Helena Finney is one of Extra Hands’ longest-serving carers, having been with the organisation for 18 years.
"Before I joined Extra Hands, I didn’t have any background in the care sector – I was looking to get back to work having raised three children, so I was looking for something that was family-friendly and flexible – but as soon as I got in touch with the organisation, I knew that I’d found a kind and caring place, with family values at its heart, and that I’d made the right choice.
"Right from the outset, the importance of caring was very obvious. The training was excellent, and I got lots of advice from the workers who I shadowed, so when I got to go out on my first solo visit, it wasn’t too scary. The fact it was to see someone who I’d met during my shadowing definitely helped too.
"What sets Extra Hands apart both from the point of view of both employees and users is the fact that although it’s grown a lot since it started up, it remains a local, family-run service, backed up by really good solid business expertise. They really do genuinely care about the work that they do.
"For users, knowing that the office is close at hand is really important – if there’s a problem, it’s really reassuring that they know they can come in – and having carers who are local adds an extra sense of security and confidence as well. Over the years, a lot of the technology and practices have changed, but they’re still underpinned by the same core values of service, care and professionalism.
"Of course you have to stay on top of new working practices and procedures, and technology, but at the end of the day, the basic ideas that made Extra Hands such a welcoming place for me 18 years ago are what still make it such a great and trustworthy service for users today."