Chloe Cottle’s story
I work as a Visitor Officer in Brunelcare’s South Gloucestershire Community Services team, based in Kingswood, Bristol.
My specialist role involves working closely with our clients’ social workersand carrying out what we call our ‘meet and greet’ meetings each time we take on a new client for care. I complete a careful assessment of someone’s care needs and help set up their new care plan.
I didn’t initially train to work in care; in fact I was completing a two year beauty therapy course at college when I decided I wanted to work in care instead. The reason for this change in direction was that I spent some of my time caring for my Grandad and Nan whilst I was at college, and this experience made me decide that I would prefer to work in care.
One of the key highlights whilst working as a carer was when I arranged a Christmas party for one of my clients, a bed-bound lady who tended to have very few visitors to her home and was without close family. With the help of a colleague, and some of the lady’s friends from her local church, we made sure that she had her favourite Christmas songs to listen to all day, making sure she had the best celebration! I also work most Sundays providing care to people living in my local area, which I find immensely satisfying as I just like to know someone is being helped.
What would I say to someone thinking of working in care? To provide care to someone is a highly rewarding feeling. Very often you can be the only person your client sees all day, and during your visit you lift their spirits, make them feel more comfortable and leave them feeling happier.
I found my first care job by simply searching ‘care jobs near me’ online. I then applied for the vacancies from that search. I also handed out my CV to local companies. That is something I would also recommend if you are searching for a job in care. Brunelcare welcomes that.
A carer’s job is skilled. Within the first three months, a carer works towards their Care Certificate. Brunelcare provides our full training – throughout our career. The role entails learning and developing many specialist skills and all carers are required to undertake regular training as part of the job in order to acquire and maintain appropriate skills. I have completed my Care Certificate training and many carers have NVQs in Health and Social care that form part of their qualifications and training.
There are also many opportunities to progress your career, as I have found within just five years. I started as a Carer but now have the more specialist role within our team.
Given the demands and challenges you face as a carer, there are key qualities and attributes that I think make a good carer. These include excellent listening skills, the desire to learn and develop all the many specialist skills required; such as feeding techniques, manual handling best practice and excellent communication skills – to name just a few.
I think strength of character is key, to help you cope with the emotional aspects of the work, and to help maintain a positive, caring and motivating approach.
It’s such a rewarding job, knowing that you are helping others.
In this short film, Saffron describes her nurse training at university and what it is like working as a trainee nurse at Brunelcare's Robinson House care home.