Bristol City Council has joined authorities across the South West in supporting a new campaign to raise the profile of care in a drive to recruit the right people to the sector.
The campaign, which focuses on the positive role of care workers, is designed to support care providers across the region as they can experience difficulties in recruiting. This can in turn affect the availability of care to people who could be living independently at home, or in care homes.
It's a challenge that local authorities want to address by making people aware of how rewarding and worthwhile care work is as career choice, and encouraging the positive image that care deserves.
This is the first time local authorities have taken a regional approach to raising the profile of care and 16 councils across the South West, and Health Education England, are supporting the campaign.* The Association of Directors of Adult Social Care and Skills for Care and Skills for Health are also lending their support.
The campaign website www.proudtocarebristol.org.uk features interviews with care and support workers, and links to recruitment opportunities. The campaign also features first-hand personal accounts from real care and support workers, who talk passionately about their love for care work.
Cllr Helen Holland, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care at Bristol City Council, said: “We’re really pleased to be working in partnership with so many other local authorities across the region on this campaign, which I hope will inspire more people to consider a career in care.
“Care can provide all kinds of flexible work, and if we work more closely together, we can make the most of training opportunities to help progress careers in care. It really is time that people working in the care sector got the recognition they deserve for the huge contribution they make to our society.”
The campaign is aiming to reach all potential care workers, but is specifically targeting key audiences including younger people and those who have studied for a health and social care qualification; parents considering a return to work; people aged 50 plus who might want to give something back to their community; and students seeking employment over holiday periods.
Jess from Hengrove works at Milestones Trust and is one of the carers featured in the new campaign. She said: “Leaving school I wasn’t sure exactly what I wanted to do, but I knew that I wanted a job that would help people. After initially working with children, I decided that I wanted to support adults with learning disabilities so I started working as an apprentice in the sector. It was a challenge, but I found the work extremely rewarding and now I work full time at Milestones Trust. My job involves helping people to live as independently as possible and make their own choices, and helps people to build their confidence to take part in community life. I’d honestly recommend my job to everyone – although it’s hard work the rewards are brilliant and I go home each day knowing I’ve made a difference.”
The Proud to Care campaign originated in Devon where care providers have seen marked improvements in their ability to recruit high calibre applicants to caring roles.
Devon County Council's Principal Social Worker, Geraldine Benson, and Torbay Council's Head of Integration and Development, John Bryant, are the two Joint leads for the campaign.
Geraldine Benson said: "We want the incredible people who work in the care sector to feel proud of their vocation and for others to see it as an enormously rewarding area of work that they can become involved in. We want people to see that it has great career prospects, with many opportunities for progression in care and health including nurses, social workers and registered care managers."
John Bryant added: "Working in the care and health sector is very rewarding, helping people at a time of their lives where that support can have really positive consequences and can go a long way in enhancing a person's quality of life.
"This campaign recognises the value and commitment of care and support workers across the South West. We hope that people everywhere will take a moment to visit the campaign website, listen to the real stories and be inspired to apply for any of the vacancies now available."