luckily a window was open, so I climbed and jumped through his window. Well…. Where did I find him? Relaxing in the bath, having a day off from the world and ignoring the phone. I don’t know which of us was more surprised!
Being so young, it is always hard to know what you want to do in life as a career. If you want to help people and are motivated by making a difference, then working in care with Home Instead is an amazing career choice for you.