Caring can seem like an emotionally and physically demanding profession, but Extra Hands is always keen to look after its staff as much as its service users, and offer hours to suit them, to help them do the job as best they can.
Two of the company’s new starters during the pandemic are Laura Hawksworth from Kings Lynn, and Natalie Ely from Hunstanton, both of whom were previously in admin jobs, and both of whom now work evenings and weekends as carers.
“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,” said Laura, who works out of the Heacham office.
She works three evenings a week, and alternate weekends, and said this was helping her adapt to the new job.
“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. The company has been very patient, and I’ve felt supported. I feel my skills are really suited to this – I’m really happy with this job.”
Natalie, from Hunstanton, was already considering a move into caring when the pandemic struck, so it did not affect her career choice, but she said the work/life balance offered by part-time hours, giving her time to look after her two young children, had definitely helped her settle.
“My main concern was that if you hear someone’s not well, or been taken to hospital, I was worried I’d get too attached, but I’ve learnt to give my all at work, and then to have the capability not to take my work home with me,” she said.
“I’m so glad I made the move – it’s incredibly rewarding,” she continued. “In previous jobs, when I’ve been to talk to management I’ve felt like I was on tenterhooks but there’s absolutely none of that here, it’s like talking to friends.
“I can’t fault my coordinator Sarah at all, she makes you feel so at ease and you can go to her with absolutely anything job-related.”