A new recruit to Extra Hands is former admin worker Laura Hawksworth, from Kings Lynn.
She had been recommended to try caring, so when the pandemic came along, the time seemed right to switch.
“I knew admin wasn’t really for me, and years ago I had done some care work and enjoyed it, so the thought of doing a job where I could go into people’s homes and help them as they needed was something that really appealed, as people have told me I have a caring nature,” she said.
“It can be odd going into someone’s house, but once I’ve done that and got to know the place and person, I really enjoy it.”
Laura is based at the Heacham office and works three evenings a week and alternate weekends, which she said had helped her settle in the role and develop her skills.
“Working like that allows me to go away and think about what I’ve done, which has helped me get used to it,” she said. “Extra Hands were very helpful in the way they didn’t throw me in at the deep end, they gave me a couple of clients to start, and it’s built from there, so that’s really helped me get into the role.”
One valuable lesson Laura has brought from her previous jobs is realising the importance of listening.
"If you let people talk to the end of what they want to say, they feel so much better that you’ve listened to them, and their needs end up being identified and sorted much more quickly,” she said. “That’s really valuable when you’re trying to build a caring relationship.”
The events of 2020 have been challenging for everyone, but Laura said Extra Hands had helped their staff as much as their service users.
“It must have been very challenging for Extra Hands to juggle all the demands on their services, but they’ve done a great job,” she said. “Whenever I’ve had a concern, they’ve been very patient and I’ve felt supported. I feel my skills are really suited to this – I’m really happy with this job.”