Richard, aged 57, is a support worker living in Telford and working at Eden Futures’ supported living services in the town.
He joined Eden two years ago with no formal experience of health and social care but with a keen interest in helping people with mental ill-health and learning disabilities.
Richard had previously worked in a management role in the manufacturing sector for 35 years plus time spent living and working abroad. His role included team management, health and safety matters and acting as a people’s champion for continuous improvement within the business.
He says: “Despite coming from a different sector, upon early retirement, I felt I had transferrable skills which I could put to good use elsewhere. Eden values people’s different life experiences and has a comprehensive training programme which blends CQC standards, bespoke training and shadowing, which helped me learn the necessary skills and knowledge to become a support worker. The company welcomes people from diverse backgrounds if they fit the values of the business, notably to be caring and compassionate, empathetic, resilient and honest.
“It’s so different to what I did before but I absolutely love my job. I work with a great 20-strong team to support people in Telford who have differing needs. This can be supporting someone for a few hours a week if they’re living almost wholly independently, to 24 hours a day support and everything in-between for others.
“Contrary to what people think of working in health and social care, it is possible to work flexibly, although it’s certainly not a nine to five job. Eden offers a mixture of shift patterns and hours to suit my work-life balance whilst ensuring the team is there to support the users of our services. This is done through our person-centred approach where we tailor care and support to each person’s needs, combining core general hours and one-to-one key worker hours.
“This dedicated time is important to help people live their lives, whether that’s accompanying them on a shopping outing, planning a holiday, an evening social gathering or housekeeping. Everyone has the right amount of time they need. A typical day may be a trip into town to do some shopping and stopping for a coffee. We would then head back to tick off some housework jobs from their list to make it a positive, successful day, which is what it’s all about for us as support workers.”
Richard is married with five grown-up children and a dog. He’s grown his role to become an Eden Influencer – now helping other people on their career path within Eden too.