Touching stories reveal how Peterborough support workers are making a huge difference to some of the city's frail residents

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More support workers are needed at Peterborough City Council to help people to stay in their own homes for longer.

The council, which is undergoing a recruitment campaign, has a total of 10 vacancies for support workers in its reablement team, working between 16 and 35 hours per week. No previous experience is required as full training will be given to new starters, with the opportunity to gain formal qualifications in social and health care.

Alan and Claire

Alan and Claire

Support workers are based in the community, visiting clients in their homes and providing them with the care and support they require to meet their individual daily goals. These could include support in helping clients to learn techniques to stand up unaided, dress themselves, take medication accurately and keep their home clean.

The role requires support workers to work independently, however, full training is given and advice and support is at the end of a phone.

Support workers follow a shift pattern which requires only seven working days across two weeks. Every other week, only two working days are required.

Laura King, reablement team manager for Peterborough City Council, said: "This is a great role for the right person as it requires no previous experience or qualifications and offers a good work/life balance, which could fit around parenting or other personal commitments, like caring for family members.

Rita and Sarah

Rita and Sarah

"If you have great verbal and written communication skills, are caring and enjoy working with the public, have access to a vehicle and want a rewarding career, this may be the role for you."

The city council offers full training with formal qualifications in health and social care, regular support meetings and a work mobile phone and uniform. Successful applicants will be entered into the local government pension scheme and receive a mileage rate of 30p per mile.

In addition, a three-year paid retention bonus scheme to new staff members is provided, adding up to £3,000.

Further information on hours available can be found on the city council website - www.peterborough.gov.uk.

Sharon and Edward

Sharon and Edward

To discuss any aspect of the role, call the reablement team on 01733 207207.

CASE STUDIES

Claire Stanley, reablement support worker for Peterborough City Council, who has been working with client Alan for four weeks:

Alan - "When Claire first arrived I'd just come out of hospital and wasn't feeling so great. I've always been independent and I was getting frustrated that my body wouldn't do all the things I used to be able to. In my mind I'm still laying carpets and running around like a young man!

"When I came out of hospital it was even worse and my confidence had been knocked. Claire and the other support workers were exactly the right mix of patience and cracking the whip. They encouraged me to get up on my feet and moving around again, and when I couldn't do it first time taught me tips and tricks to make it easier. Plus they always have a smile and it's clear they enjoy the role they do."

Claire - "The first day I met Alan he was exhausted and just happy to be at home, so we took it very easy that day and chatted and got to know each other. He is such a positive person and tried to get better as quickly as possible, which is fantastic, but sometimes he pushed himself too hard and got a bit down when he couldn't do something.

"In his mind he is Superman and he is - I just helped him to realise he was at the Clark Kent stage at that point! I've taught Alan techniques for putting his shoes on and standing and his determination has led him to discover some of his own, which I'll be passing on to other clients.

"From my point of view the role of a support worker is to teach and show empathy and compassion, all things which came naturally to me from my experiences as a mum. I enjoy my time at work, it's a good work life balance and I find it really rewarding to see clients like Alan achieving their independence again and to know I've played a role in that."

Sarah Humphries, occupational therapist at Peterborough City Council, has been working with client Rita for two months:

Rita - "I came out of hospital two months ago after a hip operation. Since I got back home I've found it difficult to do some of the things I did before, like organising meals, washing and dressing. Plus I've also had to learn new things like using a stairlift and remembering to take the right tablets each day.

"Sarah and her team have been excellent. I really look forward to their visits and feel like I'm getting my life back again. I'm making good progress and feel a lot more confident. My next goal is to start getting out and about again and to walk to my local shops."

Sarah - "Rita is making steady progress. We go in each day and help to give her the confidence to start doing things on her own again. We help her order her cooked meals to be delivered and give her the encouragement and techniques to start becoming mobile again, while allowing her hip to mend properly. Rita is getting more confident and independent each day. It's a joy to watch."

Sharon Hodges, reablement support worker at Peterborough City Council, has been working with client Edward for four weeks:

Edward - "I think the service is excellent. There's a big difference between being in your own home and hospital. The hospital can't give you the individual attention, whereas when your carer comes in you get their full attention while they're here which makes a big difference.

"To be a carer I would say you need to be someone who's cheery and willing to do different jobs that crop up. I can do things now because I've had help to do it. It's awkward trying to make the bed with one hand, but I have someone to help. Hopefully one of these bright days I'll get these dressings off and have two hands again."

Sharon - "We go into clients' homes to support them with their independence. Quite often our clients are people who have been in hospital for a while. They don't need full support when they come out, but they do need assistance, particularly if they haven't had their independence for a while and haven't been very mobile.

"Their confidence might be a little low and it takes quite a bit of readjusting being back home. We do make a big difference to people's lives. We get to meet a lot of people with different stories, so there's variety in what we do. What we do is very rewarding and if you want to help other people to help themselves it's a good job to come to."