At tonight’s Gala, we’re presenting awards to some of our clients who have achieved successes during the previous year.
Training To Care Manager Michelle Bluck has nominated trainee Sarah Greening for an award because of her hard work and achievements on the course so far.
Training To Care is a gateway for people who want a caring career, offering them the qualifications and experience they need in order to apply for NHS jobs. It offers people with little or no work experience the chance to earn money and gain experience as they train towards a formal qualification in Health and Social Care.
Everyone receiving their first qualification will get a High Achiever award at the Gala, but Michelle nominated Sarah for a separate award because, of all our trainees, she felt Sarah has grown the most.
Before coming to Gateway, Sarah had stayed at home for years, bringing up her son. “I knew I needed to get out and look for work, but I didn’t have the courage; I didn’t know how to start,” Sarah says. “When I saw this opportunity come up, I forced myself to go for it, even though I was really scared. Even when I got through the interview I didn’t think I’d be able to do the work. I’m a quiet person and I had to learn how to open up.”
Michelle says, “When Sarah arrived for interview it was clear that she believed in what she wanted, but she was nervous and underconfident. I can’t put my finger on why I felt she would do well, but I wanted to give her a chance.”
Part of the reason that Training To Care is different is because of the employability work that Gateway does with trainees. Sarah knew that a caring role was right for her but needed some encouragement. With this extra support, her progress has been phenomenal.”I’m a different person!” she says. “I’ve gone from not working, and feeling worthless, to enjoying what I do so, so much. I’m going out, talking to people. I work four days a week, and by the end of my break I can’t wait to go back. It’s a responsible job; patients put their trust in you, so helping them has given me a lot of confidence.”
Michelle agrees. “Despite her initial shyness and underconfidence, the way she approaches people – her manner with the patients – is genuine and natural. And she’s not afraid to stand up for patients, to be an advocate,” she says. “Even the most awkward patients are asking for her by name now. She has a way of getting them to do what she needs them to do; thanking them for letting her work. She makes them feel like they’re doing her a favour!”
The job Sarah’s doing at Moseley Hall Hospital is a tough one. It includes personal care (bathing, toileting, feeding) and working with all ages, including older patients with dementia. So why did Sarah choose care work, rather than a shop or desk job? Like most of our trainees, she says it was a natural choice for her. “Everyone asks why I would want to do this – I mean, it’s hard work – but it seems obvious to me. I’ve always been a caring person. Some people think you can be ‘too nice’, so I thought I’d take it somewhere where it would be appreciated.”
In November, Sarah will receive her Level 2 City and Guilds diploma in Health and Social Care, and by the end of the year she’ll have 12 months of really valuable work experience, with excellent references. All Health and Social Care roles must have a percentage of qualified staff, so she’ll be highly employable.
“Considering she’s never had a job, I am continually surprised by Sarah’s work ethic and the way she applies herself,” says Michelle. “Her commitment is faultless – she’s never been late, or off sick. Both her teamwork and lone working are excellent and this is reflected in feedback from her supervisor, and in her one-to-ones, which are invariably positive. The more you throw at her, the more she absorbs – and the more she wants to absorb. She’s genuinely interested in the work and she even does her own research alongside the course. A caring role just seems to come naturally to her – it just flows.”